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


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