New York City’s Mayor Publicly Attacks “the Jewish Community” for Not Adhering to Social-Distancing Regulations

On Tuesday, the funeral of a ḥasidic rabbi in Brooklyn attracted a large crowd and, despite the efforts of its organizers—in coordination with municipal authorities—the police eventually dispersed the crowd. The same evening, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio made the following announcement over Twitter, “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the [New York Police Department] to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”

John Podhoretz, addressing de Blasio directly, writes:

[L]ike moral ciphers from time immemorial, you decided to seek your jollies by attacking Jews.

There’s no way to read your tweet from Tuesday night in an exculpatory fashion. . . . Your own police department helped arrange street closures for the funeral with the Satmar Ḥasidim. People came out to show their respects to the dead. They were wearing masks. Yes, they showed up in greater numbers than was safe. That is clear. But the very same police officers who set up the pylons closing the streets to car traffic could have limited the numbers, the way they do on New Year’s Eve around Times Square.

What we saw here was therefore a failure of authority. Your authority. Not a failure of “the Jewish community.” And yet, when you announced you were going to the site personally to address this outrage, what you saw were: bad Jews.

Under your watch, as mayor, there has been an anti-Jewish crime wave in this city. Last year alone, anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 29 percent, prominently featuring the random sucker-punch attacks we’ve all seen on video. After remaining shockingly silent about them for a very long time, you finally spoke out in December 2019. In appointing a task force to look into the violent assaults on Jews in the five boroughs, you said, “An attack on the Jewish community is an attack on all New Yorkers.”

Maybe you should appoint a task force to investigate yourself.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Bill de Blasio, Hasidism, New York City


Why the White House’s Plan to Prevent an Israel-Hizballah War Won’t Work

On Monday, Hizballah downed an Israeli drone, leading the IDF to retaliate with airstrikes that killed one of the terrorist group’s commanders in southern Lebanon, and two more of its members in the northeast. The latter strike marks an escalation by the IDF, which normally confines its activities to the southern part of the country. Hizballah responded by firing two barrages of rockets into northern Israel on Tuesday, while Hamas operatives in Lebanon fired another barrage yesterday.

According to the Iran-backed militia, 219 of its fighters have been killed since October; six Israeli civilians and ten soldiers have lost their lives in the north. The Biden administration has meanwhile been involved in ongoing negotiations to prevent these skirmishes from turning into an all-out war. The administration’s plan, however, requires carrots for Hizballah in exchange for unenforceable guarantees, as Richard Goldberg explains:

Israel and Hizballah last went to war in 2006. That summer, Hizballah crossed the border, killed three Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others. Israel responded with furious airstrikes, a naval blockade, and eventually a ground operation that met stiff resistance and mixed results. A UN-endorsed ceasefire went into effect after 34 days of war, accompanied by a Security Council Resolution that ordered the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in disarming Hizballah in southern Lebanon—from the Israeli border up to the Litani River, some 30 kilometers away.

Despite billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer support over the last seventeen years, the LAF made no requests to UNIFIL, which then never disarmed Hizballah. Instead, Iran accelerated delivering weapons to the terrorist group—building up its forces to a threat level that dwarfs the one Israel faced in 2006. The politics of Lebanon shifted over time as well, with Hizballah taking effective control of the Lebanese government and exerting its influence (and sometimes even control) over the LAF and its U.S.-funded systems.

Now the U.S. is offering Lebanon an economic bailout in exchange for a promise to keep Hizballah forces from coming within a mere ten kilometers of the border, essentially abrogating the Security Council resolution. Goldberg continues:

Who would be responsible for keeping the peace? The LAF and UNIFIL—the same pair that has spent seventeen years helping Hizballah become the threat it is today. That would guarantee that Hizballah’s commitments will never be verified or enforced.

It’s a win-win for [Hizballah’s chief Hassan] Nasrallah. Many of his fighters live and keep their missiles hidden within ten kilometers of Israel’s border. They will blend into the civilian population without any mechanism to force their departure. And even if the U.S. or France could verify a movement of weapons to the north, Nasrallah’s arsenal is more than capable of terrorizing Israeli cities from ten kilometers away. Meanwhile, a bailout of Lebanon will increase Hizballah’s popularity—demonstrating its tactics against Israel work.

Read more at The Dispatch

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden