Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Follows Nationwide Spike In Anti-Semitism

30 October, 2018, 07:13 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • The mass shooting raised immediate alarm in Jewish communities around the country. Authorities in New York City Chicago and elsewhere increased security at Jewish centers

The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, reportedly yelled "All Jews must die" as he sprayed bullets into the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services on Saturday before exchanging fire with police, in an attack that also wounded six people.

Year after year, decade after decade, anti-Semitism proves to be among the most entrenched and pervasive forms of hatred and bigotry in the United States.

Researchers found almost 30 percent of the accounts, which appeared to be automated bots, repeatedly tweeted derogatory words about Jews.

Leaders from a Houston Jewish organization says the rise of anti-Semitism is caused by the current political climate.

Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said he was encouraged by Trump's words after Pittsburgh but also sounded a note of caution. "So they do not lock the door, and anybody can just walk in", said Marilyn Honigsberg, administrative assistant for New Light. "It's the filthy evil jews [sic] Bringing the Filthy evil Muslims into the Country!"

Anti-Semitic incidents surged 57 percent in 2017 from a year earlier to nearly 2000 across the USA, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The shooting comes only days after a bomb was found by the US Postal Service addressed to George Soros, a Jewish billionaire businessman, investor and philanthropist who lives in NY. Jewish journalists have reported facing relentless attacks on social media. He is due to appear in court on Monday to face 29 charges - including 11 of counts of murder, which police are treating as a hate crime.

The nightmare so many Jews live with when we attend synagogue - will they come for us? - came horrifyingly true this weekend in Pittsburgh.


The toll also included professors, dentists and physicians.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said, "He had sought out this one synagogue because of activities they had done working with refugees and immigrants".

People listen to interfaith speakers at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall during a service to honor and mourn the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 28, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The victims had gathered together 1,000 miles away in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning to pray and worship. Curiously, Bowers's insect metaphor echoed Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's recent comment that he is not in fact an anti-Semite, but an "anti-termite". Similarly in France, where anti-Semitic violence increased by 25% a year ago, police and military patrols are deployed to help protect synagogues. HIAS had recently hosted a "refugee shabbat" event at synagogues across the United States to mark the work of supporting refugees.

"By and large, we want to be an open and engaging community", he said.

"We feel this community needs healing and this was the first step toward that goal".

A swastika painted on a school locker used to merit a report to Seattle's Holocaust Center for Humanity. "Thirty percent of the Twitter feed, according to a recent study between August and September was outright anti-Semitic", Rabbi Koren said. "We condemn this hateful act of violence on a sacred place of worship of the Jewish faith and vow as Christians to oppose and defeat anti-Semitism in all its ugly forms".

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