Myopic American Jews Ignore the Dangers Facing Their European Cousins

March 10 2017

In recent weeks, American Jewish communities have been beset by a rash of bomb threats, acts of vandalism, and the like aimed at Jewish institutions. Responding to a rabbi who urged American Jews to see the threats they face in light of the (supposedly) far more severe dangers faced by other groups in the U.S.—like Muslims and homosexuals—Bethany Mandel suggests consideration of what their fellow Jews in Europe are undergoing:

[I]n the last two months the Anti-Defamation League has issued two press releases about “transgender” issues and three in response to President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, yet it rarely highlights its support for the European Jewish community.

Just in the month of February, two brothers wearing yarmulkes in Paris were ambushed and abducted, with one having his finger sawed off in the attack. Meanwhile, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen warned French Jews in possession of Israeli citizenship that they’ll have to relinquish it. And this week started “Israel apartheid week” in France. . . . And that’s just the bad news for Jews out of France!

Loving our fellows is a key component of Jewish tradition, found in Leviticus 19:18, and it continues to inform how the Jewish community is structured in the present. Of late, an obsession with liberal politics has changed the way we identify who is worthy enough of being a victim for many Jewish organizations and individuals. Is it so much to ask for Jewish communities and organizations to take the position that Jewish lives matter as well?

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More about: ADL, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, Jewish World

Why Israel Pretends That Hamas Fired Rockets by Accident

March 21 2019

Israeli military and political officials have repeated Hamas’s dubious claim that the launching of two rockets at Tel Aviv last week was inadvertent. To Smadar Perry, accepting Hamas’s story rather than engaging in further retaliation is but a convenient, and perhaps necessary, way of aiding Egyptian efforts to broker a deal with the terrorist group. But even if these efforts succeed, the results will be mixed:

The [Israeli] security cabinet has met in Tel Aviv and decided that they would continue indirect negotiations with Gaza. A message was sent to Egypt, whose delegation is going back to Gaza to pass on the Israeli demands for calm. The Egyptians also have to deal with the demands from Hamas, which include, among other things, an increase in aid from $15 million to $30 million per month and an increase in the supply of electricity.

The requests are reasonable, but they do leave a sour taste in the mouth. Israel must ensure that this financial aid does not end up in the pockets of Hamas and its associates. [Israel] also knows that if it says “no” to everything, the Iranians will step in, with the help of their Gazan friends in Islamic Jihad. They are just waiting for the opportunity.

Hamas also must deal with the fallout from a series of massive handouts from Qatar. For when the citizens of the Gaza Strip saw that the money was going to the Hamas leadership, who were also enjoying a fine supply of electricity to their own houses, they took to the streets in protest—and this time it was not Israel that was the focus of their anger. . .

[But] here is the irony. With Egyptian help, Israel can reach understandings for calm with Gaza, despite the lack of a direct channel. . . . In the West Bank, where the purportedly friendlier Fatah is in charge, it is more complicated, at least until the eighty-three-year-old Mahmoud Abbas is replaced.

As evidence for that last statement, consider the murder of two Israelis in the West Bank on Sunday, and the Palestinians who threw explosives at Israeli soldiers at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem yesterday.

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More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, West Bank