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In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward

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So now it is not the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston (nine dead, three wounded), or the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church outside San Antonio (26 dead, 20 wounded).  Now the poisons circulating in our politics, with a heavy dose injected by Donald Trump and his discourse of hatred, have killed 11 members of Tree of Life Congregation in the Jewish community of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, and left their mark on the whole American Jewish community.

We were never going to be immune from those poisons.  Our relative wealth, our political power beyond our numbers, our outsize achievements and role in America, were never going to protect us.  Sheldon Adelson and all his chummy Jews who made their pact with the Trumpian devil, who financed and enabled him, Jews like Stephen Miller who helped plan and disseminate the hatred of Muslims, of Mexicans, of Guatemalan migrants fleeing persecution heading our way in caravan, this is your work – own it.  Your chickens have come home to roost. Once you let the demons of hatred loose, it is awfully hard to get them back in the bottle.

Robert Bowers lived 46 years without committing a crime.  His only (petty) offense was a traffic ticket. He was, to all intents and purposes so far, a law-abiding American citizen.  He thought he was a patriot. He thought he had identified the true enemies of his country – the white Christian country he believed “USA, USA!” to be.  The New York Times reports today that he posted on the web that immigrants were “invaders.” His President has said as much, over and over. And because HIAS, a Jewish refugee settlement agency, helped settle these invaders in Bowers’s country, he identified Jews as the “enemy of the people.”  Not the media, the Jews. When your President touts the concept of “enemy of the people,” you tend to start looking around for other such “enemies.” Because hatred blinds, sometimes the vision of the hater gets a bit blurry, making it difficult to identify the enemy correctly, even if you feel you have a license to look around to see who the real enemies might be.  And so Robert Bowers explained in his final message: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

Yes, when you feel you are in danger, when you are afraid, when you are angry, optics matter a lot less.  Trump and his Republican allies have cared little for optics, for the institutions and conventions that have helped keep us together as a people, for civility, and for truth itself.  They have made fear and hatred of the Other legitimate, have maximized it, and have used it to elect themselves. This started half a century ago. But Trump has been a master at it, willing and able to ratchet it up as baldly and directly as few before him.  And we have seen the result, in a country where guns are a national religion, and access to AR-15s and other weapons of mass destruction is being constitutionalized. When mixed with fear and hatred, these weapons are a potent stew.

The rank hypocrisy in the reactions of Trump and his political allies is hard to stomach.

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions:  “Hatred and violence on the basis of religion can have no place in our society.”  Sure Jeff, but hatred and violence on the basis of religion and ethnicity (Muslims, Mexicans) was a basis of your electoral strategy in 2016 and your policymaking since then.
  • Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center:  “If it [these anti-Semitic attacks] is not nipped in the bud, I am afraid the worst is yet to come.”  Sure, Rabbi, but you prayed at Trump’s inauguration, putting your moral and religious imprimatur on his appeals to hatred and violence.
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu:  “I am heartbroken and appalled.”  Yes, Bibi, we all are, but how about tamping down the hatred and violence you have incited and imposed for decades on innocent Palestinian civilians, in 2014 in Gaza (2,104 killed, 1,462 of them civilians, 495 children and 253 women, 10,000 seriously wounded) and this year at the Gaza fence protests (hundreds killed and thousands injured by IDF snipers).  And how about ending your silence about the premeditated killing of Jamal Khashoggi by your new pal, Mr. Bone Saw, the new young impetuous ruler of Saudi Arabia?

In Istanbul a few years ago, when we wanted to visit the synagogue, we found it locked and guarded.  Locking up the temple, hiring armed guards, bringing guns into the sanctuary, is a far cry from the Jewish religious principle that the stranger should be welcomed into our midst.  But many synagogues, community centers, and other Jewish communal institutions are going to find it difficult to resist the calls for more security. It’s a Hobson’s choice, really.  Guns make many people nervous, no matter who wields them, and increased security is not likely to reverse the trend, for years now, of declining synagogue attendance which beset the Tree of Life and other Jewish congregations in Pittsburgh, and in the wider American Jewish community.

