Those Loudly Condemning the Israeli Security Minister’s Visit to the Temple Mount Are Playing into His Hands

After the Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir’s recent visit to the Temple Mount, the UN Security Council called an emergency session and several Arab states issued condemnations. France, the UK, and the U.S. conveyed more generic warnings to Jerusalem, and the event got much coverage in the Israeli and foreign press. Yet, although Ben-Gvir has a history of inflammatory statements, this visit adhered to all the normal rules restricting Jewish access to the site, and was in no way out of the ordinary. John Minster considers the outsized response it provoked:

The Temple Mount has long been one of the Middle East’s most contentious areas, and more than one open conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has begun because of events there. But that is a separate discussion. The simple fact is that the international community is assailing Israel for allowing Ben-Gvir to do something he’s supposed to be allowed to do, in the manner he’s allowed to do it, that he has done before many times, and that many other Jews do every year. If this is how the world reacts to a prominent Jew visiting Judaism’s holiest site under the strictest terms, regardless of who he may be, what prospect is there for it ultimately acknowledging the legitimate Jewish religious rights to the Temple Mount?

By going to the Temple Mount, [Ben-Gvir] wants the world to react like this. It puts him in the public eye and indicates, as he tried to show in his campaign, that he alone is willing to speak unspoken truths and confront underlying tensions with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs that other Israeli politicians would prefer to ignore.

By reacting the way they have to his visit, the United States, the UAE, and other countries are playing right into his hands. This entire [tumult] allows Ben-Gvir to set himself up as the great defender of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, a position that he greatly values. Even if they (with good reason) find him execrable, most Jewish Israelis are sympathetic to his insistence on Jewish rights there. Creating a phantom international crisis out of a visit that did not violate the status quo only makes Israelis more likely to support him and others like him who can use the . . . situation on the Temple Mount to their political advantage.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Itamar Ben Gvir, Temple Mount

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