In the UK, Counterterrorism Training Favors the Terrorists

In America, there has been much discussion about how the universities have become incubators for anti-Semitism. This problem is, if anything, worse in Great Britain. So what happens when a prestigious London college offers a course for civil servants on counterterrorism? Anna Stanley recently found out:

In the introduction to the course, labeling an organization as terrorist was described as a problem because it “implies a moral judgment.” Nothing was said about why a moral judgment might be appropriate.

There was an irony to being surrounded by civil servants who hate the concept of the state. As young professionals, they represented a microcosm of the views emanating from British universities: when it comes to extremism and counterterrorism, the state is not to be trusted. The head of Security Studies at Kings College read concernedly, “Problems of definitions: labeling a group terrorist can increase the state’s power.” The civil servants nodded in agreement.

We were told some consider Hamas terrorists as freedom fighters whereas Israel was provided as a prime example when considering the question of whether a state can commit terrorism. In the introduction, one slide read “condemning terrorism is to endorse the power of the strong over the weak,” a dangerous conclusion breeding anti-Israel positions.

Another slide read, “Terrorism is not the problem, rather the systems they [sic] oppose are terrorist,” reflecting post-modern identity politics wrapped up as counterterrorism education.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Terrorism, United Kingdom, University

Israel’s Retaliation against the Houthis Sends a Message to the U.S., and to Its Arab Allies

The drone that struck a Tel Aviv high-rise on Thursday night is believed to have traveled over 2,000 kilometers, flying from Yemen over Egypt and then above the Mediterranean before veering eastward toward the Israeli coast. Since October, the Houthis have launched over 200 drones at Israel. Nor is this the first attempt to strike Tel Aviv, only the first successful one. Noah Rothman observes that the Houthis’ persistent attacks on Israel and on international shipping are largely the result of the U.S.-led coalition’s anemic response:

Had the Biden administration taken a more proactive and vigorous approach to neutralizing the Houthis’ capabilities, Israel would not be obliged to expand to Yemen the theater of operations in the war Hamas inaugurated on October 7. The prospects of a regional war grow larger by the day, not because Israel cannot “take the win,” as President Biden reportedly told Benjamin Netanyahu following a full-scale direct Iranian attack on the Jewish state, but because hostile foreign actors are killing its citizens. Jerusalem is obliged to defend them and the sovereignty of Israel’s borders.

Biden’s hesitancy was fueled by his apprehension over the prospect of a “wider war” in the Middle East. But his hesitancy is what is going to give him the war he so cravenly sought to avoid.

In this context, the nature of the Israeli response is significant: rather than follow the American strategy of striking isolated weapons depots and the like, IDF jets struck the port city of Hodeida—the sort of major target the U.S. has shied away from. The mission was likely the furthest-ever carried out by the Israel Air Force, hitting a site 200 kilometers further from Israel than Tehran. Yoel Guzansky and Ilan Zalayat comment:

The message that Israel sent was intended to reach the moderate Arab countries, the West, and especially the United States. . . . The message to the coalition countries is that “the containment” had failed and the Houthis must be hit harder. The Hodeida port is the lifeline of the Houthi economy and continued damage to it will make it extremely difficult for this economy, which is also facing significant American sanctions.

Read more at National Review

More about: Houthis, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy