A Small Victory in the Fight against the Politicization of the Universities

At its 2015 annual conference, the American Historical Association (AHA) discussed, and eventually rejected, a boycott-Israel resolution similar to those circulating among other academic organizations. Jeffrey Herf, a prominent historian of the Holocaust, explains how his colleagues were dissuaded:

The AHA [was] faced with deciding between the account of [last summer’s Gaza war] offered by Israel, a liberal democracy with a thriving political opposition and free press, compared to accounts offered by Hamas, a terrorist organization which suppressed all opposition, intimidated the press and media, and whose charter repeats the falsehoods of classic Jew-hatred. . . . AHA members could not as historians render judgments about [the war]. Why would the AHA give the benefit of the doubt to Hamas rather than to Israel? If the AHA had adopted the [boycott] resolutions, the name of the American Historical Association would be associated in public with the version of events associated with Hamas, an organization justly famous for terrorism and anti-Semitism and which did not permit academic freedom to thrive under its rule.

Read more at Legal Insurrection

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, BDS, Hamas, Protective Edge

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