Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: TIP CEO: Judaism Must not Sacrifice Itself in the Pursuit of Universalism

Posted by Tip Staff - December 13, 2017

TIP CEO: Judaism Must not Sacrifice Itself in the Pursuit of Universalism
Expert: To Prevent Next Israel-Hezbollah War, World Must Enforce Resolution 1701
White House: Abbas's Rhetoric "Has Prevented Peace for Years"
Global Survey Ranks Israel's Technion as Top University for the Digital Revolution

TIP CEO: Judaism Must not Sacrifice Itself in the Pursuit of Universalism

Given their numbers, if Jews "were of the animal kingdom, the Jewish people would be an endangered species," Josh Block, the president and CEO of The Israel Project wrote in an essay published on Tuesday in Tablet magazine. And yet, he continued, "it seems the world will do more to preserve the spotted owl in its natural habitat than the last remaining Jews in theirs."

Block described how the concept of social justice has changed "beyond the point where its old-school liberals still recognize the term." Whereas the 1960s conception of social justice was about "equal rights and opportunity," the current conception of social justice demands "equality of outcomes" by rejecting the foundations of Western civilization. Among the effects of this new "social justice" is the delegitimization of "the foundations upon which Zionism and the rights of the Jewish people rest."

In the 1970s and 1980s the cause of Soviet Jewry was a social justice issue that resonated with Judaism, as it showed that Jews were not alone. As an American issue it emphasized the freedom Americans enjoy, and it made fighting totalitarianism a way of highlighting Jewish values.

But with the 1990 fall of the Soviet Union, Jews who pursued social justice needed a new outlet. "Many clergy, congregations, and Jewish organizations put an increased emphasis on universal causes in pursuit of a better world, and in parallel on the betterment of Israel itself in its own pursuit of social justice," Block wrote.

Expert: To Prevent Next Israel-Hezbollah War, World Must Enforce Resolution 1701

In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, has warned that failure to confront Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah over its violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 will make a future war between Israel and Lebanon more likely.

While Hezbollah cannot destroy Israel, Schwammenthal observed that the group can inflict serious damage to the reputation of the Jewish state by waging a media war in which “every Lebanese civilian casualty” will be mischaracterized “as evidence of Israeli war crimes and brutality.”

As The Israel Project’s President and CEO, Josh Block, warned in an op-ed published in The Boston Herald in June 2017, hiding among the civilian population is a deliberate tactic of war, used by Hezbollah and other terrorist organization, to maximize its propaganda against the enemy.

This assessment is shared by Schwammenthal: “In its propaganda efforts, it will have help: Journalists, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations doubtless will ignore Israeli efforts to avoid civilian deaths—which surpass even NATO standards—and avert their gaze from the readily available evidence that Hezbollah is hiding its weapons among civilians,” he stated.

Schwammenthal noted further that “If Hezbollah and its Iranian overlords knew they’d be deprived of this propaganda victory, they might be less eager to attack.”

This can only be achieved by putting Hezbollah on the EU terror watch list and holding the group accountable for its violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.

White House: Abbas's Rhetoric "Has Prevented Peace for Years"

A senior White House official said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's rhetoric "has prevented peace for years," the Associated Press reported Wednesday, after Abbas said that President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a "crime," and threatened to abandon previous agreements reached with Israel.

The anonymous senior administration official reiterated that Trump "remains as committed to peace as ever” and that his administration was “hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”

The official also said that the rhetoric "has prevented peace for years” and was described as not surprising.

After meeting with United States officials in June, Abbas refused their request to stop paying generous salaries to terrorists. In May, an adviser to Abbas called the U.S. request to end payments to terrorists “insane.”

At a conference organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in response to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, Abbas called the recognition a crime and said, "The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator ... We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process.”

The Times of Israel reported that Abbas said, "We will tell the Israelis that we are no longer committed to any agreement from Oslo until today."

During the terms of Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, Abbas derailed the administration's two biggest pushes for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Global Survey Ranks Israel's Technion as Top University for the Digital Revolution

The newest Times Higher Education survey ranks the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa as the world’s top academic institution in terms of preparing students for leading positions in the digital revolution.

Survey respondents from global companies ranked University College of London second and Korea Institute of Science and Technology third. The only American school in the top 10 was Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in sixth place.

“This is a badge of honor for Technion,” said Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie. “In recent years, Technion has placed considerable emphasis on training its students to meet the changing needs of the digital revolution. As a result, Technion’s interdisciplinary research is expanding and advancing by leaps and bounds, in a process integrating life sciences and engineering.”

Lavie said various advanced learning technologies are being implemented at Technion, including MOOCS (massive online open courses) in various languages, as well as a “flipped classroom” approach emphasizing self-study using technologies such as augmented reality.

“In addition, the strengthening of Technion’s global standing, reflected by the Technion branches in New York and China and by strategic partnerships worldwide, helps us attend to the changing needs of global industries,” he added.

The survey’s authors note that global academic institutions are increasingly evaluated according to the employability of their graduates, and that in some places around the world, government support for institutions is linked to graduate success in the labor market.

(via Israel21c)

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