- World leaders and politicians have expressed their grief and condolences following the shooting at the Chabad of Powaysynagogue in California on Saturday.
- One person is dead and three people are injured after a gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle.
- Many have demanded action against anti-Semitism and the rise in anti-Semitic attacks, as well as calls to end gun violence.
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One person is dead and three people are injured after a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, on Saturday, April 27.
Officials called the shooting “a hate crime” due to comments made at the scene by the shooter, who opened fire with an assault-style rifle. The suspect, 19-year-old John Earnest, is currently being investigated for both the shooting and in connection with an unsolved arson fire at the Islamic Center of Escondido, which took place in March.
World leaders and politicians from President Donald Trump to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have expressed their grief, condolences, and a call for action in ending anti-Semitism and a growing string of anti-Semitic attacks.
Here’s what they had to say.
Former vice president Joe Biden said the US is battling for its soul.
“As a country, we must speak out against bigotry and gun violence,” Biden said in a Tweet. “We’re in the battle for the soul of this nation – and it’s on all of us to act.”
Jill and I are devastated to hear about today’s shooting at the Chabad Poway synagogue. No one should have to worship in fear.
As a country, we must speak out against bigotry and gun violence. We’re in the battle for the soul of this nation—and it’s on all of us to act.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 28, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar asked Americans to collectively rise against bigotry.
Earnest shot & killed Jewish worshippers and bombed a Masjid ????
Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism are two sides of the same bigoted coin.
Let us stand together as Americans in rejecting hate!
????????my Nov. OpEd on the rise of Anti-Semitism hate crimes. https://t.co/xNldCCOdZY
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 28, 2019
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin said he was “shocked and grieved.”
“The murderous attack on the Jewish community during Passover, our holiday of freedom, and just before Holocaust Memorial Day, is yet another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still with us, everywhere,” Rivlin said in a statement.
He added: “No country and no society are immune. Only through education for Holocaust remembrance and tolerance can we deal with this plague.”
President Trump condemned anti-Semitism and praised law enforcement officials.
President Trump sent his thoughts and prayers in a Tweet.
Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2019
During a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump denounced anti-Semitism and praised law enforcement officials who responded to the shooting.
“Tonight, America’s heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting in Poway, California – just happened,” Trump said. “Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated.”
Vice President Mike Pence called anti-Semitism “evil.”
Vice president Pence re-tweeted President Trump’s sentiments on the shooting, adding his own condemnation of anti-Semitism.
We condemn in the strongest terms the evil & cowardly shooting at Chabad of Poway today as Jewish families celebrated Passover. No one should be in fear in a house of worship. Antisemitism isn’t just wrong – it’s evil. https://t.co/hkLOCf0anp
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 27, 2019
Israel Katz, Israel’s acting foreign minister, called the shooting a terrorist attack.
“Israel is sorrowful about the horrible terrorist attack at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue, where Lori Gilbert-Kaye lost her life,” Katz said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with Lori’s family and with the wounded. We are here to assist the local Jewish community however and whenever necessary.”
Sen. Kamala Harris said anti-Semitism is real in the US.
In a Tweet, Harris stated: “Yet again a place of worship is the target of senseless gun violence and hate. Anti-Semitism is real in this country and we must not be silent – enough is enough. My heart aches for the Chabad of Poway synagogue and the Jewish community.”
Yet again a place of worship is the target of senseless gun violence and hate. Anti-Semitism is real in this country and we must not be silent – enough is enough. My heart aches for the Chabad of Poway synagogue and the Jewish community.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 27, 2019
Yuli Edelstein, the speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s legislature, wished the wounded a speedy recovery.
In a Tweet, Edelstein sent his wishes and condolences to the victims of the shooting on behalf of Israel’s parliament.
On behalf of the Knesset, I send my wishes for a speedy and full recovery to those injured in the horrific attack in Poway, California and extend my deepest condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert Kaye, who lost her life in saving the synagogue's rabbi.
— Yuli Edelstein ???????? יולי אדלשטיין (@YuliEdelstein) April 28, 2019
He added: “In every generation, there are those who rise against us to destroy us, but we will continue to combat antisemitism in all its form and everywhere it rears its head. The Eternal Nation does not fear a lengthy road!”
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, noted the short time span between two separate anti-Semitic shootings in the US.
In a Tweet, Pelosi expressed her grief and gratefulness.
We are closely following the situation surrounding today’s shooting at Chabad synagogue in Poway, CA. We remain deeply grateful to first responders & community members working to protect their neighbors. We share in the grief of all who have been affected & their families.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 27, 2019
In an additional Tweet, Pelosi added: “Coming just six months after the horrific mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we are confronted with what appears to be another anti-Semitic attack. We all stand with the Jewish community against this act of hate.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders called for an end to hate and gun violence.
“Another horrific shooting at a place of worship, today at the Poway Synagogue in San Diego County,” Sanders tweeted. “We must work every day to eradicate all forms of hatred and bigotry, and take serious action to protect Americans from gun violence.”
Another horrific shooting at a place of worship, today at the Poway Synagogue in San Diego County. We must work every day to eradicate all forms of hatred and bigotry, and take serious action to protect Americans from gun violence.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 27, 2019
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the shooting was “an attack on us all.”
Maas reportedly said, “we are once again faced with appalling reports of an anti-Semitic hate crime.” He took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Am letzten Tag des Pessachfestes erschüttert uns erneut eine antisemitische Gewalttat. Der Angriff auf die Chabad of Poway Synagoge in #SanDiego trifft uns alle. Unsere Gedanken sind bei den Angehörigen der Getöteten und bei den Verletzten.
— Heiko Maas ???????? (@HeikoMaas) April 28, 2019
In English, it reads: “On the last day of Passover, we are once again shocked by an anti-Semitic act of violence. The attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue in #SanDiego hits us all. Our thoughts are with the relatives of those killed and among those injured.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a global effort in defeating anti-Semitism.
In a statement, Netanyahu called the shooting “an attack on the heart of the Jewish people.”
“I condemn the abhorrent attack on a synagogue in California; this is an attack on the heart of the Jewish people,”Netanyahu said in a statement. “We send condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and our best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded. The international community must step up the struggle against anti-Semitism.”
He’ll be holding special discussion next week on the rise of global anti-Semitic attacks.
New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she was heartbroken.
“Heartbroken to hear of the San Diego synagogue shooting, particularly so on this final day of Passover,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Tweet. “We have a responsibility to love + protect our neighbours. The longer the Senate delays holding a vote on #HR8, the more we put Americans at risk.”
Heartbroken to hear of the San Diego synagogue shooting, particularly so on this final day of Passover.
We have a responsibility to love + protect our neighbors.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 27, 2019
Israeli politician Yair Lapid called for preemptive action to anti-Semitism.
“The murder in the synagogue, on the Passover holiday in San Diego, is a hateful hate crime,” Lapid Tweeted. “The heart with the Jewish community of Fauwi. World leaders must condemn and treat anti-Semitism before it reaches murder. Every sign, every post, any anti-Semitic statement requires treatment as if it were actual physical violence.”
הרצח בבית הכנסת, בחג הפסח בסן דייגו הוא פשע שנאה נתעב. הלב עם הקהילה היהודית בפאווי. מנהיגי העולם חייבים לגנות ולטפל באנטישמיות לפני שהיא מגיעה לרצח. כל שלט, כל פוסט, כל אמירה אנטישמית מחייבת טיפול כאילו הייתה אלימות פיזית ממשית.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) April 28, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the attack “horrific.”
“I’m heartsick for the victims of today’s horrific attack at the Chabad of Poway and their families,” Warren Tweeted. “No one should ever have to face hatred and violence in a place of worship. It’s on all of us to stand up to the rising threat of anti-Semitism, racism, and hate.”
I'm heartsick for the victims of today's horrific attack at the Chabad of Poway and their families. No one should ever have to face hatred and violence in a place of worship. It's on all of us to stand up to the rising threat of anti-semitism, racism, and hate.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 27, 2019
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