The following is from a statement released by Dennis Richter, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Los Angeles City Council District 12, at an April 29 vigil in Poway, California, where thousands gathered to respond to the deadly attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue there.
The Socialist Workers Party condemns the anti-Semitic assault that resulted in the killing of Lori Kaye and wounding of three others at the Chabad of Poway synagogue April 27. Working people and the entire labor movement should speak out against this attack, and offer solidarity with the Jewish community there.
John Earnest, who was arrested for the attack, reportedly wrote an anti-Semitic manifesto. In it he stated that Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler, as well as the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue and Christchurch New Zealand mosque shooters were his role models. He claimed he was also the attacker who attempted to burn down the mosque in nearby Escondido last month.
There is no broad expansion of rightist or fascist currents in the United States today. There is less racism, less anti-immigrant sentiment among working people today than at any time in U.S. history.
But this kind of Jew-hatred, and its murderous consequences, rise to the surface in times of crisis under capitalism, as class tensions sharpen. The scapegoating of Jews for economic and social problems is a deadly threat to the working class. It is used to turn working people away from challenging the roots of the carnage we face — the dog-eat-dog private-profit system that Democrats and Republicans work to uphold.
The owners of industry and finance don’t feel the need to turn to the goons and thugs of fascist gangs to preserve their class rule today. They continue to rely on their Democratic and Republican parties, and the two-party shell game, to keep workers and others picking between “lesser evils.” Much of today’s anti-Semitism comes from the middle-class left, forces whose opposition to Israel carries over into broader Jew-hatred.
History has shown capitalists will use Jew-hatred and fascist thuggery in increasingly organized and deadly ways as the decay and crisis of their system deepens. Attacks against Jews by isolated rightist outfits and individuals, like Earnest, will grow if not countered by the working class and its organizations.
Socialist Workers Party candidates campaign across the country, uniting in struggle with anyone being scapegoated and victimized — Jews, Muslims and immigrants. We oppose any attempts to use the killing in Poway to promote the death penalty. Our candidates advance a course to unify the working class and our allies in action, on the road to taking political power into our own hands and begin organizing society in the interests of the vast majority.
Along those lines we urge working people to join in fighting Jew-hatred and anti-Semitic attacks wherever and whenever they occur.