Why Fake Nazis Also Pose a Danger to Jews

Last Friday—just a few days before the recent, closely contested, Virginia gubernatorial election—the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin made a campaign stop in Charlottesville, the location of a notorious far-right rally in 2017 that resulted in the death of a counter-protestor. Photographs then circulated of some five people standing in front of Youngkin’s campaign bus holding tiki torches, similar to those paraded at the 2017 march and other white-supremacist gatherings. Reportedly the group also chanted “We’re all in for Glenn.” Later the same day, it became clear that these were political operatives sent in disguise to tar the Republican candidate by associating him with neo-Nazis. Liel Leibovitz explains why Jews should take the incident seriously:

With [nearly] 60 percent of all religiously motivated hate crimes in America now directed against Jews, who make up roughly 2.4 percent of the overall adult population, it isn’t just a stupid trick when people dress up as neo-Nazis to score cheap partisan points; it’s a dangerous one, too, blurring the line between real hate and fake news. The next time some [self-styled] Aryan goes parading down the street, after all, how are we to know if he’s there to roast the nearest shul or merely score a photo-op on Twitter and embarrass some conservative politico?

But among those you’d expect to be most engaged, there was silence. The Anti-Defamation League, which took great care to remind you to please refrain from “cultural appropriation” or perpetuating “gender norms” when selecting a Halloween costume, had nothing to say about this far more troubling instance of appropriation, and did not return Tablet’s request for comment.

A self-respecting imperiled minority with healthy survival instincts and a solid sense of self [should have] demanded that the . . . clowns who orchestrated this gag be held accountable, and . . . used whatever real political levers it had to make sure the candidates it supports come out strongly against such perilous partisan hackery.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: ADL, American Jewry, American politics, Anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism