Fear of the Campus Left, Not Concern about Free Speech, Motivates University Presidents

Last week’s congressional hearing on campus anti-Semitism has generated mainstream attention on the corruption of the universities in general, and the fact that they are increasingly becoming breeding grounds for hatred of Jews. Yet, Heather Mac Donald fears that both universities and those who want to save them will draw the wrong conclusions, and simply call for administrators to suppress anti-Israel speech with the same zeal with which they persecute “microaggressions” and forbidden opinions. She writes:

The presidents’ refusal to declare hypothetical calls for the genocide of Jews punishable conduct has been portrayed as the greatest scandal of the hearing. It was not. The real scandal was the presidents’ duplicity in citing a “commitment to free expression” as the reason why they needed to give “wide berth to . . . views that are objectionable,” as [Harvard’s president Claudine] Gay put it.

It was those fantastically counterfactual assertions of loyalty to academic freedom that should have doomed [the University of Pennsylvania’s now-ousted Liz] Magill and the other two presidents. On any common understanding of truthfulness, their claims to protect “objectionable” views were flagrantly contrary to the facts. Having been exposed as hypocrites, dissemblers, and enforcers of politically correct thinking, they should all be fired as unfit to lead institutions ostensibly dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the transmission of knowledge.

Ironically, however, it was their one correct stance during the entire hearing debacle that put them in peril. . . . Speech should be protected unless it crosses the line into direct threats to individuals or incitement to imminent violence. Student parroting of Islamist slogans does not meet those tests.

Of course, even the presidents’ explanation for why they tolerate the pro-Hamas demonstrations is likely a lie. The real reason for their equivocation is fear of the campus left—or, in the case of the diversity bureaucrats who often took the lead in responding to the terror attacks, agreement with the campus left that anti-Israel terrorism is merely a matter of Palestinian self-defense.

Read more at City Journal

More about: Congress, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus, University


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security