The Changing Face of New York’s Lower East Side

Sept. 12 2022

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Lower East Side of Manhattan was home to one of the world’s densest Jewish populations, and a first stop for the waves of immigrants arriving from Eastern Europe. Although the Jewish presence—along with nearby Italian and Irish enclaves—began to dissipate rapidly after World War II, some of its shops, restaurants, and synagogues remained in place even as the millennium drew to a close. Now, barely any traces are left. A London-born Ḥasid used his pseudonymous Twitter account to post a series of side-by-side images of the neighborhood then and now. Herewith, two examples:

Identifying himself only as S., the amateur photo-archivist spoke about the project with Julia Gergely.

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Read more at New York Jewish Week

More about: American Jewish History, Lower East Side, Photography

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism