Can the Universities Be Saved?

Some of the most horrifying scenes of anti-Semitism in the U.S. have been coming from college campuses. K.C. Johnson carefully details what has been happening and examines how things have gotten this bad. He also considers what, if anything, can be done to remedy the situation.

Donors . . . looking to work through the system to create a more balanced environment on Israel are likely to be disappointed. A troubling lesson came a few years ago from the University of Washington, where a $5 million donation to endow a chair in Israel Studies wound up yielding a figure whose perspective on matters related to Israel seemed indistinguishable from that of her colleagues in Middle East Studies. The most effective response will have to come from within the academy—especially from faculty in less politicized fields such as STEM, business, or medicine. Professors from these disciplines have taken the lead in the rare joint faculty letters critical of the post-October 7 campus environment.

A lack of curiosity for why only Israel has generated such negative passion on campus could have been expressed by the leader of any major college or university in recent years. Absent outside pressure—from donors, legislators, potential employers, the media—universities are never going to explore this question. New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul stepped in to order an outside review of anti-Semitism at CUNY. Heavy pressure from alumni and a large protest by Jewish students seem to have triggered Columbia to appoint a task force to explore anti-Semitism on its campus.

If these inquiries are conducted thoroughly, they almost certainly will implicate powerful faculty and bureaucratic constituencies.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus

Why Hizballah Is Threatening Cyprus

In a speech last Wednesday, Hizballah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah not only declared that “nowhere will be safe” in Israel in the event of an all-out war, but also that his forces would attack the island nation of Cyprus. Hanin Ghaddar, Farzin Nadimi, and David Schenker observe that this is no idle threat, but one the Iran-backed terrorist group has “a range of options” for carrying out. They explain: 

Nasrallah’s threat to Cyprus was not random—the republic has long maintained close ties with Israel, much to Hizballah’s irritation. In recent years, the island has hosted multiple joint air-defense drills and annual special-forces exercises with Israel focused on potential threats from Hizballah and Iran.

Nasrallah’s threat should also be viewed in the context of wartime statements by Iran and its proxies about disrupting vital shipping lanes to Israel through the East Mediterranean.

This scenario should be particularly troubling to Washington given the large allied military presence in Cyprus, which includes a few thousand British troops, more than a hundred U.S. Air Force personnel, and a detachment of U-2 surveillance aircraft from the 1st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron.

Yoni Ben Menachem suggests there is an additional aspect to Nasrallah’s designs on Cyprus, involving a plan

to neutralize the Israeli air force through two primary actions: a surprise attack with precision missiles and UAVs on Israeli air-force bases and against radar and air-defense facilities, including paralyzing Ben-Gurion Airport.

Nasrallah’s goal is to ground Israeli aircraft to prevent them from conducting missions in Lebanon against mid- and long-range missile launchers. Nasrallah fears that Israel might preempt his planned attack by deploying its air force to Cypriot bases, a scenario the Israeli air force practiced with Cyprus during military exercises over the past year.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Cyprus, Hizballah, U.S. Security