Family of girl hurt in US shooting had left Israel after rockets hit their home

‘It can happen anywhere,’ says father of 8-year-old Noya Dahan; her injured uncle says life in Sderot prepared him to respond to synagogue attack

By Michael Bachner, TOI

Noya Dahan, an Israeli girl injured in a shooting at a US Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, 2019. (Courtesy)

A relative of two Israelis who were injured in Saturday’s shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, said his family had moved to San Diego amid incessant rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, some of which had damaged their home, causing injuries — only to be targeted by anti-Semitism in the United States.

Local authorities say 19-year-old John Earnest opened fire with an assault rifle on worshipers during morning services on the last day of Passover, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounding the rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein; Israeli girl Noya Dahan, 8, who was hit by shrapnel in the face and leg; and her uncle Almog Peretz, 31, who was shot in the leg. All three are in stable condition.

“We came from fire to fire,” said Israel Dahan, Noya’s father, referring to the family’s move from the rocket-battered Gaza-border town of Sderot to California.

Dahan told Israel Radio that the family’s home in Sderot had been hit by rockets several times over the years, and that he was injured on one of those occasions.

After moving to the US several years ago, he said, the family’s new home was targeted — this time by anti-Semites, who spray-painted swastikas on the walls.

“It can happen anywhere. We are strong,” he said.

Almog Peretz, an Israeli man injured in a shooting at a US Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, 2019. (Screenshot: Channel 12)

Peretz said he was able to quickly protect children from harm during the attack due to instincts he honed over years rushing to shelters to hide from thousands of rockets fired by terror groups in the Gaza Strip over the last 15 years.

“This is sad, but I am originally from Sderot so we know a bit about running from the Kassam rockets,” he told Israel’s Channel 12 from his hospital bed.

“A person with a big rifle, like an M16, entered the synagogue and started shooting everywhere,” Peretz recalled. “At first we thought the ceiling had collapsed, but then I turned around and saw he was aiming his weapon at me.

“There were many small kids next to me,” he continued. “I took a little girl who was our neighbor and three nieces of mine and ran. I opened the back door and we ran with all the children to a building in the back. I hid them in that building.

“As I picked up the girl, the terrorist aimed his weapon at me. I was injured in the leg.”

Peretz said he then returned to the synagogue, fearing for another of his nieces.

“I came back because one of my nieces was stuck in the bathroom. I had to go back and bring her,” he said. “Fortunately she stayed there and the terrorist had already left.”

Another Israeli congregant, Shimon Abitbol, said he had taken one of his grandsons outside the synagogue hall during the service, and that he was returning when he heard the gunshots.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway, California. (Facebook)

“Without thinking twice I lay down on my grandson and protected him,” he said. “After I counted seven or eight gunshots and there was a lull — I assume the weapon jammed — I took the grandson and rushed outside through a side door; we gathered all the children there.”

Abitbol said he then returned to the prayer hall and saw that Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, “a truly amazing person, suffered bullets to his hands. He covered his wounds with a tallit [prayer shawl] — a very surrealistic sight.”

Abitbol, who is a paramedic with Magen David Adom, then attempted to treat Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed in the attack.

“I didn’t find a pulse,” he said. “Her husband who is a medical doctor came to me and said, ‘Listen, this is my wife.’ He then fainted. It was a very, very difficult moment.”

A young Israeli man, identified only by his first name, Gil, was quoted by Channel 12 as saying he saved himself by hiding from the gunman under a table.

“I saw the terrorist running fast toward the synagogue with a rifle,” he said. “I immediately began running toward an open room. The terrorist shot a woman sitting in the front in the stomach — that was the first gunshot. He shot her twice more and I heard her scream.

“Then he noticed me and started shouting at me: ‘You’d better run, son of a bitch.’ He started running toward me, I jumped into the room and hid under the table. He didn’t find me and ran in another direction.”

April 28, 2019 | 28 Comments »

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  1. @ Felix Quigley:Oh oh, Felix got mad his religion communism was pointed out for what it is a system which steals private property and redistributes income so he lashed out with name calling. Par for the course.

  2. Bear Klein and Laura

    What is the point? I am speaking to two complete ignoramuses who have not read one word of Capital! But have the arrogance to lie their stupid asses off! You should enter the Guinness World Record for how many lies to compress into a paragraph.

    If Marx was an antisemite why did he fight for political rights for Jews in Prussia? And as for Sanders being a Trotsky…is your head made of concrete?

    It is useless arguing. You cannot argue with ignorance. I will save my energy.

  3. @ Laura:
    You are so correct about communism. It is a system that takes the freedom of people. If you are not allowed to earn money and keep your money or property what freedom do you have.

    The Bernie Sanders of this world want to redistribute income and have the government decide everything for you. Bernie is sort of a modern day Trotsky born a Jew but who turned his back on his people for his new religion Socialism.

  4. @ Laura:
    You should read the article slower perhaps because it gets to the same conclusions you do that Trump is pro Israel and a friend. It just starts the opposite way. The last two paragraphs are the conclusion.

    “Rightist anti-Semites rightly see their anti-Semitic dreams buried by a president on which they had pinned high hopes due to his nationalist rhetoric. White supremacists, realizing how ill-founded their hopes were, vent their frustration and anger by attacking Jews.

    It is therefore time to realize that progressive politicians and the mainstream media paved the way for Pittsburgh and Poway rather than any word or deed of President Trump. If anything, these tragedies bear witness to President Trump’s enduring love and support for Israel and the Jewish people.”

  5. @ Felix Quigley:

    In my experience this very ideology, of communist hatred, is heavily invested in Jihadwatch, in Pamela Geller, In Brietbart, in Infowars and by President Trump.

    We should hate communism. It is a totalitarian ideology. And also these communist regimes are anti-Semitic.

  6. @ Bear Klein:
    Yes the crime rate is higher here overall, but I thought you were referring to anti-Semitic attacks making the US more dangerous for Jews than Israel.

  7. This is true even though the democrats and media falsely smear President Trump as a white nationalist. It’s bizarre that they can simultaneously call the president a nazi and a stooge for the Jews/Israel.

    @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    What is clear is that there is a link between antisemitism on the far-right and anti-Trump views,

  8. @ Bear Klein:
    That article is bullshit. Trump has been the most pro-Jewish, Pro-Israel president we’ve ever had. In fact those two shooters were anti-Trump precisely because the president is so pro-Israel/pro-Jewish. Read their own writings. I’m surprised this garbage was written up in the INN.

  9. @ Adam Dalgliesh:What I mean is what you called trashed talking and trying to shame people on what you believed they had an obligation to comment on.

    It was not because of you I believe comments were made. Certainly not by me. Feel free to address comments to me but kindly stop with the demand of obligatory commenting!


    Nor in Spain do the majority of people want to have a return to Francoist dictatorship which is the only explanation for the rejection of Vox, the party that stands in the footsteps of Franco.

    Who was Franco? He was a Fascist and supporter of Hitler who developed a n ideology based on fear and hatred of Masons, Jews and Communists.

    And this time anyway the great majority voted for the social democratic party of Sanchez because they definitely do not want to return to Francoism.

    The communist hatred part of Francoism was very pronounced in the 1920s and 30s and was promoted from the Vatican and the Catholic Church Hierarchy.

    In my experience this very ideology, of communist hatred, is heavily invested in Jihadwatch, in Pamela Geller, In Brietbart, in Infowars and by President Trump.

    In a class divided society this is one of the components of Fascism.

    The pride in your nation is valued. But this can be diverted into a Fascist ideology.

    Hitler, the supreme communist hater, turned to Islam. So did Franco.

    In America we are at a turning point once again. What happens if there is another crisis int he system as happened in 2008? Then the Make America Great meme can turn into mass unemployment.

    Where will these masses go then who in the past few years have supported Trump? My feeling is that they have been educated by you to murder communists and people of the “left”, closely followed as in Lithuania to murder Jews wholesale.

    In Lithuania in the 1930s leading into the early 1940s the murder of Jews wholesale was preceded by the massacre of young and old socialists. Such was the confusion implanted in the left by Stalinism it is hard to know what they understood about these issues.

    That could happen once more and shows that all of the expressed hatred of communism promoted by your sites and comments could lead to great dangers for the Jews once again. (Your great vocalist Adam Dalgliesh stated that Marxism was evil and when I challenged this he ran away. He is that kind of person.

    What after all was the great crime of Karl Marx in the minds of so many of these types of people, but nothing else than a great series of works studying the capitalist system as it was emerging historically in England just under two centuries ago.

    And if you fight that, or ignore that, or tell lies about that as Dalgliesh did, then YOU are the problem.

  11. @ Bear Klein: Dear Bear: I will certainly stop being provocative. I assume that is what you are referring to to. I will also not address any comments to you in the future, unless you say in advance you don’t mind.

    I don’t know what you mean by “Sorry it wasn’t you.” Please explain.

  12. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    Sorry it wasn’t you. People write or comment when they are so inclined. You did this once in the past and in my view to be extremely understated kindly stop it!

