What About the Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh?


Baroness Jenny Tonge (screen capture: YouTube)

While there has been a lot of buzz about alleged “MAGA Bomber” Cesar Sayoc, the same people who object and protest after every mass shooting seem relatively quiet in the wake of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting where at least 11 people lost their lives while attending a brit milah ceremony.

Not sure if this means the general public views shooting Jews differently than shooting anyone else, and I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but what really bugs me is when people start to blame the victim.

In this case, I’m referring to Jenny Tonge, a British House of Lords lawmaker who, according to a Times of Israel story:

“Absolutely appalling and a criminal act, but does it ever occur to Bibi and the present Israeli government that it’s [sic] actions against Palestinians may be reigniting anti-Semitism?” wrote Baroness Tonge on Facebook Saturday. Bibi is the nickname of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I’m kind of busy today, and I don’t have the time to go into why Israel isn’t an apartheid state (and I’d probably do that on my religious blog anyway), but Tonge’s statement is not only ridiculous, it’s dangerous.

For the thousands of years of Jewish history, the world has been trying to exterminate them, and by some miracle, they’ve failed to succeed, even when most or all of the nations and cultures who co-existed when the original State of Israel was founded have since become extinct.

So, 46-year-old Robert Bowers walks into a Conservative synagogue, shouts “All Jews must die,” and starts firing his weapon indiscriminately. He was captured alive, and not only is he very likely to be charged under the Federal hate crimes law, he could very well face the death penalty.

I’ve seen a lot of Jewish solidarity in my social media feeds, but not so much as a peep of outrage from people, such as David Hogg, who would usually be protesting following an act of gun violence.

Where is their outrage now?

End of rant.

My wife and children are Jewish, and the shooting happened in the same predominantly Jewish neighborhood where the parents of family friends live.

39 thoughts on “What About the Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh?

  1. I nearly broke my laptop when Trump said they should’ve had security guard inside. I have tried very hard since yesterday to convince myself that things will get better but part of me knows it will only get worse. Many times I feel bad for bringing a kid into this mess. I can’t let myself think these things for too long, but people need to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to go to a small Baptist church here where some of the parishioners were retired law enforcement, and they were all armed (concealed) and acted as security. It’s a scary world, and sometimes people want to kill you for your faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you not understand that saying there should be guns in there is blaming the victims [and selling guns or adding to security firm stock]?


      • Suggesting that guns should be present for increased security is not “blaming the victims” — not even for any shortcomings in their security preparations. A lamentation over an atrocity is not an accusation that the victims brought it upon themselves. It is, however, recognizing that potential victims should consider that they are a threatened population that would benefit from heightened security preparations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • … is not “blaming the victims” …and

        It is if it’s a part of the response right after at least.

        And sorry, but equating security issues with “lamemting” is misguided.


  2. Oddly enough, the shooter said nothing about Palestinians; hence Baroness Jenny Tonge’s invocation of Israeli actions against anyone is entirely irrelevant to this event. She seems oblivious to the fact that anti-Semitism has never been a dormant phenomenon that might be re-ignited. It may have been suppressed in some areas and considered impolite in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust that illustrated the consequences of such bigotry, but it has never been fully extinguished. Indeed, Islam has preserved and fostered it for centuries, and so did Christianity. Making excuses for it is unconscionable, and blaming it upon Israel’s self-defense against a climate and ideology of terrorism is nothing but an expression of it.


    • In my opinion, Tonge is a horse’s rear end and she has a history of anti-Semitism, so her credibility is in the cellar. A friend of mine said that the shooter was a “Trump-hater” who thought the Jews were the key to his rise to POTUS, but I have yet to confirm this. If true, it would explain why the liberal anti-gun protestors have been remarkably silent about this horrible event.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I try hard not to be very political, in spite of the Trump mess I am usually in. However, a shooting is a shooting and I wonder, if a man went into a bar loaded with criminals and began firing, would the papers talk about him or how many criminals were killed, or if he killed 20 criminals and 1 fairly innocent person? Just a question.


    • I can’t equate 11 Jews in a synagogue attending a brit milah ceremony with 20 criminals in a bar. On one level, they’re all human beings and have a right to live. On the other hand, why are Jews less important than anyone else except they’ve always been the world’s disposable creatures?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I think Jews are wonderful people, at least, the ones I know. And, I am not truly equating the two. My point was really how the media would probably twist it – toward them, the Jews, or just the 1.


  4. In case you haven’t bothered to notice (which you apparently haven’t), the Parkland kids have not been against guns across the board. They are pro-second-amendment. Also, I don’t know why it’s snarky and cool to accept ice cream to “own the libs.” How social is that?

    You, James, said: While there has been a lot of buzz about alleged “MAGA Bomber” Cesar Sayoc, the same people who object and protest after every mass shooting seem relatively quiet …
    [I guess yesterday and today in your view].

    I asked you yesterday if we could come up with a list of ten things in common to take off some of the burden of the day. Obviously, the answer is no. What an opportunity to stir up more anger, right? You have a habit of totalizing statements, and you’re clearly devoted to the style (if that’s all it is, as it serves as false).

    Everywhere I get my news “the same people who” were concerned about the bomb mailings and are concerned about shootings were concerned about this shooting too. There was crying. There was even a guy who said he hadn’t realized the seriousness of the atmosphere until that incident. These are real reactions.

    We can apparently agree there is one thing on a list of some sort. What that [pictured] woman [at the top of your topic] said as a response to the synagogue shooting is stupid, dangerous, rude, callous… [maybe if I stack ten adjectives it’s the best we can do]. She is not the general public.


  5. Okay, according to a CNN story:

    For weeks before the shooting, Bowers targeted Jews in frequent posts on Gab, a social media platform that bills itself as “the free speech social network.” He used anti-Semitic slurs, complained that President Donald Trump was surrounded by too many Jewish people and blamed Jews for helping migrant caravans in Central America.

    He also posted pictures of his handgun collection. Bowers has 21 guns registered to his name, said US Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat whose district includes Squirrel Hill.

    Four hours before the shooting, Bowers posted about Trump. Minutes before storming inside the building, he logged onto Gab again and wrote to his followers.

    “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he wrote. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

    Gab denied supporting violence and said its mission is “to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.” The company said it has backed up the suspect’s profile data, suspended the account and contacted the FBI.

    So here we have a white supremacist who is antisemitic and anti-Trump.


    • I couldn’t find a screen shot, so, to be precise, it’s a claim. But the claim would be possible. Yet, there was another article at that site saying we should “watch leftists” do such and so. I clicked and watched, and it was one person who was easily led out of the venue. I don’t find that “news” source credible.


  6. https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/253922
    Muslim groups raise money for synagogue victims
    Crowdfunding campaign by two US Muslim groups has raised almost $80,000 for
    surviving victims of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

    Arutz Sheva Staff, 29/10/18 06:02

    How about this for a headline (as an alternative to salivating for headlines with “the left” this and that and “leftists” thus and so? [Not saying Muslims are leftist, just… the penchant for digs at “the” left is unbecoming.]


  7. This woman should be ashamed of herself. People trying to put the blame on Mr. Trump should be ashamed of themselves. People putting the blame on guns, gun owners, advocates of gun ownership should be ashamed of themselves. One person is responsible for this tragedy, the shooter – may his name be forever stricken. Pointing our fingers and saying this person or group is responsible only adds to the growing chasm in this country. The person responsible was caught and will have his day in court.

    Instead of trying to assign blame, we should be saying a prayer for the families of these victims.


    • Of course, we can’t expect that woman to be ashamed of herself or of her reaction even if she should be. But WE can avoid saying or signing on to the notion she is the general public.


    • Actually, both sides of the aisle are politicizing this tragedy, and I guess I’m as guilty as anyone else. I wrote my rant in a fit of pique, and I can’t say I’ve calmed down much, however my wife (who is Jewish) is even more livid. Fortunately, she doesn’t do social media.


      • I have, for the most part, being avoiding sm since the news broke. I knew what I would see: screeching harpies on all sides blaming everyone but the 1 person who should be blamed.

        Alas, I cannot avoid it forever, so I skim the headers and move past the obvious hate filled rhetoric.


      • I accidently hit send.

        “the shooting happened in the same predominantly Jewish neighborhood where the parents of family friends live.”

        I pray they are safe and I pray peace upon them and your house.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh. I heard today (from someone in the situation) that it wasn’t quite exactly a synagogue but a Jewish Community Center that had three synagogues meeting in it at the same time.


  9. So, I was wrong. It looks like the young David Hogg was paying attention over the weekend, but his statement on MSNBC (OMG) make exactly zero sense:

    David Hogg repeatedly says politicians should *not* go after perpetrators of evil in wake of synagogue shooting

    “elect politicians that…attack the sources of evil & not the people that are perpetrating it…we have to go after the sources of evil & not those perpetrating it”

    Wait! What? If we don’t go after people who perpetrate evil, what’s left?


    • It’s difficult to tell. He’s young, which means he may not have a full understanding of information. It’s also possible, he’s interpreting talking points being fed to him by whoever is bankrolling his appearances and protests. In either case, I agree he needs to understand what he’s saying before he goes before the public.


      • He also might mainly need to communicate better rather than rely on a provocative line. He could say the line once in a short interview like that, but then there is a need for more explication.


    • This is an editorial, and the author might want to allow the families of the victims to define why they died, and the most obvious answer is antisemitism. The editorialist cannot, post-mortem, decide why they died.


      • The editorial is more about why anti-Semitism (always an excuse). And it is not objectionable (in the sense of insult or blame) that people die for doing what God (in Scripture) says is good to do.


  10. https://theincline.com/2018/10/27/police-respond-to-active-shooting-at-tree-of-life-synagogue-in-squirrel-hill-pittsburgh/

    The synagogue

    Tree of Life Or L’Simcha describes itself online as “a traditional, progressive and egalitarian congregation based in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.”

    During the week, the building’s doors are locked, but there’s a different protocol on Shabbat. …

    … “We offer a warm and welcoming environment where even the oldest Jewish traditions become relevant to the way our members live today,” the synagogue said on its website. “From engaging services, social events, family-friendly activities and learning opportunities to support in times of illness or sorrow, we match the old with the new to deliver conservative Jewish tradition that’s accessible, warm and progressive.”


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