Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Canaries in the Coal Mine

Earlier this year, during a Congressional debate at Congregation Brith Shalom, I was surprised when Moderator Barry Goldin said that anti-Semitism has seen a 60% increase in the United States, Britain and France. It's 80% on college campuses, and includes professors. As a result, Jewish institutions like Brith Shalom must spend money on security that could be devoted to other needs.

Wayne Woodman was standing in for Marty Nothstein because he was at a Commissioners' meeting. Woodman is Jewish. He said he experienced a lot of anti-Semitism growing up. He agreed that anti-Semitism is on the rise in a way that has not been seen since the '30s. He suspects identity politics is at least one of the root causes. "We're the canary in the coal mine," he warned.

Tragically, the canary in the coal mine has keeled over. According to CBS Pittsburgh, a loan gunman has killed at least 11 people at The Tree of Life synagogue.

This should be a warning to us as a nation that we have a serious problem.

The Anti Defamation League has released this statement:
"Our hearts break for the families of those killed and injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and for the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh. This is likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. We are actively engaged with law enforcement to support their investigation and call on authorities to investigate this as a hate crime.

"It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age. Unfortunately, this violent attack – the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the United States since 2014 – occurs at time when ADL has reported a historic increase in both anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Semitic online harassment. As we mourn those lost and search for answers, ADL will remain steadfast in its mission to fight anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it may occur." 
I have seen and delete it on this blog.

This country and this state in particular were founded on the principle of religious tolerance. I want to express my condolences to one and all Jews.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

there is a tragic rise in these incidents and they must be stopped.
the true question is how can that be done?

The shooter at the Kroeger store initially tried to get into a black church but locked doors kept him out.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/26/us/kentucky-kroger-shooting/index.html

Anonymous said...

Anti-semitism is obviously a huge problem, but the amount of it on college campuses is way overblown by conservative pro-Israel groups refusing to see the distinction between anti-zionism and anti-semitism.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Most people trying to disguise their anti-Semitism will explain they are merely speaking against Israel.

Anonymous said...

I was verbally attacked earlier today for sating that the President should lead by example and talk about how we are all Americans regardless of our Faith, Political Party or race, I was told I am blaming the President and Republicans. I never mentioned Republicans nor did I blame the President for what happened. Merely asking for people to ratchet it down brought that angry response.
Pray for the souls of the Pittsburgh victims.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Antisemitism has grown in Europe mostly due to the influx of migrants from the middle east who have hated Jews for centuries.

It has also been part of Louis Farakan's message that has increased this with some in the black community.

While antisemitism was more prevalent in the 1950's as I can remember, there is still a small persistent connection that some associate with one world government, the Bilderburgers and world conspiracy. A lot of this still stems from the old "Elders of Zion" book that has circulated for decades.

If you want to see a lot antisemitism, just watch the speeches in the UN.

We are now beginning to see this same kind of hate being whipped up toward the white race. You can see that in universities, possibly more than antisemitism.

The kind of resentment that was in the past focused at Jews because of their success is now also being focused at whites and Asians.

Instead of resentment of people who are successful, it would be much more productive to copy their talent and path for success.

I have admired the Jewish people for their ability to instill in their children the value of education, working within the system, and learning from their elders, rather than every generation insisting on re-inventing the wheel.

Today we see lots of attempts to increase division, how can we get the black vote? how can we increase the women's vote?, how can we get the Hispanic vote? The usual method is to instill some fear that other side is going to inflict economic or social pain on them.

There are policies that will increase the welfare of all. It is better to grow the pie, than to promise to give a bigger share of a diminishing pie.

While none of this probably had much to do with what happened to those innocent people on Saturday, we are planting the seeds of a much bigger problem in the future.

Anonymous said...

"Most people trying to disguise their anti-Semitism will explain they are merely speaking against Israel."

Thank you for having the testicular fortitude to state this so clearly.

Anonymous said...

Ray Nemeth, You're insight into what is happening here in the United States of America is uncanny. I couldn't agree with you more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As I said before, I see the anti-Semitism here. It has nothing to do with an influx of Middle Easterm immigrants, but it mayvey we’ll be a resent,ent if successful people. I know two of these trolls. One of them purports to be a liberal Democrat. The other claims he is a conservative Republican.

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:04, Trump is ugly and divisive, not a unifier. He drives wedges between people. He plays to people’s dark sides. I read an op-Ed earlier this week stating he is successful bc he is much like ordinary Americans, plain, blunt and distrustful of intellectuals. There is some truth to that, but he appeals to our darker natures instead of trying to make us better. Civility has declined as a result, and extremists have been emboldened. I certainly agree with you. But Trump, for all his flaws, is no anti-Semite. He is just an ugly person.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the guy thought he was helping out with the infestation of the spotted lantern fly at the tree of life?

Anonymous said...

Trump in some ways has adopted the tactics of the left, the democrats have been dividing the country for decades, when someone uses their tactics it is now a foul. Trump's policies have benefited everyone. His numbers in the African american community have increased since 2016, because some are seeing more opportunity. The attempt of the left to put the Spanish speaking people on the plantation will not work, many are self employed, hard working and family and religious oriented. The left is mostly appealing to poorly adjusted women, anarchists, Marxists and government workers.

Anonymous said...


"Most people trying to disguise their anti-Semitism will explain they are merely speaking against Israel."

This is outright false. There are in fact many left-leaning Jews who frequently criticize Israel, including Jon Stewart. By convincing people that anti-Zionism = antisemitism, pro-Israel lobbies like AIPAC have effectively papered over many very serious problems in Israel (most of them the product of a minority of the governing coalition), including abuses of Palestineans and the undemocratic favoring of ultra-orthodox citizens. Not to mention its constant attempts to provoke the US into attacking Iran.

It is foolish to consider criticism of a policy that allows those studying Jewish religious text exemptions from otherwise compulsory military service to be equivalent to antisemitism.

Anonymous said...

An anti semite might send 1.7 billion in pallets of cash to the most anti semitic regime in the world, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

11.48
the shooter at the synagogue thought Comrade trump was a pussy as he was not going far enough in solving the "problem".
The shooter was correct that trumpie did not hate Jewish folks like he did.
defending trump for the use of dividing people instead of unifying is merely a sign of a person with the fervent belief that trumpie can never be wrong.
Comrade trump could have done a better job.

Anonymous said...

12.31
or returned funds to a sovereign government what was their money.
How that makes a President An anti semite is mysterious.

Anonymous said...

https://www.launchgood.com/project/muslims_unite_for_pittsburgh_synagogue#!/

"the Muslim-American community extends its hands to help the shooting victims, whether it is the injured victims or the Jewish families who have lost loved ones.

We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will show mercy to you."

"Fundraising proceeds will help with the immediate, short-term needs of the injured victims and grieving families - including funeral expenses and medical bills. No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way. The fundraising target will be raised if we quickly hit the initial goal of $25,000 (Update: the goal is now $50,000 after reaching the initial target in only 6 hours).

Though this is a Muslim-led campaign, we welcome friends of all faiths to contribute (all donations are tax-deductible).

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This is outright false. There are in fact many left-leaning Jews who frequently criticize Israel, including Jon Stewart. By convincing people that anti-Zionism = antisemitism,"

The fact that you and a previous commenter used this tragedy to embark on this argument shows a real lack of empathy. I never said that anti-Zionism is the same thing as anti-Semitism. But anti-Semitism very often disguises itself as anti-Zionism. Also, the Jewish community is very liberal and it would make sense that many of them would be upset by Israel's foreign policy.

The fact that you know Jon Stewart is a Jew makes me wonder. He hardly broadcasts his religious identity.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:04, Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bernie Love your blog. I also loved John Stewart on the Daily Show, watched him much of his 15 or so years on the show. Many, many times he would joke about or mention his Jewishness.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is Trump has given license to xenophobic,racist and Anti-Semitic people, to act out in way that would not have been tolerated even 4 years ago in America.

Anonymous said...

A horrific tragedy has happened again. Why is it that you write about this Bernie and instead of prayers for the dead and our nation we have defensive talk? I can't believe how many posts are commenting on how the so-called political left has created this problem. If not for this Left, there would be no hate and people are only copying Left actions used for decades.

So McVeigh, the crazy kid in S. Carolina that shot up that black Church, the car killer in Virginia and this nut would never have done this if not for the left? So Trump would not spout his ugly vitriol if not for the left. Would you please remind me of how many so-called Leftists have shot up a church or a restaurant? Seriously, time for a reality check for the crowd that claims accountability for ones actions.

Why must a tragedy like this quickly become a speech about the greatness of Trump? Sadly continued preaching of hate for any group or political party in this Nation created this scenario in the mind of a weak and sick person like the shooter. When will that lesson ever sink in.

Bernie, I have a great deal of sorrow for the victims and future victims due to this blind hate.

Anonymous said...

"or returned funds to a sovereign government what was their money."

That money belonged to a people whose government did not refer to Jews as cockroaches who should be exterminated, and was the primary sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism in the world. Giving murderous, anti semitic, religious nuts pallets of cash is crazy anti semitic. But your Jew hating mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

4.08
so your saying it would be okay to steal the property of a neo nazi group or individual?
based on their hate speech it would be okay to take and keep their money say in their bank account?
who decides this?
public opinion?
try reality.
Iran did say hateful things concerning the Jewish people,that does not allow anyone to steal from them.
not to mention an international court would have ruled for a higher amount to be paid out.
it was Iran's money.
they paid for goods that were not delivered and they deserved their money back.
it had nothing to do with hatred towards Israel it had to due with the rule of law.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I was fact-checking you. The only reason I bring this up at all is that you and Barry Goldin misidentified where most antisemitic violence comes from (without being able to back up the claim), and I think we can all agree that it is important to accurately identify the sources of terrorism (and this absolutely was an instance of domestic terrorism). Frankly, I could just as easily call you unempathetic for claiming, out of nowhere and without sources, that the uptick in antisemitism has been primarily on college campuses in your original comment.

Again, conservative pro-Israel lobbies, and even the ADL, have been deliberately conflating anti-zionism and antisemitism for years, and have convinced a lot of people that huge numbers of liberals are using anti-zionism as a cover for antisemitism, which is just not true for the very reason you mentioned, and doesn't even really make sense. College campuses have seen an increase in antisemitic violence, but this is driven by Alt-right and neo-nazi groups attempting to recruit and demonstrate at colleges, which the ADL has noted, not by students and certainly not by professors.

Like 3:01 said, pretty much everyone knows Jon Stewart is Jewish.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I didn't, but have no time for TV. If he is out there talking about his Jewish ancestry on a regular basis, I understand why someone would bring this up. But you certainly did not fact check me. You probably opinion-checked me. The simple reality is that anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism. What purports to be criticism of Israel or Jewish organization sooner or later leads to the demonization of Jews, or the claim that they are trying to run everything.

As Abba Eban explained,

"The old classic anti-Semitism declared that equal rights belong to all individuals within the society, except the Jews. The new anti-Semitism says that the right to establish and maintain an independent national sovereign state is the prerogative of all nations, so long as they happen not to be Jewish."

I believe it is possible to criticize Israel without being anti-Semite, but all to often, those who do slip into the prejudice that has existed for thousands of years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_antisemitism

Bernie O'Hare said...

"A horrific tragedy has happened again. Why is it that you write about this Bernie and instead of prayers for the dead and our nation we have defensive talk?"

I didn't. I wrote about the tragedy and anti-Semitism responsible for it. Others responded with the antiZionism argument, and I, too, expressed wonder with doing that at this time.

PeterJ.Cochran said...

All thiose cops in military garb - I could have gone in that building in “flip flops “ and shot him dead in place
And there is nothing he could have done about it. I stand with the the Jews here, there was a baby in the room . I know I’m old but I’ve been competitively shooting almost 50 years . That character would have been dead. If any Goverors 20 hade stepped in the building same results.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the local Trump supporters feel as though they have blood on their hands. I seem to recall right after Trump was elected the LV Tea Party held a flag-waving rally outside Bethlehem City Hall.

Anonymous said...

"All thiose cops in military garb - I could have gone in that building in “flip flops “ and shot him dead in place"

Why do you always post this crazy stuff? It only encourages the goofs out there with there collection of guns to think they could be John Wayne and save the day. Please stop bragging about your wild west gun skills.

Anonymous said...

5.25, you are definitely part of the hate problem.

Peter J.Cochran said...

My grandfather was from Shamoken before his father move in on 4th street to do leather harness for draft hourses . My grandfather was in the Easton Amory,went away to chase Poncho .then The Great War . My grate grandfather moved back to Shamoken about the time automotive ownership was getting popular and opened the first gas station in town . He had a Modle T . Later on in years my mother and her Cedercrest college girls stopped at his station , he spit on windscreen to clean bugs off of it . In about 1953.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 5:36 I post my name ,but you can’t because your a turd. I tell this blog what I know to be truth. Cops are behind the curve on tactical issues . They drive their vehicles up to the front door and dismount. You Anon :536 were not an Infantryman in The fuck n Marine Corps or U.S.Army as me. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Additionally , I say this character that talked about some “all states game “ consistently should be investigated. I say as a citizen , this poster is posing a threat to a Northampton County Judge . You know what is stated previously. This person has a mind set and may develop into a physical issue . So- Dear Northampton County Sheriff , I Peter J.Cochran deem this poster to be a threat to our Judge . If you want I will sign a complaint.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I wonder if the local Trump supporters feel as though they have blood on their hands. I seem to recall right after Trump was elected the LV Tea Party held a flag-waving rally outside Bethlehem City Hall."

This statement is indicative of he same prejudice that resulted in this attack. I consider Trump a terrible person, but have no reason to believe he is anti-Semitic. His daughter and son-in-law are themselves Jew.

As for Trump supporters, I know and am friends with many of them. They would never condone such an act. Your statement is outrageous and attempts to demonize Trump supporters. This identity politics has to stop. It is prejudice. Trump can certainly be blamed for being divisive and cheapening civility. But I see many Democrats who have become just as divisive. They rail against the "old white men" just as effectively as any cross burner.

