Bigotry has no rationality … it is diffused sometimes by speech and others by violence. Whenever the language of abhorrence is tolerated by a society without any reaction, then the path to violent action is short.
Pittsburgh’s murderer did not reveal his hate against Jews on the very day he started slaughtering in the Synagogue, during the prayers of Shabbat. Nobody reacted to the cry “Jews, you will die”; the threat was underestimated or was considered as one “peculiarity” more, though this attack was the most sanguinary in the history of American Jews. The ones who believed that what occurred in Argentina, some years ago, in Paris, in Brussels and recently in Copenhagen could also happen in the American province of Pennsylvania, were few.
Bigotry has no geographical limits. Many consider that theories blaming Jews, the adoption of conspiracy stereotypes and the demonization of the State of Israel can be formulated just as “simple painless and harmless definitions”. Nevertheless, these simple and harmless definitions arm the hands not only of an Anti-Semite ideologist, but also those of any paranoiac who believes that by killing some Jews he relieves mankind from any carcinoma, sanctifies himself and goes straight to paradise.
The conviction of the crime is an expression of emotional sympathy to the relatives of the victims and a political disapproval of the incentives, though it is not efficient at all for the dissuasion of the next crime. Enforcing measures to protect Synagogues and Jewish institutions is not enough. It is imperative to configure the legal framework, as well, in order to deter these crimes. Anti-Semitic advocacy cannot remain unpunished any more, especially when it causes directly or indirectly violence against Jews. Let me be precise: the repeated blame that “Jews have conceived Holocaust and are responsible for the financial crisis in Greece” consists an indirect provocation to actions of violence against Jews from the side of all those who were affected by the crisis and are convinced that such blame was true and valid. Thus, the slogan “Jews must die” is liable to punishment and so are all Anti-Semitic stereotypes which develop, consciously or unconsciously, “Judeophobia”, fear for the Jews.
Whenever front page headlines appear on newspapers displayed at kiosks, whenever some Metropolitans during their Sunday sermons and whenever some statesmen, for reasons of political convenience, “blaze” against the Rothschilds and Soros, they simultaneously spotlight against the Jews either by naming them or by insinuating conspiracies. They do so on purpose and in order to provoke the feelings of anger of their readers. A feeling of anger that can easily go along into violence causing bloodshed.
The crime at the “Tree οf Life” Synagogue of Pittsburgh causes sorrow and indignation. It must cause, though, vigilance. Vigilance by everybody, by both Authorities and citizens, in order not to mourn more Jews or non-Jews, victims of bigotry.