Sunday, March 5, 2017

Let's Not Be So Quick to Blame the "Alt-Right" for Anti-Semitism

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

Recently, I attended an inter-faith event at a synagogue in Newport Beach. The speakers included rabbis, Muslim imams, law enforcement and others. The topic was fighting hate, and, not surprisingly, anti-semitism and Islamophobia took center stage. It was very surreal since most of the anti-semitism I have witnessed is coming from Islamic sources. Yet, the only mention of the perpetrators of anti-semitism consisted of vague references to white racists, skin-heads, neo-Nazis, Donald Trump supporters, and the "alt-right".

Subsequently, we have experienced a spate of anti-semitic incidents around the country; over 100 bomb threats to Jewish center,s and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in St Louis, Philadelphia and now Rochester.

Now we have an arrest, a 31-year-old man from St Louis named Juan Thompson. While it would not be fair to conclude that this indicates any trend as to any particular group, the first person charged is an African-American male who wrote for a left-wing site called The Intercept and is apparently a Muslim convert. Creeping Sharia has just posted a tweet by Thompson in which he says he has reverted to Islam.

If and when more people are charged with the above threats and cemetery desecrations, we don't know whether they will be white, neo-Nazi, skin-heads, alt-right, alt-left, black, brown or Muslim. It could be any combination of those although I have my own suspicions.

Right now the only point I want to make from this particular arrest is that the man charged is neither white, nor a skin-head, neo-Nazi, alt-right, or Trump supporter. Quite the opposite. He is a man of the left and a Muslim convert (or so I assume from his own tweet). He was associated with a left-wing publication run by Glenn Greenwald, a man associated with such figures as Edward Snowden, Max Blumenthal (son of Clinton hack Sid Blumenthal), and other assorted Israel-haters.

So my message to the well-intentioned but naive folks at the Bat Yahm Synagogue in Newport Beach is that they should not be so quick to assign blame for modern-day American anti-semitism to certain groups on the right with whom they disagree on political issues. I have a hunch that as these investigations play out, they are going to have a lot of egg on their faces.

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