Yeshiva University Petitions the Supreme Court for Permission Not to Recognize the “Pride Alliance” Club

Located in upper Manhattan, Yeshiva University has always sought to be both a university in the full sense of the world and an Orthodox yeshiva. While its undergraduates are almost entirely observant Jews, most of whom undertake a rigorous program of religious study, its graduate and professional schools have many non-Jewish students. The tensions between these aspects of its mission have come to the fore in the ongoing controversy over whether it should recognize a club for gay and lesbian students. YU’s decision not to recognize the student group has led it to petition the Supreme Court. Ed Whelan explains the case, and why it deserves a hearing from the country’s highest judicial body:

The particular dispute arises from an effort by Yeshiva students to create an undergraduate LGBTQ club—and to do so precisely in order to alter Yeshiva’s religious environment—but the issue would be exactly the same if, say, other students wanted to form a Jews for Jesus club: does Yeshiva have the religious freedom to implement its beliefs about how to form its undergraduate students in Torah values?

A New York trial court ruled that the New York City Human Rights Law requires Yeshiva to recognize an official Pride Alliance club. It has entered a permanent injunction against Yeshiva, and New York’s higher courts have denied Yeshiva’s requests for emergency relief. The club application process is now open, so absent emergency relief from the Supreme Court, the permanent injunction will require Yeshiva to approve the club “immediately.”

Yeshiva compellingly argues that the lower court’s order tramples its First Amendment autonomy as a religious institution.

Read more at National Review

More about: Freedom of Religion, LGBTQ, Supreme Court, Yeshiva University

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy