Fighting Anti-Semitism at the City University of New York

In the 20th century, the City University of New York was a great engine of social advancement for multiple generations of Jews, and the intellectual incubator of some of the outstanding Jewish minds of the era. But in recent years Jews there have experienced increasing hostility, including over 150 documented anti-Semitic incidents since 2015. The situation has grown so bad that six professors have filed a lawsuit against the faculty union. Jeffrey Lax, who is one of them, explains why:

As an observant Jew and chair of the Business Department at Brooklyn’s Kingsborough Community College, I’ve personally experienced this wave of anti-Semitism and am beyond disappointed in the university’s tepid response. I’m also represented by a union whose ostensible role is to stand up for marginalized public employees like me.

And recently, union delegates—who are charged with representing all CUNY faculty, including Zionists—backed [the faculty union’s president] James Davis by creating a group called “Not in Our Name.” In a public letter, they declared Israel to be a “settler colonial state” that commits “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” and “funds Nazi militia groups.” The delegates further pledged to “create networks and programs within the CUNY Jewish population to . . . unlearn Zionism.”

Unfortunately, these betrayals came as no surprise. I witnessed this spirit of viciousness up close in April of 2019 when five professors surrounded me in the faculty dining room and began screaming at me. Twice I tried to leave, but they physically stopped me. One professor put his hand above my head and said, “We’re not done. We’re just starting.” I didn’t even know these professors, but they knew I was Jewish, observant, and Zionist, and that was enough.

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Read more at New York Daily News

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

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism