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Synagogue-sponsored politicians project white gunman's antisemitism onto critics of Democrats' importing foreigners to vote

Flower memorials outside the Tree of Life Synagogue after
shooting over HIAS immigrating Muslims to Pittsburgh
The jury-phase of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers' death-penalty trial is finally underway. Although weapons won't be in Bowers' hands anymore, on May Day, interpretations of his motives were politically weaponized by Leftist pro-immigration activists in California. 

On May Day '23, S.F. Bay Area filmmaker, Patrice O'Neill participated in an L.A. panel conversation following an early screening of her The Working Group's "Repairing the World: Stories from Tree of Life" documentary  about the massacre at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue in Autumn 2018. The screening was hosted by IKAR Rabbi Sharon Brous and was supported by a number of Liberal Jewish groups. The film's messages about racial-tolerance and multiculturalism were amplified
by adding government Democrats to the Q&A. Rabbi Brous and the Democrat officials cast critics of Democrats' current, illegal migrant invasion as racial "haters."

Pittsburgh's Tree of Life congregation, along with Congregation Dor Hadash (New Generation) and New Light Congregation, which also worshipped in the building, were attacked during Shabbat morning services on October 27, 2018. The alleged perpetrator, Robert Bowers killed eleven people and wounded six, including several Holocaust survivors. It was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States. Mr. Bowers is currently on trial over the attack.

Patrice O'Neill participated in a panel conversation after an early screening of her The Working Group's "Repairing the World" documentary about the massacre at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue by Robert Bowers in Autumn 2018. On the panel, Patrice O'Neill said "Anti-Semitism is the ideological driver in the white-power movement. ... To see what unfolded in Pittsburgh to see what was apparent on the ground when Ms. Charene (Zalis) first went there - was to know that this is a story that can possibly move people into action in a new way."

Rabbi Brous and the panelists use gunman Robert Bowers (who attacked the Dor Chadash minyan - which supports HIAS' resettling Syrian-Muslim migrants in the Pittsburgh area - as well as the Tree of Life because of its support for Central American Caravan migrants) as a stereotype for all Republicans. 

The filmmakers further project the Charlottesville white-nationalists chanting "Jews will not replace us" (reflecting a belief in a Liberal-Jewish-led conspiracy to replace white people with non-white immigrants) to vilify all conservatives. In doing so, they attempt to divert attention from the real phenomenon of antisemitic hostility - as they have ignored the anti-Israel plank among the Progressive Left, Muslims, blacks, and Farrakhan-inspired Black Muslims all with record-stats of Jew-hatred - which inspires increased enmity and hostility against Jewish people and places. 

(Please see reference report: Islamic Antisemitism in the United States, Tel Aviv University's Institute for  National Security Studies, April 18, 2023). The authors of the Report emphasize

... the “rebranding” and mainstreaming of Islamist groups by utilizing the wide interest in human and minority rights in the US, taking advantage of growing societal divisions and the advance of “intersectionality” and the ongoing activity of far-left activist groups together with Islamists, also known as the “red-green alliance”. The “red-green alliance” serves as a unifying axis of anti-Israel mobilization and operates on the basis of shared agendas of anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism.

The report goes into detail on the dynamics of the Muslim antisemitic ideology, the organizations who carry such, and the Leftist groups they partner with to grow to power through.

During the 2020 US elections a new coalition emerged, which brought such groups as the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition that includes Black Lives Matter (M4BL, 2020) together with far-left Jewish groups and Islamist political groups such as MPower Change (MPC)(United Against Hate, 2020; Mathias, 2020). ... This coalition further claimed that an overwhelming majority of antisemitic attacks were conducted by white supremacists, and not by left-wing groups (Emgage, 2020). Therefore, as one of the groups in the coalition claimed, progressives from all backgrounds should join hands in “defeating the far-right” to keep all communities safe (If Not Now, 2020).

Our original footage shows progressive-activist Rabbi Sharon Brous leading the post-screening panel discussion with director Patrice O'Neill, Muslim civic activist Ms. Aziza Hasan of NewGround, and Democrat politicians Rep. Adam Schiff, Mayor Karen Bass, and Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who succeeded Ms. Bass as Congresswoman from L.A.'s 37th District.

The film, and the post-screening panelists, attribute blame for antisemitism to "white nationalism" which (in the panel discussion) they extend to all Republicans as "haters" deserving of Democrats opprobrium. They position Leftist politicians as the audience's enforcers of love, tolerance, and justice.

The panelists in the video express concern over the rise of anti-Semitic incidents and violence against other communities, discussing trauma, fear, and the need for structures that will address racism, anti-Semitism, and gun violence. They stress the importance of creating a multiracial, multi-faith network to combat hate and promote unity, acknowledging the challenges of building relationships and breaking through fear and vulnerability. They also touch on the impact of hate speech, erasing history, and changes to election structures on communities, and reflect on personal challenges they face in their work. Throughout, the panelists emphasize the importance of vulnerability, humor, and taking action to build communities of love and justice, urging the audience to create opportunities and spaces for people to come together and do meaningful work.

(From right-left) Aziza Hasan, director Patrice O'Neill, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Kamlager-Dove, Mayor Karen Bass, Rabbi Sharon Braus, Former L.A City Atty Mike Feuer


.Mayor Karen Bass surprisingly quips at (48:21 min into video):

"... because I do believe that's at the foundation of a lot of this and I think that there's a segment of our country that was so traumatized by that black family moving into the White House - that they just still haven't recovered. And what they realized is that the demographics of this country is changing fundamentally and in a minute, the United States is going to look like California! And that is very threatening. (Applause)

Thank you, I think that's a good thing, too! They're realizing the demographics are changing and so their first strategy was voter suppression and gerrymandering / redistricting. But if, people, if the demographics fundamentally change you can't just erase everybody out - so then you have to change the structure of elections! "

  • 00:00:00 In this section, the panelists express their concern about the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the US, as well as continued violence against other communities, especially the black community. They touch on the trauma that these hate crimes reverberate through various communities and how it is affecting them. The conversation centers mainly on creating structures that will address gun violence, racism, and anti-Semitism and build larger alliances to combat hate. The panel includes Mayor Karen Bass, Congresswoman Sydney Kamlej Dova, and Congressman Adam Schiff, who are all committed to building a more just and loving society in Los Angeles and the US.

  • 00:05:00 In this section, the panelists reflect on the powerful impact of the film "Tree of Life" and discuss how they can build a better and stronger city. They acknowledge the diverse community of Los Angeles and the extraordinary multi-faith and multiracial network they have built, but stress that more needs to be done to eliminate violence and hatred. The panelists agree that they cannot wait for tragedy to bring them together, and they must proactively come together in love. They also discuss how power has the ability to reveal bigotry and how the events of January 6th and the footage from Charlottesville revealed the deep vein of bigotry present in the United States.

  • 00:10:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the challenges of bringing different communities together and finding ways to foster a sense of love and understanding across different groups. They acknowledge that hate and fear can be powerful drivers of community, but emphasize the importance of demonstrating the appeal of coming together in shared experiences and a sense of belonging. The panelists discuss their own experiences with segregation and prejudice and the importance of young people stepping into uncomfortable spaces to learn about each other and overcome biases. They also express concern about the erasure of history and the need to confront difficult truths in order to move towards greater understanding and unity.

  • 00:15:00 In this section, the speakers discuss the importance of understanding the past as a roadmap for creating a better future and the dangers of denying or erasing history. They acknowledge the horrific events of the past that should never be repeated, and express hope through community healing and speaking truth to power. The conversation also touches on the current political climate and the real threats to individuals, including the Tree of Life massacre and the events of January 6th. Overall, the speakers urge listeners not to succumb to fear or apathy and to continue fighting for truth and justice.

  • 00:20:00 In this section, the panel discusses the threat posed by the changes to the structure of elections that could impact the freedom to vote. They also highlight the vitriol present in City Hall meetings and the recent shooting of flyers, which they see as the beginning of a dangerous trend that can quickly escalate. The panel emphasizes the need for us to take actions to stop hate and build different realities and tells the story of how the movie "Repairing the World" was intentionally made intersectional to highlight the many impacted communities and the need to dismantle the machinery of hate. The panel expresses gratitude to the filmmaker Patrice O'Neal for taking the time to tell this story in this way and sets the stage for a conversation with Zach Banner on how to move from conversation to action in repairing the world.

  • 00:25:00 In this section, the panel discusses the rise of anti-Semitism and the intersectionality of understanding it in relationship to racism, anti-immigrant violence, and attacks on LGBTQ people. They stress the importance of building relationships and connections between communities, which is essential for hate crime prevention and tolerance. They point to the Jewish community's preparedness, which is a result of the relationships they have built with others over time, as a way to prevent hate. They also talk about breaking through fear and vulnerability that comes with living in an impacted community, by acknowledging one's humanity and having open hearts towards one another.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, Aziza Hasan, Executive Director of NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, shares her reflections on the importance of community relationships in fostering a sense of safety. She recounts two instances where she felt fear - the first in the aftermath of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, where she turned to see people of different beliefs standing behind her, and the second after the Christchurch shooting, when she felt vulnerable in her own mosque. However, she also emphasizes that ultimately, the relationships she has formed with those around her are what make her feel safe. She shares a recent experience at the Islamic Center with her nine-year-old, where she could pray with others knowing that they had her back.

  • 00:35:00 In this section, two black women in leadership positions discuss the personal challenges they face in their work, including misogyny, anti-black racism, and anti-Semitic attacks. They reflect on the power of words and the amplification of hate speech on social media that can quickly transform into threats of violence. One of the women, who experienced death threats after being attacked by the former president and a Fox News host, wrote to Elon Musk in December and March about the increase in hate speech on Twitter since he took over the platform. They both stress the importance of speaking out against hate in both the virtual and real worlds, and calling attention to the toxic culture on social media platforms. They also mention potential legislative remedies to deal with hate speech.

  • 00:40:00 In this section, two members of the panel at the "Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life" event share their experiences of the current political climate in the US. The first speaker talks about being accused of "wokism" when she proposed overseeing the rise of domestic extremism in areas like anti-Semitism and white nationalism. However, she remains optimistic and encouraged to continue pushing back against these issues. The second speaker talks about the almost surreal culture that exists in Congress whereby members talk about bringing guns and grenades to committee meetings, berating colleagues, and generally stoking culture wars. Despite this, she draws courage from the fact that many in her "Freshman Class" are unafraid to speak up and challenge this behavior.

  • 00:45:00 In this section, the panelists discuss the importance of vulnerability and pushing past fear when facing difficult situations. They also touch on the impact of hate speech and attacks on not just the individual, but those around them as well. The fear of change and shifting demographics is discussed as a driving force behind voter suppression and gerrymandering. One panelist expresses the necessity of continuing to move forward despite fear and reflects on the history of enslavement and oppression in the United States.

  • 00:50:00 In this section, the panelists discuss the importance of humor and the role it plays in survival. They also touch on how experiences with trauma and hatred can reinforce a sense of connection to one's own roots and stories. The conversation then shifts towards the need to hold onto the sense of urgency around issues such as ending gun violence and fighting anti-trans legislation, even after the media attention dies down. The panelists emphasize the importance of concrete action at the federal and local levels and the need for support and structures to allow for open conversations and dialogue in local communities.

  • 00:55:00 In this section of the video, the panelists discuss the importance of building communities of love and justice in order to combat hate and social alienation. They emphasize the need for healing spaces and centers, and for courageous spaces of non-judgment where people can have hard conversations about issues like anti-Semitism. The panelists also lift up their vision of building a true multiracial democracy with racial justice, love, and inclusion. They urge the audience to take action and create opportunities and spaces for people to come together and do meaningful work.

01:00:00 - 01:10:00

The panelists discuss the need to combat bigotry and advocate for democracy. They highlighted the importance of young people, their willingness to engage with others and their lack of patience for bigotry and gun violence. They emphasized the need to listen, find common ground, and create safe spaces for sharing stories and building connections to find solutions to issues like homelessness in Los Angeles. They acknowledged the racial disparity among those experiencing homelessness and commended the activists and officials working to provide housing and build solidarity across communities.

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