Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Jewish community expresses solidarity with New Zealand victims after shootings at mosques

Jewish community expresses solidarity with New Zealand victims after shootings at mosques

Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who serves the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 worshippers were killed a year ago in an anti-Semitic attack, said New Zealand's mosque shootings were a dark reminder of the past.

"The New Zealand Jewish Council has no adequate words to describe how sickened and devastated we are by the coordinated attacks on Christchurch mosques today", Stephen Goodman, the president of the New Zealand Jewish Council told the Jewish Chronicle. "It has no place in New Zealand".

"In solidarity with the victims of the mass murder yesterday in Christchurch, NZ, our concert scheduled for Sunday at Hagley Park will not go ahead".

"When they're uncivilized towards each other, they give us the permission to therefore act that way with our neighbors", he said, adding that he wasn't optimistic about change in the near future. No one is fully protected from violent hatemongers. "The answer must be unity, solidarity and linked arms against evil".

Earlier that day, at least 49 people were shot dead in two Christchurch mosques.

New Zealanders and people from all over the world continue to donate to the victims and a number of vigils are being organised across the country. "We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates".

"We stand together for a world where we respect each other, where we recognise the strength that comes from our diversity", the politician said during the ceremony. The suspect, self-identified as Brenton Tarrant, is in police custody. The gunman reportedly posted a white-nationalist manifesto on social media prior to the attack. New Zealanders in the United Kingdom also organized vigils, attended both by Kiwis and United Kingdom citizens. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko have also condemned the shooting and expressed their condolences to the victims. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do.

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