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Israel rubber-stamps UAE peace agreement



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Israel’s Knesset on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the U.S.-brokered peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Israeli lawmakers voted 80 to 13 to approve the historical deal, paving the way for peace and an economic relationship between the two nations. The UAE is the third Arab country to recognize the State of Israel, following the leads of Egypt and Jordan, who recognized it in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, according to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and the Jerusalem Post, has unanimously okayed the agreement.

This agreement between Israel and the UAE, alongside a separate agreement between Israel and Bahrain, are together dubbed the Abraham Accords. Both were brokered by the U.S. and when it was announced that all three Middle Eastern countries had agreed to the Accords, they celebrated it at the White House back in September.

The Abraham Accords were a much-needed foreign policy victory for President Donald Trump in his re-election bid, who, according to the polls, has been struggling to beat his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

It has been heavily predicted by experts that this Israel-UAE agreement will help bolster the economies of these two influential countries, hopefully impacting the wider regional economy in a positive manner. Additionally, the agreement opens the door for increased security cooperation between the two countries, which could potentially impact the balance of power in the region on a dramatic scale.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Columbia alumni are also anti-Israel, threaten to withhold $77 million in donations



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2,000 people claiming to be Columbia University alumni have signed a letter pledging to “withhold all financial, programmatic, and academic support” from the institution until it meets the demands of anti-Israel protesters. The result is $77 million in donations is at risk.

National Review reports that the letter, addressed to Columbia president Minouche Shafik and the school’s trustees, expresses support for the protesters who oppose the university’s “continued collaboration with the Israeli government’s ongoing genocidal violence against Palestinians.”

“The movement for Palestinian liberation, on campus and globally, is often led by Jewish people of many nations,” the letter says. “Weaponizing claims about antisemitism to silence student speech is based on faulty logic, harms Jewish students, and distracts from true antisemitism, including the attempts by a craven American right to tokenize, exploit, and appropriate Jewish trauma and resilience.”

There does not appear to be a process to verify that people who sign the letters are, in fact, Columbia alumni. It allows people to sign anonymously.

The letter condemns the “administration’s brutal repression of student speech and assembly,” specifically president Shafik’s decision to call in the New York Police Department Strategic Response Group on protesters. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters were arrested at Columbia and at the City College of New York on April 30, including some who barricaded themselves inside a campus admissions building.

Signatories of the letter are pledging to withhold donations until the university meets 13 demands, including: that it divests from companies that “fund or profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide, and occupation of Palestine”; calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war; removes Shafik as president; bans the NYPD from campus; and drops charges against student activists, reverses disciplinary measures against them, and finances the healthcare for students who were “brutalized” by the police.

The website where the letter is shared claims that the signatories have previously provided over $67 million in financial contributions to Columbia, and that over $77 million in donations are now at risk.

The letter also claims that the university “failed to hold accountable the former Israeli soldiers who carried out a chemical attack on protesting students in January 2024.” That seems to be a reference to an incident involving anti-Israel protesters who told the student-run Columbia Spectator that during a demonstration earlier this year they were sprayed with “skunk,” a chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

While this letter is from supporters of the anti-Israel protesters, Columbia has also received pushback from opponents who say the school is allowing protesters to break the law, disrupt the educational environment, and harass Jewish students, adds National Review.

On Monday, 13 federal judges sent a letter to Columbia leaders saying they will no longer hire the school’s students as clerks due to their behavior and the school’s mismanagement of anti-Israel protests, writing that “Columbia has disqualified itself from educating the future leaders of our country.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Columbia alumnus, said in April that he would withhold donations from the university due to the anti-Israel protests.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” Kraft said in a statement. “I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken.”





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