In light of the outpouring of grief, moments of silence and public statements, it seems unfathomable but there were repugnant reactions to the massacre in Pittsburgh.
These split into two categories: those that blamed Israel for Robert Bowers’ murderous actions, and those that came from individuals and groups who actively seek the destruction or disempowerment of Jews who live in Israel.
The second group includes the likes of PLO Ambassador to the UK (formerly to the US) Husam Zomlot, who tweeted:
This murderous attack is pure evil & must unite Jews, Christians and Muslims for an uncompromising fight against all forms of hatred and racism. My heart goes with the families of the victims and the American people #TreeofLifeSynagogue https://t.co/tZu9dDgIyG
— Dr. Husam Zomlot (@hzomlot) October 28, 2018
What’s amazing about this is that on the exact same day, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Palestinian TV that he would continue financially rewarding the Palestinian terrorists who murder Jewish Israelis.
Cognitive dissonance much?
Another one came from Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian activist and intellectual who is the founder of Miftah, an NGO that in 2013 published an article that repeated the blood libel that Jews use Christian blood to bake matzah for Passover. Here were her words:
The massacre of Jewish worshipers is a horrific hate crime as is the murder of two African-Americans in KY. No justification for such crimes is acceptable or possible. All forms of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia,misogyny are repugnant & generate brutal violence.
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) October 29, 2018
But certainly the most incredible tweet in this category came from none other than Hamas, the organization that still includes in its charter its aim of eradicting the Jewish state.
— Hamas Movement (@HamasInfoEn) October 28, 2018
We await similar tweets from Palestinian leadership next time innocent Israeli Jews are killed — such as those who were murdered in cold blood a Har Nof synagogue in 2014.
But it’s the first group that is truly the most heinous — the ones who victim blame the Jews for the attack by blaming Israel. What those people succeed in doing is revealing their deep anti-Semitism and providing irrefutable evidence that anti-Israel activism is indeed anti-Semitic. Because, otherwise, why bring Israel into a discussion about an American neo-Nazi white supremacist targeting American Jews at prayer?
We put this question to Sonya E. Myerson-Knox of Jewish Voices for Peace, one of the groups promulgating this line of thinking. There was no response. But here is the excerpt, toward the end of the statement condemning the Pittsburgh attack and calling for increased gun control:
“We are not fooled by the Israeli government’s sudden concern for a diaspora it regularly disdains, we remember and condemn its abuse of Palestinians, refugees and asylum-seekers, and we refute its false promise of safety through militarism.”
You be the judge.
The most vile reaction, perhaps, came from a British member of the House of Lords, Jenny Tonge, infamous already for her anti-Semitic statements. Mere hours after the terror attack she posted on Facebook the following (since deleted from her page but nothing dies on internet):
To Baroness Tonge we have the same response as so many others: Yes, it is anti-Semitic and by posting what you did, you, madam, made it clear that you are an anti-Semite.