Israel’s Cabinet observes moment of silence for Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli government ministers stood and observed a moment of silence at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting in memory of the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement at the beginning of the meeting that “the entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the people who were murdered in the shocking massacre” on Saturday at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh.

“It is very difficult to exaggerate the horror of the murder of Jews who had gathered in a synagogue on Shabbat and were murdered just because they were Jews. Israel stands at the forefront with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, with all Jewish communities in the US and with the American people. We stand together, at the forefront, against anti-Semitism and displays of such barbarity,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister called on the world “to unite in the fight against anti-Semitism everywhere,” singling out both the United States and Western Europe. “On all these fronts we must stand up and fight back against this brutal fanaticism.  It starts with the Jews, but never ends with the Jews,” he said.

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On Saturday night in Israel in the hours after the shooting, emergency and resilience teams left Tel Aviv for Pittsburgh to provide psychological assistance and community rehabilitation.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who also serves as the country’s Diaspora minister, also left for Pittsburgh on Saturday night. He will visit the synagogue, meet with the local Jewish community and participate in the funerals of those killed in the attack, a statement from his office said.

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