Thoughts on the Slaughter in Pittsburgh

Oct. 29 2018

Commenting on the bloody attack on worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Shabbat, and some of the reactions to it, John Podhoretz writes:

In a classic act of anti-Semitic violence, which is what this was, Jews hear the echoes of every violent anti-Semitic act that has preceded it in history. And we hear those echoes because they are there. That which motivates hatred of Jews today is what has motivated it from time immemorial—the poisonously attractive idea that Jews need to be extirpated because our existence is an offense or a threat to an existing larger order.

The blessing of Jewish life in America is that this notion has largely been consigned to the dregs from which today’s human malignancy rose. Despite the fact that most hate crimes in America are aimed at Jews, the actual number is vanishingly small—especially compared with France, from which Jews are now fleeing, and England, whose Labor party is in the hands of an actual Jew-hater. . . .

To those who object to the notion that more American synagogues ought to consider having armed guards, Podhoretz adds:

There are armed guards inside and around synagogues and Jewish institutions all over the place. Jewish day schools have armed guards. Besides which, many of us go to work in buildings with armed guards. Is it a wonderful or healthy thing that this is necessary? No. But the act of saying that it might be a good idea because there are lunatics who might otherwise do terrible things should be unobjectionable. . . .

In a time of horror, we should all look to the blessings of wisdom to save us from the moral idiocy into which we can fall, all too easily. “The wise will inherit honor,” says Proverbs. “Fools display dishonor.”

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Jewish World

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror