Last Sunday, a despicable Jew-hater decided, for some reason, to drive to a Jewish Community Center and murder Jews. After killing a teenage boy and his grandfather while they sat in their car–first blocking the car with his own so they couldn’t escape–he left the community center and headed to a nearby Jewish assisted living facility. He took some shots at people on the way, but missed. Once he got to the assisted living facility, he again murdered someone in the parking lot, this time a middle-aged woman. Then he drove to an elementary school, presumably to murder more people, but thankfully, the police caught him before he could. And just to be sure we all knew what he was doing, he yelled “Heil Hitler” while being loaded into the police cruiser–a statement caught on video.
Here’s the kicker. All three of his victims? Christians.
Though killed outside of Jewish facilities in Overland Park, all three victims were members of Christian denominations.
Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Lewis Corporon, 69, were killed about 1 p.m. outside the Jewish Community Center. LaManno, 53, of Kansas City, was killed at the Village Shalom assisted living facility in Overland Park. She was a Catholic.
That’s right. A notorious Jew-hater tried to murder Jews at two of the most Jewish facilities in Kansas, and he killed three Christians instead. I’m betting he’s sitting in his cell blaming the Jews for that, too. Because that’s how the deranged Jew-haters roll. Everything is our fault. Nothing is theirs.
Some journalists have begun to catch on to the damage that the mainstreaming of Jew hatred is doing. There’s a sudden rash of investigation into FBI hate crime reports, and the journalists are stunned to discover that attacks against Jews dominate the list of religious hate crimes.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps statistics, the most recent of which are for 2012. In the United States that year there were 6,573 hate-crime incidents reported to the bureau (a fraction, no doubt, of all that occurred). While most were motivated by race, about 20 percent were motivated by the victims’ perceived religion — roughly the same percentage as those motivated by the victims’ presumed sexual orientation. I didn’t expect a number that high.
Nor did I expect this: Of the religion-prompted hate crimes, 65 percent were aimed at Jews, a share relatively unchanged from five years earlier (69 percent) and another five before that (65 percent). In contrast, 11 percent of religious-bias crimes in 2012 were against Muslims.
You know who wasn’t surprised by those statistics? Me. Or most of the rest of the JBlogosphere, the people who have been screaming to the rafters about the hatred that permeates so much of the conversation about Israel and Jews. Every time another magazine comes out with another anti-Semitic cover, it normalizes Jew-hatred. And really, New Statesman, running an article about anti-Semitism after years of demonizing Israel? it doesn’t make up for the damage you caused. J’accuse.
The world has been ignoring the virulent anti-Semitism of the Muslim world, where the Russian forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” is a perpetual bestseller. The media covers up the Jew-hatred spewed from the Arab and Muslim world, minimizes the anti-Semitism of Iran, glosses over the anti-Semitism of rabid anti-Zionists on the left and right, ignores the anti-Semitism of the Occupy Movement–I could go on and on.
What happens when you demonize Israel and Jews? The haters strike out. They may even be inspired by people like Max Blumenthal, whose virulently anti-Israel book resonated with the neo-Nazi Kansas murderer. If you truly want to understand the enemy, go take a look at Vanguard News Network or Stormfront. The hatred there is shocking–and yet you will see many of the same things there that you hear from the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Over in Ukraine, leaflets were distributed telling Jews that they had to register or be deported. There are some who think this is a false flag operation to make the Russians seem anti-Semitic. Then there are the Russians, who are saying that Ukrainians are anti-Semites–a charge denied by Ukrainian Jews.
Do you see what’s happening here? I do. Jews are being assaulted from every side–sometimes physically–but usually only verbally.
Only. Because demonizing Jews never led to anything more, did it?
The American chattering class is finally starting to realize that when you demonize Israel, you demonize Jews.
In a 2013 survey of 1,200 American adults for the Anti-Defamation League, 14 percent agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power” in our country, while 15 percent said Jews are “more willing to use shady practices” and 30 percent said that American Jews are “more loyal to Israel” than to the United States.
That’s disturbing, as is the way in which the Holocaust is minimized by its repeated invocation as an analogy. In separate comments this year, both the venture capitalist Tom Perkins and Kenneth Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, said that the superrich in America were being vilified the way Jews in Nazi Germany had been.
It’s not just Kansas and the heartland where anti-Semitism, sometimes called the oldest hatred, stays young.
Frank Bruni’s eyes are opening. The question remains whether the rest of the chattering class will pull back on the constant stream of anti-Israel articles, op-eds, and news stories.
I don’t think they will. And there will be another attack like the one on Sunday. And another round of articles by journalists who are shocked, shocked, to discover so much anti-Semitism in the world.
Well. It’s time to end this post with the Yourish.com mantra, which we haven’t seen in some time. Anti-Semites of the world, just die already. And yes, I do really mean it.