The Diplomatic Agenda behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s European Travels

Yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu met with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz; last week, he was in Rome meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The Israeli prime minister was also in Paris in February and is expected to visit Britain soon. While Netanyahu has received domestic criticism for being out of the country amid terrorist attacks and ongoing controversy over legal reform, his recent travel is in the service of an urgent, diplomatic purpose, according to Ron Ben-Yishai. That purpose is to shore up support for resisting Iran:

Netanyahu has apparently been attempting to convey to his European counterparts that weapons shipments coming out of the Islamic Republic are mostly meant for Moscow, to assist Russian efforts in the less-than-stellar military campaign against Ukraine. That in itself, Netanyahu says, compromises all of Europe. He has stressed to them that the technological and military cooperation between Russia and Iran is designed, among other things, to improve the accuracy and range of Iranian-made payload-carrying drones and anti-aircraft missiles to target the Ukrainians. In exchange, Iran gets a fresh supply of Russian fighter jets.

All of that will not only serve to prolong the war in Ukraine, but to make it easier for the Iranians to endanger shipping routes from the Persian Gulf to Europe, thus compromising the Israeli capability to defend the homeland effectively.

In comes Netanyahu’s wish for a weapons embargo on Iran, set by the UN Security Council, a move that could hamper Iranian efforts to secure the requisite military capabilities to mount such a threat. . . . Netanyahu, meanwhile, has no desire to be on Vladimir Putin’s bad side. Russian retaliation against Israel could come across in the form of banning the Israeli aviation from utilizing the Russian airspace, which could change the nature of Israeli commercial flights to southeast [and east] Asia. [Moscow] could also scramble communication frequencies and launch cyberattacks against Israel.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Europe and Israel, Iran, Israeli Security, Israeli-German relations, War in Ukraine

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