Islam, Leftism and the Riverdale Terror Plot

The Synagogue targeted by the four terrorists in NY was less than a 20-minute walk from my old home in the Bronx. The section of the Bronx I lived in is known as Riverdale. It is home to the well to do as well as the working class, and it is home to a thriving Jewish community. Largely secular and reform Jews, who looked down on the Hasidic and Sephardic Jews who make their home in Brooklyn, Riverdale’s Jews were no doubt surprised to find themselves the target of Jihadist aggression. Solidly liberal, Riverdale went to Obama in the last election somewhere around 72% and the area is hardly a place where Zionism is openly expressed, or even welcome.

The last year I lived there the Ethical Culture Society, where many Jews in the area send their children after they’ve had their Bar Mitzvahs, held a free Palestine lecture. The next day they were shocked to find anti-Semitic White nationalist material floating around. I tell this story because it illustrates the naive worldview that many of Riverdale’s Jews, and most New Yorkers for that matter, wallow in. We are at war, and while it is important to point out that not all, perhaps most, Muslims are our enemies it is foolish to pretend this war isn’t between Islam and the West. It is foolish to think that American Jews are safe from attacks by jihadists no matter how liberal they are, no matter how much they claim to want peace.

One of the plotters, supposedly the leader, was the son of an Afghan immigrant who was angry at the military actions in that country. At least three of the plotters were ex-cons who converted to radical Islam on our dime. But to suggest that Islam was the primary motivator for the attack is to absolve the “anti-Zionist” left of their share of the responsibility for the targeting of Jews:

The group’s alleged ringleader, James Cromitie, according to the complaint, discussed targets with an undercover agent. “The best target [the World Trade Center] was hit already,” he allegedly told the agent. Later, he rejoiced in a terrorist attack on a synagogue.

“I hate those motherf—–s, those f—ing Jewish bastards. . . . I would like to get [destroy] a synagogue.”

It should be noted that it was a Muslim connected to their mosque that informed on them. Meanwhile Cromite’s tirade sounds suspiciously similar to what many leftist groups have been claiming about Jews in the past several years. How is his anti-Semitism different from the PETA chapter in New york that sent threatening emails to Rabbi Shea Hecht on Yom Kippur?

How is Cromite’s hatred of Jews different than the bigotry of U.K. diplomat Rowan Laxton who screamed anti-Semitic slurs in a busy English gym?  Or the tiresome anti-Semitism of Andrew Sullivan? Or the rank hatred that led to the closure of the forums?

It isn’t, and I would put forward that leftist anti-Semitism is much more influential in attacks on Jews than the animosity for Jews found in Islam. Blending Marxist class warfare rhetoric with anti-religious bigotry the left has indoctrinated many young people into accepting views concerning Jews (and especially the Jewish state) that would be more at home at a Klan meeting than among civilized people. Cinnamon Stillwell wrote an essay about this phenomenon on campus almost two years ago. Orson Scott Card took on leftist anti-Semitism in a book review. Stanford University aired a film for its students that included Blood libel.

These sorts of efforts have paid off for the left, allowing them to build a coalition that shares the central goal of “freeing Palestine” and mitigating the influence of the so-called “Jewish lobby” in America. That the rhetoric would encourage violence against Jews is not a concern of the left, who see Israel and Jewish support for that state as the last gasp of colonialism.

In this environment why wouldn’t Jihadists think the Jews of Riverdale, secular and sympathetic to their cause, were legitimate targets that no one would defend? If even the “enlightened” left is openly hostile to Jews, so much so that Jewish leftists have had no choice but to confront their fellow travelers,  why won’t people like Cromite feel encouraged to attack them?

One thought on “Islam, Leftism and the Riverdale Terror Plot

  1. I should also mention on my WordPress blog, Alex Jones and those at are promoting this as an “inside job”. Even when it was obviously not.

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