When Jewish Mobsters and American Nazis Faced Off in New York

Throughout the 1930s, “various American Nazi organizations were discovered amassing arsenals of arms and ammunition, planning to sabotage roadways and power plants—even buying planes for a Nazi air force inside the United States,” writes Todd Farley in a review of the crime writer Michael Benson’s new book Gangsters v. Nazis. The book details the activities of Nazi sympathizers from that era as well as the organized resistance of infamous Jewish mobsters including Meyer Lansky, “Buggsy” Goldstein, and Harry “Pep” Strauss.

In 1938, New York City had a Nazi problem.

At the time, there were about 12 million German immigrants in the U.S., and most were happily assimilating. But about one in 500 were members of the German-American Bund, a national organization that avidly supported Adolf Hitler and pledged allegiance to Germany. Its literature called the Jewish people a “menace” and a threat to democracy. In New York, the Bund held massive rallies, goose-stepping down the streets of the Upper East Side in brown-shirted uniforms with swastikas on their arms.

The demonstrations terrified New York’s Jewish community, many of whom had relatives in Europe and had been watching the headlines from Germany with growing alarm. A former U.S. congressman and judge named Nathan David Perlman saw the path the Bund was on, and he wanted it stopped. He knew their actions weren’t illegal, but the judge had a revelation one evening while enjoying a cocktail in a Manhattan saloon.

“What those Nazis need is a good ass-whipping,” realized the judge.

Read more at New York Post

More about: American Jewish History, Anti-Semitism, Crime, Nazis


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7