With the upcoming Israeli elections on April 9th compounded with the global rise of anti-Semitism we are observing many internal divisions especially, in the American Jewish community regarding support for Israel. As Shmuel Rosner recently explained, it goes without saying that Israel must invest in bipartisan support to the highest extent possible. No sane Israeli leader is going to forgo the support of half of Americans because of laziness or carelessness. On the other hand, U.S. bipartisan support is just one item on the list of many that Israel must worry about. First and foremost, it must worry about survival in a dangerous neighborhood.
The above will surely continue to be debated here and in Israel and will continue to impact the discourse on campus.
In fact as we just witnessed Pitzer’s College Council decision to suspend its study abroad program with the University of Haifa something that was motivated by their faculty. Positively, it was encouraging to see Pitzer President Melvin Oliver veto the suspension.
Consequently of the above, University of Haifa President Ron Robin stated correctly that, the Pitzer boycott is particularly misguided given the fact that at University of Haifa, 35 percent of our students are Arabs, and that our Israeli and Arab students work together harmoniously on extracurricular activities and community service. This is diversity, coexistence, and tolerance at its finest.
Finally, we are aware that you are always looking for solid analysis of the Middle East. We would like to recommend the work of our friends and colleagues at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, the globally most widely read Israeli think tank.
You will undoubtedly find their cutting-edge and in-depth research very useful.
As always, we welcome your feedback and article submissions.
Asaf Romirowsky, PhD