“Dear Editors: As a Jew, I Want More People to Boycott Israel”

Letters to the editor of the Guardian, each signed by long lists of people and advocating this or that trendy moral cause, have become routine, notes Douglas Murray. All too often, the target of these letters is Israel. A recent such epistle, condemning an Israeli film festival, is a testament mainly to the self-importance of its signatories:

The letter that went into the Guardian this week was unusual in having almost nobody sign it who is a household name. The letter was a demand from a group of “artists, producers, and concerned citizens,” who, it said, “are disappointed and saddened to see that [certain London] cinemas are hosting the Israeli Film and Television Festival.”

It takes a particular type of ego to think their “sadness” should be the subject of a public declaration. . . . As you might guess, the signatories claim the right to decide what should or should not be shown and where, because they say they are in the movie business. . . .

The same names crop up again and again [in letters condemning Israel]. Little, if any, rigor is paid to whether the signatories of such letters even do what they say they do, or have opinions worthy of any note. Beneath the barely-built veneer of “professionals objecting to something in their own profession” is just the same tiny number of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish obsessives. A sprinkling of “as a Jew” Jews . . . helps, of course. But the aim is clear. These people, step by step, want to make every expression of Israeli and Jewish cultural life subject to their idea of how a nation under constant threat of terrorist bombardment should behave. They denounce Israel as a militaristic society and then attempt to outlaw every non-militaristic cultural and artistic expression from that society.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Guardian, Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

How Israel and Its Allies Could Have a Positive Influence on the Biden Administration’s Iran Policy

Nov. 25 2020

While the president-elect has expressed his desire to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, this should not in itself cause worry in Jerusalem; it has never been the Israeli government’s position that a deal with Tehran is undesirable, only that the flaws of the deal negotiated by the Obama administration outweighed its benefits. Thus Yaakov Amidror, Efraim Inbar, and Eran Lerman urge Israel to approach Joe Biden’s national-security team—whose senior members were announced this week—to urge them to act prudently:

To the greatest extent possible, such approaches should be made jointly, or in very close coordination with, Israel’s new partners in the Gulf. These countries share Israel’s perspectives on the Iranian regional threat and on the need to block Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons.

For Israel, for Iran-deal skeptics in Washington, and for her partners in the region, the first operational priority is to persuade the incoming U.S. national-security team to maintain full leverage on Iran. Sanctions against Iran should not be lifted as a “gesture” without a verified Iranian return to the status quo ante (at the very least) in terms of low-enriched-uranium stockpiles and ongoing enrichment activities.

In parallel, there may emerge a unique opportunity to close ranks with the French (and with Boris Johnson’s government in London) on the Iranian question. On several issues (above all, the struggle for hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean, against Turkey), Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, and Paris now see eye-to-eye. On Iran, during the negotiations leading to the [deal] in 2015, the position of France was often the most robust. In 2018, President Macron was willing to reach an operational understanding with Secretary of State Pompeo on [key issues regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities].

Last but certainly not least, it should be clear to the incoming U.S. national-security team that any attempt to negotiate must be, can be, and (as far as Israel is concerned) firmly will be backed by a credible military threat.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: France, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, US-Israel relations