The terrorist attack on worshipers at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue is widely portrayed as anti-Semitic, including prominently by US President Trump. Yet, though that sounds obvious, in its simplicity, it’s untrue.
Yes, this mass murderer is a White supremacist who disdains Jews. Yes, he set out to only murder Jews. But listen to why he attacked. Because “they” were (supposedly) helping [non-Jewish] immigrants whom he thinks are all out to kill “us.”
Immigrants is White supremacists’ new code word for non-Whites.
How good that he defines Jews as helping the most vulnerable in society, pre-legal refugees!
His most recent “social media” post, published shortly before the killing spree, has the chilling:
This self-declared motive was at least as racist as anti-Semitic.
Yes, reportedly, he opened fire shouting: All Jews must die. The Jews were supposedly dangerous. This is an anti-Semitic myth. But the conspiracy theory that set him off was not that Jews would come and kill or rob him but rather that they are assisting immigrants who would.
And his rationale for killing was not that hatred justifies murder. In a warped way, he was actually trying to prevent loss of life by going after would-be killers (“immigrants”). Yes, and that Jews are (assistant) killers, from Jesus to innocent Christian children, is a prominent anti-Semitic blood libel. But that was not his trigger here. Though it may have played a role subconsciously.
He didn’t even blame Israel (a popular justification for hating Jews. Though there is even an anti-Semitic Jew who blames this on the rise of Fascism in the US because of Israel supporting Trump – how twisted!)
The “hero” murdered 11 unarmed people with an average age of 74 in their place of worship during prayers because “the Jews” help immigrants.
And so, once again, we find President Trump, with his declaration against anti-Semitism but ignoring the prominent racism and White supremacy aspects, on the wrong side of the anti-racism debate.
More seriously even, Trump is the prime US inciter against “immigrants.” He didn’t pull the triggers but crime bosses seldom do. He didn’t order the shooting. But he certainly has been feeding White Supremacy.
I don’t write the above to influence racist Trump. Big bigots seldom turn around. Trump’s followers, though, need their eyes opened.
Except for in the extremely right-wing and extremely left-wing fringes of US society, barefaced open anti-Semitism is a thing of the (recent) past. Not just Jews see this as horrific. Mainstream US Gentiles see present-day murder of Jews as an echo of the Holocaust and an assault on civility and non-violence. No average American non-Jew thinks that somehow Jews deserve this. Which is good. Already under Nixon, his rants against Jews were private only. Standing with the Jews is not invented by Trump and – though less blatant than he does – is now a common US attitude.
Different from what doomsday prophets now want us to believe.