By Randy Kessler, StandWithUs Northwest executive director, Oct. 27, 2018
StandWithUs staff and board members around the U.S., Israel, Canada, the UK are shocked and heartbroken by today’s savage anti-Semitic act of mass murder in Pittsburgh, at the Tree of Life synagogue during a baby naming ceremony. Our international community mourns with the Pittsburgh community and the family members of the victims.
We are so grateful to local law enforcement and wish a rapid and complete healing to the four officers who were hurt by the terrorist. Law enforcement put their lives in harm’s way and deserve our deepest appreciation.
May the memories of the 11 souls who lost their lives this morning at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh be a blessing to people of good will, and may their families find the strength to deal with this horrific tragedy.
The anti-Semitism that struck Pittsburgh today isn’t a Jewish problem. Anti-Semitism is everyone’s problem. The war that starts against the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews. Anti-Semitic incidents have increased almost 100% in 2017 and have spiked even higher the past few weeks. Anti-Semitic acts that take place on campuses or on the internet should be stopped in their tracks and should be everyone’s concern.
Often law enforcement is hampered because they don’t operate with a clear definition of anti-Semitism. We need laws to define anti-Semitic crimes if we want to defeat them. We have that definition of anti-Semitism in our State Department, and it should be the standard for all law enforcement.
At StandWithUs, we take up the fight against anti-Semitism here and across the world. We must have the courage to defend ourselves and the wisdom to acknowledge that we need that defense.