Leaders condemn vicious attack on California synagogue: “People of all faiths must stand together against such hatred”

April 28, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The World Jewish Congress has condemned the vicious attack unleashed against a Chabad synagogue near San Diego, just six months after the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh which claimed 11 lives. 60-yr-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye died in this latest attack.

Lori Gilbert-Kaye Photo: Facebook

John Earnest, a 19-year-old self-declared anti-Semite, entered the synagogue shooting, killed Lori Gilbert Kaye and wounded Rabbi Yisrael Goldstein, 57, and Israelis Almog Peretz, 31, and his niece Noya Dahan, eight years old.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder expressed his deep sorrow and condolences to the victims of the California attack, after the San Diego sheriff confirmed that one person had been killed and three others wounded.

The gunman was overpowered by members of the congregation and held until police arrived.

“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,” Lauder 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.

Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin commented on the murder of Lori Gilbert Kaye at the synagogue in Poway, California yesterday. “We were shocked and grieved to hear of the shooting at Chabad of Poway, California yesterday,” he said. “The murderous attack on the Jewish community during Pesach, 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.”

Chabad of Poway

“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.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu added: “I condemn the abhorrent attack on a synagogue in California; this is an attack on the heart of the Jewish people. We send condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and our best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded. The international community must step up the struggle against antisemitism.”

In light of the upsurge in antisemitic attacks around the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu will, this week, convene a special discussion of all elements dealing with the issue.

The co-CEO of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Alex Ryvchin told J-Wire: “We are horrified by reports from the San Diego area of a fatal shooting at a Chabad house as members of the community gathered to mark the end of Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom. The story is developing but we understand that at least one person is dead and several others, including children, were wounded.

The shooting comes six months to the day after the slaughter of eleven Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and is a further reminder that antisemitism is real and it is lethal.

While the motivation of the killer is yet to be revealed, the plummeting standards of political debate and activism, which has seen constant attacks on the loyalty of American Jews, allusions to Jewish money and power corrupting public affairs, and the convergence of far-right and far-left antisemitism, must be closely scrutinised.

The periodic slayings of Jews at prayer cannot become accepted as a norm.

We offer our love and prayers to the local community.”

Independent MP for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps tweeted: “I am horrified by this news of a shooting in a Californian synagogue. Places of worship should be places of peace and safety. My condolences to the people of this community. We must do all we can to stop these religious-based hate crimes.”

We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the synagogue shooting in California, leaving one person dead and three injured. Our prayers are with the injured and all those affected.

Spokesperson for The New Zealand Jewish Council Juliet Moses said: “This attack occurred while worshippers celebrated the end of Passover, a festival that celebrates the liberation and resilience of the Jewish people, six months to the day after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue. The gunman was apparently inspired by the Christchurch mosque atrocity.

As worshippers at mosques, churches and synagogues are attacked around the world, we declare enough is enough. It is a very troubling indictment on the state of the world that people of faith cannot pray in peace without fear for their lives. We hope people of all faiths and of none will join together to fight and defeat this scourge on humanity.”

Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr Dvir Abramovich commented: “Today is a painful and sad day for us all. This was an attack on all Jews, and there are no words to express how horrified and devastated we are by this evil act. Our hearts go to families of those who we were killed and injured, and we pray for the full and speedy recovery of the wounded.

It is hard to grasp that still today, Jews coming together to pray at a synagogue during Passover, are murdered in cold blood simply because of they who are. This senseless and sickening violence, perpetrated by a bigoted man with toxic hatred in his heart,  is a reminder of the destructive force of antisemitism, and reaffirms the importance of confronting this cancer plaguing us whenever it surfaces. As we mourn for the lives lost, the ADC stands in solidarity  with the Jewish community in San Diego and in the USA.”

A spokesperson for Melbourne’s Jewish Holocaust Centre said: “These last few months have revealed a terrifying trend in sectarian violence with horrific attacks across the globe on mosques, churches and synagogues. Today we mourn for the victim of an armed attack on a synagogue in San Diego. Just last week we mourned for hundreds in Sri Lanka in a shocking Easter attack and prior to that in Christchurch there were 50 victims of terror. Meanwhile, in many countries around the world, such as in Nigeria, these issues are not isolated but ongoing.

The Jewish Holocaust Centre offers its profound condolences to families of all these victims of religious extremism. All people, no matter what creed, should feel secure to go about their worship.

Today we urge our leaders, across the political spectrum and across this wide country, to set the tone for an inclusive society, welcoming to all. We will continue to play our part to educate against hate and educate for social harmony.”

President of the Zionist  Federation of Australia Jeremy Leibler commented:  “We are absolutely outraged and devastated by the news of another synagogue attack, this time in the San Diego area, six months to the day after the horrendous attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree Life of Synagogue.

We wish a speedy recovery to those injured and mourn with the family of the woman murdered in yet another attack which was presumably motivated by antisemitism. May her memory be a blessing.”


2 Responses to “Leaders condemn vicious attack on California synagogue: “People of all faiths must stand together against such hatred””
  1. Michael Burd says:

    Fox News has just reported that in a manifesto the 19 y old shooter sent out one hour before his attack says he hated Trump for his support of Israel and was inspired by the Nz and Pittsburgh massacres

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Disarm the armed civilians in the USA one of whom murdered the lady in the Synagogue and disarm the general duty police in the USA one of whom murdered the unarmed Australian women last year.

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