Biden sends message to Jewish Pittsburgh on two-year mark of 10/27 shootings
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OpinionExclusive statement from Joe Biden

Biden sends message to Jewish Pittsburgh on two-year mark of 10/27 shootings

“On behalf of Jill, Kamala, Doug and our families, we stand with the people of Squirrel Hill, the entire Pittsburgh community and all Jewish Americans on this solemn anniversary."

Joe Biden delivering remarks in Gettysburg on Oct. 6 (Photo by Adam Schultz, Biden for President)
Joe Biden delivering remarks in Gettysburg on Oct. 6 (Photo by Adam Schultz, Biden for President)

In an email to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, former Vice President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with and condolences to Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.

“Two years ago, a white supremacist entered Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue and perpetrated the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history,” wrote Biden. “Eleven innocent lives were taken that Shabbat morning, ripped away from their families by a lone gunman taking longtime forces of bigotry and prejudice to their violent conclusion. This act of terror was not only an assault against the Jewish community of Pittsburgh — it was a strike against the soul of our nation and the values for which America stands.”

Biden acknowledged the continuing pain felt by the community, and its resilience.

“For the families of Tree of Life, New Light, and Dor Hadash, the grief will never fully subside,” wrote the former vice president. “In the two years since, we have witnessed the courage and resilience of these congregations — responding to their most profound moment of fear and despair with purpose, compassion, and love.”

Anti-Semitism, Biden wrote, must be stamped out in all its manifestations.

“When anti-Semitism is allowed to fester, it shreds the fabric of our communities and erodes our soul,” Biden said. “We must stand up and speak out whenever and wherever it rears its head, because silence can become complicity. If we are ever to reach our full potential as a nation, we must banish hatred, bigotry, and conspiratorial fanaticism to the dustbin of history — and choose a path of dignity and respect for all people.”

His message ended on a personal note.

“On behalf of Jill, Kamala, Doug and our families, we stand with the people of Squirrel Hill, the entire Pittsburgh community and all Jewish Americans on this solemn anniversary. May the memories of the victims forever be a blessing.” PJC

– Toby Tabachnick

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