Two home-grown terrorists created scenes of murder and mayhem in two U.S. cities this past weekend. First, Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, drove from that city outside of Dallas to El Paso, where he murdered 22 people and wounded scores of others. Less than 24 hours later, and while the country still reeled from the horror of the El Paso massacre, Connor Betts opened fire near a crowded bar in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people were killed, including Betts' sister, and 27 were wounded.
In March 2018, I was in the United Arab Emirates meeting with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan when the news arrived that a white supremacist had targeted several black families in Austin, Texas. Stephen House and Draylen Mason were killed. Esperanza Herrera was wounded after having received a package bomb apparently meant for another black individual.
In October of last year, his country's national anthem played as an Israeli judo champion was crowned the winner of a tournament in the UAE. It was the first time that an Israeli delegation was allowed to participate under its own national flag. It was also the first time an Israeli culture and sport minister attended an event in the Gulf. Miri Regev said, "It is a dream come true. For two years we had talks in order to reach this moment. I want to thank the authorities in Abu Dhabi and our hosts here, who received us in an exemplary manner." She could not stop the tears, and could not have been happier.
In October 2018, on a Shabbat morning, Jewish people in a quiet neighborhood in Pittsburgh mourned yet another massive assault by an anti-Semite. The perpetrator this time was allegedly Robert Bowers, a loner with few friends. According to police reports, Bowers armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns, walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire on the unsuspecting congregants. Included among the 11 dead were a 97-year old woman, a husband and wife, and two brothers. Among the wounded were four police officers who had responded to the call of "shots fired" in the neighborhood that housed the synagogue. Bowers had apparently told police interviewers that he just wanted "to kill Jews."
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Poway, California, communicated to me that the synagogue there needed 24-hour security. I raised funds to assist with that, but the truth is these evil-doers need to be profiled and stopped.
The sad and inexplicable truth is: Anti-Semitism is alive and well on planet Earth. Nothing has assuaged that which erupted the moment God declared His covenant with Abraham and his offspring. As a Jewish man, I am no stranger to anti-Semitism. My mother, as a Jewish woman in our Massachusetts neighborhood, was often targeted with slurs, eggs and tomatoes. Anti-Semitic insults such as "Jew witch" were painted on our home.
But perhaps my most terrifying experience came when as an adult living near Dallas, I received a call from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms telling me that a white supremacist was allegedly headed to my home to kill me. His name was Richard Wayne Snell. By the time I heard of his intentions, he had murdered at least two individuals. On Nov. 3, 1983, Snell gunned down William Stumpp, the owner of a small pawn shop in Texarkana, Arkansas. Snell apparently thought his victim was a Jew. He wasn't, but that didn't negate the blatant anti-Semitism that compelled the murderer to act.
The case confounded the authorities for over eight months, until Snell's rage drove his downfall. On June 30, 1984, Snell was stopped on a lonely western Arkansas highway by State Trooper Louis Bryant. As Bryant approached the vehicle, Snell opened fire and fatally wounded the trooper.
A truck driver who saw the shooting followed Snell across the Oklahoma border and contacted the Broken Bow police. Snell ran headlong into a roadblock set up by the authorities. He was captured in the ensuing gun battle, but not before being wounded by the officers.
When the ATF agents searched Snell's vehicle, they found a single piece of paper on the front seat. Written on the paper were my name, address and unlisted telephone number. I had just written a book titled Israeli America's Key to Survival and had produced a major television special by the same name. At that time, I was also working closely with Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Snell hated Jews and must have decided to deliver a birthday gift just for me.
Snell was known to be a disciple of the white supremacist group The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord (better known as the CSA.) The CSA was not simply one of the more quirky religious cults; its stated purpose was to start a war that would ultimately lead to the Second Coming of Christ. The members of the group believed they were literally God's chosen people, and as such could dominate all others.
As the founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, I receive thousands of anti-Semitic posts weekly through our 62-million strong social media presence on Facebook. Our technicians are working now to create an algorithm that will spot terrorists so authorities can be notified quickly.
Whatever you wish to call it—bigotry, anti-Semitism, Jew hatred—it is vile. It fueled and fed the pogroms in Russia, the Holocaust in Europe and currently al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and anti-Jewish movements in Iran, among other Arab states. Make no mistake; racism must be taken seriously.
The Holocaust did not begin in the concentration camps; it began in the churches.
Mike Evans is a No. 1 New York Times' bestselling author with 95 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem—of which the late president Shimon Peres was chair. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative and has 62 million Facebook followers.
This article originally appeared on The Jerusalem Post. Used with author's permission.
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