The Middle East Studies Association Boycotts the Middle East

March 28 2022

Last week, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA)—the leading professional organization for American academics in the field—announced that its members had voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to impose a boycott on Israeli universities, on the ground that they are “imbricated” in “systematic violations” of Palestinian rights. Asaf Romirowsky and Alex Joffe comment:

The MESA resolution . . . calls for American academics to punish the most liberal sector of Israeli society, indeed, the one that has done the most for Palestinian integration and education. It [articulates for its members a] political framework [for understanding] the Israel-Palestinian conflict in which Israel is vilified, and implies that members should create a system of exclusion on American campuses, ostracizing Israelis and supporters of Israel, not a few of whom are Jews.

Boycotting Israel encapsulates everything wrong with academia, namely its close-minded censoriousness, aloof cruelty, and eagerness to play politics. It also goes without saying that MESA and its members boycotting Israel will do nothing for the Palestinians, except empower their leaders’ rejectionism further into the 21st century.

The irony is that MESA’s move comes as Israel’s relations with Arab states are expanding still further. The Abraham Accords brought decades of informal political and economic cooperation into the light. These relationships have expanded to include Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain, and the UAE, and perhaps soon, Saudi Arabia.

MESA is thus out of step with the region it purports to study.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Academic Boycotts, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Middle East Studies Association

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy