British Universities’ Anti-Semitism Problem Starts with the Professors, but Doesn’t End with Them

Last week, London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) agreed to refund the tuition of a student named Noah Lewis, who discontinued his studies because of what he described as a “toxic, anti-Semitic environment on campus.” While SOAS may be a particularly severe offender in this regard, it is not alone: a recent report by a respected British anti-Semitism watchdog catalogued 123 serious incidents on campus in the past two years. Stephen Pollard explains why these cases should not be taken lightly:

The real importance of the . . . ruling, however, is not that it upheld the accounts provided by Lewis. It’s that the appeal exposed the institutional failure of SOAS’s own academics to treat Lewis’s complaints properly. This is a story that is repeated time after time. Worse, it is often the academics who are responsible for fostering such an intolerant atmosphere and who are then protected by their colleagues.

In one instance, a student who complained about a professor’s defense of anti-Semites was as a result subjected to an investigation by the university. As Pollard explains:

It took three months for this investigation to be completed, with all charges dropped. The whole sorry episode reeks of attacking Jews for daring to complain about perceived anti-Semitism. It effectively sends the message to Jewish students and those who represent them that they should shut up and put up with whatever they are faced with, to exculpate the offender and find a way to blame the complainant. To blame the Jew for his own victimhood, in other words—an all too familiar theme in history.

It is quite rightly said that what happens in real life a generation later, as fashionable academic ideas seep out of the academy and as the students influenced by those ideas move into positions of influence in wider society. These are the academics who set the tone and agenda for much of campus life—and for those students who, over the next decades, will be setting the tone for national life.

Read more at UnHerd

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, Jeremy Corbyn, United Kingdom


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria