The refrain from so many in our free and fearless press, supported by some MPs and a scattering of minor Slebs, is that anti-Semitism comes from the left, and especially from the Labour leadership. This attempt to pin hatred on Jeremy Corbyn - a lifelong anti-racist - has to an extent been copied by right-leaning pundits in the USA. All of these people had one problem in common: they were looking the wrong way.
Anti-Semitism in its most common, and indeed deadliest form, comes not from the left, but from the right, and especially the far-right. This was brought home to anyone prepared to listen when Robert Bowers murdered worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, last October. Those he killed had gathered to mark the Shabbat. Bowers was a far-right activist. And now has come another Synagogue killing.
As the BBC has reported, “A gunman opened fire at a synagogue in California on Saturday, killing one woman and wounding three other people, police said. A 19-year-old man named as John Earnest was arrested after the attack, in Poway, north of the city of San Diego. The synagogue had been hosting a Passover celebration when the gunman burst in, reports said”. Earnest had one other possible attack to his credit.
Guess what that was? “Authorities later said Mr Earnest was under investigation in connection with a fire at a mosque last month”. There, in one line, is why Islamophobia must be taken as seriously as anti-Semitism. Because the far-right is an equal opportunity hate source. And it’s from the far-right that the deadly hatred is coming.
Indeed, “investigators were reviewing the suspect's social media activity and examining a virulently anti-Semitic ‘open letter’ published online … In the letter, which appeared on the online forum 8chan hours before the attack, the author - who identified himself as John Earnest - said he was inspired by the attack on two Christchurch mosques last month, as well as the Pittsburgh shooting”. Islamophobia and anti-Semitism hand in hand.
Small wonder there was an element of “I told you so” from C J Werleman earlier: “Two days ago, I published this piece for @BylineTimes on how right wing extremism is morphing into a violent insurgency. Today's deadly terrorist attack on a synagogue in San Diego is yet another manifestation of this growing threat” (read his article HERE).
And Tom Pride has summed up the problem here in the UK. “As I have reported previously (but ignored by any journalists), our investigation into UK antisemitism revealed threats to Jews in the UK are overwhelmingly from the Right. [ignored] by the press because they do not fit into their false narrative that antisemitism is from the Left. The San Diego suspect who attacked a synagogue also was involved in attacks on Mosques. As I have pointed out again and again - the real, dangerous antisemites hate Muslims too”.
His conclusion? “The consequences of pushing a false narrative about antisemitism coming from the left for petty party political reasons - are that rabid antisemitism AND ISLAMOPHOBIA on the hard-right is flourishing pretty much untackled here in this country”. Read his post from earlier this month on the subject HERE.
How much evidence does our free and fearless press need before it bothers to look the right way? When it’s anti-Semitism, it’s the far-right, stupid.
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