Pittsburgh attack: UN chief Antonio Guterres calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

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United Nations | Published: October 29, 2018 10:55:26 AM

UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed shock over a deadly mass-shooting inside a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh and called for a "united front" against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred in many parts of the world.

UN chief Antonio Guterres

UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed shock over a deadly mass-shooting inside a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh and called for a “united front” against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred in many parts of the world. In a statement issued by his Spokesman, Guterres said that the horrific attack, which left 11 people dead and several others critically wounded, was a “painful reminder of continuing anti-Semitism”.

On Saturday, armed with a rifle and three handguns, a white man spewing anti-Semitic threats blasted his way into the synagogue, killing 11 worshippers and injuring six others, in the deadliest attack on Jews in the history of America. In his statement, Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

“Jews across the world continue to be attacked for no other reason than their identity. Anti-Semitism is a menace to democratic values and peace, and should have no place in the 21st century,” he added.  He called for “a united front – bringing together authorities at all levels, civil society, religious and community leaders and the public at large – to roll back the forces of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and xenophobia gaining strength in many parts of the world.”

The shooter, identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, yelled “all Jews must die” as he stormed Saturday the ‘Tree of Life’ Congregation Synagogue at Squirell Hill in Pittsburgh, where a large number of people had gathered for a baby naming ceremony. He surrendered after he was injured in firing with the police.

Tree of Life is located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighbourhood, which is known as the heart of the local Jewish community. Initial reports say that the gunman’s social media posts were rife with anti-Semitic comments. The shootings are now under intense investigation at a Federal level, as it is being treated as a hate crime.

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