Anti-Semitism Isn’t Back. It Never Went Away.

Nov. 22 2016

Responding to the commonly heard refrain that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and election have led to a surge of anti-Semitic incidents, Mordechai Lightstone, a ḥasidic Jew, comments:

I have a full beard, a black hat, and a dark suit. Yet even in Brooklyn, people have always said nasty things to me and to other people who look like me. I’ve had kids yell “Heil Hitler” at me on Eastern Parkway and teens throw glass bottles at me on Bedford Avenue. On the eve of Yom Kippur, anti-kapparot protesters . . . gathered in Crown Heights, brandishing signs that compared [Ḥasidim engaged in the ritual slaughter of chickens] to Hitler. They screamed obscenities, hit men with signs, and told small children that their parents were going to die.

Last week I took a picture of a swastika spray-painted onto a Crown Heights sidewalk and posted it on Twitter. It was instantly retweeted, quoted, and written about by media pundits across the country. Buzzfeed added it to a list of “28 Reported Racist and Violent Incidents after Donald Trump’s Victory.” The [New York City] mayor’s office tweeted a condemnation of the swastika. All of this is great, at least as great as one can call a response to a swastika, but I wonder what’s changed now.

Two-and-a-half years ago, I was walking with my kids on Shabbat morning and saw swastikas sprayed on a Crown Heights wall along with [a vulgar anti-Semitic message]. It made local news, but the mayor’s office didn’t retweet that picture. I didn’t see condemnations coming in from San Francisco, Phoenix, or Moscow, the way I did this week.

So it’s nice that the Anti-Defamation League has taken a stand against [right-wing anti-Semitism on social media]. But I still think about how rioters in 1991 threw rocks at [the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Ḥasidim], smashed windows of Jewish homes, and shouted “Heil Hitler” in Crown Heights—at that time, the ADL called it a “local issue.”

Read more at Tablet

More about: ADL, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Bill de Blasio, Chabad, Jewish World, New York City

 

Hamas Won’t Compromise with the Palestinian Authority, and Gazans Won’t Overthrow Hamas

July 24 2017

Since the terrorist organization Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, much of Israeli strategy toward it has stemmed from the belief that, if sufficient pressure is applied, the territory’s residents will rise up against it. Yaakov Amidror argues this is unlikely to happen, and he also doubts that improved living conditions for ordinary Gazans would deter Hamas from terrorism or war:

The hardships experienced by the Strip’s residents, no matter how terrible, will not drive them to stage a coup to topple Hamas. The organization is entrenched in Gaza and is notorious for its brutality toward any sign of dissidence, and the Palestinians know there is no viable alternative waiting for an opportunity to [take over].

[Therefore], it is time everyone got used to the idea that Hamas is not about to relinquish its dominant position in the Gaza Strip, let alone concede to the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas. . . . [Yet the] assumption is also baseless that if Gaza experiences economic stability and prosperity, Hamas would refrain from provoking hostilities. This misconception is based on the theory that Hamas operates by governmental norms and prioritizes the needs and welfare of its citizens. This logic does not apply to Hamas. . . .

[Hamas’s] priorities are to bolster its military power and cement its iron grip. This is why all the supplies Israel allows into Gaza on a daily basis to facilitate normal life have little chance of reaching the people. Hamas first and foremost takes care of its leaders and makes sure it has what it needs to sustain its terror-tunnel-digging enterprise and its weapon-production efforts. It then sees to the needs of its members, and then—and only then—what little is left is diverted to rehabilitation efforts that benefit the population.

This is why the argument that Israel is responsible for Gaza’s inability to recover from its plight is baseless. Hamas is the one that determines the priorities by which to allocate resources in the enclave, and the more construction materials that enter Gaza, the easier and faster it is for Hamas to restore its military capabilities. Should Israel sacrifice its own security on the altar of Gazans’ living conditions? I don’t think so.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security