Weekend long read

1) This coming Sunday CAMERA on Campus’ annual student conference will open in Boston, US.

“Students are coming from as far away as England, Scotland, and Canada to attend our training program,” said Aviva Slomich, CAMERA’s international campus director. “This in itself shows that campus anti-Zionism is a global problem, affecting many students.”

Read more about the conference here.Weekend Read

2) At the Tower, Jamie Palmer returns to the issue of the British Labour party and its recent inquiry into antisemitsm within its ranks.

“The Chakrabarti Report was a missed opportunity, the importance of which extends far beyond the parlous state of the Labour Party or the wider British Left. Across Europe, Islamist assassins and vandals are targeting Jewish schools, businesses, museums, synagogues, cemeteries, and kosher food establishments. It has become a cliché that a wave of anti-Semitism is washing over Europe.

Some on the Left have taken notice. Four days after the murder of four Jewish hostages during the siege of the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, France’s Socialist Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, described “the intolerable rise in acts of anti-Semitism in France” as a “symptom of a crisis of democracy [and] the French Republic.” But such urgent and necessary diagnoses from the political Left have been notable for their scarcity.”

3) At the Jerusalem Post, Seth Frantzman ponders the question of “Why Western leftists adore right-wing religious extremists abroad”.

“On a fairly consistent basis people in the West embrace values abroad that they shun at home. 

This is particularly odd and contradictory among those who self-identify as “Left” and “liberal” and then embrace movements, leaders, ideologies and religions that are manifestly illiberal and right- wing extremist abroad. For instance American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler said in 2006 that “understanding Hamas [and] Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of the global left, is extremely important.””

4) At the Fathom Journal, Oxford academic Michael Yudkin discusses the academic boycott promoted by the BDS campaign.

“These days the phrase ‘academic boycott’ seems to have acquired a thoroughly restricted meaning. It has nothing to do with China, which has been in occupation of Tibet since 1949 and which routinely imprisons or ‘disappears’ human-rights lawyers; nothing to do with the US or the UK, which invaded Iraq in 2003 without the authorisation of the UN Security Council; and nothing to do with Russia, which seized 27,000 square kilometres of Ukrainian territory two years ago and has (with the enthusiastic support of Iran) been helping the government in Damascus to bomb Syrian civilians. Instead, ‘academic boycott’ is a term of art to describe a means of punishing Israeli academics for the actions of a government over which they have little or no power.”

5) An interesting paper titled “Understanding Iran’s Role in the Syrian Conflict” has been published by the RUSI.  

“Iran’s role in Syria is critical not only to the course of the latter’s five-year civil war, but also to longer-term developments in the wider region, not least because the country’s relations with key players, including Russia, Hizbullah, the Gulf States and the Syrian regime, will inevitably be affected by the outcome of the conflict.

The alliance between the Syrian regime and the Iranian leadership is, on the face of it, puzzling. The former is Arab, Alawite and secular, while Iran is Islamic, Shia and deeply religious. Nevertheless, since the civil war in Syria erupted in March 2011, Iran has been one of the key supporters of the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, and has maintained significant influence over the evolution of the conflict.

This paper presents the findings of a project designed to establish a better understanding of Tehran’s ultimate ambitions in Syria, its relations with the other state and non-state actors involved in the conflict, and its influence on Damascus and the outcome of the civil war.”


4 comments on “Weekend long read

  1. Duvidl read Jamie Palmer’s article at The Tower on the corrupt anti-semitic British Labour Party with some interest.

    The relevant dates seem significant to Duvidl. On May 16 Shami joined the Labour Party having simultaneously been commissioned to write a report into the party’s anti-semitism by virulent anti-Zionist party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

    Today, two months and twenty-one days later, after producing a twenty-eight page whitewash, Shami has accepted a nomination to the House of Lords. Not bad for such a short job. Think of all those free drinks at one of many House of Lords bars, and the £350 daily attendance allowance from the taxpayer just for turning up for half an hour a day to drink them.

    One angry Labour MP said “it stinks” and a panoply of incensed British Jews, including the Chief Rabbi says the report “lies in tatters” and is a whitewash rewarded with an honour displaying a rotten honours system. But what will be the consequence?

    The prophet Duvidl suggests nothing, or precious close to nothing, will now happen. Possibly Keith Vaz MP of the toothless tiger Home Affairs Select Committee might ask Shami and or Jeremy to give another explanation of the stinking affair in Parliament. But he has already done that once, reprimanded Shami for passing secret notes to Jeremy while he was being questioned, and nothing came of it. Indeed, matters deteriorated further at the report’s press conference launch, when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth left after being asked anti-semitic questions without Jeremy intervening.

    No, Duvidl is sure that two months and twenty one days from today, after the conclusion of the Labour Party leadership election between Jeremy and Owen Smith, Lady Shami will be sipping a gin and tonic on the House of Lords terrace by the Thames, surveying on her mobile phone her ever-increasing bank account balance, making friends with various Lordly anti-semites like Lord Ahmed and Lady Tonge and planning to do the same thing every day for the rest of our days.

    • Apologies. The House of Lords daily attendance allowance is a mere £300 per day. Presumably this does not affect Lady Shami’s unlimited daily G&T allowance.

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