  13. @ Bear Klein: I feel great that my somewhat questionable trash-talk tactics have succeeded in provoking some interest in and response to our latest disaster Jewish disaster! I do apologize, however, for treating you all this way. But the ends justify the means (???)

    Yes, I agree that it is on the whole safer to live in Israel than in the United States, provided that you walk everywhere, or if you absolutely have to go some distance, you take a bus or a train rather than a car. Maybe even taking into account the Arab terrorism. But that is not my point. Antisemitic terrorism is directed not only at individuals who happen to be Jews, or randomly because they are riding in a motor vehicle and encounter an irresponsible or drunk driver. It is deliberately aimed at exterminating all of us, causing us to disappear as a people, and causing or religion and culture to disappear completely. The Holocaust proves this is not an empty threat. That is why we must fight back, as one united people every time one of these bastards attacks us.

  14. Trump, Pittsburgh and Poway

    Rightist and leftist antisemites are encouraged to come out of the woodwork by the normalization of antisemitism in the mainstream media and progressive politics.

    At first glance, the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh and the shooting at Poway cast a dark shadow on President Trump’s presidency. Just two years after his inauguration, Jewish faithful have been murdered twice in synagogues by white supremacists. Hate crimes in America have risen during the Trump administration: from 7,615 in 2016 to 8,828 in 2017. This is a rise of 17%. Most chilling is the 37% spike in attacks against Jews during this period.

    Mainstream journalists have rushed to issue a premature verdict on these crimes. Their verdict is that President Trump has emboldened white supremacists. As incriminating evidence, President Trump’s remarks on the Charlottesville protests almost two years ago are routinely bandied around.

    Remarkably, between 2016 and 2017, hate crimes reported to the FBI against Latinos remained steady at 10.9% of race-based hate crimes, rising by just 14%, while anti-Muslim hate crimes actually dipped by 16% during the same period.

    This breakdown shows that President Trump’s controversial statements against illegal immigrants and Islam have not emboldened attacks against Latinos and Muslims. On the contrary, FBI figures suggest that Muslims are more secure now in America than under Obama’s administration.

    The Trump administration appears to have a specifically Jewish problem. Since President Trump has not made any controversial statements about Jews or Israel during his administration, we should discount any anti-Jewish incitement originating from the White House.

    On the contrary, a powerful case can be made that the Trump Administration has been the most pro-Jewish administration in modern American history: President Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Golan Heights as Israeli and has stopped funding the terror-friendly Palestinian Authority. It is these accomplishments of the Trump Administration that shed light on the origins of anti-Jewish animus in contemporary America.

    For the far-right, Trump’s pro-Jewish positions are particularly galling. The fact that Trump eschews political correctness yet is surrounded by Jewish advisers and strongly supports Israel, adds insult to injury. Since Trump’s son-in-law and daughter are both observant Jews, neo-Nazi websites obsessively claim that Jews control the White House and America.

    To be fair to neo-Nazi websites, mainstream American media also indulge in Jew-bating. Just before the armed assault on the Poway synagogue, the international edition of the New York Times ran a cartoon depicting a blind Trump wearing a yarmulke being taken for a walk by a dog sporting a Star of David.

    This normalization of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in mainstream media is shocking and across the board. CNN, the Washington Post and Huffington Post also attack President Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner, the Trump administration’s fresh approach towards the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Israeli government viciously.

    Meanwhile, liberal pundits downplay the recurrent anti-Semitic innuendos spewed by Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Her remarks about the political influence and loyalties of Jewish Americans provide a respectable platform for anti-Jewish tropes previously confined to neo-Nazi and Islamic milieus.

    Democratic presidential heavyweights like Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have joined this chorus by expressing solidarity towards Mrs. Omar, labeling Israel’s government as “racist” and boycotting the AIPAC conference respectively.

    These dynamics help explain the surge of far-right attacks against Jews in America. Leftist anti-Semites are confident that time is on their side given that the Democratic Party is increasingly hostile towards Israel and American Jews. On the other hand, rightist anti-Semites are dismayed that antisemitism has been spurned by the most right-wing administration in living memory.

    Rightist anti-Semites rightly see their anti-Semitic dreams buried by a president on which they had pinned high hopes due to his nationalist rhetoric. White supremacists, realizing how ill-founded their hopes were, vent their frustration and anger by attacking Jews.

    It is therefore time to realize that progressive politicians and the mainstream media paved the way for Pittsburgh and Poway rather than any word or deed of President Trump. If anything, these tragedies bear witness to President Trump’s enduring love and support for Israel and the Jewish people.

  15. In Israel the homicide rate produced by criminal activities is relatively low: 2.4 killed per 100,000 inhabitants in a year (in Switzerland the number is 0.71, in Russia is 14.9, in South Africa is 34, in Venezuela is 49).
    In the USA the 2005 and 2012, the average homicide rate in the U.S. was 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants The Murder Rate in the USA is double what it is in Israel.

    In Israel the most dangerous thing is the lousy drivers. Even though satistically this is getting better.

  16. Seth Franzman has an excellent article in today’s Jerusalem Postabout how Satuurday’s synogogue massacre was alto part of a campaign by the neo-Nazi far right, and their fellings that Trump has “betrayed” them because of his closeness to Jared Kusher, Ivanka and other Jews, and because of his support for Israel.


    The Poway and Pittsburgh shootings are connected by hatred of Jews and hatred of Trump, who is accused of being a “Jew-lover” and hosting an administration “infested” by Jews

    BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN APRIL 28, 2019 16:24
    4 minute read.

    Anti-Trump antisemitism: The link between Pittsburgh and Poway
    A man wears a Trump yarmulke while waiting for U.S. President Donald Trump to address the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., April 6, 2019.. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

    The alleged manifesto of shooter behind the attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue includes condemnation of US President Donald Trump. The letter or manifesto was posted on 8chan. “That Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous [expletive],” John Earnest wrote in a version quoted online. Similarly, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers wrote on Gab that he opposed Trump who he claimed was surrounded by Jews. “Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist.” He claimed that Jews, who he used an expletive to describe, were an “infestation” in the White House.

    The antisemitic links between the two attacks are clear. Both expressed hatred of Jews who they accused of destroying or invading the United States. Bowers accused Jews and Jewish groups, such as HIAS, of being behind “migrant caravans” who he calls “invaders.” The Poway attacker wrote, “Is it worth it for me to live a comfortable life at the cost of international Jewry sealing the doom of my race.”

    Both men claimed to be Christians, but in their own narrow, racist, worldview to be a Christian was to be a white nationalist and that white people were the real “chosen” people, in the Pittsburgh shooter’s view. Similarly the California manifesto blames Jews for spreading pornography, for “their large role in every slave trade,” and for “promoting race mixing” and persecuting Christians. Bowers talked about “Jewish international oligarchy” while Earnest wrote about “international Jewry.”

    Behind their ideologies is a hatred of the Trump, who they both believed had become a “globalist.” It appears that in both cases they felt the need to point this out, as if they were impelled to differentiate themselves from Trump and to show that their version of racism distinguished itself from any association with Trump. This may be due to the fact that Trump was accused of fueling a rise in “white nationalism” when he ran for office and these extremists wanted to assert that they no longer connected to Trump. There was a rise of antisemitic attacks during the run-up to Trump’s election and after. However, there has been a shift in this extremist movement away from any support for Trump because they believe Trump is part of a “globalist” and pro-Israel or “Zionist” conspiracy. One perpetrator calls Trump “Jew-loving” and the other saw Jews as “infesting” the administration. This appears to be an attack on Trump’s support for Israel and his Jewish family members, particularly Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

    Besides the links between the two synagogue attacks, there is widespread hatred of Trump on the far right emerging due to belief that he has been “Kushnered” by, in the words of one social media account “subversive nation-plundering Jews.” Unsurprisingly, when we searched for other attacks on Kushner we found conspiracies about Kushner being tied to “globalist Jew George Soros.” One woman, responding to the recent New York Times cartoon antisemitism controversy wrote, “Trump is controlled by Israel and Jared Kushner, the Jews control the media.” Many attacks on Kushner over the years by what appear to be far-right social media accounts label him a “kike” and often say he should be removed from the White House. “Get this Kike out of Washington,” for instance, one user writes. Another claimed he is behind conspiracies to allow undocumented migrants to stay in the US. No doubt, social media groups like Twitter have removed much of the most offensive content. On a website named “infostormer”, we found a headline that notes, “Trump hails subversive Jew Jared Kushner.”

    Some of the anger over Trump’s “betrayal” of white nationalists and their assertion that now the administration is “infested” with Jews goes back to the period when Steve Bannon left the administration in August 2017. A headline in April 2017 notes that far-right protesters had already turned out to accuse the administration of betraying their cause. Anti-Israel and anti-Zionist views also are common in this far-right antisemitic circle, sometimes overlapping or dovetailing with far-left antisemitic views, which are difficult to distinguish. When Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one person responded asking if white nationalists and “Aryan Brotherhood” felt betrayed. Trump “proves” that his is a “Zionist Occupied Government [ZOG],” tweeted one man who had an “America First” button as a profile in mid-April. Trump is accused of being a “cuck for Israel” and a puppet of the “ZOG.” Trump is accused of being an “Israel first” president.

    The obsession with Trump’s Jewish family has led some on the far right to turn on Trump. Nevertheless, others are trying to continue to support him, despite feeling he has been “taken over.” One website argues that Trump is still fighting the “shadow government and International Banking Cartel” and that he “requires the support of patriots.”

    What is clear is that there is a link between antisemitism on the far-right and anti-Trump views, a link that is also clear on the far-left and which tends to unite around hatred not only of Jews, but also Israel and beliefs that the US is controlled by Jews who in turn are accused of controlling banks or the media. It shows how antisemitism, when it is a defining worldview and ethos, can easily turn anyone into an enemy once that person is linked to Jews or “globalism.”

  17. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    How do you know the perpetrators political beliefs? I have not seen anything published about him at this time so please share your sources.

    Hardcore antisemites are not really focused on left vs. right but will ally themselves with other antisemites irrespective of presumed ideologic labels. Islamists, by philosophy are hard right, despite the fact that the left likes to give them a pass. There can be few differences between the far right and far left at times. Stalin and Hitler started as allies. Hitler was allied with the Islamist Mufti in Jerusalem.

    Trump does not compete “for the support of young white men dissatisfied with the ‘system.'” Trump’s base is fairly broad across age groups.

  18. On a more serious note, read Raphael Castro’s explanation of why the neo-Nazi, “old -fashioned “racist-Aryanist extreme right has become more active in the last two years in the United States in Arutz Sheva:

    Trump, Pittsburgh and Poway
    Rightist and leftist antisemites are encouraged to come out of the woodwork by the normalization of antisemitism in the mainstream media and progressive politics.
    Rafael Castro, 28/04/19 07:23 | updated: 07:12

    Essentially his analysis boils down to the white-nationalist right a)competing with Trump for the support of young white men dissatisfied with the “system,” and b) competing with the “left” and the Islamist for recruits among the pool of Americans with antisemitic tendencies. Seems spot on the me.

  19. Or is it that this latest antisemitic atrocity comes from the “right,” and you guys are only concerned when it comes from the “left” or Muslims? Or do you you feel some sympathy for the guy, because he says he hates Muslims too, and also attacked a mosque (to his regret, he claims, that there were no casualties, only some property damage)? You might be interested to know that he also denounces Trump as a catspaw of the Jews, and “conservatives” as hapless wimps and cowards who are afraid to stand up to the Jews.

    I am being deliberately provocative just because I want to provoke some kind of response and ignite some interest in this ongoing “problem.”

    I have a friend who likes to tell a story about a Jew from the old days in Eastern Europe whose donkey has stopped in the middle of the road while he is taking his cart of produce to the market. He bashes the donkey on the head to get it moving. Another Jew who passes by criticizes him for being cruel to an animal (we have always been compassionate toward animals). The wagon driver explains that he isn’t being cruel to the donkey-he was only trying to get his attention.

  20. The US mainstream media, as well as US Jewish papers, are almost balanketed with detailed coverage of the California atrocity.

    Some U.S. web sites of varying political orientations have published the terrorists’ “manifesto,” or very extensive excerpt from it. There has been no attempt to ban it, as was done to the New Zealand mosque-murderers manifesto.

    The NYT visual atrocity has received a fair amount of attention, and indignation from the Jewish press in both the United States and Israel, although the USA MSM has not reported it. A few conservative U.S. sites have.

    But the Israpundit community seems bored, except for Ted’s republication of the excellent article about it in the Times of Israel. Go figure. Are you guys so used to this sort of thing that it has simply merged into the background, like traffic accidents, floods, dust storms, and all the other hazards and miseries of daily life in Israel? If so, I think its a mistake. Antisemitic violence anywhere threatens Jews everywhere. So does antisemitic propaganda in the world’s most influential newspaper.

  21. @ Buzz of the Orient:
    The more Jews that make aliyah the safer Jews are as a collective and individually. Israel actually is a very safe place.

    Clearly there are always antiSemite copycats. Now that there have been two recent shooting at synagogues in the USA sadly I believe there will be more.

  22. I am puzzled, and I must admit a bit offended, that Israpundit’s readers don’t seem interested in the latest synagogue massacre in the U.S. Also, why the overtly antisemitic cartoon in last Thursday’s NYT. The rest of the Jewish world seems very interested in and very angry about both antisemitic outrages. But not Israpundit readers. Can anyone explain this non-reaction to me.