Two major developments in U.S.-related terror cases passed largely under the radar in recent days. Both involved elements of anti-Semitism. Coincidentally, neither has been fully addressed by that arbiter of anti-Semitism, the ADL. The reason may be that its “experts” were burned by a white supremacist hoax which claimed Cruz had been an official member of such a group. However, this new evidence is solidly reported and verified by CNN (see below).
As I’ve mentioned here, the ADL has a history of excusing or just plain missing anti-Semitic violence that doesn’t fit its skewed perspective. For example, the white supremacist murder of gay Jewish teenager, Blaze Bernstein, wasn’t even mentioned on their website. Yet the ADL obsesses about whether Barack Obama was pictured at a luncheon 13 years ago with Louis Farrakhan.
Earlier this month, CNN discovered that Nikolas Cruz had been an active participant in a private Instagram white supremacist chat group. In fact, he named the group, “Murica great.”
He and other members espoused typical white supremacist slogans that ranged the gamut from gay slurs to anti-Semitism to hatred of Blacks:
In one part of the group chat, Cruz wrote that he hated, “jews, ni**ers, immigrants.”
He talked about killing Mexicans, keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks.
There are hundreds of racist messages, racist memes and racist Instagram videos posted in the group.
One member even joked about Cruz’s particular venomousness, saying that although he hated black people, too, he didn’t “to a point I wanna kill the (sic) like nick.”
Cruz said he hated black people simply because they were black; Cruz hated Jews because he believed they wanted to destroy the world.
After one member expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz agreed, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.”
White women drew Cruz’s hatred as well, specifically those in interracial relationships, whom he referred to repeatedly as traitors.
…At one point in the chat, he wrote, “I think I am going to kill people.” After a member told him not to say things like that, he said he was just playing.
During one of the anti-Semitic rants in the chat, Cruz spoke of his birth mother, saying, “My real mom was a Jew. I am glad I never met her.”
The barrel of his AR-15 automatic weapon had swastikas carved into it. In his rants, he explicitly told his peers he wanted to attack a school. The six group members never reported his intentions to anyone outside the group, let alone authorities.
Earlier on this saga, media reports circulated that Cruz’s rage stemmed from an unhappy split with an ex-girlfriend. But this new evidence points much more strongly to a white supremacist motive for the massacre. That, in turn, makes this a terror attack. Yet another in a long line of such attacks, which seem to have been amplified by the Trump ascendancy.
I have read almost nothing in the media calling the Parkland tragedy a white nationalist terror attack. That is inexcusable. The FBI should be investigating this as such. Cruz should be prosecuted on federal hate crime charges.
The NRA, Trump and the GOP have zeroed in on mental health as the reason for Cruz’ rampage. That absolves them and the pro-gun community of any responsibility for the assault (in their eyes). There is no doubt Cruz was a desperately troubled youth whose aberrant behavior should’ve been addressed through intensive mental health treatment (once he left Stoneman High School, he dropped out of any such support system).
But such troubles cannot excuse his actions. If he is deemed mentally fit to stand trial, then he should be judged as any other hate crime suspect would be judged. However, there is an ingrained prejudice against certain types of terrorists and in favor of others. White terrorists are often not even acknowledged as such, while Islamists are blamed before all the facts are even in to make such an assessment.
Given the furor around the assault rifle issue, politicians and guns rights advocates will be even more loath than normal to call this white terror. But it is.
The Israeli Anti-Semite
Last year, an Israeli teenager was exposed as the author of a series of anti-Semitic threats targeting Jewish institutions including schools, community centers, synagogues and cemeteries. Michael Kadar was a troubled youth whose parents were American, but who was born and raised in Israel. He got involved in the dark web including services which offered customers hacks and other fraudulent acts for a fee. Kadar advertised his ability to wreak havoc via telephone threats to victims his customers chose to target. It’s unclear whether anti-Semites were his customers or whether he engaged in these activities for personal motives.
He was arrested by Israeli police, who have so far done very little regarding his case. American authorities are very much interested in bringing him to justice here. The problem is that there is no extradition treaty between Israel and the U.S. This has proven convenient for Orthodox rabbis charged with child or sexual abuse who are able to flee to Israel and escape justice; because Israel will generally not prosecute anyone for a crime committed outside Israel.
This week, the Justice Department filed new hate crimes charges against Kadar. The new indictment offers new information about targets of his anti-Semitic campaign. He called the ADL office in Washington DC and threatened to explode pipe bombs at the Israeli embassy in DC.
The hate crime charge an important development for a number of reasons. First, it shows the Justice Department continues to focus resources on the case and wants to bring the suspect to justice here. Second, this is probably the first time that an Israeli Jew has ever been charged with an anti-Semitic crime. We’re really in new territory here.
Though in one sense such a phenomenon will bewilder many Jews who find it strange that a Jew could be accused of anti-Semitic acts against another Jew. On the other hand, prosecutors are viewing the impact of Kadar’s actions, devoid of the usual trimmings associated with the definition of anti-Semitism as acts of non-Jews who hate Jews. We are entering a “brave new world” here. One in which Jews either hate Jews, or are willing to exploit the notion of Jew hatred to advance their particular personal or political grudges. In strictly legal terms, Kadar’s Jewishness is almost beside the point. He either truly hated the Jewish institutions he targeted or else he took advantage of such hatreds to earn a buck from it. Either way, the feds are saying it was an anti-Semitic hate crime.
This should scandalize Israelis, who see their nation as a haven for Diaspora Jews, rather than a source of hate towards them. But when you examine Zionist history, such hatred and cynicism is quite evident, going all the way back to the beginning and Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl. I’m not claiming that Kadar was motivated by the same ideas. But he grew up in a society which expresses strong antagonism against the Jewish Diaspora. His own prime minister shows disdain to American Jews. So it would be no surprise that he might be more than happy to adapt such ideas for financial gain.
Though Jonathan Greenblatt did release a statement acknowledging that Kadar’s threats constituted anti-Semitism, he did not call for his extradition to the U.S. My suspicion is that he may never be. Israel protects its own, even if they’re criminals. David Ben Gurion coined the famous saying: “When Israel has prostitutes and thieves, we’ll be a state just like any other.” Now his vision has been realized and Israel protects its own–even its high-tech anti-Semitic international scammers.
Thank you, good point about white nationalist terrorism. The media should awaken to labeling it what it is and not be lead by our compromised leaders’ terms and agendas and what they feed to us.
Cruz mother a Jew?
Regarding the Israeli Jew hater, a true “self-hating Jew” sounds like, but the term has been so corrupted, used as pejorative by Jewish right wingers that can/could not tolerate liberal or other views. Since I have long since left those boards where people argue uselessly and endlessly over points, I wonder if this term is still being used (or mis-used) ad hominem.
Sounds like both anti-Semites are self-haters (as well as plain haters).
So many walk around with distorted minds, who seem to go unnoticed, so it seems, some while proclaiming loudly how “off” they are, and possibly dangerous, who are not deemed mentally ill, it will never be possible to control gun violence by identifying the mentally ill.
Bring this forever war on terrorism home and call a spade a spade.
Ariel Koren says
I wonder why of all the Jews who found heaven in Israel from international justice you chose to focus on Orthodox rabbis. There are 100s of other examples you could give.
Richard Silverstein says
@ ariel Koren: Because the Orthodox are the only movement that has an Underground Sex Abuser Railroad to spirit its dregs out of their home countries and to Israel, where they can continue their abuse and live freely and with impunity.
Ariel Koren says
You take actions of some criminal and tag it on a whole community.
When people do it to Muslims you call them islamophobs. What does that make you?
(Not trying to get banned but I don’t see any nicer way to write it).
Well Ariel aren’t “you Israelis” blaming constantly whole nations and even those who were not even born when bad things were done by a tiny minority. For example blaiming all people in Germany, Poland, Ukraine etc. Nazis who participated in the monstrous things were a tiny minority. So are members of the Israeli Border Police, IDF’s active assassination teams, pedophiles etc of the “homeland’s” population.
This collective blaming by “Israelis” is always justified with the notion, that people in Germany etc had to know what was done and they all have the eternal responsibility to admit it. Only a complete idiot can claim that what is done (frequent assassinations and public killings, killing and torturing children, organ “lending”, keeping wounded bleeding to death etc) in West Bank and Gaza is not know by all Israelis (in Israel and outside Israel). Surely some “Israelis” can say that they do not like what happens and is done in their name, BUT THEY ALLOW IT BE DONE. Just like Germans and Poles did over 60 years ago.
Ariel Koren says
Your argument fails before it even starts – there are a few dozens of these orthodox people Silverstein is referring to but there were 100s of thousands of Germans, Pols and Ukrainians who participated in killing Jews.
And it was systematic. There was no way around admitting they were killing people for the sake of killing them.
Since you had to drag the Palestinians into this, comparing Gaza to the holocaust is nonsense. No need to explain why.
And most of Israeli society believe (and for a good reason) it is either us or them. It’s funny some people believe Palestinians under Hamas government will create prosperous democracy. Just hilarious 🙂
Doctor John says
Israel has no qualms about cooperating with international law enforcement and extraditing Israeli nationals for prosecution.
Colin Wright says
‘Israel has no qualms about cooperating with international law enforcement and extraditing Israeli nationals for prosecution.’
Lol. You’re quite the humorist. I can just see you delivering that line with this deadpan expression. Priceless.
Richard Silverstein says
@Dr John: More garbage hasbara. I specifically said that Israel would not hold Orthodox Jewish sex abusers accountable. Nor will it extradite right wing criminals guilty of political crimes.It will sometimes conventional criminals accountableif they are suspected of financial crimes.
But regardless, for every extradited criminal I can show you 10 who aren’t extradited.
Doctor John says
The wheels of justice grind slowly, but grind fine.
I predict that she will be extradited very shortly.
Richard Silverstein says
@Dr John: I doubt it. But if it does happen it will only be because she posted a video of herself being interviewed and having a grand old time. If she’d kept under the radar Israel would’ve done nothing.
Joel Karim says
This post is bias. Michael Kadar has sever autism condition that affect his ability to understand what the emotions of others. His psychologist says he cannot understand good and wrong. There is no hate here, he called every individual human “jewish” because of his autism disorder. There is no hatred here at all!
Richard Silverstein says
@ Joel Karim: You don’t know anything about autism and I do. Nor do I trust a defense lawyer who can literally say whatever he wants to elicit sympathy for his client. Austistic individuals are not fools. They can tell right from wrong, especially if they’re smart enough to concoct plots as complex and damaging as the ones he allegedly did.
You’re literally an idiot. He threatened the lives of scores if not hundreds of Jewish institutions. Bomb threats meant that the lives of thousands of people were disrupted, not to mention the terror which victims suffered. And you try to defend this?
Get out of this thread. If you have the chutzpah to return I’ll ban your ass.