On the Foolishness of Jewish Celebrities Wearing Yellow Stars

Sept. 5 2017

At a recent concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the musician Billy Joel appeared on stage wearing a six-pointed yellow star—apparently in response to the anti-Semitic demonstrations that had taken place in Charlottesville. Thereafter, the actor and producer Nev Schulman appeared at a Los Angeles awards ceremony wearing a similar star. Stephen Pollard finds this new trend among Jewish celebrities “crass, infantile, ignorant, stupid, [and] offensive”:

Presumably Joel was thinking that he was “reclaiming” [the star] in some way. . . But it’s not his to reclaim. It’s not mine. It’s not anyone’s, however much they might want the world to know they’re Jewish, or that they love Jews just so much. The only people [whose it is] to “reclaim” are Holocaust survivors. And I seem to have missed the pictures of survivors donning their yellow stars again as a fashion accessory.

[M]ake no mistake, . . . this is virtue signaling in the worst possible taste. . . .

[Y]ou do not express your pride in being Jewish, or your revulsion against hate, by donning the Nazi yellow star as a fashion statement of that supposed pride. All you do is insult those survivors who lived through the Shoah, and who did not wear their yellow stars to draw media attention to themselves but because they were forced to do by the Third Reich.

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More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Jewish World

 

Israel Should Try to Defang Hamas without Toppling It

Feb. 22 2019

For the time being, Hamas has chosen to avoid outright war with the Jewish state, but instead to apply sustained, low-intensity pressure through its weekly border riots and organizing terrorist cells in the West Bank. Yet it is simultaneously engaged in a major military build-up, which suggests that it has not entirely been deterred by the previous three Gaza wars. Yaakov Lappin considers Jerusalem’s options:

In recent years, the Israel Defense Force’s southern command, which is responsible for much of the war planning for Gaza, identified a long-term truce as the best of bad options for Israel. This is based on the understanding that an Israeli invasion of Gaza and subsequent destruction of the Hamas regime would leave Israel in the unenviable position of being directly in charge of some two-million mostly hostile Gazans. This could lead to an open-ended and draining military occupation. . . .

Alternatively, Israel could demolish the Hamas regime and leave Gaza, putting it on a fast track to a “Somalia model” of anarchy and violence. In that scenario, . . . multiple jihadist armed gangs lacking a central ruling structure would appear, and Israel would be unable to project its military might to any single “return address” in Gaza. This would result in a loss of Israel’s deterrent force on Gaza to keep the region calm. This scenario would be considerably worse than the current status quo.

But a third option, in between the options of leaving Gaza as it is and toppling Hamas in a future war, may exist. In this scenario, the IDF would decimate Hamas’s military wing in any future conflict but leave its political wing and police force in place. This would enable a rapid Israeli exit after a war, but avoid a Somalia-like fate for Gaza with its destructive implications for both Israelis and Gazans. . . .

On the one hand, Hamas’s police force is an intrinsic support system for Gaza’s terrorist-guerrilla forces. On the other hand, the police and domestic-security units play a genuine role in keeping order. Such forces have been used to repress Islamic State-affiliated cells that challenge Hamas’s rule. . . . Compared to the alternative scenarios of indefinite occupation or the “Somalia scenario,” a weakened Hamas might be the best and most realistic option.

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