My fear is that this incident will increase our communal sense of victimhood, the fear and trauma of which has, for the last 70 years, prevented us from seeing in our Semitic brothers and sisters – the Palestinians – potential partners in the Holy Land.  In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward, either physically, spiritually, or politically, here in the United States, or in the Middle East. The insecurities of the nation and world we have made and live in since the Second World War are widely shared by all except those who have accumulated the money and power to escape them.  Rather than locking ourselves away, it is to the Others we must turn – white, black and brown, Christian and Muslim, poor, working and middle class – if we are to have any hope of Tikkun Olam.

About Robert Herbst

Robert Herbst is a civil rights lawyer. He was chapter coordinator for Westchester Jewish Voice for Peace from 2014-2017,

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44 Responses

  1. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    October 28, 2018, 3:03 pm

    The synagogue murderer killed off some of the ‘Old Guard’; shabbos worshiping Jews in their 60’s, 70’s and 80s’.

    The younger generation of Jews is killing American Jewry through assimilation and intermarriage.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 28, 2018, 3:46 pm

      || Jackdaw: The synagogue murderer killed off some of the ‘Old Guard’; shabbos worshiping Jews in their 60’s, 70’s and 80s’.

      The younger generation of Jews is killing American Jewry through assimilation and intermarriage. ||

      So this is Zionism’s latest trick – accusing young Jewish Americans of murder (“killing American Jewry”)? Disgusting.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 7:36 pm

        “So this is Zionism’s latest trick – accusing young Jewish Americans of murder (“killing American Jewry”)?”

        You don’t understand, “eljay”. Judaism is a non-proselytizing religion. That means the more people you can kick out, or alienate, the larger and more powerful your religion is.

        You can see what an advantage that is over ordinary religions.

      • festus
        festus
        October 29, 2018, 10:55 am

        In the killing last year of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C., for instance, the authorities did not bring hate crime charges against a neighbor who is charged with murdering them, despite calls from Muslims who said there were religious overtones to the violence. The police said that a parking dispute, not bigotry, may have led to the killings.

        “I hate ISLAM!” a former Marine named Ted Hakey Jr. wrote to a friend on Facebook after last November’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Hours later, in a drunken rampage, he fired a high-powered rifle four times into the mosque next door to his Connecticut home.

        Last month, an apologetic Mr. Hakey began a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a hate crime charge.

        In Brooklyn, two women out walking their children in strollers were attacked this month, the police said, by a woman who screamed anti-Muslim obscenities and tried to rip off their traditional veils. And in Queens, a man was beaten in April by three strangers who shouted “ISIS, ISIS.”

        In Minneapolis, a man shouting obscenities about Islam shot two Muslim men in traditional religious garb in June, the authorities said.

        In St. Louis, a man was arrested in February after the police said he pointed a gun at a Muslim family shopping on his block and told them they “all should die.”

        Last month, an imam in Queens and his assistant were shot and killed execution-style on the sidewalk. The authorities have charged a 35-year-old man in the attack but have not determined a motive or whether it should be treated as a hate crime.

        Where are the vigils for the Muslims?

    • John O
      John O
      October 28, 2018, 4:04 pm

      @Pheasant

      I had to read your post at least five times, asking myself, Did you really just say that? Are you really equating a mass murderer with people who happen to fall in love with and marry other people?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 28, 2018, 4:26 pm

      “The synagogue murderer killed off some of the ‘Old Guard’; shabbos worshiping Jews in their 60’s, 70’s and 80s’.
      The younger generation of Jews is killing American Jewry through assimilation and intermarriage.”

      I only have one question…

    • Spring Renouncer
      Spring Renouncer
      October 28, 2018, 4:39 pm

      It’s really disgusting that you would compare marrying outside of one’s religion or ethnicity to murder/terrorism. You’re minimizing the suffering of those who died and tarring innocent youths who exercise autonomy in marriage.

      It is noteworthy that the Pittsburgh attacker seems to have carried out his crimes in reaction to the great work of liberal Jewish American organizations in helping refugees. He saw refugees and Jews as diluting the “racial purity” of white Christian America. The views of some right-wing Zionists (you included) have veered so far to the extreme that they share a similar need to protect ethno-religous purity in Israel and diaspora communities at any cost.

