Three Insider Perspectives on the Fate of Jews on Campus

Harvard administrators last week had to condemn what they rightly described as a “flagrantly anti-Semitic cartoon” that student groups, with faculty support, had distributed on social media. On Sunday, a Jewish professor named Raffaella Sadun resigned as co-chair of the school’s anti-Semitism task force, apparently because she felt it did not have power to make even minimal changes.

Nearly three months ago, David Wolpe resigned from the same committee on similar grounds. He explains his experience, and his decision, in this interview with Dovid Bashevkin. Bashevkin also speaks with Talia Khan—a student at MIT who testified at the fateful December congressional hearing—about the harassment she and her fellow Jewish students have been subjected to, and the university’s callous, if not hostile, response. In the final segment, the Harvard linguistics professor Steven Pinker, a longstanding critic of the corruption of American higher education, discusses how it is possible to combat entrenched anti-Semitism while defending academic freedom. (Audio, 96 minutes.)

Read more at 18Forty

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


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security