Tagged Hamas

For Everyone Who Doubts the Threat Hamas Poses to Israel . . .

Be sure to read this article about the tunnels dug by Hamas to allow terrorists to launch surprise attacks on Israelis and kill or kidnap scores of them. The following excerpt provides a good summary of the story, but do read the whole thing: While Israel, a nuclear power, takes pride in having fielded one of the world’s most technologically advanced armies, its adversaries have charted a decidedly different course. For half a century, the Palestinian resistance has proved to be something of an incubator for the tools of unconventional warfare: hijacking, hostage-taking, suicide bombings—all highly visible terror tactics designed to…

Of Israel, the United States and Double Standards

As David Bernstein points out, the United States government is fond of insisting that Israel work extra-special super-duper hard to prevent innocent civilians from dying in Gaza (never mind that by stationing weapons near Palestinian civilians and turning them into human shields, Hamas actually bears responsibility for the deaths of civilians in Gaza). The problem, however, is that the United States fails to apply the same standard of care to its own airstrikes in Syria. This, of course, is hypocrisy–pure and simple. And it is astonishing that the Obama administration has been allowed to get away with being hypocritical on this…

How to Be Utterly Unreasonable (Corey Robin Edition)

Those who are closely tracking the Steven Salaita affair know that Corey Robin–who is a “political theorist” at Brooklyn College–has perhaps been Salaita’s most ardent defender and champion. This article profiles Robin. Note the following: In the Salaita case, Todd Gitlin faults Mr. Robin for failing to engage with the substance of Mr. Salaita’s tweets, at least as far as Mr. Gitlin has seen. Mr. Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, points to this Salaita tweet from July: “There’s something profoundly sexual to the Zionist pleasure w/#Israel’s aggression. Sublimation through bloodletting, a common perversion.” As Mr. Gitlin views…

Regarding a Certain Lobby that Represents a Certain Middle Eastern Nation

You’ve heard this story before, I am sure. A small Middle Eastern country is throwing its weight around and using its outsized powers to influence American foreign policy in the region. While some people shy away from discussing this unsettling–and possibly pernicious–phenomenon, more and more observers are taking note and speaking out, asking why American foreign policy and the grandees who help shape it should be in thrall to this tiny nation-state. Did you think that I was writing about Israel and the Israel lobby? If so, you thought wrong: The New York Times recently published a long investigative report…

Stop Me If this Sounds Familiar

Link: This week vandals sprayed the words “Jews” and the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil” on the office windows of the Lausitzer Rundschau, a newspaper known for its coverage of far-right groups. The week before four swastikas were daubed on other offices of the paper as well as “Jews, kill them” and “We’ll get you all”. There were similar incidents against the daily in 2012. “These threats and acts of vandalism must be stopped and I am confident that the authorities will take the necessary precautions to ensure journalists’ safety,” the OSCE’s media representative Dunja Mijatovic said. “I welcome the condemnation of these attacks from the highest…

How Did Steven Salaita Ever Get an Offer from the University of Illinois in the First Place?

As I have written before, Steven Salaita likely has both a breach of contract claim and a First Amendment claim against the University of Illinois for revoking his job offer. But that doesn’t mean that he should have been offered a job in the first place, and one would hope that the University of Illinois–and other universities–will vet candidates more thoroughly in the future, before offering them tenured or tenure-track positions teaching students and conducting research. (And yes, this includes checking to see what candidates have written on social media.) I mean, how does someone with Salaita’s poor scholarship record actually…

Bruce Shipman Has Resigned

I know that I am late in reporting it, but here is the story; my original post on the matter can be found here, with a follow-up here. Amazingly enough, there are people who bemoan the fact that Shipman has been criticized for claiming that anti-Semitism is on the rise because of Israel’s actions in defending itself against Hamas’s aggression, and for stating that the only way for anti-Semitism to recede would be for Jewish people “Israel’s patrons” to pressure the Netanyahu government to act in a way that Bruce Shipman would find pleasing. Intellectually, I understand that there are any…

Quote of the Day

Father Bruce, could you get a message to the Queen for me? I know you can. For on Monday, The New York Times ran a letter to the editor by you, Father Bruce M. Shipman, Yale’s chaplain to Episcopal students, in response to an Aug. 21 op-ed about rising anti-Semitism. The op-ed, by Tablet contributor Deborah E. Lipstadt, focused on the troubling incidence of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe—to which you replied: The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the…

On the Case of Steven Salaita

Don’t know who Steven Salaita is? Read this for background. And this, as well. Done? Good. And now, for my own take: Tablet Magazine has been on a roll with its coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas, and how big media news outlets have reported on the war. But in this editorial, I think they are off base. As reprehensible as Salaita’s tweets are, they are likely covered by the First Amendment, and unless the decision of the trustees at the University of Illinois really means something substantive in the hiring process–as opposed to being a pro forms affair–Salaita can…

Quote of the Day

I am a lifelong Democrat, a political liberal, a Reform rabbi, and for four decades, until last week, a New York Times subscriber. What drove me away was the paper’s incessant denigration of Israel, a torrent of articles, photographs, and op-ed columns that consistently present the Jewish State in the worst possible light. This phenomenon is not new. Knowledgeable observers have long assailed the Times lack of objectivity and absence of journalistic integrity in reporting on Israel. My chronic irritation finally morphed into alienation and then to visceral disgust this summer, after Hamas renewed its terrorist assaults upon Israel and…