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.

Read more at Tablet

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

In the Next Phase of the War, Israel’s Biggest Obstacles May Be Political Rather Than Military

To defeat Hamas, Israel will have to attack the city of Rafah, which lies on the border between Egypt and Gaza, and which now contains the bulk of the terrorist group’s fighting forces as well as, most likely, the Israeli hostages. Edward Luttwak examines how this stage of the war will be different from those that preceded it:

To start with, Rafah has very few of the high-rise apartment houses, condo towers, and mansions of Gaza City and Khan Yunis. This makes street-fighting much simpler because there are no multilevel basements from which many fighters can erupt at once, nor looming heights with firing positions for snipers. Above all, if a building must be entered and cleared room-by-room, perhaps because a high-value target is thought to be hiding there, it does not take hundreds of soldiers to search the place quickly.

Luttwak also argues that the IDF will be able to evacuate a portion of the civilian population without allowing large numbers of Hamas guerrillas to escape. In his view, the biggest challenge facing Israel, therefore, is a political one:

Israel will have to contend with one final hurdle: the fact that its forces cannot proceed without close coordination with Egypt’s rulers. President Sisi’s government detests Hamas—the Gaza offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood they overthrew—and shed no tears at the prospect of its further destruction in Rafah. However, they also greatly fear the arrival of a flood of Palestinians fleeing from the Israeli offensive.

As for the Israeli war cabinet, it is equally determined to win this war in Rafah and to preserve strategic cooperation with Egypt, which has served both sides very well. That takes some doing, and accounts for the IDF’s failure to move quickly into Rafah. But victory is Israel’s aim—and it’s not going to give up on that.

Read more at UnHerd

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security