The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is horrified by the shooting at the Chabad Poway Synagogue in San Diego, in which one person, Lori Gilbert-Kaye z”l, was murdered and three other innocent people suffered injuries requiring hospitalisation.
We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye z”l, a 60 year-old mother, and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured that included Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, 57, who was leading the service when he was shot in both hands, Noya Dahan, 8, originally from Sderot in Israel who was hit by shrapnel in the face and leg, and her uncle Almog Peretz, 31, who was shot in the leg as he ushered children in a playroom to safety.
AIJAC reaffirms its commitment to leading efforts in Australia and internationally to build positive relations between people of all religions and ethnicities and in confronting extremist ideologies.
As Rabbi Goldstein said in a message from his hospital bed, “A little bit of light pushes away the darkness.”
This was an attack on innocent people at prayer in their house of worship during the holy festival of Passover, as well as on the Sabbath, by a “White Supremacist” with an overtly antisemitic manifesto.
It is a shocking reminder of the reality of rising global antisemitism promoted by conspiracy theories, which sadly is being mainstreamed by irresponsible media and political leadership to deadly effect.
This latest attack echoes the devastating massacre of eleven Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh six months prior, as well as the horrific attacks on hundreds of innocent Christians attending Easter prayers, in Sri Lanka, and 50 Muslims at Jummah prayer in Christchurch mosques.
These terrorist acts are an attack on our common humanity and it is incumbent upon our communities to stand together in opposition to the terrorists and all who inspire, justify or rationalise their hatred.