If you want to stop this prejudice, take Bethlehem Dem party boss Becky Wamsley and Tara "Down with the Patriarchy" Zrinski to task for their own prejudice.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie. Lots of us don’t like Trump personally . But the thought of Hillary was ground shaking. I’d would like to have the former Governor of Arkansas myself, I I don’t mean Clinton . So , we have him in there and he likes himself and all that . But , the real picture is , do problems get fixed . Well , DT has already done more to un screw th Obama administrations horseshit . Although I don’t agree with all the issues , A woman should be in charge of her own body . The fucking political issues should stay out of her. Period, people don’t understand “single payer heath care. “ well you fuck n moron s - you don’t want Congress to make a single payer healthcare.

Anonymous said...

If I had to work with a right-wing nut who brags about his gun skills and taking people out then I would demand management examine this person as he talks as though he is unstable.

Anonymous said...

Support for the Iranian mullahs is as anti semitic and Jew- hating as one can be in this era. Period. There's a photo of each of the last administration officials glowingly embracing Louis Farrakhan - Obama, Holder, Rice, Clinton, on and on.... Birds of a feather. The Jew hatred was palpable and demonstrable. Keith Ellison is running for MN AG. He's another He's your team too, Sparky.

Anonymous said...

6:35, For Christ's sake Peter, you can't help yourself. You must post an anti-Obama hate rant now? What is your problem. Single payer, has what to do with all this hate and violence. Instead of hating and ranting why don't you put down your gun talk and pray.

Anonymous said...

6.48
ok slick splain

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-hes-willing-to-meet-iranian-president-rouhani-without-preconditions

"Trump said he would meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions

“They want to meet, I’ll meet. Anytime they want. Anytime they want,” Trump said during a joint news conference at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

sounds like Comrade trump is at the Iranian's beck and call.
Why would trumpie want to "pal around with terrorists"?
Does that mean he hates Israel?
by your logic.Slick he does

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 6:50;The two subjects are unrelated but the uninsured or I informed public accounts for them are on the same page. I can help myself ,as I’m a 2 nd Admendment follower. ,but also 1st and 14th . I’m basically harmless unless physically threatened. I’ve served this country as military soul for over 32 years in 3 branches of our armed services and proud of that.

Anonymous said...

I'm being blocked?
Test-test

The Huntress said...

Stop encouraging false equivilancy. Look at the data and number of hate groups and what their political affiliation is. Of course all Republicans are not violent extremists but the vast majority of hate groups skew right wing ...you know this. Trump is a MAJOR dog whistle for this crowd....and you know that too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Huntress, Do not insult my intelligence with that bullshit argument. There are as many extremists on the left as there are on the right. I have seen it on the Facebook pages of highly placed Democratic officials here in the LV. I have seen it in their actions at the debates. I agree that Truump has had a damaging impact on intelligent debate, but many Democrats and media sources have stooped to his low level. There is no false equivalence. The ugliness exists on both sides, andit needs to stop. Stop the stereotyping. There are intelligent and thoughtful Rs. There are ugly and mean-spirited Dems. When you say one side has more than the other, it is bc you stereotype. Have you corrected any of your Dem friends who trash old white males? Have you paid attention to an anti-Zionist LTE that begins to demonize a people? Have you realized how absurd it is to insist that all women who claim they've been raped MUST be believed? Did you condemn Democrats who called Condi Rice Aunt Jemimah? Your assertion defies human nature.I would prefer that you begin to challenge fellow Dems who engage on this prejudicial behavior. I do. Many feel as a I do, but are concerned about retaliation. I don't give a shit.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, you cant blame Trump for all that's written above.

The Huntress said...

Your blind spots are showing and you miss the point when they do. I've seen you do it with certain candidates and officials and now on the issue of hate groups. Like others who have pointed that out to you, I will do the same.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your own disdain for the intolerance of the far-right prevents you from seeing the intolerance of the far-left. Have you taken just one of your Democratic friends to task when she condemns old white men?

Peter J.Cochran said...

I remember Zelda Cooper when first was out of the Marine Corps. This lady knew my family and invited me into her kitchen for breakfast with her son Peter home from college , Peter is The now Lexis Dealer in Allentown. She was the first person to be nice to me after my military time in the Marines and I’ll never forget it. They are Jews ,she was a beautiful lady that could see me as an unadjusted Veteran but fed me breakfast.just the same . So I’m outraged about what happened in Pittsburgh,PA. So ,with a tier in my eye ,I post this.

Anonymous said...

you are still unadjusted based on your comments. Please get some help for your own sake. Peace!