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An anti-Semitic massacre left eleven people dead and six injured on the Jewish Sabbath on October 27, when a white American male, 46-year old Robert Bowers, screamed anti-Jewish slurs before opening fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. A 97-year-old Holocaust survivor was among the victims.

“I just want to kill Jews,” Bowers told a SWAT officer, as reported by the Washington Post. Bowers’ social media history clearly demonstrates that he is an anti-Semitic, Islamophobic Nazi-supporter. The numerous anti-Jewish messages Bowers posted included Biblical verses inciting against Jews. The suspect’s irrational hatred led him to blame the American Jewish community for assisting Muslim refugees coming to the United States:

Despite these realities, many members of the Zionist establishment have exploited the tragedy for political gain. Even expressions of condolence have been politicized and accompanied by attacks against critics of Israeli policy, perpetuating the false and dangerous conflation of Judaism and the Israeli state.

Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, who has a personal history of racist smears against Palestinians and Muslims, reacted by condemning the activist group Students for Justice in Palestine and the movement Black Lives Matter.

Evangelical Zionist Pastor John Haage, the founder of “Christians United for Israel,” alleged that “the poisonous stream of anti-Semitism is flowing through America’s colleges and universities.” His comment is a reference to the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which includes an academic boycott of Israel.

Similarly, American Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a supporter of illegal Israeli settlements, who previously compared pro-Palestinian Jews to Nazis, jumped on the propaganda bandwagon and claimed that Jews are systematically being intimidated on university campuses “by a growing anti-Israel movement, comprised of students and professors”

According to Boteach, the attack was a product not only of anti-Semitism but also of the “demonization of Israel.” In listing Israel’s enemies, he was quick to mention “Islamic terrorists like Hamas and regimes like Iran,” only referencing neo-Nazis and white supremacists, as an afterthought. He also praised U.S. president Donald Trump’s support for the Zionist state.

In the past, Boteach has had no problem voicing his support for Alt-Right demagogue Steve Bannon,whose policies and views are inline with anti-Semitism. 

In his condemnation of the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also exploited the situation to implicate “radical Islam,” a particular egregious example of attempts to politicize the tragedy in Pittsburg to score political points.

Indeed, Netanyahu himself has actively fueled anti-Semitism. Most recently, he used anti-Semitic tropes to attack Jewish American philanthropist George Soros.

As these examples reveal, supporters of Israel are ready to exploit Jewish suffering for the perpetuation of their harmful political ideology. Zionist pundits have not hesitated to expressly and absurdly connect Palestinians, Muslims, Hezbollah, and Iran to the hate crime, while failing to comprehensively condemn the Nazism and white supremacy that actually led to the killing of eleven innocent people.

The evil of anti-Semitism continues to survive and take the lives of Jews, over seven decades after the horror of the Holocaust. Meaningful resistance to anti-Semitism needs to be grounded in  opposition to all interrelated forms of racism, including pro-Israeli fanaticism.

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