Yesterday, June 16, 2023, a federal jury officially convicted Robert Bowers, the White supremacist whose 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was the deadliest antisemitic incident in American history.
Also yesterday, a man in Michigan was arrested on charges he plotted to conduct his own mass shooting at a synagogue in East Lansing. Like Bowers, Seann Patrick Pietila was also a far-right White supremacist, though it appears his immediate inspiration was the Christchurch Mosque massacre, on whose 5th anniversary he planned to launch his own killing spree.
There is a line one increasingly hears in conservative Jewish circles that insists that Jewish fears over right-wing antisemitism are naught but a ginned up panic. Just a few weeks ago, Jonathan Tobin had the gall to claim that "It isn’t going too far to assert that Soros is endangering far more American and Jewish lives than stray marginal extreme right-wingers." To say that at a moment when the Tree of Life survivors are forced to relive a massacre perpetrated by one of those "stray marginal extremists", one whose violent hate was inextricably bound up in the fever swamp of antisemitic conspiracies for whom George Soros is a central figure and which the likes of Tobin are now trying to render Kosher, is sickening.
The most dangerous threat to American Jews is not liberal Jews supporting policies supported by most other American Jews. The most dangerous threat to American Jews is, and continues to be, the people trying to murder Jews, right alongside the people ginning up, spreading, apologizing for, or horrifyingly endorsing the conspiracies that justify those murders. It's not that complicated. But apparently it still needs to be said.
June 16, 2023, in some ways represents the ongoing circle of antisemitic death, closed in on itself. One antisemitic mass murder reached "closure" (if such a thing is possible). Another was thankfully averted, due to the vigilance of law enforcement who fortunately did not take Tobin's unsolicited, misguided, politically opportunistic, and downright dangerous "advice" that right-wing antisemitism is non-threat.
They know it. We know it. The Tobins of the world, trying to deny it, are absolutely and utterly beneath contempt.