Do Those Committed to Championing the Downtrodden Have Any Sympathy for Ultra-Orthodox Jews?

As the now routine attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York City and its environs have become more frequent, and far more deadly, Abigail Shrier reflects on her experience at Yale Law School nearly two decades ago, and the way her classmates treated the school’s sole ḥaredi student:

Yale Law School was about as secular a place as I had ever been in—an institution where God seemed not only absent but strangely irrelevant. . . . But the open snickers of our classmates surprised me. They imitated how [this student] raised his hand in class (palm a little too rigid and tilted slightly forward). They joked that it looked like a Nazi salute. They rolled their eyes whenever someone mentioned his name.

In an institution pledged to champion the downtrodden, contempt coalesced happily on his head. Most surprising to me was how readily and wordlessly our classmates seemed to have agreed on their target. How did they know whom to kick around? Their defense of minorities stopped at his feet. So many unspoken rules of communication arranged themselves in a target on his back.

Not so different, suggests Shrier, is the way the media and local government have responded to the current epidemic of violence:

The Associated Press tutted in a tweet that has since been removed: “The expansion of ḥasidic communities around New York City has led to predictable civic sparring, but also flare-ups of what some call anti-Semitic rhetoric.” This came days after a madman charged the home of a ḥasidic rabbi, hacking at Jewish heads with a machete. NBC New York tweeted from the same script: “With the expansion of Orthodox communities outside NYC has come civic sparring, and some fear the recent violence may be an outgrowth of that conflict.” Some fear . . . what exactly? That the Jews got what they deserved? That the attacks are a logical response to gentrification? Good people on both sides, is it?

This is Bill de Blasio’s New York, but it could just as easily be David Dinkins’s. And perhaps that is why we are seeing this again: the demon of hate, never exorcised, floats freely around. Our sin was to have whitewashed the Crown Heights pogrom of 1991 and lavished its instigator Al Sharpton with respectability.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: Al Sharpton, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Ultra-Orthodox

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