Durbin Statement On One-Week Anniversary Of The Worst Ant-Semitic Attack In U.S. History

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement ahead of the one-week anniversary of the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue claimed 11 lives:

“The tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh revealed in heartbreaking detail the hate and latent violence that lives in the hearts of too many in this land. As I reached out to many of my Jewish friends I learned the stunning personal impact of this tragedy. Many characterize it as the worst incident of anti-Semitic violence in America they could ever recall.

“When I spoke to my friend Barry Marks, the Rabbi at Temple Israel in Springfield, we were both struck by the grim truth that several of the victims who were alive during the time of the Holocaust lost their lives decades later at the hands of a hate-filled American.”

“The perpetrator of this carnage expressed his rage over the activities of HIAS, a Jewish charitable group which works to help refugees settle in our country, refugees not unlike my mother who came to America from Lithuania in 1911. I was heartened to learn that despite the negative statements about immigrants and refugees still flowing from the highest levels of our government, HIAS is receiving record levels of support since the Tree of Life tragedy.

“America has experienced spasms of nativism at different times in our history, and over time we have always risen above them and returned to our core values. Now is the time to pull together to restore our particularly American values of tolerance and diversity.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Jewish community and my many friends as we mourn this horrible event and strengthen our resolve to confront and conquer the forces of hate in our land.”