Brandeis Rejects Freedom of Speech

Daniel Mael, a student at Brandeis University, recently found himself threatened with disciplinary action for reporting on another student’s tweets celebrating the murder of two New York City police officers. Two years earlier, he was charged with “bullying” for having written an article taking issue with critics of Israel. His experience, writes Abraham H. Miller, is symptomatic of the decline of free speech in American universities:

Before the creation of so-called speech and decency codes, a campus dean would have advised [Mael’s “victim”] to engage Mael in a public exchange, beginning, perhaps, with the student newspaper. Today, however, universities have become hypersensitive about students’ feelings. . . . To ensure students never experience the discomfort of having their ideas openly challenged, universities have instituted speech and decency codes. . . .

The codes require the establishment of an entire bureaucracy to monitor and enforce them. As prison guards need prisoners, the bureaucracy needs violators. To create a steady population of violators, the bar for offenses has to be continually lowered; new violations have to be created, and sometimes victims have to be sought out and taught they are victims.

Read more at New York Observer

More about: Brandeis, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus, J Street, Political correctness, 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