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.

Read more at Tablet

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


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy