No, Israel’s New Government Won’t Bring about a Rift with Washington

In America, the left wing of the Democratic party has been growing in influence even as it has become increasingly hostile to the Jewish state—leading to predictions of a fracturing of U.S.-Israel relations. Likewise, Israeli and American media have been publishing various warnings that the hard-right members of the new governing coalition in Jerusalem will push America away. Zalman Shoval argues that these concerns are overblown, citing a recent speech by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the self-styled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbying group J Street:

Blinken praised Israel’s democratic elections and congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu on his victory, stressing the importance of relations between the U.S. and Israel regardless of the political hue of its government.

He specifically reiterated the importance of American security-related support for Israel, emphasizing that “no peace is possible or sustainable without a strong, secure Israel,” specifying that “our assistance to Israel is sacrosanct” and that “the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security assistance has never been stronger than it is today.” He also mentioned the administration’s opposition to BDS and anti-Israel discrimination in international forums such as the United Nations.

There were some raised eyebrows over the U.S. secretary of state delivering his speech to an organization that is not known to be supportive of most Israeli positions, and not only Netanyahu’s. However, [Blinken] probably did so expressly in order to signal to the left of the Democratic party in Congress, which opposes aid to Israel—including cooperation on security-related issues—that the administration would continue its course, a stance which was also underpinned by recent statements of the U.S. ambassador to Jerusalem Thomas Nides.

The eminent American historian Walter Russell Mead, one of the most senior and respected experts on U.S. foreign policy, in his recently published book, The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel and the Fate of the Jewish People, advances the thesis that the U.S.-Israel alliance is not only stable but that American support for Israel over the past 40 years served the American interest and that America needed Israel, and not the other way around.

In practice, Shoval writes, this means that Israel has grown too important to America, and vice-versa, for some sort of rift to be on the immediate horizon.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Antony Blinken, Benjamin Netanyahu, Democrats, J Street, U.S.-Israel relationship

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University