New York City’s Mayor Welds Shut the Gates of Parks—but Only in Jewish Neighborhoods

June 18 2020

Less than two months after using Twitter to reprimand the Jewish community for violations of social-distancing regulations at a ḥasidic funeral—which occurred with permission from municipal authorities—New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that the gates of public parks be welded shut, ostensibly to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But most of these parks were in neighborhoods with large populations of Orthodox Jews, while parks in other areas were left open to the public. This act of discrimination, writes Eliezer Brand, comes on the heels of many insults to the city’s Ḥaredim:

Last week, for example, the New York Police Department was largely absent as stores across the city were being burned and looted during protests. Yet they somehow had plenty of units available to chase Jewish mothers out of the city’s parks with their kids in tow. It was a stunning double standard, doubly insulting after de Blasio allowed and even participated in the massive protests. Thousands and thousands of New Yorkers marching in the streets was fine for de Blasio, but a few dozen ḥasidic mothers in a park was too much to bear.

De Blasio, indeed, was photographed at the protests without wearing a mask. Moreover, Brand notes, his callousness toward Orthodox Jews was evident even before the pandemic:

All of last year, the mayor failed to do anything about the daily anti-Semitic attacks that occurred across the city—and this not for lack of being asked. . . . Only when Jews were murdered in New Jersey and Rockland County and there was a national spotlight on the issue did de Blasio acquiesce and temporarily increase patrols. And after the media attention went away, so did the extra police patrols, though of course now they are back—to break up ḥasidic funerals.

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Read more at Forward

More about: anti-Semitsm, Bill de Blasio, Coronavirus, Hasidim, New York City

Europe Must Stop Tolerating Iranian Operations on Its Soil

March 31 2023

Established in 2012 and maintaining branches in Europe, North America, and Iran, the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Network claims its goal is merely to show “solidarity” for imprisoned Palestinians. The organization’s leader, however, has admitted to being a representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a notorious terrorist group whose most recent accomplishments include murdering a seventeen-year-old girl. As Arsen Ostrovsky and Patricia Teitelbaum point out, Samidoun is just one example of how the European Union allows Iran-backed terrorists to operate in its midst:

The PFLP is a proxy of the Iranian regime, which provides the terror group with money, training, and weapons. Samidoun . . . has a branch in Tehran. It has even held events there, under the pretext of “cultural activity,” to elicit support for operations in Europe. Its leader, Khaled Barakat, is a regular on Iran’s state [channel] PressTV, calling for violence and lauding Iran’s involvement in the region. It is utterly incomprehensible, therefore, that the EU has not yet designated Samidoun a terror group.

According to the Council of the European Union, groups and/or individuals can be added to the EU terror list on the basis of “proposals submitted by member states based on a decision by a competent authority of a member state or a third country.” In this regard, there is already a standing designation by Israel of Samidoun as a terror group and a decision of a German court finding Barakat to be a senior PFLP operative.

Given the irrefutable axis-of-terror between Samidoun, PFLP, and the Iranian regime, the EU has a duty to put Samidoun and senior Samidoun leaders on the EU terror list. It should do this not as some favor to Israel, but because otherwise it continues to turn a blind eye to a group that presents a clear and present security threat to the European Union and EU citizens.

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: European Union, Iran, Palestinian terror, PFLP