The Jewish community of Pittsburgh received an official, personal letter Sunday from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing his condolences to the families and wishes for a speedy recovery for the victims, on behalf of the government and the people of Israel, in the wake of the deadly attack on the Tree of Life synagogue this past Sabbath morning. Eleven people were murdered and six others were wounded, including four police officers who responded to the massacre.
Over the centuries, Jews have been subjected to “every kind of savage attack imaginable,” Netanyahu wrote – “from blood libels and massacres to pogroms and genocide – for nothing more than the ‘crime’ of being Jewish.
“After the Holocaust, many hoped that antisemitism would finally be relegated to the dustbin of history. It wasn’t.
“In fact, in the past couple of decades, antisemitism has emerged once again as a potent and deadly force,” Netanyahu lamented.
He wrote about the attack in Seattle in 2006, and in Kansas City in 2014, and “that despicable antisemitic rally in Charlottesville” in 2017.
“And now we have seen the worst antisemitic attack in U.S. history against worshippers in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, a particularly heinous crime that we in Israel have unfortunately experienced as well,” he wrote.
“While these attacks are nothing new in the history of our people, what is new is our ability to fight back against the antisemites. Israel does that every day.
“But the Jewish people are also blessed to have many friends around the world who reject and fight antisemitism,” he noted, and expressed his appreciation to President Trump for “unequivocally condemning this heinous crime and for pledging to fight those who seek to destroy the Jewish people.”
He pointed out, however, that the president is “not alone,” and that “clear condemnations from American leaders across the political spectrum” have also been heard, as well as from leaders around the world.
“These statements are important,” Netanyahu wrote. “So too are actions that governments take to protect their Jewish citizens, whether that means providing security for vulnerable Jewish communities to passing tough laws against hate crimes.
“I know that the Pittsburgh Jewish community is strong and proud, and I have no doubt that in the wake of this horrific attack that community will emerge stronger and prouder than ever.
“In this hour of immense grief, the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and all Americans who mourn today should know that the Jewish state mourns with you.
“May the families of all those who died be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”