From Jersey City, a Bloody Lesson on the Real, and the Imagined, Dangers Facing American Jews

Outrage spread rapidly via Twitter earlier this week based on the spurious claim that President Trump intended to label Jews “a separate nationality”—a move denounced as encouraging anti-Semitism or as itself anti-Semitic. Although correct information about the executive order that sparked the controversy is now widely available, one need not look far to find essays and editorials condemning it in heated terms. Liel Leibovitz notes that just as “our bien pensants were whipping everyone into a wild frenzy” over this imagined act of anti-Semitism, an armed couple attacked a kosher grocery store in a ḥasidic enclave in Jersey City, killing two Jews, one Gentile, and a police officer. The couple had brought with them multiple pipe bombs, and could easily have achieved far bloodier results. Leibovitz writes:

The shooting, we now know, was a premeditated attack, and one of the suspects was a black nationalist [a member of an anti-Semitic group styling themselves “Black Hebrew Israelites”] who had a long and proven track record of posting anti-Semitic screeds online.

Jews make up about 2 percent of the American population, yet were the victims of a whopping 57.8 percent of all religious-bias crimes last year, according to the FBI. Rather than vocally and unequivocally demanding that their Jewish constituents be protected, the politicians representing those targeted—from New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio to Senator Chuck Schumer—have been largely silent on this issue, while at the same time loudly and vigorously accusing the right of racism. Videos like [the] one shot at the scene shortly after the Jersey City attack and featuring local neighbors blaming the Jews for Jews being murdered are not likely to make any politician on the left take action, especially not someone like de Blasio, who has for years been kissing the ring of Al Sharpton, an anti-Semite best remembered for inciting an actual pogrom against the Jews of Brooklyn.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Al Sharpton, Anti-Semitism, Bill de Blasio, U.S. Politics


Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation