How Mideast hostility to Israel has gone jihadist—with Iran at the frontline | The Hill

Two huge developments have put a renewed focus on the war-torn Middle East: President Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal, and Israel’s air strikes on Iranian military bases in Syria. These may seem like yet more turmoil in a region marked by perpetual strife but, in fact, the stakes here are wider than people imagine.

Israel’s conflict with its adversaries used to be seen as a narrow, regional issue and, beyond that, of significance only to Jews and some evangelical Christians. But that’s myopic. In fact, the conflict is between freedom and tyranny.

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Why Trump should disrupt the scandalous US-Saudi relationship

[TheHill.com] On Donald Trump’s first foreign trip, he is visiting one of our putative allies in the Middle East: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For the president, who has been called the great “disruptor” of American politics, the trip is an opening to begin undoing the deplorable U.S.-Saudi relationship.

For years, the U.S. has embraced Saudi Arabia as an ally and sold it billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons. But at the deepest level, Saudi Arabia is hostile to our ideal of individual rights. While the regime is seen as standing with us against Islamic State, or ISIS, Saudi Arabia embodies and exports its own brand of Islamic totalitarianism. . . . Continue reading.

UCLA tried ban to my book on Islamic totalitarianism–at a free speech event | TheHill

At UCLA Law School last week, a squad of student “thought police” tried to ban my book, Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond. They don’t want you to know the book even exists, let alone what’s inside it. And the UCLA administration enabled them. This ominous episode underlines how students are learning to be contemptuous of intellectual freedom. The story of what happened at UCLA is laced with ironies. On Feb. 1, the UCLA chapter of the Federalist Society and the Ayn Rand Institute co-sponsored a panel discussion at UCLA Law School on the vital importance of freedom of speech and the threats to it. My book shows how certain philosophic ideas undercut America’s response to the jihadist movement, including notably its attacks on freedom of speech. Continue reading