Scene of hostage taking in Texas
Scene of hostage taking in Texas REUTERS/Shelby Tauber

Thank G-d the terror attack on the Reform temple in Colleyville, just out of Fort Worth, Texas ended last night with the four hostages safe.

The terrorist who walked into the Reform house of worship on Shabbos afternoon at 1:20pm was shot dead after a ten hour standoff with hostage negotiators. Hopefully this will deter other similar type ideas.

But now that it is over it is imperative that to the best of our ability will place these events in some logical context. In the aftermath of this near tragedy someone in the FBI or elsewhere in Washington DC hatched the talking about repeated all night saying that this was not, “singularly focused on one issue and it was not related to the Jewish community.”

According to unconfirmed news reports the attacker was seeking the release of a woman from prison known as “Lady Al Qaeda” who was sentenced to 86 years in federal prison to attempting to kill US troops in Afghanistan. The man claimed to be her brother but that has not yet been substantiated.

The talking point about this event not being “related to the Jewish community,” is absurd from the start. Not related to Jews? The man invaded a Reform temple with a gun, held Jews hostage and that is not related to the Jewish community?

Who came up with this idea and what is it supposed to mean?

Of course we all feared a replay of the Tree of Life synagogue attack that killed eleven Jews in Pittsburgh just three years ago. Fortunately this episode had a good and successful ending.

But are we supposed to actually believe that this was not focused on or related to Jews? Why didn’t the terrorist barge into a 711 or CVS store instead of a synagogue?

With all that is going wrong with the Biden administration, clearly they could not afford an assault by a Moslem (who may have been here in the US illegally) on Jews.

President Biden spent the weekend at his home in Delaware and through the evening yesterday Press Secretary Jen Psaki was issuing statements highlighting that the president was being briefed on what was taking place in Texas. I thought at the time there could not be any news less comforting than that fact.

I was sent a copy of a text this morning from a former congregant of the Beth Israel temple in Colleyville saying that he quit the congregation because the Rabbi frequently railed against Israel referring to it as an apartheid state and didn’t allowed licensed gun owners (not uncommon in Texas) to be armed in synagogue.

Thankfully tragedy was averted. This may not have been focused on Israel but do you think the terrorist at least understood that there might be Jews in a synagogue on Shabbos? He was armed and his hostage’s lives were in danger. Jews were targeted but no, this was not related to the Jewish community.

Someone somewhere is dreaming.

Larry Gordon is editor in chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times.