Israeli leaders from across the spectrum expressed their shock and sympathy in solidarity with the people of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in particular, and the United States as a whole, in response to the slaughter by an anti-Semitic shooter that took place on the Sabbath at the Tree of Life synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “heartbroken and appalled” by the attack:
I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today: pic.twitter.com/mwSWepc87x
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 27, 2018
President Reuven Rivlin also expressed the compassion from the Jewish State for the families and friends of congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue who were shot Saturday morning (Oct. 27) by 46-year-old Robert Bowers.
The killer is allegedly an anti-Semitic white supremacist who, according to MSNBC, announced in his post on social media shortly before the mass murder, “I’m going in.”
“We are thinking of the families of those murdered and praying for the quick recovery of those injured,” Rivlin said. “I am sure that the law enforcement and legal authorities in the US will investigate this horrific event thoroughly and that justice will be served on the despicable murderer.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are thinking of ‘our brothers and sisters, the whole house of Israel, in time of trouble,’ as we say in the morning prayers,” Rivlin wrote.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson likewise issued a statement, tweeting, “The news out of #Pittsburgh are (sic) heartbreaking. From Israel, we embrace our brothers and sisters and law enforcement forces and pray.”
Israeli Consul to New York, Dani Dayan, tweeted, “Today, murderous #antisemitism has reached our borders, and the State of #Israel stands with the #Jewish community of #Pittsburgh, shoulder to shoulder.”
Israeli Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett told media he is flying to Pittsburgh late Saturday night, and called the shooting a “terror attack.”
Bowers allegedly bragged on social media about the weapons he had, and spewed his hate for Jews, who he referred to as “invaders” in a post about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). He brought at least two handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle with him to the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning (Oct. 27), where a brit mila (circumcision ceremony) was in progress when he began to carry out the mass murder. Pittsburgh Police told media that 12 people were shot, including eight to ten people who were killed; three of the injured are police officers.