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Five years after Pittsburgh, mass murder has a new meaning


Israeli soldiers around the bodybags of Hamas-slain
Jewish people in Southern Israel
By Jonathan S. Tobin
Fueled by support for Hamas terror and hatred for Israel, a surge of antisemitism presents challenges that are not so easily understood as the Tree of Life shooting.

(October 27, 2023 / JNS)  On Oct. 27, 2018, American Jews experienced the worst incident of violence against them in their history. The shooting at the Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 worshippers, most of them elderly, dead as they prayed during Shabbat-morning services. It was every American Jew’s worst nightmare come to life, but it was also a threat they thought they understood and could place in proper perspective.

But five years later, as American Jews are facing a massive surge of antisemitic activity in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 that left more than 1,400 dead, the challenge is one that many in the community are finding it harder to cope with or to comprehend. The threats and acts of intimidation, as well as the open display of hatred towards Jews on the streets of the nation’s largest cities and on the campuses of universities, have not yet led to a crime of the magnitude of the Pittsburgh shooting.

The shock and the sense of betrayal felt by many Jews now are in some ways harder to absorb than the grief felt five years ago. Whereas in 2018, they were reassured by universal support from other ethnicities, faiths and nations, as well as politicians from across the spectrum, right now they are feeling far more isolated and at risk.

As the title of Dara Horn’s collection of essays on antisemitism goes, Everyone Loves Dead Jews. But if there is a lesson to be learned by an increasingly embattled Jewish world, it is that as popular as dead Jews may be, the identity of their killers goes a long way towards determining just how much solidarity Jews should expect after a terrible crime is committed against them.

If the assailant is a right-wing extremist who can be linked—whether or not it is completely unfair—to a politician that liberal Jews and their political allies detest, the attack can generate enormous sympathy and support for Jewish communities. But if the people brutally assaulting Jews claim to be intersectional victims of white privilege and their supporters, then don’t be surprised that those thought to be “allies” suddenly become either silent or join the ranks of those vilifying the Jewish victims and actually supporting the murderers.

As terrible as it was, the Tree of Life massacre was a tragedy that was embraced by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Members of other faiths and their spiritual leaders joined in interfaith services with their Jewish neighbors as the nation—the world even—came together in mourning. There was genuine anxiety about other mad gunmen turning up at Jewish and other institutions—a fear that was justified when another shooting took place exactly six months later at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, Calif.

Blaming Pittsburgh on Trump

The shooters in both cases—lone gunmen motivated by a mixture of extremist right-wing ideas—were exactly the sort of people most members of the Jewish community recognized as their natural enemy. And many Jewish organizations and their leaders knew just what to do about it. They blamed the terrible crime on someone most American Jews already despised: President Donald Trump. He was, after all, the man who had said there were “good people on both sides” at the neo-Nazi “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. If America no longer felt like a safe place, then many, if not most, Jews were sure it was his coarse rhetorical style and social-media posts, as well as stances on issues like illegal immigration, which had made it so.

For all of Trump’s faults, that was an injustice. He hadn’t actually characterized the Nazis as “good people” or anything like that. And the Pittsburgh shooter’s crazed writings made it clear that he despised Trump as much as the Jews because of the president’s historic support for Israel.

True or not, putting the blame on him and political conservatives was the sort of thing that allowed many Jews—whose politics and historical memory make them inclined to think that all antisemitism comes from the right—to view Pittsburgh as something that made sense rather than the random act of a lunatic.

And it was that sense of solidarity with fellow liberals and minority communities that sent many Jews into the streets in the summer of 2020 after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis created a moral panic about American racism. The Black Lives Matter movement and the rest of the intersectional left may have been linked to antisemitism and hatred for Israel. But liberal Jews had no doubt which side of that argument they should be on, and what happened in 2018 played a significant role in that way of thinking.

Sympathizing for the murderers

Five years later, many of the same Jews who were most determined to stay in sync with their minority allies are now realizing that solidarity is a one-way street. In an America where critical race theory teachings declare Jews to be guilty of “white privilege” and Israel to be a white state oppressing Palestinian people of color, the Oct. 7 atrocities could not be viewed in the same way as the Pittsburgh shooting.

What happened along the border with Gaza was the worst mass slaughter since the Holocaust. The toll of more than 1,400 dead men, women and children—with thousands left wounded and more than 200 kidnapped by Hamas terrorists—along with acts of rape, torture and desecration of bodies was a crime of an order of magnitude that made it impossible to compare to the synagogue shooting.

Yet instead of generating an even greater wave of sympathy for Jews than was expressed in 2018, what followed was something that shocked even the most cynical observers. Many of the “allies” that liberal Jews counted on the most were silent. Celebrities, including Jewish ones, had nothing to say about that many dead Jews.

Worse than the silence, however, was the open support that Hamas generated on the political left. Instead of sympathizing with the Jewish victims, Muslims and their leftist supporters cheered the killers. That led to acts of intimidation on the streets and on campuses as Jews were bullied and/or assaulted.

In New York, the spectacle of crowds bellowing hate for Jews in Times Square was hard to ignore. The same was true this week when Jewish students barricaded themselves in the library at Cooper Union College as pro-Hamas demonstrators taunted them. And with the prospect of a mass pro-Hamas rally at the Brooklyn Museum on Oct. 28—not far from the center of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Crown Heights, a neighborhood that has seen a pogrom before—Jews were being warned to stay home and not take Shabbat walks near the expected mob of supporters of Jewish slaughter. Even in the city with the largest Jewish population in the country, they aren’t safe.

This appalling situation doesn’t lessen our sense of mourning for the Pittsburgh victims or our concern about right-wing extremism where it exists. But it does require the Jewish community to rethink the post-Pittsburgh obsession for seeing violent antisemitism as purely a right-wing problem.

No one should be under laboring any illusions about the support for the Palestinians after Oct. 7 being a function of humanitarian sentiments or worries about the plight of those who live in Hamas-ruled Gaza as the war against the terrorists continues. The hatred expressed in the rallies against Israel should make it clear to even those most determined to ignore the problem that anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The terrorists want to kill as many Jews as possible and those Americans supporting them aren’t shy about showing us that more dead Jews is exactly what they want.

Instead of being able to ascribe those threatening us to a political bogeyman, American Jews must instead acknowledge that they are the targets of an international antisemitic movement that is supported by supposedly liberal opinion and rooted in the same intersectional politics that created the Black Lives Matter protests.

Dealing with this threat requires more than heightened security measures and indulging prejudices against traditional political foes. It requires American Jewry to accept that they are, like Israelis, locked in a battle with an enemy that cannot be reasoned or compromised with. As sad and as dangerous as the Pittsburgh shooting was, five years later, the threat Jews now face is far more insidious. And they are confronting it without the help of the traditional friends who have abandoned them.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Follow him: @jonathans_tobin

The real (and awful) reason Israel's "ally" Biden flew to meet Netanyahu, who's trying to avert an Obama checkmate

"As Biden turns against Israel, Netanyahu must stand strong" by Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor of Jewish News Syndicate.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
US Pres. Joe Biden (Getty Images, Reuters via Fox News)

(Oct 16/ JNS Israel)
  On Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan all announced that the United States expects Israel to permit “humanitarian aid” into Gaza. The implications of this position are devastating for Israel. According to reports, there are “hundreds of trucks” lined up on the border in Egypt to enter the Gaza Strip carrying so-called “humanitarian aid.” These trucks, if permitted to enter, will not be inspected in any significant way. There is no reason to believe they are carrying baby formula and foodstuffs that will be delivered to the needy. There is every reason to believe they are carrying war materiel and jihadist fighters who have arrived to augment Hamas.

To the extent that there is food in the trucks, who will it feed? The hostages? The infirm? Who will the medicine be delivered to? The hostages? Will the fuel in the trucks be used in refrigerators to feed the captive Israelis?

Of course not.

Hamas is Gaza. All the “ministries” in Gaza are Hamas. All hospitals are Hamas. Hamas’s military headquarters is located under Shifa Hospital.

So whatever and whoever is in the trucks carrying “humanitarian aid,” all of it will be delivered to Hamas and will be distributed to benefit Hamas.

