Ban Iran from the Olympics

The Olympic games have a long history of making nice to brutal and anti-Semitic regimes—from the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany, to the 1980 games in the USSR, to the fact that it took nearly half a century for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to commemorate the murder of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Munich games. Likewise, the IOC has turned a blind eye to the way the Islamic Republic treats its own athletes. Emily Schrader argues that the IOC should ban Iran from competing:

Consider Navid Afkari, the Iranian wrestling champion. Afkari will never get to compete in the Olympics, despite being a world-class athlete, because he was murdered by the Iranian regime for opposing the government.

[Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic] has sent at least one . . . athlete to represent the country who also happens to have been an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps fighter in Syria from 2013 to 2015. Javad Foroughi, whom Iran claims is a nurse who learned to shoot only a few years ago, won the gold medal for men’s ten-meter air-pistol shooting last week. In an interview from earlier this year, he speaks candidly about how he was sent to Syria repeatedly and stationed near Damascus to “stand guard” in the midst of the Syrian civil war.

It’s not as if Iran conducts its business in a sportsmanlike fashion in any case—Iran has been throwing matches to avoid Israelis for years, repeatedly forcing athletes to resign rather than face Israeli athletes. In one of the most famous cases, the Iranian wrestler Saeed Mollaei threw a match in judo to avoid facing an Israeli, only to defect later and compete for another country after fleeing to Berlin.

It is well known and documented . . . that the state of Iran violates every principle the Olympic games [claim to] represent. . . . The IOC must ban Iran from the Olympic games.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: 1936 Olympics, Anti-Semitism, Iran, Munich Olympics, olympics


How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus