An Exclusive Facebook Group Purged Its Jewish Members

Once a fixture of American life, the restricted social club has long been assumed to be a thing of the past. But the phenomenon seems to have made a return, in a 21st-century version, in the form of a Los Angeles all-female by-invitation-only Facebook group known as Girls’ Night Out (GNO). The exclusive group has over 30,000 members, and besides being a hub for restaurant recommendations and informal conversations, has also served to help small businesses find customer, actresses auditions, and so forth. Following the killing of George Floyd, GNO endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement and became more political—and then, writes Emily Benedek, it came for the Jews:

On August 22, a young Jewish group member saw a sign hanging over the heavily trafficked 405 freeway in LA that read, “The Jews want a Race War.” It upset her, and she asked in a GNO post what others thought about it. A member suggested some Jewish representation was also needed in the group, after noticing some “fishy anti-Semitic stuff.” At first, the comments responding to this suggestion were positive.

Then, on August 29, a member posted: “I feel that the Jewish administrator who is appointed must also acknowledge the occupation of Palestine.” Within hours, every Jewish member who had tried to explain why a litmus test for a “good Jew” was anti-Semitic was thrown out. Every Jewish member who asked why an American Jew should have an opinion on a foreign matter (however incoherently phrased) was expelled. Anyone who made a comment supporting Israel, explaining the history of Israel, or who “liked” such a comment, disappeared.

Soon it became clear that a single administrator was carrying out the resulting purge. Benedek continues:

[This administrator] threw out both a Black Jewish woman who attempted to explain the Jewish point of view, and a Black Christian woman (and an administrator) who objected to anti-Semitism on the site. But no one who expressed anti-Semitic views was expelled.

Of the numerous GNO members with whom Benedek spoke or corresponded, only one was willing to give her name.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, Facebook, Social media

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin