The Jewish world mourns

December 12, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The World Jewish Congress and The Executive Council of Australian Jewry have commented on the fatal shootings in New Jersey.

The civilian victims of the shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., from left: Miguel Douglas, 49, an employee at the store; Moshe Hersch Deutch, 24, of the Williamsburg neighbourhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Leah Mindel Ferencz of Jersey City, Dec. 10, 2019. Source: Screenshot.

The World Jewish Congress stated: We are deeply saddened by the horrendous shooting yesterday in Jersey City. We are grateful to the Jersey City Police Department for their quick actions that likely prevented additional carnage. We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Detective Joe Seals who selflessly gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

We are profoundly concerned by reports that the perpetrators in the past allegedly posted antisemitic comments on social media and that this attack may have deliberately targeted the kosher market.

Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families at this time. We will continue to be in touch with the relevant authorities and provide updates as they are made available.”

In Australia, The Executive Council of Australian Jewry added: “The ECAJ is deeply saddened and appalled by the fatal shootings at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City.

If, as is being reported, this attack deliberately targeted a Jewish facility it would constitute a further lethal antisemitic episode in the United States following the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October last year, and a fatal shooting at a Chabad house in Poway, California in April this year. This attack comes at a time of soaring antisemitism in New York state and its environs where assaults targeting Jewish people have become alarmingly commonplace.

This tragedy demonstrates once more that antisemitism is not merely a condition confined to a single political ideology or religious group. To protect our societies from this evil and to ensure that Jews can go about their lives in peace, it is vital that there is an understanding of the depth of antisemitism, its nature, and its manifestations and a complete resolve on the part of governments, educators and households to drive this murderous condition from our midst. If we fail to do this, the very notion of free and tolerant societies will be in danger.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem has strongly condemned all forms of antisemitism and violent acts committed against Jews and any community simply because of their faith or nationality. Particularly, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and the UN-sanctioned International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is dedicated to commemorating the memory of the six million men, women and children murdered for being Jewish, we continue to urge local, national and international authorities to make concerted efforts to uproot antisemitism and protect Jewish communities worldwide.

On the backdrop of this attack and the worrying rise in antisemitism around the globe, dozens of world leaders will attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum on 23 January 2020 which will convene in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. The Forum, under the banner of “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” provides a stage for these leaders to express their commitment to fighting antisemitism, hatred and xenophobia.

“It is especially disconcerting that, in addition to the heinous acts committed, antisemitic reactions of some members of the local community seem to justify this violence,” states Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. “Blaming this attack on the presence of Jews in the city is yet another sign that age-old antisemitic tropes still plague our society and the violence that invariably ensues from antisemitic rhetoric effects everybody. This underscores the urgent need for expanding educational initiatives that combat antisemitism and other forms of racism.”

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