Benjamin Netanyahu and American Presidents

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in San Jose, California for a six-day visit to the U.S., which includes a meeting with Joe Biden at the United Nations on Wednesday. Biden is the seventh president in office since Benjamin Netanyahu came to work at the Israeli embassy in Washington in 1982. Drawing on Netanyahu’s recent autobiography, Tevi Troy dimensions his relations with these American leaders:

Vladimir Jabotinsky believed that making one’s case forcefully and persistently in a democratic society is the best way to bring about preferred policy outcomes. Bibi Netanyahu turned the idea into a reality.

During the Clinton administration, Netanyahu rose to prime minister after winning a 1996 election to replace acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres following the assassination of Yitzḥak Rabin. To say that Clinton and company were disappointed at the result is an understatement. Clinton actively tried to have Netanyahu defeated in the election, but, he later admitted, “I tried to do it in a way that didn’t overtly involve me.” Clinton hadn’t fooled anyone. When Netanyahu next came to the White House, Clinton remembered that Netanyahu “wanted me to know that he knew I wasn’t for him and he beat us anyway.”

In April 2002, [President George W.] Bush demanded that Israel withdraw its troops engaged in Jenin and Shechem/Nablus operations to stop the terrorist bombings of the second intifada. With Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s blessing, Netanyahu flew to Washington and spoke to a bipartisan group of senators. “I am concerned that the imperative of defeating terror everywhere is being ignored when the main engine of Palestinian terror is allowed to remain intact,” he told them. Netanyahu’s words packed a punch in a Washington still focused on responding to 9/11 terror attacks. The Bush administration returned to its statements that Israel should be allowed to defend itself, which took the pressure off and gave Israel room to maneuver. Once again, Netanyahu had used the Jabotinsky method of developing public pressure to help lead to a desired policy outcome.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Second Intifada, U.S.-Israel relationship

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus