The Anti-Semitic Massacre in Pittsburgh is a Unique American Tragedy

By Dennis Prager Published on October 30, 2018

All my life I have reminded fellow Jews in America that we are the luckiest Jews to have ever lived in a non-Jewish country. I know what I’m talking about. I wrote a book on anti-Semitism, taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College and fought anti-Semitism since I was 21, when Israel sent me into the Soviet Union to smuggle in Jewish religious items and smuggle out Jewish names.

Even after the massacre of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue, this assessment remains true.

An American Tragedy

But the greatest massacre of Jews in American history is a unique American tragedy.

It is a tragedy in part because America has finally made the list of countries in which Jews were murdered for being Jews. While this was probably inevitable, given that 330 million people live in America, it is painful — equally for me as an American and as a Jew.

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And second, while there is no difference between the murder of Christians at a church and the murder of Jews in a synagogue with regard to the loss of life and the suffering of loved ones, there is something unique about the murder of Jews for being Jews: Anti-Semitism is exterminationist. Anti-semites don’t just want to persecute, enslave or expel Jews; they want to kill them all.

On Passover, Jews read the Haggadah, the ancient Jewish prayer book of the Passover Seder. In it are contained these words: “In every generation, they arise to annihilate us” — not “persecute” us; not “enslave” us; annihilate us.

So, when the murderer yelled, “All Jews must die,” he encapsulated the uniqueness of anti-Semitism.

Jew Hatred

There is another unique aspect to anti-Semitism: It destroys every society in which it grows. The animating force within Adolf Hitler was Jew-hatred. More than anything else — desire for German “Lebensraum,” hatred of Bolshevism, a view of Slavs as subhuman — it was anti-Semitism that invigorated him. Anti-Semitism was not a Nazi scapegoat; it was the Nazis’ raison d’etre.

The results of German anti-Semitism for Germans alone: more than 5 million dead, including half a million German civilians; 130,000 more civilians murdered by the Nazi regime; 12 million Germans expelled from East Europe, 2 million of whom died; innumerable rapes of German women; Germany divided in two for half a century — and the loss of a sense of self and reputation.

I have no idea if, outside the universities and the Israel-hating left, there has been an increase in anti-Semitism in America. I wish I could trust the Anti-Defamation League, other Jewish organizations and Jewish community newspapers. Sadly, only Jews on the left do, because most of these organizations have a left-wing, anti-Trump agenda.

Blaming Trump

Here’s a perfect example:

The mainstream left-wing media, along with left-wing Jewish organizations and media, told us every day for months after Trump’s election that anti-Semitism had greatly increased. They cited the great number of Jewish Community Centers that received bomb threats. It turned out, however, that about 90 percent of those threats were called in by a mentally disturbed American Jewish teenager living in Israel, and the other 10 percent were made by a black radical seeking to frame his ex-girlfriend. So, the claim eventually vanished from the news — with not one Jewish or non-Jewish organization or media outlet apologizing for crying anti-Semitic “fire” in a crowded theater.

The dishonest now have the Pittsburgh massacre to blame on Trump. But that’s as big a falsehood as blaming Trump for the bomb threats. In reality, the Pittsburgh murderer criticized Trump for his close connections to Jews and Israel.

For Jews to blame the most pro-Israel president since Harry Truman — the only president with a Jewish child and Jewish grandchildren, moreover — for increasing anti-Semitism is another example of a truism this Jew has known all his life: Unlike Jewish liberals, who get most of their values from Judaism, Jewish leftists are ethnically Jewish but get their values from leftism.

Anti-Semitism

The biggest increase in anti-Semitism in the last 10 or so years has come from the left. Just ask young Jews who wear yarmulkes or are vocally pro-Israel on most American college campuses. And this generation’s threat of Jewish annihilation comes from Israel’s Iranian and Arab enemies.

As a Jew who attends synagogue every Shabbat, and as an advocate for the carrying of concealed weapons, I fervently pray we will not need armed guards at American synagogues. America’s uniqueness has been exemplified by the fact that Jews do not need armed guards in their synagogues.

May it always be so.

Even if you don’t love Jews — if you only love America — you need to fight anti-Semites. As the Jews go, so goes the fate of the nation in which they live.

 

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in April 2018, is The Rational Bible, a commentary on the book of Exodus. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

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  • nickstuart

    Opponents of the death penalty make your case. Speak up. Don’t be shy.

    • Ok, there is no need to kill a man who poses no threat. Meaning if he is captured, leave him be.

      Yes, even if the “master race” has been threatened.

      • Nick Stuart

        Justice for the victims and their family and friends doesn’t figure into it?

        The taxpayers are supposed to provide the criminal with bed, board, and medical attention for decades?

        • The capital sin of anger is being preoccupied with revenge.

          Amusing how you use abortionist rhetoric here: “they cost too much!” It is not the fault of any of us that the prison system is flawed.

          • Paul

            “The capital sin of anger is being preoccupied with revenge.”

            So what civil punishment do you suggest for murder?

          • Rehabilitation, actual rehabilitation. That would require a sane and Catholic society. Maybe after America collapses alone with the rest of the world and the Church must once more rebuild.

          • Paul

            Rehab? I asked about civil punishment.

            Catholic run govt…we had that for centuries in Europe and burning heretics at the stake was common. Why weren’t they rehabilitated?

          • I said criminal’s must be rehabilitated, which was the original goal of prisons before it turned into a multi-billion industry.

            you had that for millennia, and it created all you know and take for granted.

            It seems it would actually kill people like you to learn what the Church actually is. On another site I corrected someone’s slander of the Church and their reply before my being banned was “I hopes you would have learned about actual history the faults of the Church.” The irony being that I explained to them the actual history and why the Church is faultless, and got banned for it. you see, it isn’t “actual history” unless it confirms their ego.

            Apparently your kind holds onto your hatred of the Church even beyond your own sanity. Truly, I see what Mary spoke of at Akita and Fatima.

            Why did it have to be this way? God only makes evil men go insane immediately before He is to destroy them. Must our civilization collapse?

          • Paul

            “you had that for millennia, and it created all you know and take for granted.”

            What specifically is “that” you refer to here?

          • Christendom. The remnant of which is the only thing keeping your paganism from going the way of ancient rome and ancient greece.

            you forgot all of this from my message:

            I said criminal’s must be rehabilitated, which was the original goal of prisons before it turned into a multi-billion industry.

            you had that for millennia, and it created all you know and take for granted.

            It seems it would actually kill people like you to learn what the Church actually is. On another site I corrected someone’s slander of the Church and their reply before my being banned was “I hopes you would have learned about actual history the faults of the Church.” The irony being that I explained to them the actual history and why the Church is faultless, and got banned for it. you see, it isn’t “actual history” unless it confirms their ego.

            Apparently your kind holds onto your hatred of the Church even beyond your own sanity. Truly, I see what Mary spoke of at Akita and Fatima.

            Why did it have to be this way? God only makes evil men go insane immediately before He is to destroy them. Must our civilization collapse?

          • Paul

            I didn’t forget anything, I was seeking clarification.

            Much of what you wrote there is so out of context I have no idea what you’re saying.

            But regarding the original goal of prisons, how far back are you going? And who set these goals? And how is that working out?

          • If you don’t know the context of what I am saying, just read the whole thing instead of looking for blurbs to take out of context.

            The system you have created that serves as little more than political facilities and places to put the people cops use as stepping stones for promotions is not working at all,

          • Paul

            What system is it you believe I have created?

          • The mess of a “prison”/justice system in the us. “you” referring to america at large.

          • CarbonConJob

            It’s called a penal system as in punishment, not rehabilitation. God instructed Noah after the flood on how certain crimes are to be treated.

            Genesis 9:6.
            Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

          • And you wonder why crime is so bad in the us.

            All you care about is making money (especially making money from the “justice system”) and killing.

            Amusing how indistinguishable you have become from the very last days of both ancient rome and ancient greece. They fell about 1000 years apart from eachother and yet in the exact same way with the exact same steps.

          • CarbonConJob

            I dont know how you leaped to “making money from the justice system”. But you got one element right about what I’m concerned about, and that is Justice! Justice for the victim, the families and the penalty for the perpetrator. That’s why it is called a PENAL system. Please spare me the Marxist trope of everything is connected to “evil” money, profit and capitalism! Especially, from an ideology focused on theft of personal productivity, property and subjugation to the “will” of the ‘Mob’!

          • Justice is to give the innocent what they deserve, and it is meaningless without Mercy which is giving the guilty what they don’t deserve. Just like Mercy needs Justice.

  • Paul

    “The Anti-Semitic Massacre in Pittsburgh is a Unique American Tragedy”

    I’m confused as to what is uniquely American about this tragedy? What am I missing here?

    “As a Jew who attends synagogue every Shabbat, and as an advocate for the carrying of concealed weapons, I fervently pray we will not need armed guards at American synagogues. America’s uniqueness has been exemplified by the fact that Jews do not need armed guards in their synagogues.

    May it always be so.”

    There are eleven dead in Pittsburgh and one dead in an Alabama McDonalds that demonstrates the need for a change of mindset regarding security. Armed guards are not the only option, why are congregants not taking their own security and forceful defense more seriously? I’m fairly confident Bowers didn’t expect any resistance until the arrival of police, that reality needs to change. Why are people so interested in being helpless sitting ducks?

    • don smith

      You are not missing a thing the author is not being truthful

      • Paul

        Now the title has changed to “If You Love America, Then Fight Anti-Semitism”.

    • Andrew Mason

      I think the point is that Jews haven’t been killed like this before. Pogroms in Europe were common historically and anti-Semitism is a major problem, but America has, ’til now, been thankfully free of that.

      • Paul

        Yes, I understand the history, just not understanding the title. Sometimes in the pursuit of brief headlines the meaning can be confusing, perhaps that is the case for me here.

    • Bryan

      Unique meaning unusual, not a specially American tragedy. As Andrew said below “America has, ’til now, been thankfully free of that”.

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