Bev’s Op-Ed Picks of the Week for you
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
Week Ending 24 September 2014
1. The new assault on Israeli academia (and us)
The BDS agenda promotes hostility, not peace. It aims to limit contact with both Israeli and Palestinian faculty and students and eliminates many traditional applications of academic freedom for faculty and students worldwide. As the year progresses, concerned faculty and students need to counter the PACBI/BDS campaign with a thorough analysis of its aims. They also need to embody reasoned argument and debate. That is the best way to respond to a movement that often works through intimidation and hyperbole.
2. Pushing back against the world’s oldest hatred
There is little doubt that the tide of anti-Semitism, often masked as anti-Israel criticism, is on the rise in Europe. In the Middle East, anti-Semitism is pandemic. The good news is that serious pushback is underway. The better news is that it is bipartisan. The bad news is that the problem is not solely in Europe.
3. Is Israel good for the Jews?
Despite his apparent admiration for many facets of Israeli society, Cohen can’t help but view the entire Zionist project through the prism of a leftist. He refers to the Jewish State as the product of “mistakes of time and place — a last-gasp colonial enterprise” and “the settlement of an alien.”
4. Growing unrest among Palestinians in Jerusalem
For weeks now, 740 Palestinians arrested during recent rioting in east Jerusalem have been under interrogation. These rioters have been gradually laying the groundwork for the third intifada in the capital. Whoever thought that the disturbances were spontaneous expressions of rage will certainly be surprised to learn that these riots are really an uprising that has the hallmarks and fingerprints of an organization.
5. Why does Israel keep losing the PR war?
Throughout the conflict and in the aftermath, Israel and Hamas have met on the digital battlefield, spinning facts and exchanging barbed tweets. And for all of Israel’s innovation and world class expertise; for all its digital know-how and despite its status as the “start-up nation,” it has struggled against Hamas’ disinformation machine. The overwhelming narrative of the conflict was that Israel had used disproportionate force against one of the most densely packed civilian populations in the world. The truth about the nature of Hamas as a terrorist organisation and their role in the conflict was muted and largely drowned out by the horrifying images from the smouldering streets of Gaza.
6. The Israelization of anti-Semitism
Angela Merkel is the stand-up lady of Europe. The German chancellor is forthright in calling anti-Semites to account. She spoke this week to a rally of 6,000 Germans at the Brandenburg Gate, denouncing the documented increase of anti-Semitism in their country. The evils of the Nazi regime, which killed an estimated 6 million Jews in Europe 70 years ago, are marked everywhere, with bronze plaques on sidewalks where Jews were taken from their homes and dispatched to death camps, to the five acres dedicated to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews in the very centre of Berlin.
7. The United Nations: the world’s leading purveyor of anti-Semitism
Why couldn’t the UN… sponsor a conference on combating global anti-Semitism? In theory the UN Charter demands equality of… nations large and small. In reality the UN mass-produces inequality for Jews and the Jewish nation. The UN has launched a “legal” pogrom against the Jewish state. A “legal” pogrom is a licence to kill. Modern anti-Semitism targets Israel’s exercise of the right of self-defence because self-defence is the essence of sovereignty.
8. How the western media’s Middle East coverage has changed
The representation of Israel in the Western news media is as contested a form of journalism as any in the world. Why is so much attention given to this small Middle Eastern state? The answers touch on some of the deepest issues not only of the Middle East, but of humanity.