In America, It’s Orthodox Jews Who Are Most Vulnerable to Anti-Semitism

In the past week, there were three separate violent attacks on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn during which the perpetrators shouted anti-Semitic epithets. Such incidents, almost always committed by African Americans, have become almost commonplace—and make up the overwhelming majority of the 150 anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the New York City police department in 2019. Meanwhile, the Republican party of Rockland County, NY released an appallingly anti-Semitic advertisement appealing to those who want to keep ḥasidic Jews out of their towns. Jonathan Tobin comments on the scant attention paid to these issues by either the national media or major Jewish organizations:

Those who are being insulted, threatened, and assaulted don’t look like most American Jews. Even worse, those responsible for these crimes don’t fit into the narrative about anti-Semitism that has been established by groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the media. Instead of white supremacists who can be loosely, if inaccurately, linked to President Donald Trump, the perpetrators are African Americans.

You don’t have to be a Jewish community-relations professional or a sociologist to understand that a replay of the tensions that tore New York City apart in the 1960s and 1970s . . . is not the topic that the organized Jewish world wishes to discuss in 2019. [But] there is a conspicuous source of anti-Semitic incitement and influence among African Americans that many political liberals have struggled to ignore: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

Though the members of Nation of Islam mosques are estimated to number only around 50,000 nationally, Farrakhan’s sympathizers and admirers are more likely to be counted in the hundreds of thousands. Moreover, it is a fact that African American leaders don’t treat the hatemonger as an extremist to be shunned. The same is true of the heads of leading anti-Trump “resistance” groups like the Women’s March, who are open admirers of this purveyor of crude anti-Semitism. . . . And while there is, as of yet, no evidence that those attacking Orthodox Jews are linked to Farrakhan, it’s far easier to connect the dots between him and those crimes than it is to try to blame Trump for acts of far-right extremism that the president has repeatedly condemned.

What is needed now is for the American Jewish world to come together to embrace the Orthodox community the way it did after the Pittsburgh and Poway [synagogue] attacks. If that doesn’t happen, the clear lack of interest on the part of the mainstream Jewish community—and the likelihood that this stems from both politics and hostility toward the Orthodox—will worsen the dangerous divisions along denominational lines that already exist.

Read more at JNS

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Hasidim, Nation of Islam, Orthodoxy, Republicans

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security