Wednesday Headlines

Saudi Arabia Tries To Use Oil To Apply Pressure On Russia
The New York Times reports that Saudi is attempting to use oil to make Russia give up on Syria, according to Saudi officials who have told the United States of their belief they possess some leverage over Russian President Vladmir Putin because of their ability to reduce the supply of oil and possibly drive up prices.

“The Saudis have offered economic enticements to Russian leaders in return for concessions on regional issues like Syria before, but never with oil prices so low. It is unclear what effect, if any, the discussions are having. While the United States would support initiatives to end Russian backing for Mr. Assad, any success by the Saudis to cut production and raise global oil prices could hurt many parts of the American economy,” the paper notes.

Anti-Semitism Growing On American College Campuses
In an editorial published in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper at Harvard University, President Larry Summers addresses what he perceives as a troubling presence on the schools’ campus of anti-Semitism.

Summers writes that as he was looking at the paper’s website, he saw an op-ed that asserted without qualification that “what is certain is that Israeli-Lebanese-Syrian-Iranian tensions and active warfare would not be a recurring problem, as in fact they are, had Israel responded to the Arab peace plan.”

He continued: “While I find this assertion absurd, others would disagree, and it would, of course, be wrong for the University to censor either opinion in any way.  It is, though, equally wrong for such an opinion to be given pride of place alongside stories with subjects like Harvard fighting breast cancer, a time lapse of Annenberg Hall, and an audio feature on Robert Frost as a Harvard voice.”

He concluded by asserting that “in a world of increasing complexity and increasing intolerance, Harvard’s example has never been more important.  If Harvard is to lead on academic freedom it is essential that we all feel free to assert our views but that our University protect with ferocity its reputation by preventing views demonizing Israel or any other country from being bestowed with its good name.”

The Harvard case is not unique, according to a new report composed with the cooperation of the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.

The report found that during July and August 2014, amid Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, “a 400-percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses was registered from the same period during the previous year. For the majority of the violent cases recorded, the perpetrators were of Arab or Muslim descent,” the Jewish Business News reported.

Reports on various countries indicate that anti-Semitic attitudes and anti-Israeli frenzy have been increasing in recent years.  A poll by Anti-Defamation League of people in 100 countries concluded that 26% of adults – about one billion people – harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

“Among the causes of this increase in anti-Semitic beliefs, in prejudice against Jews, and in hate crimes is the impact of social media and the internet, which have expanded the scale of communication transmitting hate through websites, blogs, and chat rooms.  This transmission spreads fantasies of Jewish conspiracies and of the supposed power of ‘Jewish lobbies’ throughout the world, along with automatic denunciation of any policy of the State of Israel or action in its self-defense against aggression,” writes Michael Curtis in American Thinker.

Best Schools For International Relations
Foreign Policy Magazine has a feature in which U.S. scholars rank the top 25 IR programs for undergraduates, master’s, and Ph.D.s.

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