Turkish-Israel Normalization Is Good News for the U.S.

Two weeks ago, Jerusalem and Ankara announced the resumption of full diplomatic ties, which were severed in 2018. Brenda Shaffer examines the rapprochement from an American perspective:

Washington stands to gain by having two of its regional allies end a yearslong discord in the strategically important east Mediterranean basin, which is a flashpoint of strategic competition between the United States and Russia. Most of the countries around the east Mediterranean basin are U.S. allies, and thus it is in Washington’s strategic interest when its allies work together. Reduced tensions between Turkey and Israel also mean and that Washington does not need to waste time mitigating a conflict between its allies.

The change in relations between Turkey and Israel is also likely to project onto the situation in Syria—where both seek stability given their borders with that country. Both Israel and Ankara would like to see Iranian military units removed from Syria, or at least a reduced presence. Iran is clearly unhappy about the open cooperation between Turkey and Israel.

In contrast, Azerbaijan’s strategic situation is greatly improved by the reconciliation of its two closest allies. President Ilham Aliyev played a major role in the normalization process. Turkish-Israeli cooperation before and during the 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia war also contributed to the return of cooperative relations between Ankara and Jerusalem. Azerbaijan’s triumph in the war represented a knockout victory for Western arms technology in the clash between Russian-produced systems used by Armenia, on one hand, and those of the NATO member Turkey and the U.S. ally Israel, on the other.

Read more at Atlantic Council

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus