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April 7, 2015 115

Right-wing Terror Attacks in U.S. Approach 1990s Levels

Recent ter­ror­ist attacks, plots and con­spir­a­cies by right-wing extrem­ists in the United States are approach­ing the level of attacks in the mid-1990s when the Okla­homa City bomb­ing occurred, based on a chronol­ogy of such attacks com­piled by the Anti-Defamation League.  The chronol­ogy was released as part of ADL’s com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 20th anniver­sary of the April 19, 1995 Okla­homa City bombing.right-wing_plots_attacks_1995-2014

The list of right-wing attacks and attempted attacks chron­i­cles 120 dif­fer­ent inci­dents between Jan­u­ary 1995 and Decem­ber 2014, illus­trat­ing a steady stream of domes­tic ter­ror inci­dents in the United States stem­ming from extreme-right move­ments over the past two decades.  Tar­gets included eth­nic and reli­gious minori­ties, gov­ern­ment offi­cials and build­ings, law enforce­ment offi­cers, abor­tion clin­ics and their staff, and others.

Exam­ined over time, the attacks illus­trate the two major surges of right-wing extrem­ism that the United States has expe­ri­enced in the past 20 years.  The first began in the mid-1990s and lasted until the end of the decade.  The sec­ond surge began in the late 2000s and has not yet died down.

Dur­ing both surges, the num­ber of right-wing ter­ror attacks and con­spir­a­cies out­num­bered those in the inter­ven­ing period.  From 1995 through 2000, 47 inci­dents occurred, while from 2009 through 2014, 42 inci­dents took place.  The eight-year inter­ven­ing period of 2001-08 pro­duced 31 attacks.  The surge of recent years has not pro­duced a two-year period with as many inci­dents as the years 1995–1996, which had a high of 18 attacks, but it has come close, with 16 attacks for the years 2011-12.

When ana­lyzed on the basis of per­pe­tra­tor ide­ol­ogy, the list shows that the var­i­ous white suprema­cist and anti-government extrem­ist move­ments have pro­duced the vast major­ity of the right-wing ter­ror­ist inci­dents over the past 20 years, with 50 each.  Anti-abortion extrem­ists come in third place with 13 incidents.right-wing_terrorism_by_movement_1995-2014

Inci­dents on the list include ter­ror­ist acts and plots by white suprema­cists, anti-government extrem­ists, anti-abortion extrem­ists, anti-immigration extrem­ists, anti-Muslim extrem­ists, and oth­ers.  The list does not include spon­ta­neous acts of vio­lence by right-wing extrem­ists, such as killings com­mit­ted dur­ing traf­fic stops, nor does it include lesser inci­dents of extrem­ist vio­lence or non-ideological vio­lence com­mit­ted by extremists.

Some inci­dents had per­pe­tra­tors who adhered to more than one ide­o­log­i­cal move­ment; in such cases, the move­ment that seemed most impor­tant to the per­pe­tra­tor was used for cat­e­go­riza­tion.  Cat­e­go­riza­tion was by per­pe­tra­tor ide­ol­ogy rather than type of tar­get, a fact impor­tant to note, as dif­fer­ent move­ments some­times chose the same type of tar­get (white suprema­cists and anti-abortion extrem­ists both tar­geted abor­tion clin­ics, for exam­ple), while some per­pe­tra­tors chose tar­gets that did not closely tie in with their main ide­ol­ogy (such as anti-abortion extrem­ist Eric Rudolph tar­get­ing the 1996 Atlanta Olympics).  The 2001 plot by the Jew­ish Defense League to attack Muslim-related tar­gets in Cal­i­for­nia is not listed, as ADL includes such inci­dents under Jew­ish nation­al­ist extrem­ism rather than right-wing extremism.

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December 31, 2013 3

International New York Times Op-Ed Blames Israel and International Community for “Coming Intifada”

On Decem­ber 25, 2013, the Inter­na­tional New York Times ran an op-ed by Ali Jar­bawi, a for­mer Pales­tin­ian Author­ity gov­ern­ment min­is­ter and cur­rent con­tribut­ing opin­ion writer for the Times, titled “The Com­ing Intifada.” As evi­denced by its title, the premise of Mr. Jarbawi’s piece is that a vio­lent Pales­tin­ian intifada (Ara­bic for “upris­ing”) is loom­ing beneath the sur­face and could explode some­time in the near future. Most telling in Mr. Jarbawi’s piece is the absence of any sup­port or even men­tion of mov­ing for­ward with negotiations.

Sbarro Jerusalem Bombing

Mr. Jar­bawi writes that despite the appear­ance of nor­mal­ity for West Bank and Gaza Pales­tini­ans, “no one should be sur­prised if a new intifada erupts in the next few months.” He claims there are four fac­tors con­tribut­ing to this: an unful­filled hope for a Pales­tin­ian state, Israeli “vio­la­tions” against Pales­tini­ans (of which he includes the scur­rilous charge of “Judaiz­ing Jerusalem”), finan­cial chal­lenges fac­ing the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and the events of the Arab Spring.

While Mr. Jar­bawi goes to great lengths to blame many non-Palestinians – with a heavy focus being Israel — for what he warns is the com­ing intifada, he assigns no respon­si­bil­ity for the chal­lenges fac­ing Pales­tini­ans to the Pales­tini­ans them­selves. Attack­ing Israel for the fail­ures of the 20-plus years of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, he makes no men­tion of the numer­ous Israeli offers – includ­ing from Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000 and from Ehud Olmert to Mah­moud Abbas in 2008 – rejected by the Pales­tini­ans. He also over­looks the repeated state­ments by Israeli lead­ers call­ing on their Pales­tin­ian coun­ter­parts to return to the nego­ti­at­ing table, which went unheeded until Sec­re­tary Kerry’s ini­tia­tives this past summer.

He fur­ther absolves the Pales­tini­ans of any respon­si­bil­ity for their finan­cial predica­ment by fail­ing to men­tion reports of ram­pant cor­rup­tion within the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and instead attacks Arab, Euro­pean and other inter­na­tional donors for not offer­ing suf­fi­cient aid.

Per­haps most dis­turbingly, how­ever, is Mr. Jarbawi’s claim that Israel is “Judaiz­ing Jerusalem.” The term “Judai­sa­tion” is fre­quently used by those who dis­miss the 4,000 year-old Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the land of Israel, and implies that Jews have no his­tor­i­cal right to a pres­ence in modern-day Israel. Stat­ing, as Mr. Jar­bawi does, that Israel is attempt­ing to “impose its pres­ence in the Al Aqsa mosque” fur­ther ignores the millennia-old reli­gious con­nec­tion to Judaism’s holi­est site, which shares this tiny piece of real estate, the Tem­ple Mount.

All this speaks to an ele­ment of self-deception on the part of the Pales­tini­ans at best, and, at worst, lays a foun­da­tion to jus­tify Pales­tin­ian vio­lence. By refus­ing to acknowl­edge com­plic­ity in the polit­i­cal and finan­cial predica­ment they find them­selves in, Mr. Jar­bawi and his Pales­tin­ian col­leagues delude them­selves into believ­ing that vio­lence is a jus­ti­fi­able reac­tion to their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. They seek to con­vince oth­ers that their cur­rent approach towards Israel, includ­ing threats of vio­lence, are accept­able, and it is incum­bent entirely upon Israel and the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity to change their posi­tions towards the Pales­tini­ans in order to resolve the conflict.

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December 18, 2012 2

Christian Conservatives Blame Elementary School Massacre On Lack Of Religion In Schools

In the wake of the shoot­ing of 20 young chil­dren and six adults at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Con­necti­cut, peo­ple are search­ing for answers about how and why this tragedy hap­pened. Some promi­nent Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tives are blam­ing the mas­sacre on the lack of reli­gion in schools and the sec­u­lar­iza­tion of Amer­ica more generally.

In an appear­ance on Fox News for­mer Arkansas Gov­er­nor Mike Huck­abee said, “We ask why there’s vio­lence in our schools, but we have sys­tem­at­i­cally removed God from our schools. Should we be so sur­prised that schools would become a place of car­nage?”  He later clar­i­fied that he did not think that prayer in school could have directly pre­vented the shooting.

Bryan Fis­cher, a spokesper­son for the Amer­i­can Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion, a non-profit that pro­motes con­ser­v­a­tive fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian val­ues, echoed Gov­er­nor Huckabee’s sen­ti­ments.  He said, “Here’s the bot­tom line: God is not gonna go where he’s not wanted…We have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God, we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you before foot­ball games, we don’t want to pray to you at grad­u­a­tion, we don’t want any­one talk­ing about you in a grad­u­a­tion speech. We’ve kicked God out of our pub­lic school sys­tem. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey I’ll be glad to pro­tect your chil­dren, but you’ve gotta invite me back into your world first. I’m not gonna go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman.’” 

David Brody of the Chris­t­ian Broad­cast­ing Net­work (CBN) wrote an online col­umn defend­ing Huck­abee and Fis­cher. Brody asserted, “Guess what folks? Huck­abee and Fis­cher are not alone. There are mil­lions of evan­gel­i­cals who believe the same thing. This is not heart­less. It’s based on the bib­li­cal prin­ci­ple of reap­ing and sow­ing. Not that these lit­tle chil­dren sowed any­thing but are our schools left unpro­tected because of the past actions of our nation when it comes to remov­ing God from our pub­lic schools? The con­ver­sa­tion is now all about ban­ning guns but should the con­ver­sa­tion really be about allow­ing God back into pub­lic schools?”  Joseph Far­rah, the edi­tor of World Net Daily, and William J. Mur­ray, the Head of the Reli­gious Free­dom Net­work, made sim­i­lar state­ments blam­ing the shoot­ings on the lack of reli­gion in schools.

For­mer head of Focus on the Fam­ily James Dob­son, cit­ing sta­tis­tics on the num­ber of abor­tions in Amer­ica and the accep­tance of same sex mar­riage, said on his radio show, “Some­body is going to get mad at me for say­ing what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my hon­est opin­ion: I think we have turned our back on the Scrip­ture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judg­ment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.”  Oper­a­tion Save Amer­ica, an anti-abortion group that also opposes homo­sex­u­al­ity, sim­i­larly claimed that “we are los­ing our kids because we are ignor­ing God’s Law.”

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