The last post made to the social networking account believed to belong to Robert Bowers, the suspect in Saturday’s deadly shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, claimed that “HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” The post, made just a short time before the attack on the synagogue began, seemed to be an explanation or rationale for the attack.
An examination of what is believed to be Bowers’ account on Gab, a social networking site favored by white supremacists, reveals a deep-seated hatred of Jews. A month ago, the account referred to Jews as “all the vile degenerate oven dodgers,” saying it was time for them to “convert your stuff to shekels and flee. Time is critical.”
The account’s owner appears to have hated Jews for a variety of reasons, but one anti-Semitic trope in particular seems to have motivated him in the days prior to the shooting, and may have even played a role in his decision to unleash his hateful attack: the common white supremacist conspiracy theory that Jews are behind efforts to impose mass immigration on the United States, with the goal of harming or destroying the white race.
The account repeatedly shared others’ Gab posts and images amplifying the anti-Semitic theme of Jews driving immigration. One representative share was a post by user “Black Pilled” intimating that Jews are behind the controversial caravan of asylum seekers making its way from Central America to the United States. The post asks, “Why are Jewish groups using their trucks to transport invaders to our border?” Another comment, originally posted by Johnny Benitez, suggested the same thing and declared, “We are being destroyed, not by a superior army or an act of God, but by our fear of being called anti-[S]emites.”
Unfortunately, these opinions are very common among white supremacists. Modern white supremacy is centered on the notion that whites must fight against the imminent extinction of the white race at the hands of growing numbers of non-whites, who are in turn controlled and manipulated by the Jews. Part of this anti-Semitic conspiracy alleges that Jews are orchestrating the mass immigration of non-whites into North America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.
Below are two of the alleged shooter's apparent Gab posts that include references to ADL and a belief that the organization is one of the Jewish institutions promoting mass immigration.
American anti-Semites believe that Jews were responsible for post-World War II immigration reforms that opened up immigration to the United States for non-Europeans. A 2017 essay posted on an anti-Semitic website by “Quintus Sertorious” titled “The Jews and Weaponized Immigration,” claimed that one of the worst defeats whites had suffered “in the war to prevent White genocide” was the “expurgation of all sanity from our immigration policies.” Today, the author alleged, Jews were focused on “important the most disparate, incompatible, and mutually hostile identity groups from around the globe.” The United States was being “cowed into miscegenated Talmudic submission.”
Such opinions are common on white supremacist websites such as Stormfront. Jews, one Stormfront poster wrote in 2011, were largely responsible for bringing third-world immigrants to white countries, where they “eagerly mix with the White inhabitants to produce mud-colored offspring to be raised as the next generation of racially inferior serfs whose lives and labor will be owned by the Jewish aristocracy of their Zionist New World Order.” European Stormfronters believe the same thing; as one member put it in 2015, “We know that the Jew is behind the promotion of mass immigration of just about anyone into Europe as part of their plan to dilute the white race.”
Andrew Anglin, who runs The Daily Stormer, one of the most popular white supremacist websites, has spread recordings on Jews and immigration by noted far right figures such as anti-Semitic propagandist Kevin MacDonald and deceased neo-Nazi leader William Pierce. The white supremacist Creativity Alliance claims that Jews have “allowed illegal dark race aliens to invade our White borders by the millions” to act as “shock troops” for the Jewish plan to “mongrelize the superior White Race, and exterminate those that will not mongrelize.”
Such sentiments are so common that they have even made their way into the entry on “Immigration” on Rightpedia, the far-right version of Wikipedia. “Most people do not realize,” states the site, “that Jews are the driving force behind mass immigration and demographic genocide.”
In 2018, anti-Semitic candidates such as Patrick Little and John Fitzgerald have promoted similar ideas about immigration. Fitzgerald even published an essay on his campaign website titled “Why Are Powerful Jews Pushing Mass-Immigration And Forced-Multiculturalism Throughout The U.S. And Europe?” The answer, according to the essay? Because of a premeditated agenda “to eventually destroy all ethnic groups with the exception of the most powerful and wealthy of Jews.”
With such vehemently anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant opinions routinely promoted by white supremacists, coupled with demagogic anti-immigrant rhetoric from many ostensibly mainstream media sources and public figures, it is not hard to imagine that such hateful rhetoric may have played a role in tipping Bowers, who appears to be an angry anti-Semite and white supremacist, into allegedly committing a violent and hateful act.