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Pittsburgh Synagogue mourns victims of shooting

This tragedy shocked America. 11 Jews were killed by virulent anti-Semite in the Tree of Life conservative synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 6 more people were wounded, including brave police officers who risked their lives to save congregants. Terrorist burst into a synagogue shouting “All Jews must die!” and opened fire.

Robert Bowers, 46, really hated Jews. He blamed them for many problems and accused them for creating havoc in America. He spewed his hateful thoughts at “free speech” (meaning – Hate speech) extremist-friendly website – Gab.com. The final straw for Bowers was the migrant caravan from Honduras & Guatemala that, according to his thoughts, was financed by Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a prominent refugees resettlement agency. He decided to kill Jews.

Here is the official list of the victims killed at the Tree of Life synagogue shooting:

Joyce Fienberg, 75
Richard Gottfried, 65
Rose Mallinger, 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Cecil Rosenthal, 59
David Rosenthal, 54
Bernice Simon, 84
Sylvan Simon, 86
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88
Irving Younger, 69.

Bris (baby's circumcision ceremony) and Shabbat morning service were taking place on that fateful Saturday morning, October 27, 2018, when terrorist attacked the synagogue Tree of Life. Nobody was expected to die that day in this beautiful shul. But terrorist had different plans. He was later stopped by police officers. Bowers managed to attack police officers as well, but was finally wounded by their shots.

America is mourning victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack ever in the USA. I strongly condemn this hateful act and reject the idea that murderer could be easily stopped by armed guards. For example, an armed guard did not save school children in Parkland, Florida. Is it possible to have armed guards in every house of worship?

I think there are many reasons for this very sad tragedy.

Of course, Robert Bowers was a hater and anti-Semite to begin with. He did not even hide his hatred toward Jews. He despised Jews.

Irresponsible political rhetoric and incitement, extreme political polarization, provocative calls for actions against “others” are slowly becoming a norm. Shooter at baseball game tried to kill Republican Congress members and badly wounded Rep. Steven Scalise from Louisiana. This attacker was a loyal supporter of Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. Another individual was a fan of President Trump and decided to send 14 packages with explosive devices to prominent Democrats, CNN headquarters and other critics of Trump.

In the last few years, the political debate in this country changed from heated arguments, discussions, loud protests and strong criticism into real incitement, harassment and insults. I hear terms neo-fascists, neo-Nazis, alt-right and alt-left almost daily. Right-wing extremists call themselves Proud Boys while left-wing radicals from Antifa openly promote violence.

We live in dangerous times and unfortunately, I see no end to this continued hostility. I naively hope that shooting in Pittsburgh will wake up our leaders in Washington, D.C. and they will be forced to show - at least temporary - some level of civility, mutual respect and bipartisan cooperation. Otherwise, America will face new serious tragedies.

If you would like to help Tree of Life synagogue and families of victims, please, go to gofundme page and donate whatever amount you can.

https://www.gofundme.com/tree-of-life-synagogue-shooting

Thank you in advance for your generosity! We stand together in solidarity with Pittsburgh Jewish community.

Ari Kagan

Mourners in Pittsburgh hold candlelight vigil after massacre of worshippers today.
Photo from: Jewish Breaking News




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