It seems as if the British University Union is at it again. Ronnie Fraser of The Academic Friends of Israel warns that 'the battle might well be over, but the war is not yet won'.
However, one of the best ways to actually win such wars is to take a leaf out of the book of the new Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus du Sautoy, who has an Israeli wife. Professor du Sautoy has already entertained us on Radio Four's Desert Island Discs
And in today's Times, he uses the 8-day festival of Chanukkah (starting on Sunday night) to teach us all how to do 'sexy' maths by thinking outside the box
After having posed a conundrum based on that perennial Christmas favourite
On the First Day of Christmas
Professor du Sautoy adds the cheeky aside:
'Conveniently, my family also celebrates Chanukkah (although as Richard Dawkin's successor as the Simonyi Profesor for the Public Understandinhg of Sicence, I probably should not be admitting that)'.
So what is Chanukkah actually all about?
It is about the tiny Jewish people standing up for their rights against the mighty oppressor, whether he be a Syrian Greek ruler, as in the original story, or his followers in whatever guise, who now wish to impose a ban on the tiny Jewish State.
Oppression comes in all kinds of guises. Those Christians who have happily been singing doctored carols in recent weeks, in order to demonize the Jewish people
and those Muslims who would happily tear us to pieces,
actually have us to thank for their own faiths. We light an extra candle every day, in order to bring more and more light to the world during this eight-day festive period. And if not for the original Jews standing up for their rights, there would be no Christmas and no Eid in the world. Because, hand in hand with fighting oppression, the Chanukkah idea is about worshipping the One God, as the Hebrew prophet, Micah states (6:8)
What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God
As far as I see it then, the 'war' is three-pronged: to carry on singing Israel's praises for what it does well, which is a great deal; to engage the best lawyers to take appropriate action if the union continues to hound the tiny Jewish State, thereby practising discrimination and undermining the position of their Jewish colleagues
and to appoint the best academics to ridicule anti-Israel prejudice by thinking outside the box and cooperating in research with Israeli colleagues.