Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The Pittsburgh synagogue attack was racist, not anti-Semitic

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:

HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughters. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

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.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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