Why the Sinai Crisis Bodes Ill for Sisi

Much of Egyptian President Sisi’s claim on Western support rests on his promise that he can maintain his country as an island of stability in an otherwise turbulent Arab world, and on his successful crushing of terrorist groups. If terrorists linked to Islamic State did in fact bring down a Russian airliner (as now seems likely), Sisi’s argument may be headed for trouble, as Oren Kessler writes:

The air disaster has overshadowed what was supposed to be a public-relations coup for Sisi: an official visit to the residence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, where talk of a shared counterterror vision and investment in Egyptian energy was to replace reports of mass arrests, death sentences, curtailed freedom of speech, and the heavy-handed response to the Sinai unrest. Instead, the visit has been dominated by questions of security in Egypt, the costs of doing business in the country, and the wisdom of keeping its air routes open.

Despite his government’s excesses, Sisi’s inner circle insists that his commitment to counterterrorism in a dangerous environment is reason enough to merit international support. It’s not a baseless argument—the world’s most unstable region is engulfed in unprecedented volatility, and Egypt is both the largest Arab state and a decades-long Western ally. Still, the possibility that on his watch Egypt suffered its worst-ever terror attack has called into question the president’s counterterrorism tactics. If Sisi’s uncompromising methods can’t prevent a brazen, mass-casualty attack, Western policymakers will inevitably wonder what purpose they have served.

Read more at Foundation for Defense of Democracies

More about: David Cameron, Egypt, General Sisi, ISIIS, Politics & Current Affairs, Sinai Peninsula, Terrorism

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