Tagged Arab-Israeli Conflict

More on the Return of Anti-Semitism

Its return is quite noticeable in Britain: In Britain, prominent Jewish figures are expressing concern about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in that country. Most recently the director of the BBC Danny Cohen has stated that he has never felt so uncomfortable being Jewish in Britain. He even went so far as to cast doubt on the long-term future of Anglo-Jewry. Similarly, Labor Party leader Ed Miliband—also Jewish—has called for a “zero tolerance” approach to anti-Semitism. The great irony here, however, is that both men are Jews heading organizations which, through their portrayal and policy on Israel, are laying the…

Mahmoud Abbas Obstructs Peace

Just about everyone familiar with the Middle East peace process knows what shape a final status agreement will take. Any agreement that will bring about a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will consist of the following elements: The right of Israel to exist and to be secure as a Jewish state shall be recognized. Israeli settlements will be removed and dismantled. There will be some form of joint governance or partition of Jerusalem. There will be no right of return for Palestinian refugees. Of course, just because everyone knows what shape a final status agreement will ultimately…

John Mearsheimer Is Sober, Level-Headed, Clear-Thinking, and Analytical . . . Except When He Isn’t

I recommend to everyone this piece on the present and expected future interplay between China, Taiwan and the United States written by my former college and graduate school professor, John Mearsheimer. It is exceedingly well-written, very hard-headed, and reveals that Mearsheimer has done his homework when it comes to the history of China and Taiwan. It doesn’t make for comfortable reading if one is Taiwanese, American, or a member of any Asian country that seeks to offset or balance against Chinese hegemony in Asia, but that certainly doesn’t make the need to read the piece any less urgent; if anything, the…

Nuclear Hypocrisy

Via Tyler Cowen, we have this piece from my onetime college and graduate school professor, John Mearsheimer, which was written in 1993 and which argued that Ukraine should have kept its nuclear deterrent. Current events make Mearsheimer’s piece look very prescient indeed, as Professor Cowen says. Of course, being the nettlesome fellow that I am, I have to bring up this blog post of mine, which was written over three and a half years ago, and which noted that while Mearsheimer was willing to argue against both the de-nuclearization of Europe and India, he was–and continues to be–entirely willing to argue…

Scarlett Johannson Schools OxFam

Well played: As if her otherworldly beauty and screen presence were not enough, here is another reason to love Scarlett Johansson: Oxfam, of which she was an ambassador, hinted that she should cut her ties with SodaStream on the basis that it maintains factories in Israeli settlements and she responded by cutting her ties with Oxfam! What’s not to love about this story? A worthy charity shakes its big head in disapproval at a celeb who has dared to do things for a company that works in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, no doubt expecting the celeb to freak out,…

Still More on the American Studies Association and Its Boycott of Israeli Universities

A fine statement against the boycott by UCLA chancellor Gene Block. And all hail Stephen Harper. (I presume that there will now be claims that AIPAC is exercising its well-known insidious influence on Canadian prime ministers.) Incidentally, the universities engaged in the boycott may be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I would not be surprised if they were, and a lawsuit regarding this issue would be downright hilarious.

In Memoriam: Ariel Sharon

A comprehensive obituary is here. See also this profile; it is a critical one, but interesting in its way. For a favorable remembrance, see this profile. I imagine that if Sharon had not lapsed into a coma, we might have seen greater movement towards a comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians; as a realist, I am reluctant to endorse the “great leader” affect on human history, but in Sharon’s case, he had military credibility and a reputation as a fierce defender of Israel that might have allowed him to sell painful compromises to the Israeli people. Requiescat in…

Quote of the Day

For decades, the American Studies Association labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It has now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians. Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East, a fiercely independent judiciary and astonishing religious and racial diversity within its universities, including affirmative action for Arab students, the charge is rather strange. Made more so when you consider the state of human rights in Israel’s neighborhood. As we speak, Syria’s government is dropping “barrel bombs” filled with nails, shrapnel and other…

On the Boycott of Israeli Universities, the Good Guys Are Winning

The American Studies Association certainly deserves to be on the defensive when it comes to its efforts to organize a boycott of Israeli universities. If it does not want to be on the defensive, perhaps it will reconsider its absolutely terrible and deleterious policy regarding the issue. Until then, it deserves the opprobrium it gets. The following may be my favorite passage: Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and a boycott opponent, said calls from alumni to take a stand against the boycott had played a role. “As an active member of the Jewish community, I recognize that the American Jewish…

A Strong Denunciation of the ASA Boycott of Israeli Universities

Found here. Kudos to John Garvey for bringing a sense of perspective and reality to the debate; perspective and reality being alien to the American Studies Association. I suppose that I would have drafted a much stronger and more blunt statement, but seeing as how the president of the Catholic University of America found it within himself to be able to call the ASA “a kind of inept volunteer fire department, aiming to put out the Israeli-Palestinian conflagration by throwing gasoline on the fire,” and then immediately amended to say that in fact, the ASA had “decided to pour gas not…