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Jews Won’t Be Cowed: Wounded Rabbi Goldstein

29 April 2019 International News

Yisroel Goldstein, a rabbi who carried on preaching despite being wounded in the latest deadly shooting at a US synagogue said Sunday that Jews would not be intimidated by the “senseless hate” of anti-semitism.

A 60-year-old woman, Lori Kaye, was killed and three people were wounded when a gunman burst into the synagogue in the southern Californian town of Poway on Saturday and opened fire on the final day of Passover.

Police identified the shooter as John Earnest, 19, who had posted angry anti-Jewish remarks online just before the shooting and claimed he was behind the arson of an area mosque weeks earlier.

According to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department records, Earnest faces one charge of murder and three of attempted murder, and will appear before a judge to be formally indicted on May 1.

Coming six months to the day after a white supremacist shot dead 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, it raised new questions about a nationwide rise in anti-Semitism and in hate crimes generally — and about President Donald Trump’s often controversial response to them.

Ahead of the funeral for Kaye, one of her oldest friends said her killing must serve as a wake-up call while the synagogue’s rabbi said authorities had to do more to protect places of worship.

“Terror will not win. As Americans we cannot cower in the face of the senseless hate that is in anti-Semitism,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein said in an interview to NBC television from his hospital bed.

The rabbi suffered serious injuries to his hand when the gunman blasted him at short range in the middle of his sermon before aiming at Kaye.

As the gunman then fled, Goldstein led his congregation outside and continued preaching until the emergency services arrived.

President Trump said the nation stood in solidarity with the Jewish community, telling a rally the “evil of anti-Semitism and hate” must be overcome “I got up there and just spoke from my heart, giving everyone the courage,” he said.

“It was just 70 years ago during the Holocaust we were gunned down like this and I just want to let our fellow Americans know that we are not going to let this happen here.

“I cannot erase that (Earnest’s) face from my mind, I cannot erase the moment and it’s going to be embedded here forever with the loss of my index finger.

“It’s going to be a scar for the rest of my life — both to remind us about literally how vulnerable we are but also how brave we need to be.”

Mourners and well wishers left flowers and notes of condolence and solidarity at a makeshift memorial across the road Sunday, with a second candlelight vigil planned for the evening.


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