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Bitter fruit of a poisonous tree

The Chicago neighbors of six-year-old, American-born Wadea Al-Fayoume, who loved soccer and basketball, called him “an All-American boy.” Wadea’s landlord, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, was like a grandfather to him, building Wadea a tree house and a makeshift pool; bringing him toys. That’s why, when Wadea saw Joseph on Oct.14, he ran to him expecting a hug. Instead, Czuba stabbed Wadea 26 times, butchering him with the serrated blade of a military-style knife.

When Czuba entered the apartment Wadea shared with his mother, Hanaan, he screamed, "You Palestinians don’t deserve to live!" Czuba was enraged over Hamas’ horrific attacks against Israel, 6,200 miles away. Hanaan replied, “let’s pray for peace.” Instead, Czuba stabbed her a dozen times. She survived. Wadea did not.

Czuba is an honorably discharged U.S. Air Force veteran and longtime member of his local Catholic Church. Czuba’s wife told police “He listened to conservative talk radio on a regular basis," becoming obsessed and fearful that Hanaan would “call over her Palestinian friends or family to harm them.” Marinating in right-wing hate radio, Wadea’s generous ‘grandfather’ morphed into a mindless murderer.

Right-wing media spreads the antisemitic “Great Replacement Theory,” promoted by neo-Nazis chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” After Trump’s election, antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes grew 86% and 91%. Counties with Trump rallies spawned a 226% increase in hate crimes compared to counties without Trump rallies. Trump accuses immigrants of “poisoning the blood of our country,” echoing Hitler’s antisemitic manifesto, “Mein Kampf.” Antisemitic incidents in America have increased 388% since the Hamas attack.

The FBI identifies white-supremacist violence as America’s greatest domestic threat. You can defeat it. Don’t marinate in hate media. Heed the Sermon on the Mount: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree good fruit. Cut down the tree that does not bear good fruit. Throw it into the fire. By their fruits you will know them.”

Vince Amoroso

Sunset Beach


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