Last Weekend’s Foiled Synagogue Attack Shows How Old-Fashioned Policework Can Save Jewish Lives

Nov. 23 2022

On Saturday, two men were arrested in New York City, carrying a gun, ammunition, an eight-inch knife, and a swastika armband. Police believe, based on social-media postings and other evidence, that the pair were en route to carry out a massacre in a synagogue. Charles Fain Lehman writes:

The incident throws into stark relief the city’s continuing problem with anti-Semitic crime. Crimes against Jews in New York spiked in 2019, dipped briefly during the pandemic, and then rose again in 2021 and 2022. The NYPD reported 208 anti-Semitic hate crimes through September of this year—9 percent more than in all of 2018, and 41 percent more than all of 2017.

This wave, and a nationwide increase in reported hate incidents more generally, is often understood as an ideological problem. Dangerous ideas are circulating on the left and right, the theory goes, and until we suppress them, . . . will continue unabated. But what this weekend’s takedowns show is that stopping such crimes doesn’t require changing hearts and minds. It needs smart, old-fashioned detective work, backed up with unwavering support by civilian leadership.

We often think about such crimes as different from others because they are motivated by bias. This is true as regards their social significance, and as regards their eligibility for enhanced criminal charges. But thinking too much about difference in motivations risks running afoul of the fallacy of root causes—focusing on what causes crime, rather than on what the most effective means to address it are.

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Read more at City Journal

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Synagogues, Terrorism

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship