A Comment on Pittsburgh

We are horrified and heartbroken at the sickening attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

For all of us who believe in and work towards a society free of hate and intolerance, the events of Saturday were devastating. 

The fact that this happened during a service in a place of worship, where the Jewish community feels its most secure and at home, is truly heart-breaking. For the Jewish community, it cut to the core.

That Jews were murdered in a synagogue less than 75 years after the liberation of the concentration camps of Europe, less than 75 years after the world said ‘Never Again’, is abhorrent.

As we reflect on these terrible events, we cannot fail to remember that such hatred does not just appear out of nowhere. It starts with words.

Today, as we see an increase in antisemitism and hate, Pittsburgh should serve as an extreme example of where this can lead and should act as a rallying call to us all to stand up and speak out whenever antisemitism or hatred rears its head. It is down to all of us to challenge hatred wherever it is found – whether online, at a political gathering, or at a dinner party. To turn a blind eye allows it to grow and become ever more dangerous and insidious. It is up to us to speak out. Always. 

Our thoughts are with the victims and families of this horrific, antisemitic attack. Our work is important, now more than ever.