Shocked by Kansas City shootings, Jews worldwide call for solidarity, vigilance

European Jewish Congress says incident reflects "intolerable rise in neo-Nazi violence on a global scale."

 Jewish retirement home in Kansas where gunman opened fire. (photo credit: screenshot)
Jewish retirement home in Kansas where gunman opened fire.
(photo credit: screenshot)
In the aftermath of Sunday’s horrifying shooting outside a Jewish community center and an old-age home near Kansas City which left three people dead, Jews worldwide are urging solidarity and a renewed, vigorous effort at rooting out anti-Semitism.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, the site of one of the shootings by a suspected white supremacist, invited Facebook users to change their profile picture to pay homage to the three victims killed in the attack.
Meanwhile, the incident sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish community worldwide.
The Anti-Defamation League, American Jewry’s most recognizable and powerful organization, called the shooting “an unspeakable and heinous act of violence.”
“While it is too early to label these shootings as a hate crime, the fact that two Jewish institutions were targeted by the same individual just prior to the start of the Passover holiday is deeply troubling and certainly gives us pause,” the ADL’s St. Louis regional director, Karen Aroesty, said.
“We have reached out to local, state and federal law enforcement and stand willing and able to offer guidance and assistance to the community if this incident turns out to have been motivated by anti-Semitism.”
The European Jewish Congress issued a statement on Monday warning of a new wave of violence inspired by neo-Nazi sentiment.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing an intolerable rise in neo-Nazi violence on a global scale,” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said. “Many assume that this is just a European problem, but its affects are felt around the world and for a global problem we need a global response.”
“We cannot continue to tolerate these forms of hate and leave neo-Nazi groups unmolested because of so-called ‘freedom of expression,’ when it can turn into such violence and bloodshed,” he said.
“We stand with our brothers and sisters in the US at this difficult time and stand ready to assist in fighting this scourge together because hate knows no boundaries, especially in the age of the internet,” Kantor continued.
“We call for the creation of an international task force that will fight hate through educational, legislative and punitive platforms on a worldwide scale.”