A Blood Libel at Vassar

Vassar College has been distinguishing itself lately by the frequency and ferocity of anti-Israel outbursts on its campus. Most recently, Jasbir Puar, a professor of gender and women’s studies at Rutgers University, appeared there to give a talk on “How Palestine Matters” that was by turns absurd and horrifying. Jonathan Marks writes:

In such a jargon-laden talk, one needs every now and again to jolt one’s audience awake. Complaining of a delay [by Israel] in returning the bodies of some of the Palestinians killed in the course of recent [terror attacks], . . . she reports without comment that some “speculate that the bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.” Because when you merely report unfounded rumors of Israelis harvesting the organs of young people, it’s technically not a blood libel, right? About this disgusting and irresponsible charge, the professors and activists [present] said not a mumbling word. Did I mention that the Jewish Studies program co-sponsored Puar’s appearance?

Puar also renews a charge she has made elsewhere, that the Jews are hogging the privilege of being victims of genocidal violence. “The Jewish Israeli population cannot afford to hand over genocide to another population. They need the Palestinians alive in order to keep the kind of rationalization for their victimhood and their militarized economy.” This is a remarkable move. Evidently realizing that it is hard to sustain the charge of genocide against the Israelis in light of the increasing Palestinian population, Puar adds the failure to commit genocide to the list of Israel’s crimes.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust inversion, Idiocy, Israel on campus, Postcolonialism

Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy