I hope you will join me in saying prayers of comfort and healing for the victims of Saturday’s shooting in the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California. A 19-year-old male burst in and opened fire on worshipers on the last day of Passover. The rabbi, one adult and an 8-year-old child were injured, and 60-year-old Lori Kaye was killed, reportedly as she heroically tried to shield the rabbi with her own body. There are more details here:
Police caught the attacker and searched his house. He’s also now under suspicion in a recent arson attack on a nearby mosque. There are also questions about how he went undetected, since his social media posts reportedly include at least one anti-Jewish screed and what was described as “a manifesto” that talks about his plans for the attack.
And for anyone thinking of trying to exploit this hate crime by blaming it on President Trump or Republicans, the poster (who is presumed to be the shooter, although not yet confirmed), angrily denied being a conservative and when asked if he was a Trump supporter, responded, "You mean that Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous (expletive)? Don’t make me laugh.”
Following this weekend’s horrific shooting in a California synagogue, here are how some of the leading Democratic candidates for President responded. There was a lot of condemnation of gun ownership, but barely a word condemning anti-Semitism.
For the record, President Trump responded that the shooting "looked like a hate crime" and later said at a rally in Wisconsin, “Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evils of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated."
Trump also praised an off-duty Border Patrol agent who happened to be armed and on the scene (a “good guy with a gun” is the common phrase) and who fired at the attacker as he was fleeing, possibly preventing further deaths.
Speaking of the left’s blindspot for anti-Semitism, many these days are on automatic pilot when it comes to branding anyone who disagrees with them as bigots. Even if you said nothing at all that was bigoted, they will pick out certain words and declare them to be “dog whistles”: words that carry some alleged ugly connotation that only bigots can hear.
Well, do you know how I would define a “dog whistle” that reveals you’re a bigot? When you run a cartoon that literally depicts the leader of Israel as a dog (a common trope in vile anti-Semitic circles), like the New York Times did last week.
Joining the esteemed ranks of such organizations as Hamas, ISIS, al-Qaeda and the KKK, the Times illustrated a story on US-Israel policy with an editorial cartoon depicting Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David on its collar, leading a blind President Trump, who is wearing a yarmulke for some reason known only to the twisted mind of the cartoonist (do leftists now accuse Trump of being both a Nazi and a Jew? It’s like when they accused George W. Bush of being either a bumbling idiot or an evil Machiavellian genius, depending on which slander was convenient at the time.)
The cartoon rightly raised a firestorm of response from a wide spectrum of readers, from Netanyahu’s son to Muslim peace advocate Imam Mohamad Tawhidi, who wrote that “militant Islamist texts refer to Jewish people as ‘the ancestors of pigs, monkeys and dogs.’” He accused the Times of furthering ISIS’ agenda by printing a cartoon that would be right at home on the wall of an ISIS terrorist.
The Times’ editors printed a statement reading in part, “The image was offensive, and it was an error in judgement to publish it. It was provided by the New York Times News Service and Syndicate, which has since deleted it.” Critics pointed out that missing from that statement were any words such as “sorry” or “we apologize.”
I’m not the kind of person who is quick to take offense where none is meant, and I think we have way too much of that in society already. But that doesn’t apply in this case. Considering that the New York Times’ editors consider it their job and talent to tell the rest of us what to think on a daily basis, it is unfathomable that they could not have seen how offensive that cartoon was. It wasn’t just an anti-Semitic “dog whistle,” it was more like a factory whistle.
But then, in recent days, the left has been turning a blind eye to a lot of anti-Semitism within its own ranks, making excuses and denials for it, and trying to accuse anyone who criticizes it of being bigoted against the sources. Well, if liberal media outlets and politicians don’t like being called out for blatant anti-Semitism in their ranks, then the solution is to condemn it wholeheartedly themselves, not to join in. Or have the denials become so ingrained that they can actually look at that vile cartoon and not even see the anti-Semitism? If that’s what’s wrong, then I prescribe a trip to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington for a refresher course on right and wrong.