The idea that it could be otherwise is absurd. And the fact that the Biden administration is arguing this absurdity is an outrage.

Even if the “hundreds of trucks” are completely empty—and they manifestly are not—the trucks themselves are instruments of war. Their presence in Gaza will also advance Hamas’s military effort against Israel. They will augment Hamas’s capacity to kill and wound untold numbers of IDF soldiers now poised at the border waiting for the Netanyahu government to finally order them to enter Gaza.

Biden, Blinken and Sullivan—like their counterparts in Europe and the United Nations—insist that they want to give Hamas the trucks to avert a humanitarian disaster in Gaza. But their position is actually devastating for Gaza’s civilians.

By barring civilians from escaping Gaza to its territory, even for the purpose of transiting to third countries, Egypt is collaborating with Hamas’s war effort. By enabling Egypt to maintain its position, and demanding that Israel allow Hamas to resupply while calling that resupply “humanitarian aid,” the Biden administration is trapping the civilians of Gaza it claims to care about protecting. They will remain under Hamas’s jackboot. They will remain its human shields and cannon fodder.

Similarly, the United States is providing material support for Hamas’s propaganda campaign blaming Israel for the carnage of which Hamas is the sole author—in Israel and Gaza alike.

The United States is also acting in breach of binding international law. As professor Avi Bell of the Bar Ilan University and University of San Diego law schools explained in an interview on “The Caroline Glick Show” on Sunday, while Biden and his aides have insisted repeatedly that they expect Israel to respect the international laws of war in its prosecution of its war effort against Hamas, the administration’s positions in relation to that war are illegal.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 jihadist attacks on the United States, the U.N. Security Council passed resolution 1373 under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter. Chapter 7 resolutions, unlike others, are binding on all U.N. member nations.

Resolution 1373 stipulates that all U.N. member nations must “Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.”

Any provision of any aid to Gaza, which is completely controlled by Hamas, is of course either “active or passive” assistance to Hamas, and hence illegal.

Resolution 1373 also requires all U.N. member states to “Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens.”

Following Blinken’s visit to Israel last Thursday, he traveled to Qatar. Qatar houses Hamas’s top terror masters. They planned their atrocities from Qatar. Iran’s cash and arms are funneled to Hamas through Qatar. Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel is an integral component of Hamas’s terror machine. On Monday morning, the IDF announced that Al Jazeera reporters are transferring information about IDF troop placements and numbers to Hamas both directly and through their broadcasts.

Qatar is Hamas.

Rather than designate Qatar officially as a state sponsor of terrorism, last Friday Blinken embraced Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassin Al Thani as an ally. And that makes sense because from the administration’s perspective, Hamas’s host is a U.S. ally. Shortly after entering office, the Biden administration designated Qatar a major non-NATO ally—the same designation Israel enjoys.

By embracing Qatar as an ally rather than punishing it for its central role at all levels of Hamas’s terror infrastructure, the administration is breaching international law, yet again. It is also betraying Israel.

In his interview with 60 Minutes, Biden said that the United States opposes Israel’s war goal of obliterating Hamas and destroying its capacity to govern in any way in Gaza. Instead, Biden drew an obscene, imaginary distinction between Hamas and “extreme elements in Hamas.”

Biden also endorsed the idea that Israel should knock down Hamas a few notches, but not conquer Gaza. Instead, he intimated that the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority, which supports Hamas and is serving as its foreign ministry at the United Nations and in world capitals, should rule Gaza.

As a superpower, the United States is in a position to side with Israel and Hamas simultaneously. And that is clearly the Biden administration’s current policy. The administration’s goal, apparently, is to block Israel from winning and force it to fight to a draw—in the best-case scenario. This is perfect for Hamas, which would survive, and with its friends in the United States, the United Nations, Iran, Qatar and throughout the Arab and Western world, rebuild itself stronger than ever.

For Israel, it would be a calamity of biblical proportions. Alone in the world, and treated infamously by its ostensible U.S. ally, Israel would emerge from the war with its regional position in tatters. The peace with Egypt and Jordan would likely not long survive. The Abraham Accords would be undone. And the very notion of normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia would be pushed down the memory hole. Iran would stand as the regional superpower, and within months could be expected to test a nuclear weapon. Israel’s future, in short, would be bleak.

Zionistic-Americans vent consternation at Palestinian war-crime atrocities & abductions - at W. Los Angeles protest

Hamas' terror invasion of Israel massacred, abducted, and rocketed civilians (photo: AllSides)

On October 7th, a Palestinian Hamas-led invasion and rocketing of Israel shocked the world. Casualties exceeded 1,200 Israeli and foreign-national people, including 260 attendees of the Supernova Dance-music festival. At least 5,100 other people were wounded around the country. Approximately 240 others were abducted into Gaza as hostages.

The next day, Los Angeles, the city with the largest community of ex-pat Iranian Jews and Israeli-Americans, local activists called an impromptu rally, which drew a large crowd of both Jews and Gentiles to two corners of the Federal Building.

Jewish, Christian, and Israeli-Americans outraged at Islamist Palestinians savaging 100's of innocent Jewish civilian families call for activism against the vilifying of Jewish retaliation against Islamist atrocities.


The first speaker we interviewed discusses the aftermath of the prior day's Islamist massacre and how it highlights the importance of the message of "never again." He emphasizes that the Islamic-backed groups that carried out the attack in Israel are no different from the Nazis and that they are being funded and trained by Iran and its proxies. He also talks about how the release of $6 billion to Iran, how it can be utilized for terror purposes, and used against innocent people in such cases. 

He asserts that the responsibility for the bloodshed in Israel on the day after the attack falls on the government, and that the message being sent to the Muslim world is that people are not condemning the attack enough.

This Iranian-Israeli man expresses concern about the recent anti-Semitic demonstrations in Los Angeles and argues that it is the responsibility of the government to protect the Jewish community and give out harsher sentences to those guilty of such crimes.
A local judges' jail-avoiding sentence for a group of Muslim thugs who beat up Jews at a cafe 2-years ago is empowering those that seek the destruction of the Jewish community, he feels.

Zionistic protesters of atrocity-committing Palestinians on Jewish babies rebuff Islamist-antagonist


Muslim foreign student to UCLA lashes out at Jewish-Amers protesting Palestinians' massacring of civilian, Jewish Israelis. Jewish builder rebuffs Muslim antagonizing protest of Jihadists torturing US& Israeli civilian hostages,


Israeli-Angelenos and supporters protest Palestinian Hamas invading, massacring civilians, abducting families hostage

A Palestinian terrorist returns to Gaza bearing the prize of a
young Israeli man's corpse, slain by their massacre and
abduction group- drawing cheers from fellow Palestinians
Early Saturday, Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets into Israel striking numerous targets. According to an IDF spokesman, some 1,000 Hamas terrorists crossed the internationally recognized border between Gaza and Israel and began massacring civilians in at least 14 Israeli towns and communities, entering homes and apartments and killing men, women, and children—including nearly 300 young people who were attending a rave in the desert. The scenes of horror and bloodshed that resulted, including the murders of entire families, the kidnapping of small children, and rapes of young women, were seemingly intended to cause maximum anger and shock inside Israel. More than 250 people were seized by the terrorists and taken back into Gaza, where they are being held hostage. They include women, very young children, and the elderly. 
Aftermath of the Nova party massacre of October 7, 2023,
the corpses of partygoers are laid in groups
Israel's Foreign Ministry estimates that Hamas his killed around 1,200 and at least 1,000 others have been wounded. At least 49 Israeli children and adolescents under the age of 19 were killed in the attack.

The fighting came on the 50th anniversary of the so-called "Yom Kippur War," Oct 6-25, 1973, when Israel was attacked by a coalition of Arab states. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his nation in a televised address Saturday, "We are at war. What happened (Saturday) has never been seen in Israel. We will take mighty vengeance for this black day."
The day following the attacks, several hundred Israelis and other Zionist Jews and Christians gathered in Los Angeles to protest the abductions and massacre. This Zionist pride display triggered a Kuwaiti-Muslim man who challenged the protesters. A few led him back across the street where he explained his views to JewTube.
Pro-Israel protest Oct. 8, '23 jammed traffic outside of L.A.'s Federal Building

Playlist of videos from Rally at L.A. Federal Building with descriptions below (advance through playlist via menu on top right or arrows on bottom left)
1) Zionistic-Americans protesting Palestinian Hamas' massacring, abducting Israelis- Never Again is Now!

Jewish, Christian, and Israeli-Americans outraged at Islamist Palestinians savaging 100's of innocent Jewish civilian families call for activism against the vilifying of Jewish retaliation against Islamist atrocities.
This Iranian Jewish-American  discusses the recent massacre of Jews in Israel and emphasizes the importance of the message of "never again." He highlights that the groups responsible for the attack are being funded and trained by Iran and its proxies, comparing them to Nazis. He expresses concern about the government's response to the attack and the lack of prosecution for the attackers, arguing that it empowers those seeking the destruction of the Jewish community. He also calls for stronger protection for the Jewish community and harsher sentences for perpetrators of anti-Semitic crimes.
2) Zionistic protesters rebuff Islamist-antagonist. In a heated exchange in a YouTube video, a Jewish man confronts an individual perceived as Arab, who attempted to harass his group.
3) Ahistoric myths of Islamo-Leftists which fuel hysterics & religious hatred towards Jews and Israelis.
Protesters near UCLA are disrupted by a Muslim-Kuwaiti man - angered, even before Israel retaliated, at basic support for Israel. He asserts that Palestinians have been the rightful owners of the land for centuries and that Israeli people have no right to it. The student justifies this view by referring to accounts in religious texts. He believes that a Palestinian State should replace the Israeli State, implying that Israel is an unjust occupation. The expired student's views were challenged by the interviewer, but he remained steadfast in his belief that Palestine is the true owner of the land and that Israeli people have no right to it.

4) Jewish-Angeleno rebuffs Muslim antagonizing protest of Jihadists torturing US and Israeli civilian hostages:
In a heated exchange, a Jewish-Los Angeleno confronts a Muslim-Arab man, who attempted to harass his group. The gentleman, married to an Israeli-American, expresses disappointment in the Biden Administration's support for Palestinian and Iranian causes, labeling it as financing terrorist organizations, and criticizes American Jews who back Democrats for allegedly disliking Israel. The conversation intensifies when the speaker discusses recent incidents of kidnapping, abuse, and murder of Israeli civilians by Palestinian extremists, expressing skepticism about the prospects for a Palestinian state.

The gentleman advocates for a reset in the ongoing violence between Israel and Gaza, accusing both sides of using propaganda and brutality. He draws parallels between the Islamic jihadist attacks of 9/11 and the present situation, urging action against enemies for America's safety. The speaker expresses frustration towards Muslim antagonists protesting against the treatment of US and Israeli hostages and believes that despite their smaller numbers, Jews and Israel have the ability to defend themselves against adversaries
5) Iranian-Amer concurs with Nikki Haley: Finish-off the Islamists before they conquer more democracies.
Mr. Max, a Persian and spiritual person, aligns with Nikki Haley's perspective on combating Islamist regimes, particularly the Iranian regime. Distancing himself from organized religion, Max urges action against the atrocities in Iran and the Middle East, drawing a solemn comparison to the inaction during the Holocaust. Max, a real estate professional, strongly advocates for intervention to prevent further Islamist conquests of democracies.

6) Jewish Iranian & Israeli-Americans denounce Democrat administration (and other U.N. Marxist / Globalists') support for Iran-backed, Islamist Palestinians

Iranian / Israeli Jewish-American gentleman voices his concerns and frustrations with Democrat support for Iran-backed, Palestinian Islamists. He criticizes the Biden Administration's decision to release $6 billion to Iran, which will be used to support Hamas and terrorism. He argues for stricter measures against terrorism, and expresses worries about the influence of radical Islam. He also discusses the mistreatment of Jews in the Middle East and suggest the idea of an exchange of populations as a solution. Additionally, he raises concerns about the safety of Iranian Jews and question whether it is time for them to leave before becoming hostages.