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California Synagogue Shooting Leaves One Dead, Three Wounded; Suspect Apprehended

California Synagogue Shooting Leaves One Dead, Three Wounded; Suspect Apprehended

The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime

A shooting at the Chabad of Poway in California left one dead and three wounded Saturday.  The suspect, 19-year-old San Diego resident John Earnest, is in custody.  He is reported to have posted an anti-Semitic, anti-Trump manifesto online and is being investigated in connection to a Mosque arson, as well.

The shooter walked into the synagogue on Saturday morning at around 11 a.m. and began shooting.  The rabbi, himself shot in the hand, worked to calm his terrified congregants throughout the horrific onslaught.

Reuters reports:

A 19-year-old man who authorities said gave himself up to police shortly after carrying out a deadly shooting in a Southern California synagogue filled with Sabbath worshippers is also under investigation in connection with an unsolved mosque arson.

The gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing one woman inside and wounding three others, including the rabbi, authorities said.

He then sped away in a car, escaping an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot at the getaway vehicle but missed the suspect, but the suspect pulled over and surrendered to police officers a short time later.

. . . . San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials issued a statement saying the gunman in Saturday’s attack was believed to have acted alone and that there “are no known threats to religious gatherings.”

The LA Times has more:

The rabbi was celebrating the last day of Passover with his congregants at Chabad of Poway when a gunman in a green army-style vest, armed with a semiautomatic weapon, burst in and began shooting.

Voices screeched, “Hide yourself! Shooting! Shooting!” Congregants dropped to the floor. One man threw his body over his 2½-year-old grandson; another was wounded ushering children to safety.

A 60-year-old woman was killed when she jumped in front of the rabbi, whose hands were pierced by gunfire. An 8-year-old girl was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg.

The attack was described by some of the 100 worshipers who were inside the synagogue celebrating one of the most sacred holidays in Judaism. As police across the state boosted patrols around synagogues, the small city of Poway’s tightknit Jewish community was reeling.

The victims have been identified as follows via Fox News:

A Jewish leader has identified the victims of a shooting at a synagogue in a suburb of San Diego.

Rabbi Yonah Fradkin, executive director of Chabad of San Diego County, says in a statement that Lori Kaye, 60, of Poway was killed. He says those injured in the shooting Saturday were Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Noya Dahan, 8, Almog Peretz, 34.

“In the face of senseless hate we commit to live proudly as Jews in this glorious country,” Fradkin said. “We strongly believe that love is exponentially more powerful than hate. We are deeply shaken by the loss of a true woman of valor, Lori Kaye, who lost her life solely for living as a Jew.”

Audrey Jacobs has written a moving tribute to deceased victim Lori Kaye.

Today an anti-Semitic hate crime shot and killed my friend Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l while she was praying in synagogue. Lori you were a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. You were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and generously gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. Your final good deed was jumping in front of Rabbi Mendel Goldstein to take the bullet and save his life.

Your life was defined by your good deeds. Lori leaves behind a devastated husband and 22-year-old daughter. . . .

The shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sheriff Gore said the suspect had no prior arrests, but he is currently also being investigated in connection to a fire at a mosque in Escondido last month.

Sheriff Gore said officials are investigating a manifesto shared by Mr. Earnest on social media. The purported document, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, is filled with anti-Semitic sentiment and refers to numerous old tropes that have long fueled oppression of Jews. It also includes references to the shooter in the New Zealand mosque massacre last month as well as what Mr. Earnest claims is his own failed attempt to set the Escondido mosque on fire last month.

The alleged shooter’s manifesto reportedly reflects his disdain for President Trump, whom he does not support because Trump is, and has reaffirmed the United States’ position as, a staunch ally of Israel.

CBS News reports:

An anti-Semitic open letter posted under the name of a man suspected of opening fire at a synagogue near San Diego Saturday was left on a far-right message board hours before the attack.

. . . . A user identifying himself as John Earnest posted a white nationalist open letter to the far-right message board 8chan. He also used the username “JohnTEarnest” to post the letter on a document hosting site.

. . . .  The link to the anti-Semitic note was put online shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday and posted to 8chan, along with a link to a Facebook page and says “a livestream will begin shortly.”

There is no active link to a livestream on his Facebook page. The post also includes a link of songs the poster planned to play during the stream.

. . . .  The attached note is similar in both format and tone to the one written by Tarrant, who killed 50 people last month. Tarrant and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers are listed as a direct inspiration in the letter, which is riddled with almost exclusively anti-Semitic tropes and advocacy for white supremacy.

The letter claims the shooter began planning his attack shortly after Tarrant’s attack. Like Tarrant’s post, it follows a question-and-answer format.

The shooter claims in the Q-and-A section to eschew political ideology, saying he does not support Donald Trump because of his support for Israel. The writer also complains that conservatives aren’t violent enough in support of their politics.

Having just written about the New York Times’ horrific anti-Semitic cartoon on Saturday, it’s hard for me not to see how the left’s mainstreaming of virulent anti-Semitism feeds this type of evil.  I’m not alone.

Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the attack.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise and becoming mainstreamed in horrifying ways.  This cannot stand, and whether it takes place on the left or on the far right, we must call it what it is: evil.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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An anti-Trump manifesto? This will disappear down the news rabbit hole in days.

Dems are out in force mocking those sending “thoughts and prayers”. They’re right that thoughts and prayers are not enough, but they’re wrong in minimizing their importance. Chabad teaches that thoughts and speech are very important, and can achieve great things, but they must be coupled with action: not the sort of actions Dems are calling for, but acts of kindness. If you want to help the victims, think positive thoughts, pray, and do something good for someone in your area. Help someone, do them a favor, donate to some cause you think worthy, do something to make the world a slightly better place, and that will give your thoughts and prayers the fuel they need to achieve their purpose. I know Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, not very well but as casual acquaintances, but I know this is bound to be his response to those statements. Though he’d probably phrase it more politely.

Having just written about the New York Times’ horrific anti-Semitic cartoon on Saturday, it’s hard for me not to see how the left’s mainstreaming of virulent anti-Semitism feeds this type of evil.

This is the right way to frame it. The cartoon could not have caused or triggered the shooting, or influenced the shooter, because it only appeared in the international print edition of the NYT, which the shooter certainly did not read. But the cartoon and the shooting are both symptoms of the same disease, they both result from the same cause.

One ironic aspect of this story: The 8-year-old victim, Noya Dahan, came from Sderot, on the border of the Gaza Strip, that has been bombarded with rockets for the past few years. Her family moved to the USA to get away from the antisemitic violence and give their daughter a chance at a normal childhood. Another victim, Almog Peretz, is her uncle who came to visit them for Passover. So much for that.

DieJustAsHappy | April 28, 2019 at 11:54 am

A paraphrase of Who’ll Stop The Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival:

Long as I remember
So much pain has been ’round.
Clouds of myst’ry pourin’
Confusion on the ground.
Good people, though, through the ages,
Tried to find the answer;
And so we wonder, still we wonder,
Who’ll stop the pain.

I just heard a message from Rabbi Goldstein’s sister, giving more details of what happened: he had just come out of the restroom when he saw the shooter enter the building and shoot Ms Kaye in the foyer. He rushed the shooter and grabbed his gun, getting his hand shot in the process, and then the gun jammed, other people came rushing out from the sanctuary into the foyer, including an off-duty Border Patrol officer who’d come for Yizkor (a memorial service for deceased relatives), and the shooter fled.

    Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 29, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Well, despite coming directly from the rabbi’s sister, that turned out not to be true. In the confusion a lot of people made a lot of assumptions or heard garbled half-stories and filled them in. The rabbi himself has since publicly described what happened, from his perspective, and says he raised his hands to protect his face, and did not attempt to grab the gun.

Registered Democrat?

    Milhouse in reply to mailman. | April 28, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Probably not registered at all. He’s only 19, so could only have registered in the last year, by which time he probably already had his current opinions, which would lead him to despise almost all political parties equally.

    Besides, does CA even have party registration? I don’t think so.

What spooks me is that this guy was going to become a nurse. How many of us want to trust our lives to someone who may want to (and could very easily) kill us just because of their beliefs? Yes, he’s innocent until proven guilty. But if he is found guilty he needs to be put away for the rest of his life.

While this was extremely troubling, do not get tunnel vision over this incident. This is not just about Jews. This the result of an orchestrated program to destabilize Western Civilization.

Following 9/11/2001, sectarianism was largely eliminated. Even though the perpetrators of that attack upon the American Homeland were all Muslim, stated that they were carrying out the attacks in the name of their religion, and had the public support of radical international Muslim organization and leaders, The West bent over backwards to not to place blame upon Muslims, other than those actually responsible. Great lengths were gone to to make sure that Muslims, not involved in the attacks were not harmed or placed at risk. All this, even though there was very anemic condemnation of the actions of the attackers by the American and Western Muslim leadership. Minority activism almost disappeared in America, during this time. The only thing which did not abate, as much, was the institutional attack upon Christianity.

Then we experience the “Hope and Change” of the Obama Administrations. We saw a continual upsurge in institutional attacks upon Christians, Non-Hispanic Caucasian, men and law and order while the institutional support for radical minority groups, including separatist Black and Hispanic movements, increased. We saw people, holding rather benign long standing traditional positions, attacked in favor of what have long been considered perversion. We witnessed the near total Balkinization of America and the West, in favor of minorities. This became even worse, after the election of DJT. The liberal power structure doubled down on the attacks against the majority and traditional institutions in the US. We saw anarchist organizations allowed to disrupt society. A radical, man-hating movement, #METoo, was not only allowed to flourish, but supported. Its targets, largely Caucasian males. Black Lives Matter, still exists. Socialism is being promoted across the country. Liberal enclaves are enacting more and stronger totalitarian measures, against their citizens. Homelessness is being encouraged, in these same locales. Who feels threatened the most? White, Non-Hispanic Christians. Now, throw in the fact that, with the rise of the internet and social media, we are breeding a culture which lives for notoriety and public attention. And not just in the USA, either.

So, a person, who is none too stable to begin with, is feeling oppressed, threatened and marginalized to the point of invisibility he, or she, is going to do something to change that. And, a small percentage of those people are going to harm others. The truly dangerous thing, about the current situation, is that the group which is feeling oppressed, threatened and marginalized to the point of invisibility, is also the majority in this country. It is astounding that people have failed understand this after we heard it for decades as the reason social unrest by minorities. These attacks are a wake-up call.

Jews run the risk of being targeted, simply because they were targeted by the Christian Church, for centuries. So, there is an irrational reservoir of resentment and hate directed toward them. Muslims have become targets, in the West, because of the general attack upon Western Civilization by that religions. Unassimilated Hispanics become potential targets because of the perception that this group is invading the US and changing its society. The LGBT community becomes a target because of excessive efforts to force the rest of society to accept a lifestyle, publicly, which is at odds with the traditional values of that society.

As long as the attempts at Balkinization continue, these types of incidents will occur. There are always crazy people out there. Some more so than others. Marginalize them. Place them in fear, rational or not. Give them a platform to allow them to be seen by the rest of society. And, some of those people are going to do very bad things to gain attention.

    Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | April 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Edit: “Following 9/11/2001, sectarianism was largely eliminated.” should read, “Following 9/11/2001, sectionalism was largely eliminated.”.

    “Jews run the risk of being targeted, simply because they were targeted by the Christian Church, for centuries….”

    Throughout history, everybody has been targeting everybody.

    Pograms and genoice of Jews are a Russian/Eastern European/Nazi invention.

      That’s just not true. Christians were massacring Jews for fun and profit long before Russia even existed. And Moslems did the same as soon as they came into being. Historically there hasn’t been much to pick and choose between them.

SpaceInvader | April 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm

It’s Omar’s fault.