      From your insensitivity and Netanyahu’s behavior – both at home and in cozying up to neo-fascists in Eastern Europe and North America – it is clear that there is a painful divide in the politics of Jewry. On one hand are most Israelis and a minority of right wing American Jews, on the other are liberal Jews in America. The first group believes in purity and using violence to achieve it, while the second (the author of this article or the young people you accuse) believes in pluralism and universal justice.

    • Jon66
      Jon66
      October 28, 2018, 5:37 pm

      Jack,
      That’s just wrong.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        October 28, 2018, 6:45 pm

        @Jon66

        I was raised secular, and lived in New York for 55 years before moving to Israel. I made Aliyah for completely secular reasons.

        I know exactly what I’m saying about the demise of American Jewry vis-a-vis, assimilation and intermarriage, because I watched, for over fifty years, my friends and family give up Judaism. I gave up on traditional Judaism.

        I bear none of my friends and family any malice.
        I love them all and I respect their freedom to choose their individual lifestyles with their respective partners.

        That doesn’t change the fact that they sold out their religion and its traditions.

        Prove me wrong.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 28, 2018, 7:25 pm

        || Jackdaw: … I know exactly what I’m saying about the demise of American Jewry … ||

        Right: You are exactly – deliberately and precisely – saying that young American Jews are responsible for killing “American Jewry”.

        || … That doesn’t change the fact that they sold out their religion and its traditions. … ||

        According to you, they’ve sold out their religion and its traditions. But since we all know – because you Zionists routinely bring it to our attention – that Jewish is much more than just religion, are you saying that they’ve also sold out their tribe, ethnicity, collective, culture, people, nation and civilization?

        And if you are saying that, who made you arbiter of what being Jewish should mean to each of these American Jews and how each of these American Jews should lead their lives as Jews?

        (Man, the Zionists here on MW are going to be all over you about this!)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 7:30 pm

        Jack, that’s just wrong”

        “Jon 66”, you know that “jackdaw” is right. If Jews keep on marrying non-Jews, it’ll get to a point where we can’t tell who is Jewish, and who isn’t Jewish. Is that the kind of nightmare scenario you want for the Jewish people?
        God God, “Jon 66” if non-Jews can’t tell who is and isn’t Jewish, how will we know? Is that what you want to happen?

      • Donald
        Donald
        October 28, 2018, 7:39 pm

        That’s a little confusing Jackdaw. If you are completely secular then didn’t you give up on Judaism as a religion also? Or I might be misunderstanding.

        Anyway, I can understand someone not wanting to see their religion die out ( if that is what concerns you), but it seems a little bizarre to compare people dropping away from their religion to the act of a mass murderer. Heck, you have Mooser almost agreeing with Jon66, which is probably a sign of some weird type of apocalypse.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 7:56 pm

        “That doesn’t change the fact that they sold out their religion and its traditions.”

        But you, of course got it all back when you moved to Israel. Aliyah-oops!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 28, 2018, 8:59 pm

        “I was raised…/…they sold out their religion and its traditions.” “Jackdaw”

        I can sense the outlines of a happy and fulfilling life-story in that comment. One brilliantly lit by burnt bridges. And then finally made companionable by Mondoweiss

        Prove me wrong.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 28, 2018, 11:54 pm

      ” they sold out their religion and its traditions.”

      They said “I’ll stop pretending that I’m something special and different, and just be an ordinary human being like those I live among.”

      They said “I’ll marry the person I’ve fallen in love with.”

      Why is this wrong?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        October 29, 2018, 8:13 am

        @roha

        Nothing wrong with it.

        Is there anything wrong with tossing a 3,000 year old antique onto the curb because it clashes with your wife’s new wallpaper?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 29, 2018, 3:21 pm

        “Is there anything wrong with tossing a 3,000 year old antique onto the curb…” “Jackdaw”

        Not after that humiliating experience on Antiques Roadshow!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 29, 2018, 7:04 pm

        My reply was moderated, but I’ll try again.

        We are not talking about an antique vase. We are talking about a set of beliefs and practices. If a person decided that maintaining those is an obstacle to living a flourishing life as a full member of society, why is it wrong for that person to abandon them.

