“Israel’s MIT” Has Become a Model for Jewish-Arab Coexistence

The percentage of Arab students at the Technion, Israel’s prestigious science and engineering university, has tripled over the past quarter-century, bringing it into line with the proportion of Arabs in the general population. Many of these students are women, and they are not only matriculating, but graduating. Peter Coy explains how this came to be:

How did Arabs manage to gain such a solid foothold at the Technion? One factor . . . is a network of excellent private schools for Arabs. Many are run by Arab Christians but are open to Muslims as well. The Israeli government has provided funding to those schools based on attendance, similar to voucher systems in the U.S. Education is seen as a pathway out of poverty by many Arab Christians.

Jewish philanthropists including Benny and Patsy Landa helped kick the Technion’s efforts into a higher gear about a decade ago. . . . Other philanthropists have since made donations. The Higher Education Council of Israel added support as well, mostly over the past five years.

Read more at Business Week

More about: Education, Haifa, Israeli Arabs, Technion


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy