October 29, 2018

Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

“A gunman who’s believed to have spewed anti-Semitic slurs and rhetoric on social media barged into a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday and opened fire, killing 11 people in one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in U.S. history.”

AP News

President Trump stated, “This evil Anti-Semitic attack is an assault on humanity. It will take all of us working together to extract the poison of Anti-Semitism from our world. We must unite to conquer hate.”

Twitter

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From the Left

The left is sounding the alarm about the increasing number of hate crimes, and Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric.

From the Right

The right strongly rejects attempts to blame Trump for the attack, noting that the perpetrator was himself critical of the President.

“Public anti-Semitism has shown a sustained increase among alt-right white nationalists since President Trump’s 2016 election and has continued through this midterm election campaign, according to an ADL report published this month. Jewish Americans with a public presence, ranging from public officials to journalists to professors, say that such harassment has moved from rare to commonplace over the past three years."

The Atlantic

“You need only think of last year’s chants of ‘Jews will not replace us’ in Charlottesville, or the president’s constant attacks on ‘globalists,’ ‘international bankers’ and ‘the corrupt media,’ all of which are commonly associated with Jews in the minds of anti-Semites. It isn’t at all surprising that these rhetorical tropes have translated into acts of violence — according to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidents rose by 57 percent in 2017 — even if Mr. Bowers also reviled the president as insufficiently nationalist."

New York Times

“The president has suggested protesters at his rallies should be beaten up. He has praised violent white supremacists. He demeans immigrants as ‘animals’, his political opponents as traitorous, and journalists as the ‘enemy of the people’."

The Economist

“[But] in the last week we have encountered two actual killers and one aspiring killer who believed their president... when he said that the media is hurting America and they believe their president wants to stop the media from doing that journalism by physical force. In the last week, we have seen that when the president makes or amplifies false claims about George Soros and globalists and refugees, people want to act on those claims.”

Slate

The left also vehemently disagrees with the notion that both sides are to blame for the toxic political climate.

“In their eagerness to protect their leader, Republicans are guilty of the very sin they have spent years decrying — false moral equivalence... I, too, have criticized the incivility of Democrats. Hounding officials in restaurants is a mistake. Comparing Trump to Hitler is wrong. But those errors cannot be spoken of in the same breath with terrible crimes such as sending pipe bombs or opening fire in a synagogue.”

Washington Post

Finally, some argue that “the notion that we should have to arm ourselves on a daily basis in order to be free from persecution is to propose that our lives together are characterized by war, not peace... Once upon a time, a first-order goal of building civilizations was to reduce the need for weapons in daily life… the purpose of sound democratic political institutions was to ensure domestic tranquility...

"[Domestic tranquility] is not being gunned down in your house of worship. It is not being gunned down in school. It is not being gunned down at a night club or concert or baseball field. Nor is it having to carry a weapon to each of those places.”

Washington Post

From the Right

The right strongly rejects attempts to blame Trump for the attack, noting that the perpetrator was himself critical of the President.

“Pittsburgh was hardly the first time an anti-Semitic gunman murdered people in a Jewish [institution] in the U.S. Between the Clinton and Bush II years, there was a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in L.A., a shooting at an El Al counter at LAX, a shooting at the Jewish Federation in Seattle, a shooting at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, and a shooting at the Holocaust Museum."

Volokh Conspiracy

The shooter was not only consumed with a hatred of Jews but possessed a kind of sneering contempt for Trump on the grounds that Trump was basically a Jewish agent or a Jew-lover himself. Trump can only be blamed for the murderous Jew-killing actions of someone who thought of him that way by people who [will blame him for anything]."

Commentary Magazine

“Many members of President Trump’s family, including his own daughter, are Jewish, and the president is a strong supporter of the Jewish state of Israel. The suspected shooter was anti-Trump–specifically because of his many relationships with Jewish people. And yet the media is still blaming Trump."

Breitbart

“We are in the middle of a full-court press by the Democrats to shut down any criticism of their agenda by labeling it outside polite discourse... [under this standard] we’d only be allowed to campaign on Democrat approved issues, like health care rather than illegal immigration, and we’d only be able [to] address those issues in a way approved by the Democrats."

RedState

Americans would do well to ignore this toxic habit of political blame for murderous acts by the racist, anti-Semitic or mentally disturbed... the blame artists are distracting attention from the real sickness, which in this case is anti-Semitism, a hatred that goes back millennia. That is the toxin to banish as much as possible from American life."

Wall Street Journal

“For those who confuse progressivism with Judaism — which is to say many — it might be difficult to understand that undermining the Democratic Party isn’t an act of anti-Semitism... If you think Trump should bring down the temperature, you have a point. If you think Trump should turn down the temperature but you fail to mention that a progressive yelling about ‘health care’ tried to assassinate the entire GOP leadership on a baseball field, you don’t really care about the temperature."

The Federalist

“Too often, I’ve heard the terms ‘Nazis’ and ‘fascists’ used to describe political opponents in our country... Real fascism is marked by a suspension of due process; the hijacking of government, media and the collective conscience; and the killing of innocents. President Trump and the Republicans are not fascists. In fact, the alleged Pittsburgh shooter had explicitly railed against the president due to Trump’s acceptance of Jews."

Fox News

Finally, many question the accuracy of a study purporting to show a recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents. The study by the ADL includes examples which were “conclusively shown... [to be] not motivated by anti-Semitism... [and] counts ambiguous incidents as anti-Semitic incidents" even if the police later determine this to not be the case.

Volokh Conspiracy

On the bright side...

50 Cent says he bought 200 front-row tickets to a Ja Rule concert, just so they'd be empty.

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