New York City’s Hidden Anti-Semitic Violence

While hardly on the bloody scale of last Saturday’s massacre in Pittsburgh, physical assaults on Jews in New York City—not to mention anti-Semitic graffiti and similar acts of vandalism—are far more common than most would believe. Often the victims are visibly religious, and the attacks get relatively little attention from the press. Ginia Bellafante writes:

For several years now, expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment have made up the preponderance of hate-crime complaints in the city. [This year alone], there have been four times as many crimes motivated by bias against Jews—142 in all—as there have been against blacks. Hate crimes against Jews have outnumbered hate crimes targeted at transgender people by a factor of twenty.

Within the course of a few days this month, a swastika showed up on an Upper West Side corner and two ultra-Orthodox men were attacked on the street in ḥasidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn in separate incidents. In one of them, according to the police and prosecutors, a Muslim livery driver jumped out of a car and started beating up his victim, seemingly at random, yelling “Allah.” . . .

When a ḥasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square, as they often do when individuals are harmed in New York because of their race or ethnicity or how they identify in terms of sex or sexual orientation. . . . Sympathies are distributed unevenly. Few are extended toward religious fundamentalists of any kind, who reach the radar of the urbane “Pod Save America” class only when stories appear confirming existing impressions of backwardness. . . .

The Anti-Defamation League . . . reported that nine of the twelve physical assaults against Jews categorized as hate crimes in New York State were committed in Brooklyn and involved victims who were easily marked as members of traditionally Orthodox communities. Outside that world, they were hardly noticed at all.

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More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Hasidism, Jewish World, New York City, Ultra-Orthodox

 

Hizballah Prepares for War, and UN Peacekeepers Do Nothing

Dec. 10 2018

According to last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 2373, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)—the peacekeeping force created after the Second Lebanon War to keep both Israel and Hizballah out of southern Lebanon—is authorized “to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces, and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.” If anything ought to rouse UNIFIL to action, writes Elliott Abrams, it should be the IDF’s recent discovery and destruction of tunnels dug by Hizballah to move troops into the Galilee:

The existence of these tunnels, dug from precisely the area of southern Lebanon that UNIFIL is meant to patrol, means that this area is indeed “utilized for hostile activities.” What, then, is the meaning of [UNIFIL’s statement in] response that it “will communicate its preliminary findings to the appropriate authorities in Lebanon”? The meaning is that UNIFIL will likely do nothing.

UNIFIL is not supposed to be merely a means of communication, or the Security Council would have bought cell phones instead of paying for a military force. Moreover, there are no “appropriate authorities” in Lebanon; if there were, Hizballah would never have been able to dig its tunnels.

The tunnels are hardly the only brazen Hizballah violation of the Security Council resolutions undertaken right under UNIFIL’s nose. Consider this: Hizballah is blocking roads in southern Lebanon to smooth the path of missiles it is moving into the area. . . . Then there is the village of Gila, just north of the Israeli border, where there is a Hizballah headquarters and according to the Israelis about twenty warehouses with weapons, combat positions, lookout points, and dozens of underground positions. All this was built in an area supposedly patrolled by UNIFIL. . . .

This is a test of UNIFIL and its new commander, [Stefan Del Col, who took over in August]. “Communicating” to “appropriate authorities” is a euphemism for doing nothing at all. Hizballah is preparing for war. UNIFIL is supposed to get in its way. If it cannot hinder Hizballah’s war preparations in any way, and is even ignorant of them, UNIFIL is a waste of time and money.

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More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Lebanon, United Nations