Israel’s Domestic Turmoil through Chinese Eyes

The Western media gave a fair amount of attention—although not always the most judicious or well informed—to the political struggle in the Jewish state over judicial reform. But how did news outlets in China, where journalism is strictly controlled by the state, cover the story? In seeking to answer this question, Adi Ben Eli and Ori Sela observe that reporting on the subject was overall “quite balanced.” They add:

The main characteristics of the Chinese coverage of the judicial reform in Israel, apart from being relatively small-scale, include three major aspects: (a) the view of the crisis in Israel as leading to a potential rift in Israel-U.S. relations (presented as a positive development), and also as another attempt by the United States to impose its ideology in the world by interfering in Israel’s internal affairs (either to prevent Israel from implementing a reform all together, or to push Israel toward one); (b) reducing the implications of the reform and reflecting on the actual importance of liberal democracy and/or presenting the inherent problems, in Chinese eyes, of such democracy in general; (c) using the internal schism in Israel, and occasionally the reform itself, to ponder the very future of the state of Israel.

In contrast to their Israeli counterparts, Chinese news websites hardly feature any unmediated comments. The few comments that can be found on official websites called for “respecting the will of the people” or claimed that “Netanyahu is seeking dictatorship.” Other comments did not refer to the judicial reform but rather used the events in Israel to criticize Israel’s diplomatic ties with the United States, an issue that seems to preoccupy the Chinese a great deal and has appeared in many reports.

The nature of the coverage itself reflects the character of the Chinese regime and its world view, which regards liberal democracy or protests against the authorities as problematic, as well as reflecting its strategic rivalry with the United States and an attempt to promote China’s position in the Middle East.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: China, Israel-China relations, Israeli Judicial Reform

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