Another Perspective

Why Are Terrorist Threats Against Synagogues Being Downplayed?

Follow the address on the label of the packages from Yemen.

By 11.3.10

Send to Kindle

I would like to hear a more thorough explanation as to why American and British authorities now believe that the bombs contained in the packages sent from Yemen were intended to be detonated aboard the UPS and FedEx cargo planes carrying them rather than inside the two Chicago synagogues to which they were addressed.

While I do not discount the possibility that cargo planes were the targets of this attack, absent more specific information I am not prepared to dismiss the possibility the packages were intended to land safely on U.S. soil and be deployed once inside the synagogues. Suppose for a moment that the packages had not been intercepted. Given that the packages were discovered on Friday morning in London and in Dubai is it unreasonable to conclude they would have arrived in Chicago in plenty of time for Friday night Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) services?

It is also worth remembering that the explosives were to be detonated remotely by text message or by phoning the SIM card. As President Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan noted, "They were able to be detonated at a time of the terrorists' choosing." So why wouldn't Muslim terrorists choose to bomb two synagogues in Chicago?  If Muslim terrorists want to target synagogues and are seeking to maximize casualties the most logical time to do so, outside of a major Jewish holiday, would be during Shabbat on Friday evening or Saturday morning. So what makes the Obama Administration (and for that matter the Cameron/Clegg coalition in Britain) think the terrorists weren't targeting the synagogues?  If they weren't being targeted, then why was the Emanuel Congregation getting so much web traffic from Egypt? Somehow I don't think those Egyptian web browsers were looking to download Torah and Haftarah portions onto their MP3 players.

It isn't as if Muslim terrorists haven't set their sights on synagogues before. It was scarcely two weeks ago that four men residing in Newburgh, New York, were convicted of planning to bomb two synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Three of the four men involved were born in the United States while all four men are Muslim converts. Plot ringleader James Cromitie was recorded on FBI surveillance stating he had "no hesitation" in killing ten Jews. Fortunately, Cromitie and his accomplices were not successful in carrying out their plans.

The same cannot be said of what happened during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in November 2008. While a majority of the casualties occurred in the Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Trident Hotel, Muslim terrorists reserved their most vicious savagery for those inside the Chabad House whom they tied up and tortured. Their heinous acts of barbarism resulted in the deaths of six Jews including Rabbi Gavriel Berkowitz and his wife Rivka, who was five months pregnant. According to Indian intelligence, the terrorists were instructed by their masters in Pakistan that taking the lives of Jews was worth 50 times that of non-Jews.

Given what happened in Mumbai and what could have happened in Riverdale, it is troubling that American and British authorities and for that matter the media are downplaying the intent to attack the Chicago synagogues. Much of the attention the synagogues have received is that one of the congregations is predominantly LGBT congregation. One must wonder if Congregation Or Chadash would have received even less media attention if it wasn't predominantly LGBT?

Now it is certainly possible that American and British authorities as well as the media are downplaying the threat to the synagogues in Chicago because they do not want to create a panic among the Jewish communities and the general public at large in their respective countries. But if the lives of Jews are worth fifty times more for Muslim terrorists than the lives of non-Jews regardless if they are from Pakistan, Yemen, or within the United States, then there must remain a suspicion the packages were intended to be detonated at the two synagogues in Chicago.  And I will not believe otherwise until President Obama can thoroughly explain why two synagogues in his own backyard weren't the target of a Muslim terrorist plot.

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article
About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.