Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania witnessed what has been dubbed as ‘the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of USA’ on Saturday (27 October). Eleven people died during worship in the shooting that occurred on a Sabbath morning, as reported by The Washington Post.
The suspect, 48 year old Robert Bowers stormed into the synagogue during a naming ceremony and started shooting indiscriminately shouting “all Jews must die”. Bowers, who was heavily armed with an AR-15 and two pistols, later surrendered after barricading himself in a room in the synagogue.
President Donald Trump condemned the Saturday shooting as an anti-Semitic act.
“This wicked act of mass murder is pure evil, hard to believe, and frankly, something that is unimaginable. Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief,” Trump said. “This was an anti-Semitic act. You wouldn’t think this would be possible in this day and age.”
He added, “anti-Semitism and the widespread persecution of Jews represents one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) described the attack as “the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”
ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said “We believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. We are actively engaged with law enforcement to support their investigation and call on authorities to investigate this as a hate crime.
It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age. Unfortunately, this violence occurs at time when ADL has reported a historic increase in both anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Semitic online harassment. As we mourn those lost and search for answers, ADL will remain steadfast in its mission to fight anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it may occur.”
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