The warning signs of Saturday’s horrific shooting of the Tree of Life Synagogue have been festering for several years.
On Saturday, 11 congregants were killed inside their place of worship. They were targets simply because of their faith. We can say this is unacceptable, that hate has no place in American society today. But the hateful ideology that fueled this massacre had already been on display.
In 2016, half of reported anti-religious hate crimes were motivated by anti-Semitism. The following year, anti-Semitic incidents increased by nearly 60 percent, according to the Anti-Defamation League. These are what have been reported. We know many hate crimes never are.
While violent far-right ideology appears to live on the fringes, it is informed by very mainstream acts of intolerance.
And we all have an obligation to fight for each other’s human rights, to make equality and justice the ultimate goal. The American people must not rest until their leadership and neighbors alike reflect these values.
We can not allow anti-Semitism to surge without acknowledging that this type of hateful ideology is always moving toward violence.
The only question is when.
Today, we urge everyone to take action. Get engaged. And stay engaged.
Do not become numb to it.