Defunding the Police Puts Jews in Danger

While Jewish groups such as the Antidefamation League have imbibed the progressive orthodoxy that every shooting of a black person by police—whether justified or not—is an instance of “systemic racism,” such an analysis, argues Hannah Meyers, does not comport with the facts. Moreover, Meyers writes, the policies that follow from this orthodoxy, which involve the defunding, abolition, or severe handicapping of police departments, will undermine public safety for all Americans—and in particular the safety of Jews:

[T]he de-policing movement has . . . made Jews more vulnerable, since partnerships between Jewish communities and police departments are critical to preventing and punishing anti-Semitic assaults—long the leading category of hate crime in New York Police Department (NYPD) data (other than during the first quarter of 2021, when anti-Asian assaults assumed that distinction). In 2019, the NYPD reported 252 anti-Semitic incidents; in 2020, it made 102 hate-crime arrests; and, in the first quarter of 2021, the NYPD made 38 hate-crime arrests. As of last week, hate crimes were up 122 percent over 2020, and in June alone, hate crimes rose by almost 250 percent. Of the 832 hate-crime incidents reported by the NYPD since 2019, 406 were committed against Jews.

Law enforcement is also on the frontlines protecting Jews from major terrorist organizations and low-level extremist groups that target them. . . . Between 1992 and 2011, eight out of eighteen Islamist plots to attack New York City targeted Jewish institutions or Jewish people in New York. White supremacists have killed twelve American Jews since 2018 and continue to plot attempts that law-enforcement bodies, like the NYPD’s Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism team, ferret out and quash.

The fantasy that the key to public safety is being kinder to criminals—rather than kinder to the victims of crime—not only sacrifices the physical resources that police need to keep Jews safe. It’s coming back to bite them.

And so it already has. No matter how many synagogues fly Black Lives Matter (BLM) banners, Jews are lumped together with police in this morality play. Jewish students on campuses have been ousted from BLM-aligned groups on the grounds that supporting Israel makes them intrinsically racist. And that was only a preamble to the nightmare of the last few weeks: Israel widely depicted in America as the racist cop, hated and condemned regardless of the law or the spuriousness of allegations of racism and brutality. The stage was set for the recent violent attacks on Jewish pedestrians in Manhattan and outdoor diners in Los Angeles—and for members of Congress to pile on.

Read more at Tablet

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, New York City, Police


Leaked Emails Point to an Iranian Influence Operation That Reaches into the U.S. Government

Sept. 27 2023

As the negotiations leading up to the 2015 nuclear deal began in earnest, Tehran launched a major effort to cultivate support abroad for its positions, according to a report by Jay Solomon:

In the spring of 2014, senior Iranian Foreign Ministry officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues—particularly its nuclear program—by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers. They called it the Iran Experts Initiative. The scope and scale of the IEI project has emerged in a large cache of Iranian government correspondence and emails.

The officials, working under the moderate President Hassan Rouhani, congratulated themselves on the impact of the initiative: at least three of the people on the Foreign Ministry’s list were, or became, top aides to Robert Malley, the Biden administration’s special envoy on Iran, who was placed on leave this June following the suspension of his security clearance.

In March of that year, writes Solomon, one of these officials reported that “he had gained support for the IEI from two young academics—Ariane Tabatabai and Dina Esfandiary—following a meeting with them in Prague.” And here the story becomes particularly worrisome:

Tabatabai currently serves in the Pentagon as the chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, a position that requires a U.S. government security clearance. She previously served as a diplomat on Malley’s Iran nuclear negotiating team after the Biden administration took office in 2021. Esfandiary is a senior advisor on the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, a think tank that Malley headed from 2018 to 2021.

Tabatabai . . . on at least two occasions checked in with Iran’s Foreign Ministry before attending policy events, according to the emails. She wrote to Mostafa Zahrani, [an Iranian scholar in close contact with the Foreign Ministry and involved in the IEI], in Farsi on June 27, 2014, to say she’d met Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal—a former ambassador to the U.S.—who expressed interest in working together and invited her to Saudi Arabia. She also said she’d been invited to attend a workshop on Iran’s nuclear program at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. . . .

Elissa Jobson, Crisis Group’s chief of advocacy, said the IEI was an “informal platform” that gave researchers from different organizations an opportunity to meet with IPIS and Iranian officials, and that it was supported financially by European institutions and one European government. She declined to name them.

Read more at Semafor

More about: Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy