In the wake of the deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California on Saturday that left one dead and three injured during the close of the Passover holiday, leading conservatives have turned blame on the inspiration behind the attack to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), despite the shooter claiming to have previously set fire to a mosque.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) posted to social media on Sunday that Omar, and the New York Times, are part of the “anti-Semitic left,” accusing the freshman Congresswoman of “repeated anti-Israel slurs,” and the fault of Democrat leadership who failing to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.
In March the House passed legislation condemning various forms of discrimination including anti-Semitism to much ire of Republicans who had sought a resolution honing in on anti-Semitism and citing Omar by name.
“And the House can’t even pass an anti-Semitism resolution. Responsible Dems need to say Enough is Enough,” Cruz wrote.
Omar responded over Twitter, telling Cruz, “A white nationalist literally terrorized a synagogue during Passover yesterday and you have yet to say anything.”
In a separate post she wrote, “Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin. Let us stand together as American in rejecting hate!”
A white nationalist literally terrorized a synagogue during Passover yesterday and you have yet to say anything.
Shame on you. https://t.co/X6EoQBsnfG
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 28, 2019
On Sunday morning conservative commentator and co-host of “The View” Meghan McCain told “This Week with George Stephanopoulos, “when we are having conversation about anti-Semitism we should be looking at the extremes on both sides and I would bring up congresswomen Ilhan Omar and some of her comments that got so much attention.”
McCain accused Omar of “trafficking anti-Semitic language talking about ‘all about the Benjamins’ and how Jewish people had ‘hypnotized’ the world,” in references to posts made earlier this year by Omar to social media. Omar has since apologized.
.@MeghanMcCain how dare you suggest that @IlhanMN is in some way responsible for the murder of our people when the Poway shooter’s manifesto showed his penchant for violent Islamophobia and antisemitism alike. We know who is killing us. How dare you. pic.twitter.com/ou5HykJnbA
— Sophie Ellman-Golan (@EgSophie) April 28, 2019
McCain also blasted President Donald Trump for anti-Semitic rhetoric, “he needs to have his feet held to the fire as well. But we’re talking about it on both sides of the aisle as well.”
In response, Women’s March spokesperson Sophie Ellman-Golan, who is Jewish, posted to Twitter, “how dare you suggest that Ilhan Omar is in some way responsible for the murder of our people when the Poway shooter’s manifesto showed his penchant for violent Islamophobia and antisemitism alike. We know who is killing us.”
According to a manifesto posted to the white nationalist online forum 8chan shortly before the killing, the alleged gunman, John T. Earnest, 19, explained who he was inspired by and it was not Omar, or Trump. Earnest said he was motivated by the shooter of the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand who killed 50 and injured 50 more last March.
The statement was reported to the FBI by multiple sources and was removed from 8chan in under 30 minutes of publication, reported Buzzfeed.
Earnest went on to claim responsibility for an arson attack on a San Diego area mosque weeks before. He further credited 8chan for radicalizing him. In the document he expressed hatred for Jews, Muslims, and people of color more broadly. He decried feminism as an ideology “which has enslaved women in sin.”
“I would die a thousand times over to prevent the doomed fate that the Jews have planned for my race,” he wrote.
Earnest also quoted biblical verses, called Jews “evil,” said that a genocide against white Europeans had started, and said he does not support Donald Trump. He identified himself as American nursing student of distant European heritage.
He announced that he would live-stream his attack similar to the Christchurch killings, yet no footage was released. San Diego County Police said in a statement Sunday Earnest had been charged with one count of first murder and three counts of first degree attempted murder.
A funeral for the victim, Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, will take place on Monday.