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


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria