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.