On the morning of Saturday, October 27, 2018, Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, United States, and shouted: “All Jews must die.” He then opened fire on those present. He had an assault rifle and several revolvers, killed 11 of the assembled and wounded six others.
That attack was the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States.
The murderer had published several posts on a social network frequented by right-wing extremists, called Gab, in which he expressed both his anti-Semitism and his hatred of immigrants arriving in the US from Latin America.
It is important not to lose sight of the fact that this incident, which is now two years old, occurs in a context in which acts of anti-Semitism in the US have been on the rise.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors this parameter, indicated that 2019 had registered more anti-Semitic attacks than in all previous years, since the count began in 1979, with 2,100 violent acts, including assaults, vandalism and harassment. .
And the American Jewish community, meanwhile, has suffered the attack in Pittsburgh, but also in Poway, Jersey and Monsey, as well as several isolated assaults in Brooklyn.
Perverse ideologies that resurface delicate historical moments
In times of uncertainty such as the current ones, with a global pandemic and an electoral process in the US complicated and more contaminated than ever by the disinformation that greatly affects the Jews, extremisms, simplistic ideologies and conspiracy theories reappear . One of the ghosts that takes different forms, but does not leave the scene, is anti-Semitism.
It is symptomatic that the murderer of the Pittsburgh synagogue in his posts blamed Jews for helping immigrants from Latin American countries to enter the United States. It is not often the case that irrational hatred of an ethnic group, religion, sex or sexual tendency is exclusively focused on one of these goals, but rather they are permeable and interchangeable hatreds.
And when untrue information and conspiracy theories take place, myths and stereotypes are strengthened and that, history has shown us on multiple occasions, can be translated into acts such as that of the synagogue The Tree of Life .
As editorial writer Beri Wise says, “Anti-Semitism is an ever-changing conspiracy theory,” we cannot let our guard down.