Saturday, 29 Feb 2020 - 4 of Adar, 5780

Chabad-Lubavitch: ‘Anti-Jewish violence in the United States has now risen to a level that cannot be ignored or dismissed’

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“The alarm bells of recent events are ringing, and we call upon leaders from across all political divides to stop the dangerous, downward spiral of anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.


NEW YORK—‘’Anti-Jewish violence in the United States has now risen to a level that cannot be ignored or dismissed,’’ stated the Chabad-Lubavitch movement following the shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, where one person was killed and three others injured.

‘’We appeal to members of government on the local, state and federal level, media agencies, school teachers, college professors and university leaders to lead responsibly and take the initiative to uproot the destructive scourge that threatens the core values of this country,’’ the statement said.

It adds : ‘’Let us remember that while primitive hatred against Jews was allowed to fester in many other countries, ultimately to the detriment of all their citizens, America’s values of tolerance and lovingkindness, and its commitment to law and order have been its greatest assets.”

“The alarm bells of recent events are ringing, and we call upon leaders from across all political divides to stop the dangerous, downward spiral of anti-Semitism,” said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

There are some 207 Chabad Centers in the state of California serving its Jewish population across 129 cities.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder expressed his deep sorrow and condolences to the victims of the California attack.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jewish community of Poway, California today as their worst nightmare unfolds. There is absolutely no justification or explanation for such violence, and it is inconceivable that, yet again, innocent people have been targeted simply for their religion and for choosing to attend a place of worship,” he said.

“We strongly condemn this heinous attack and extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones, and the entire community. We pray for the swift recovery of the injured and trust that justice will be served against the perpetrator of this attack. There is no room for such hate-filled violence in our society. People of all faiths must stand together and declare that we will never tolerate such hatred,” Lauder said.

Other Jewish and pro-Israel organizations also expressed solidarity with those affected by the Chabad shooting.

Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a progressive Jewish group, said: “Our hearts are breaking for the victims of the shooting at the Chabad of Poway and their loved ones. On this last day of Passover, exactly six months after the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we again mourn together with our Jewish community as we collectively experience the pain of anti-Semitic violence in our houses of prayer.”

“It is with heavy hearts, mixed with anger, that we condemn the shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, outside San Diego. Six months after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, the Jewish community has suffered another synagogue shooting, again at the hands of intolerance and hate,” said B’nai B’rith International president Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin.

“This kind of hatred must be met head-on, especially through increased vigilance and increased law enforcement monitoring and acting quickly to identify and stop those out there likely to commit these horrendous crimes.”

Along with praying for those affected, American Jewish Congress president Jack Rosen said, “In yet another attack on our brothers and sisters, we are reminded of the dark shadow of hate that lies in the hearts of many, and that there are those [who]would do the Jewish people harm as we attempt to worship in peace.”

The Lawfare Project, a legal think tank and litigation fund striving to protect the civil and human rights of Jewish communities worldwide, said in a statement: “We cry out today. We cry out for the dead. We cry out for the injured. We cry out for the Chabad community of San Diego and for our global Jewish Community. We cry out for a world where these acts of violence against innocent worshipers have become all too common. We stand resolute against the hateful rhetoric that lurks in chat rooms and campuses alike, which incubates these evildoers—and against the evil of anti-Semitism, which is all too often dismissed and overlooked in our society.”

The Israeli-American Council issued the following statement, “Today’s events sound yet another alarm about the growing danger of anti-Semitism in our country. In recent years, anti-Semitic tropes once confined to the fringes of our culture have been increasingly expressed openly and unabashedly, including in mainstream American media. … These murders did not occur in a vacuum. They are the product of an age-old hate that continues to infect millions around the world.”

In London, Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said:. ‘’All over the world, far-right, far-left and Islamist extremists are stoking the flames of Jew-hatred, with too little done to stop them. Antisemitism is an age-old disease which begins with hatred and violence towards Jews and ends with the unraveling of society. We mourn with the Jewish community in Poway. May the memories of those who fell today be a blessing. Today we are reminded so brutally and heartbreakingly why we must stand together against antisemitism. Antisemitism is born of the same hatred that has killed so many from Colombo to Christchurch. It must be rooted out.”

European Jewish Congress President: ‘U.S. is moving towards European levels of antisemitism’

“Unfortunately, this attack, coming exactly six months after the mass murder in Pittsburgh, demonstrates a very worrying trend in antisemitism in the U.S.,” said Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress. “This, coupled with the horrifically antisemitic caricature in the New York Times over the weekend and the repeated attempts by local political leaders to diminish, belittle and even in some instances, justify, antisemitism, means that sadly the U.S. is moving towards European levels of antisemitism.”

“These attacks are changing the face of Jewish life in the U.S., just as we have faced in Europe for some time now,” he added.

“These attacks also demonstrates how important it is that our synagogues, schools and community centres across the world, continue to receive protection from the authorities and local volunteer groups. We must never be complacent about the threat our communities face,” Kantor concluded.

EU Jewish Association and Rabbinical Centre of Europe call on European leaders ‘to wake up to San Diego synagogue warning’

“Make no mistake, this latest spate on antisemitism in America isn’t just happening “over there”, its here too in Europe. And sadly, those who believe in such attacks in Europe will be inspired by events in San Diego. Let us be clear, this attack could just have easily taken place in any European city,’’ said EU Jewish Association  (EJA) and Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and Head of Governmental relations at the RCE, Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands), in a a joint statement following the shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway.

“We take the opportunity, in the strongest terms to tell European leaders: For goodness sake, open your eyes. Europe is close to a tipping point. There is a festering threat, not seen since the run up to Kristallnacht, that leaders here must wake up to. Unlike then, leaders have the opportunity to do something now, this very day, to ensure that we avoid attacks in Europe,’’ they said.

“ Jewish Communities in Europe no longer need platitudes. They need to know in concrete terms, that governments are prepared to do whatever it takes to root out this vile disease that has risen, once again, from the ashes,’’ the statement concluded.

Israel’s President Rivlin: ‘Anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still with us, everywhere. No country and no society are immune’

In Israel, President Reuven Rivlin made the following statement : “The murderous attack on the Jewish community during Pessach, our holiday of freedom, and just before Holocaust Memorial day, is yet another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still with us, everywhere. No country and no society are immune. Only through education for Holocaust remembrance and tolerance can we deal with this plague.”

“Our hearts are with the Gilbert Kaye family, who have lost their dear Lori, with the families of the injured and with the whole community. We are with you in these difficult times. We love and embrace you. The Jewish people will never allow anti-Semitism and hatred to triumph. We are strong and we are proud of our heritage and our identity of love for each other and our fellow humans,” he added.

Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel’s foreign ministry spokesperson, tweeted : ‘’The end of #passover is marred by a deadly anti Semitic shooting in #PowaySynagogue , California. Our hearts go to the victims and their families, our brothers and sisters . This hatred against Jews is fed by dangerous extremists and should be opposed by all.’’


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