Etz Chayim synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, this past Shabbat, October 27, was the scene of a slaughter, displaying pure evil and baseless hatred. While a bris, celebrating new life and joy was scheduled to be held, a heinous and vile attack was committed against innocent Jewish lives while they prayed. There has never been such an attack against the Jewish community in America with eleven lives lost and a number wounded – some very seriously. We pray it may never happen again.
Israeli emergency response group ZAKA’s international unit is waiting at the scene of the Pittsburgh attack for permission to enter and treat the bodies of the murdered, which are still at the scene.
Here is a summary of what leaders around the world are saying:
“…We just don’t seem to learn from the past. There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice,” stated President Trump. The President is planning to visit Pittsburgh to pay his personal condolences to the bereaved families.
“The shooting in Pittsburgh is a painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism. Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. Though AFSI appreciates Guterres’ truthful statement, we’d like to see his words turn into action at the agency he heads. With all the anti-Jewish-anti-Israel-anti-Semitic actions and hypocrisy at the UN, his words have no meaning unless the UN reverses course NOW!!
“To all the anti-Semites out there on Twitter: Am Yisrael Chai!,” tweeted Ambassador Ron Dermer.
“When Jews are murdered in Pittsburgh, the people of Israel feel pain. All Israel are responsible for one another,” said Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who visited and met with the community in Pittsburgh and participated in the funerals of those killed in the attack.
Horrible memories of the Fogel family attack in Itamar surfaced for Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan, who is also in Pittsburgh now.
An excellent editorial in The New York Sun, “The Tree of Life Massacre,” for further reading is HERE.