        Being ancient is not a reason for continuing a practice, any more than being modern is a reason for adopting one.

        (I inherited my mother’s antiques. I sold most of them straight away. I didn’t like them.)

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 29, 2018, 7:10 pm

        I don’t understand why some of my comments are banned. The mods are not only God-like in their powers, but they also work in mysterious ways.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 29, 2018, 11:59 pm

        Health and safety, Roha

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        October 30, 2018, 2:26 am

        @roha

        Yes, we are talking about an antique vase; an old, useless and unattractive vase, and you’ve made clear what you want done with it. You’re not alone.

        “If a person decided that maintaining those is an obstacle to living a flourishing life as a full member of society, why is it wrong for that person to abandon them.”

        In response, I paraphrase a famous rabbi, who once said of assimilating Jews, “They are like drunkards. They unburden themselves of the yoke of Torah, and put on, instead, the yoke of business”.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 30, 2018, 8:02 am

        || Jackdaw: … In response, I paraphrase a famous rabbi, who once said of assimilating Jews, “They are like drunkards. They unburden themselves of the yoke of Torah, and put on, instead, the yoke of business”. ||

        I can only imagine what harsh words the famous rabbi must’ve had for “secular Jews” who “gave up on traditional Judaism” because they found it to be “useless and unattractive”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 30, 2018, 12:02 pm

        “We are not talking about an antique vase.”

        Well, maybe we are… in a way

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 30, 2018, 12:38 pm

        “I don’t understand why some of my comments are banned.”

        Because they know you can do better. They say “This is not his best work, it is not worthy of him, he must try again”

        Or the Internet dropped your comment. That happens a lot.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 29, 2018, 9:20 am

      @Jackdaw

      Meanwhile, a sensible response to the horror in Pittsburgh from Canadian Jews:

      https://ijvcanada.org/2018/ijv-statement-on-the-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting/

      Canada’s “IJV [Independent Jewish Voices] Statement on the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting,” Oct. 27/18

      EXCERPTS:
      “Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) expresses its deepest sympathies to members of the American Jewish community following the killing this morning of ten worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.”

      “The shooter, now identified as Robert Bowers, walked into the synagogue this morning, during Saturday morning sabbath services and yelled ‘All Jews must die!’ before opening fire.

      “Bowers, a white male in his 40s, has expressed far-right and white supremacist views over social media. In one post, Bowers, said that it’s the ‘filthy evil Jews bringing the filthy evil Muslims into the country’ and called to first ‘stop the kikes then worry about the Muslims.’

      “This hateful rhetoric is indicative of the dangerous rise of far-right politics around the world from the US to Hungary to Israel and Brazil. In Ontario, the fact that Premier Doug Ford has refused to denounce white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer Faith Goldy, who placed third in last week’s Toronto mayoral election, and netted more than 25,000 votes, is indicative of how these trends are growing here in Canada also.

      “Today, IJV stands with our Jewish friends and community members across the United States and around the world who are still reeling from this attack.

      “We stand with all communities fighting on the front-lines against the rise of fascism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, islamophobia and all forms of racism and bigotry.

      “Today we mourn. Tomorrow we organize.

      “To the families of the ten killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue, our hearts are with you.

      “May their memories be for a blessing.”

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 29, 2018, 11:41 am

        || Misterioso: … Meanwhile, a sensible response to the horror in Pittsburgh from Canadian Jews:

        https://ijvcanada.org/2018/ijv-statement-on-the-pittsburgh-synagogue-shooting/ … ||

        Sensible and laudable.

        … “We stand with all communities fighting on the front-lines against the rise of fascism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, islamophobia and all forms of racism and bigotry. … “

        This is a just and moral response to acts of injustice and immorality.

        Sadly, Zionists seem to view acts of injustice and immorality committed by others against Jews as justification for Zionist Jews to continue committing acts of injustice and immorality against others.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        October 29, 2018, 12:44 pm

        @eljay, et al

        Also from Canada:

        “MANITOBA MUSLIM COMMUNITY LEADERS CONDEMN PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING, STAND IN SOLIDARITY & SUPPORT WITH JEWISH RELATIVES”

        Press Release:
        Saturday, October 27, 2018

        WINNIPEG, MB — “On behalf of Manitoba Muslims, we strongly condemn the barbaric and inhumane act of violence perpetrated on innocent worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

        “Our heartfelt prayers are with the families of those killed and with the injured. We pray for their speedy recovery.

        “Not too long ago, we witnessed a similar act of violence in Canada against Muslims and know the hurt and fear that grips the entire community when such acts are perpetrated against worshipers.

        “Our Jewish relatives have our support and prayers in this time of grief and trauma. We stand firmly against this act of cold-blooded murder motivated by hate against a vulnerable population of religious minorities. Canadian Muslims stand with firm resolve against anti-Semitism, religious bigotry, xenophobia and hate.

        “We demand political leadership around the world to take steps to address the rise of radical nationalism in their countries and to curb the divisive identity politics that fuels this hatred.

        Sincerely,

        Shahina Siddiqui, Executive Director, Islamic Social Services Association

        Abdo Eltassi, Chair, Alhijra Islamic School Board

        Dr. Jennifer Rahman, Chair, Winnipeg Central Mosque

        Omar Siddiqui, Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute

        Salman Qureshi, President, Manitoba Islamic Association

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 29, 2018, 1:10 pm

        Eljay

        Zionism is devoid of empathy. If the dead had been murdered in Israel , Gaza would have been bombed already as revenge. Israel is so fucked up.
        The response of the rabbi of the synagogue was so shocking to Israel watchers because it was so decent and very few such rabbis exist in Israel.
        Hamas sent sympathies. Muslim orgs sent money and Israel spins hatred.
        Israël is not part of normality and never will be.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      October 29, 2018, 10:20 am

      @Jackdaw

      For the record:
      The mass murder of eleven worshipping Jews in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue bring to mind Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 29 worshipping Palestinian Muslims in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque on 25 February, 1994 and the response of Israel’s Chief Rabbi Perin: “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” (New York Times, Feb. 28, 1994)

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        October 30, 2018, 8:27 am

        @Mister 0

        Rabbi Yaakov Perrin was never Israel’s Chief Rabbi.

        Why do you have to lie?

        *I know why*

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      October 29, 2018, 11:34 am

      Well then, Jack…
      Since the Prez refuses to condemn the white nationalism…or his support of it…which is responsible for eliminating some of the old guard; and you label the new guard as murderous…your unspoken solution seems rather…final.

  2. Mooser
    Mooser
    October 28, 2018, 3:52 pm

    “The younger generation of Jews is killing American Jewry through assimilation and intermarriage.”

    And you figure exclusive Jewish-Jewish marriage is the way to go?.

    BTW “Jackdaw” it was a bris at a pretty Reform Temple, and I believe the child’s parents were killed, too.

  3. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 28, 2018, 4:01 pm

    Matthew Dowd

    @matthewjdowd

    White supremacy in America is a bigger problem than Islamic terrorism here. It is a bigger problem than crimes by immigrants. And this administration is not only not doing anything about it, they are fomenting hate among this group.

    https://www.google.ch/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/26/outsourcing-political-violence-bomb-scares-trump
    « the violence used to keep down groups who threaten the social and political order. This is the violence of strikebreakers and the KKK. It is the violence that killed Emmett Till, an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly wolf-whistling at a white woman.

    A key feature of the second type of violence is that it has often been perpetrated by private individuals while serving the interests of public authorities. This is why the authorities encourage it. Till’s killers walked free because Mississippi’s court system would not convict them, understanding that their act reinforced white supremacy at a time when it was under threat from desegregation. This was violence of the people, by the people, for the government.

    Trump and his supporters see themselves as engaged in an apocalyptic struggle to defend America against a coalition of liberal whites and ethnic minorities who seek to degrade it. They are fueled by a conservative media machine which simply invents lies and outlandish conspiracy theories if they serve the needs of the movement – such as that the recent spate of attempted bombings was carried out by liberals seeking to embarrass President Trump.
    It is no surprise that this febrile atmosphere, in which any lie can be justified if it paints the president’s opponents as traitors, would lead to violence. But what is particularly disturbing is that the propaganda that inspires this violence has been outsourced to private organizations, meaning no simple change of government by election can end it. Nowadays, even the president himself gets his daily talking points by parroting Fox News, which he believes over his own government officials. The rot is pernicious and deep, and it will inevitably lead to more violence.

