Open Hillel Attempts to Make Anti-Zionism Mainstream

The goal of the organization “Open Hillel,” which recently held its first conference at Harvard, is to convince Hillel Houses on college campuses to sponsor anti-Zionist events and speakers, welcome Jewish groups supportive of boycotting Israel, and allow for events jointly sponsored with such anti-Israel groups as Students for Justice in Palestine. Although it couches its agenda in the language of pluralism and free speech, writes Aiden Pink, that agenda is highly particular:

For all their complaints about their feelings of exclusion and limited discourse, my clear sense at the conference was that they—rather than Hillel International—are the ones attempting to forcibly impose a monolithic discourse. And it is the promotion of this kind of discourse—disingenuous, postmodern, radical, and often hateful—that is one of the biggest threats facing the future of Jewish communal life. . . .

Instead of abandoning Jewish communal life due to Hillel’s perceived exclusionary policies, the Open Hillel activists care enough about their Jewish “home” to work to fix its perceived errors from within. And so you end up with something paradoxical and bizarre: a group that longs for acceptance while advocating rejection, that wants Jewish life but not the version of it embodied in Jewish self-determination and statehood, that acts radical but pines for belonging.

Read more at Tower

More about: Anti-Zionism, Hillel, Israel on campus, Jews on campus, Students for Justice in Palestine

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank