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“Stop Making This About You,” Media Says to Jews After Attack On Jews

It takes a special kind of assurance to announce that attacking Jews because they are Jews, inside of their Jewish sanctuary, along with their chief Jewish official, is actually “not related” to the Jewish community.
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January 19, 2022
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On Saturday, an armed radical Islamic terrorist, or what most publications are harshly referring to as a “British man,” took a group of four congregants, including the rabbi, hostage at Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Upon hearing the news, the same thought crossed my mind that crossed FBI agent Matt Desarno’s, which was, “What the hell does that have to do with Jews?”

According to the FBI’s statement, the studly hostage was “singularly focused on one issue,” and it wasn’t the Jews. It takes a special kind of assurance to announce that attacking Jews because they are Jews, inside of their Jewish sanctuary, along with their chief Jewish official, is actually “not related” to the Jewish community. I’m glad Agent Desarno was up to the task. I can just see him and his team working hard to connect the dots, putting two and two together to make fifteen.

The BBC and Associated Press couldn’t wait to quote DeSarno, reporting “not related to the Jewish community” as the headline of the story, just in case someone might notice any semblance of  a “pattern,” or “connection,” or “mild association” with synagogues or Jews. The New York Times prefaced their article with, “The suspect is dead, officials said, and his motives are still under investigation.” Motive? There couldn’t be. If only documentary teams didn’t take so much time and money, maybe we could get to the bottom of this New York Times crossword puzzle. But mysteries are really hard to solve.

The issue was so confounding that not even the President of the United States could make sense of it. While declaring twice that the event was certainly a terror attack, Biden still wasn’t confident regarding who exactly was the target of this terror. “I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue … why he was using antisemitic and anti-Israeli comments. I … we just don’t have enough facts,” Biden said while high on shrooms, where not only colors but motives can alter in appearance. The White House then offered some clarity, revealing that “enough facts” is the equivalent of no less than 10 trillion “Heil Hitlers.”

The rumor going around that this was an antisemitic crime is highly improbable. This terrorist probably didn’t realize he was even in a synagogue. It’s Texas, after all, where temples are on every block and super easy to find. Synagogues are like the Starbucks of the deep South. There’s no official quote, but I’m sure this guy said “oopsie” as he walked into Saturday morning services, baffled upon arriving in a building with a huge Jewish star and the word “Israel” on the front of it, thinking it was nothing more than a sweet ice-cream shop. Unfortunately for him, Beth Israel doesn’t sell any ice-cream, not even the dirty kosher kind.

Even when an armed man attacks Jews, even when a terrorist explains himself using antisemitism, even when a fanatic calls our full names and social security numbers, looks us directly in the eye and points, we will assume nothing. It’s not them, but we the Jews, who should stop making it about us.

The armed terrorist, Malik Faisal Akram, demanded the release of his (possibly figurative) sister, Aafia Siddiqui, better known as “Lady Al-Qaeda.” Siddiqui has unequivocally no connection with Jews other than when she happened to mention that the case brought against her for trying to kill American soldiers was a Jewish conspiracy, dismissing her lawyers based on their Jewish identity, and then requesting that Jews be excluded from her jury and get DNA tests to ensure they did not have a Zionist or Israeli background. Seems like a reasonable and impersonal list to me. Sure, she did also write a warning letter to former President Obama that said, “Study the history of the Jews. They have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter … This is why ‘holocausts’ keep happening to them repeatedly!” But are we so blind that we can’t understand that this was only one letter, to one president? It seems quite far-fetched to say that these terrorists are even thinking about Jews at all. “They totally got over them last summer and they are thinking about a million other things these days. Um, hello, there’s a pandemic and it’s football season,” said one witness.

During the eleven-hour ordeal, Akram forced the Colleyville Beth Israel rabbi to call another rabbi in New York, which makes sense because everybody knows that all rabbis are best friends, if not related. He also assumed this “New York gefilte fish,” as he liked to call the rabbi, had the authority to release a convicted terrorist. This is clear confirmation that all Jews have the power to do anything they want, whenever they want. If you need more evidence, just ask the rabbi who was being held hostage, in fear for his life.

The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, CAIR, recently supported one of their executive directors, Zahra Billoo, who said, “Zionist synagogues are your enemy.” CAIR also created a campaign hosted by Linda Sarsour to free the very same terrorist, Aafia Siddiqui, that Akram was screaming about in the synagogue. Regarding the recent misunderstanding in the Texas synagogue, a CAIR representative said: “We’ve totally condemned the attack so everything is okay now. After low key rolling our eyes, raising a middle finger, and urging allies to stand up and say, ‘stop making this about you’ to any Zionist who happens to be or not be Jewish, we feel like we are really making progress.”

It’s understandable. If you were a journalist, politician or public activist, would you really want to use inappropriate words like “antisemitism” or “Jew”? I mean, one is too long and the other is too short, gross and icky. So let’s take society’s advice. Even when an armed man attacks Jews, even when a terrorist explains himself using antisemitism, even when a fanatic calls our full names and social security numbers, looks us directly in the eye and points, we will assume nothing. It’s not them, but we the Jews, who should stop making it about us.


Alexandra Ozeri is a writer living in Los Angeles.

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