Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Shooting Represents “Our Worst Fears,” America Ripe For Antisemitic Violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2018

CONTACT: Elliot Levy, elliot.levy@berlinrosen.com202-800-7409

New York – In response to the tragic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue this morning, Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, released the following statement:

“We are overcome with grief and heartbreak at the unconscionable act of terror during morning prayers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh today. We are sending our condolences, our love, our strength and our support to the victims, their families, the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community, and all who are in tears. May the memories of those murdered be a blessing.

“This is a moment when we are all called — Jews and allies — to gather together in community, to mourn, to hold each other, to share our sadness and our outrage. Tonight at vigils across the country, Jewish communities and allies will light the Havdallah candles that mark the end of Shabbat.

“This is also a moment when we must call on all Americans of conscience to see with clear eyes that the political violence targeting our communities, driven byantisemitism and racism, has become normalized in our social and political life. Today’s attack comes after weeks of escalated conspiracy theories and rhetoric scapegoating Jewish people, including philanthropist George Soros, which have been driven by candidates for office, arms of the Republican Party, and the President of the United States in campaign ads and at rallies. These expressions of hate are not new in our society, but rarely have they been legitimized by such a powerful and visible platform. The mainstreaming of white nationalism in American politics means that our nation is ripe for the type of violence we have witnessed today, this week and throughout the Trump presidency. This charged environment is directed not only against Jews, but also against immigrants, Muslim people, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all other communities under threat in this political environment. Today, we saw these trends culminate and our worst fears realized.

“This violence must end. Americans, Jewish and otherwise, must no longer be forced to live in fear for their lives. And we must unite to build a country where we are all safe and protected.”