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Statement on Pittsburgh Attack, One Year Later
HIAS mourns the 11 people murdered one year ago on October 27 while praying in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. The white supremacist who gunned them down said he wanted to murder Jews because HIAS had been bringing “invaders to kill (his) people.” Dor Hadash, one of the three congregations housed in the Tree of Life synagogue, is part of HIAS’ welcome campaign and had celebrated National Refugee Shabbat with HIAS only days before the attack.
“Looking back at Pittsburgh and seeing all the other attacks on religious and ethnic minorities over the last twelve months, and the mass murder in Pittsburgh itself, I’m reminded that anti-Semitism never appears in a vacuum,” said Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS. “It is but one tentacle of hatred that is inextricably linked to other forms of hatred against ‘other others.’ To fight anti-Semitism, we must fight against all forms of hate. Or we will fail.”
The Pittsburgh shooting was a wake-up call that showed people they need to take action to combat hate speech. HIAS stands against hate speech and stands with our Pittsburgh refugee resettlement partner, Jewish Family and Community Services, and with all refugees today and every day.