NEW YORK, NY – The Jewish Labor Committee sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed by the domestic terrorist who attacked the Tree of Life Congregation during Shabbat services earlier today, and to the entire congregation and the larger community.
This violent terrorist act in Pittsburgh was not the first, although it was the largest such attack against the American Jewish community. Deflecting people’s fears, frustrations and anxieties toward Jews, refugees or any minority in society is not new.
We are mindful that this terrorist act was motivated not only by hatred of Jews, but also by hatred of refugees and other migrants, and of those organizations, congregations, and communities aiding them. And this bigotry did not arise from nowhere. Anti-refugee sentiment, expressed in hate-filled rhetoric by the most senior members of the government, has been echoed and amplified in social media and given legitimacy by the mainstream press. The coded messages of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia are given free rein not only in extreme alt-right shadows, but increasingly in the conservative mainstream.
The rapid rise of anti-Semitic acts in the United States, including this most recent case of domestic terrorism by a hate-filled home-grown extremist, must be condemned and rejected not only by those directly affected, but by all Americans. We call on all men and women of good will to join us in rejecting anti-Semitism, and all manifestations of racial, ethnic, religious and political bigotry. Not only in Pittsburgh, but across the United States, we need to stand together and confront such hatred, and the violence it breeds.
*** The Jewish Labor Committee is an important voice of the Jewish community in the labor movement.