FBI Was Right – but Also Wrong – in Saying Texas Synagogue Attack Wasn't Antisemitic

The Colleyville attack should serve as a reminder that size, location and religious persuasion really don’t matter. Any Jewish gathering point can be targeted

Anshel Pfeffer
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Anshel Pfeffer

The statement by FBI special agent Matthew DeSarno following this weekend’s hostage-taking situation in Texas that the incident “was not specifically related to the Jewish community” understandably incensed many.

But DeSarno, in his ignorant way, was highlighting an important characteristic of many attacks on Jewish communities in this day and age. They’re not old-school pogroms where the local villagers go on the rampage against their Jewish neighbors. Nowadays, more often than not, the attacks aren’t specifically related to the targeted Jewish community; they could have been against any one of thousands of Jewish communities. In the end, the Jewish community that is attacked is simply the most convenient one for the attacker. And sometimes, it may seem to an outsider like a less-than-obvious antisemitic attack.

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