SEATTLE – After attending a service and vigil at Temple de Hirsch Sinai, Congresswoman Jayapal issued the following statement:
“Earlier this evening at Seattle’s Temple de Hirsch Sinai, I stood proudly with over 2,000 people who gathered to show our deepest support for our Jewish community as we remembered the 11 men and women murdered in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue. These men and women who went to pray were unacceptably targeted simply for being Jewish. Through song, prayer and the rituals of the Jewish tradition, we rejected anti-Semitism, honored those who lost their lives and recommitted ourselves to a world without hate. Powerful speakers reminded us of one of the central tenets of Judaism: that it is only through the collective action of all us that we can truly repair a broken world. We can never be silent in the face of evil, for to do so is to be complicit. It is not a choice, but an obligation to stand against hate and bigotry wherever it appears.
“It cannot be lost on any of us that the shooter targeted the Jewish community in part for its strong support of refugees and immigrants. He explicitly repeated the lies perpetrated by this administration about the so-called dangers of the migrant caravan. Bill Swersey, a spokesman for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society which was referred to by the shooter, said that the shooter was ‘responding to the idea of the Jewish community supporting other people coming to live here. This is an elevation of the issue of anti-immigration, and it’s a concern to us and should be a concern to all Americans.’
“As one of only a dozen members of Congress who is an immigrant myself, and proudly representing a district that believes wholeheartedly that immigrants are essential to our country’s history, present and future, I will continue to stand up with everything I have against hatred, discrimination, xenophobia and bigotry of all kinds. Tonight’s moving vigil at Temple de Hirsch Sinai reminds us of the loving community we live in and the urgent need for us to speak out loudly and clearly against those who seek to divide us with fear of some false ‘other.’ Each of us has our own important role to play in this work of repair and healing in the coming days, months and years. Justice does not come easily, but together, I know that we will defeat the evil at the root of the hate and violence we see around us and create a world worthy of our best ideals.”