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USCIRF Statement on the Killing of Jewish Worshipers in Jerusalem Synagogue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable slaughter in a Jerusalem synagogue of four Rabbis and one police officer.  Two Palestinians armed with a gun, knives, and axes killed these Rabbis during Morning Prayer, injured several others, and killed a police officer who responded to the attack in the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue in West Jerusalem.  Three of those murdered were American and one was British.

“USCIRF joins with the President and Secretary of State in their condemnation of this attack, and with the Secretary of State’s comments that link these brutal murders to Palestinian leaders’ repeated calls for people to express their rage.  USCIRF calls on world leaders of all faiths both to condemn this vicious attack and support comprehensive education on religious tolerance, coexistence and pluralism.  Tragic crimes like this remind us of the truth of the words of my father Tom Lantos that ‘The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest,’” said USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett.

USCIRF expresses its condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and extends our prayers for a full recovery to those injured.  Targeting worshippers in a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or any place of worship is among the most repugnant acts of terror that can take place.

To interview a USCIRF commissioner, please contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov or 202-786-0613.