Thirty Years after the Crown Heights Pogrom, Jews Are Safer—but Not Safe

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the riots that broke out in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn after a yeshiva student got into a car accident that left one seven-year-old boy dead and another badly injured. Local African Americans responded by attacking the Lubavitch Ḥasidim with whom they share the neighborhood—along with police trying to restore order—and destroying Jewish property. Egging on the violence was the anti-Semitic preacher Al Sharpton, who remains a prominent figure in American public life. Rioters fatally stabbed Yankel Rosenblum and injured 38 civilians and 152 police officers. Ed Kosner recalls:

Rioters—many as young as thirteen and fourteen—ravaged the neighborhood for . . . three nights. “Kill the Jews,” they shouted. “Hitler didn’t do his job.” And: “Get the cops.” One of the mayor’s own community-liaison staffers—a white man—was knocked unconscious with a brick and his car destroyed. Police swarmed the area but were uncharacteristically passive. They separated the blacks and Jews but did little to suppress the violence except pant fruitlessly after the speedy Nike-shod black teens. Ray Kelly was then the chief deputy to [then-Mayor David] Dinkins’s African-American police commissioner, Lee Brown, who came to the job from Houston and spent so much time away from police headquarters that he was known derisively as “Out-of-Town Brown.”

Serious crime in the two precincts that constitute Crown Heights has diminished more than 75 percent in the years since the riots—although Kelly cautions that the way the statistics are now compiled may make the picture brighter than it actually is. Citywide, anti-Semitic incidents have increased significantly, with a late spike after the recent missile exchanges between Israel and Hamas. . . . The perpetrators in these cases appear to be Muslim New Yorkers. African-Americans are involved in about a third of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York these days, according to police figures. Video footage has also captured several incidences of surprise attacks on Orthodox Jews, suddenly beaten in the streets by black men after having been targeted because of their distinctive dress.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Al Sharpton, anti-Semitsm, Brooklyn, Chabad

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas