America’s Ham-Fisted Interference in Israeli Domestic Affairs

As of July 4, French police had detained some 2,000 people in response to the riots that swept through the country. Yet the White House made no statement comparable to that issued on Monday urging Jerusalem “to protect and respect the right of peaceful assembly” after a handful of arrests in protests there. Elliott Abrams notes that this was but one of several declarations from U.S. officials about the turmoil in Israel surrounding judicial reform:

Unlike in France, the protests [in Israel] are non-violent, no one has been killed, and there are many fewer arrests—dozens, not hundreds or thousands.

Why does the administration feel quite free to interfere with the internal politics of one democratic ally and not another? Here are two related reasons: in the case of France, critics of Macron have not sought such U.S. interference and pressure. In the case of Israel, opponents of Prime Minister Netanyahu have traveled to the United States and made almost daily appeals for this pressure. Second, there is no domestic pressure in the United States for criticisms of Macron while there is one for criticisms of Netanyahu. Many American Jewish groups and leaders have expressed their own opposition and invited—or demanded—U.S. pressure on Israel’s government.

The double standard in Biden administration treatment of the unrest in France and in Israel is evident. It is also quite problematic, because it creates a precedent that those who are today urging interference in Israeli domestic disputes may tomorrow regret. Unlike Israel’s policies regarding Iran, Egypt, Jordan, or the Palestinians, the role of its judiciary is about as “internal” an internal matter as can be imagined. Israelis are struggling—democratically and peacefully—over those domestic issues. They should be able to do so without U.S. interference—and without unfair and baseless suggestions that Israeli authorities are not protecting the right to demonstrate.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: France, 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