    Other times and places, groups of private individuals willing to deploy violence on behalf of a particular vision of the state have been instrumental in the rise of fascism. America, because it still has strong institutions despite the damage of the Trump era, is not there yet. But parts of the foundation are sinking into place, and it is unlikely they can be uprooted without a concerted effort.

    The question of whether the conservative movement will play with fire in order to gain power is no longer in doubt; they will and they are. « 

  4. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    October 28, 2018, 10:03 pm

    The author of this article never mentions the root of the problem which is age-old anti-semitism. Jews are somehow supposed to have control over the spread of anti-semitism by the way they behave e.g. by not turning inward.
    I have heard this kind of rubbish far too often. The perpetrators of anti-semitism and their helpers (many at MW) are to blame, not the victims themselves.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 29, 2018, 8:14 am

      || Mayhem: … The perpetrators of anti-semitism and their helpers (many at MW) are to blame … ||

      I agree that Zionists (incl. those at MW) are to blame for helping to perpetrate and perpetuate anti-Semitism by:
      – constantly conflating Zionism with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism;
      – constantly conflating Israel (which they loudly proclaim to be the “Jewish State”) with all Jews and all Jews with Israel; and
      – using all Jews both as justification for and as human shields against repercussions from the (war) crimes they and the “Jewish State” have been committing with impunity for decades.

  5. dimadok
    dimadok
    October 29, 2018, 7:37 am

    What’s the point of this article?
    Jews were killed for just being there , no reason , no looking inward here.
    Just for being Jewish.
    That’s anti Semitic, that’s hate.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 29, 2018, 4:43 pm

      I actually agree with you. First time ever. I think I need to lie down.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        October 30, 2018, 9:39 am

        Thanks. But something tells me we are going to disagree on everything else)
        Nevertheless, have a good day.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 29, 2018, 6:53 pm

      According to the bits of the official story that I have picked up, the alleged killer chose that synagogue because it was helping migrants, so it looks as though they were killed for helping migrants, not just for being Jewish.

      • dimadok
        dimadok
        October 30, 2018, 9:41 am

        You’re incorrect here. He was acting because of HIAS actions, but chose first closest place where he could find Jews to kill.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        October 30, 2018, 10:23 am

        @RoHa

        The shooters online presence clearly shows he hated Jews as a group. While the actions of the HIAS may have been a trigger, or a bridge too far, he didn’t target the organization or it’s members. He targeted Jews because they were Jews.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 1, 2018, 7:45 pm

        ” He was acting because of HIAS actions, “ “dimadok”

        Really, “dimadok”? Which actions of HIAS could provoke someone to murder, as a response?

        Maybe Frank Gaffney knows?
        “In claiming that the two are not victims of anti-Semitism, Gaffney echoed the shooter’s online rhetoric that HIAS is responsible for bringing purportedly dangerous foreigners into the United States.”

  6. hophmi
    hophmi
    October 29, 2018, 11:38 am

    “In Istanbul a few years ago, when we wanted to visit the synagogue, we found it locked and guarded”

    You could have mentioned the reason why:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/16/world/20-in-istanbul-die-in-bombings-at-synagogues.html

  7. hai_bar
    hai_bar
    October 30, 2018, 12:38 am

    “Prime Minister Netanyahu: “I am heartbroken and appalled.” Yes, Bibi, we all are, but how about tamping down the hatred and violence you have incited and imposed for decades on innocent Palestinian civilians, in 2014 in Gaza (2,104 killed, 1,462 of them civilians, 495 children and 253 women, 10,000 seriously wounded)…” – Robert Herbst

    Really? So let’s “tamp it down” to lets say, 1000 killed only? maybe 500? Is there some kind of a blood/L value that is involved in tampering down or escalating when it comes to Palestinians?

    How many people held candles for innocent victims of the Zionist Jewish Colony in Palestine? Victims killed by weapons mostly funded from the same white-supremacists that the Tree of Life shooter belongs to.

    I am amazed at how the world works sometimes.

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