May 18, 2024
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
May 18, 2024
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Groups React To Buffalo Shooting

While no Jewish people were victims of last Saturday’s shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in which 10 people were killed and three injured, Jewish communal organizations reacted strongly to the incident, which was allegedly inspired by the suspect’s racist and antisemitic views.

At about 2:30 p.m., 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, arrived at the parking lot of Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. Wearing a tactical helmet, body armor and a body camera through which he livestreamed his actions, he shot four people in the parking lot before entering the store, where he continued shooting at customers and employees. He was engaged by the store’s security guard, a retired Buffalo Police officer, but the guard’s shots were ineffective against Gendron’s body armor, and he was shot and killed.

Upon exiting the store, Gendron was confronted by Buffalo Police. He attempted to shoot himself in the neck before he was talked out of doing it and taken into custody. The shooting was livestreamed on the popular gaming streaming platform Twitch before it was quickly taken down.

Jewish organizations, all too familiar with white supremacist attacks in recent years, quickly expressed outrage at the shooting and sent condolences to the victims. What also upset the Jewish organizations was Gendron’s rambling 180-page manifesto—posted online before the shooting and which has since been removed—where he not only explained that he chose the site of the shooting because of the high percentage of black people living in that area, but he also espoused the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory.

The theory, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, argues that Jews are responsible for the immigration of non-white people into American society with the goal of eventually replacing the white race.

The Orthodox Union issued a statement condemning the attack, standing in solidarity with the community and expressing condolences: “This tragic incident is but the latest in a series of violent crimes fueled by a toxic combination of racist hatred and online media platforms. We renew our call upon leaders of government and the corporate sector to take real and meaningful actions to rein in the river of hate that flows through the online landscape. Congress should pass the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350), and leaders of online corporations must implement policies that thwart the spread of violence-motivating actions.”

Agudath Israel of America expressed its condolences and offered prayers to the victims’ families, adding: “We call upon the full force of the judicial system to punish the shooter to the extent the law allows. We stand in solidarity with the Black community which suffered the deeply painful blow of yesterday’s shooting. In our grief for their loss, we must all renew our efforts to combat racism and hate.”

The largely insular Satmar sect issued a tweet: “The Satmar community expresses its grief after the horrific Buffalo massacre shooting in Buffalo, our condolences to the victims’ families and our prayers for those injured. We stand in solidarity with the Black community. We must all renew our efforts to combat racism and hate.”

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) tweeted it was horrified at the news of the shooting, as well as the existence of the racist and antisemitic manifesto—much of which was plagiarized from a similar manifesto written by the terrorist who shot and killed 50 parishioners in 2019 at the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt said that Gendron was inspired by the same hateful, antisemitic ideology that inspired the shooters who attacked Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue; Chabad of Poway, California; a Walmart in El Paso, Texas; and the 2015 shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“We cannot remain complacent in the face of this continuing and serious national security threat. More must be done—now—to push back against the racist and antisemitic violence propounded by the far right,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “We need our elected leaders at all levels to have the political will to pass meaningful legislation that will hold anyone involved in spreading white supremacist conspiracy theories to account and to stop potentially violent terrorists before they commit a crime.”

In a press release, the American Jewish Congress said it worked with Australia’s Online Hate Prevention Institute to monitor the spread of the attacker’s video and contacted the parent company of the U.S.-based streaming service Streamable to get the video successfully removed the next afternoon. By that time, the release stated, it had already received more than 3.2 million views.

“American Jewish Congress will continue to monitor and lead the way through monitoring and taking action on online extremism and radicalization, advocating for a toughening of the mechanisms that allow the proliferation of radicalizing content online, and with the support of our Advisory Board to Counter Domestic Terrorism and White Supremacy,” the organization said in a release.

The New York Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council condemned the shooting and called for stronger measures to combat racially and religiously motivated hate crimes, including training to help law enforcement identify extremist behavior before it turns violent.

By Dmitriy Shapiro/ and combined sources

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles