New York, October 28, 2018

Partners for Progressive Israel is horrified by the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. As our sister organization, The World Union of Meretz, posted on the day of the tragedy, “Our heart is with the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.”

Moreover, despite our shared grief at the human toll, we cannot avoid recognizing the political context that led directly to this tragedy. The apparent perpetrator was not only antisemitic, he was even more viciously anti-immigrant, and targeted the Tree of Life synagogue as a proxy for HIAS, and the undoubted overwhelming Jewish communal support for immigrant rights in the U.S. and in Israel. President Trump’s recent tirades against the ‘caravan’ of Honduran refugees making its way slowly towards the American border in hopes of asylum clearly helped create the atmosphere in which the gunman felt empowered to attack.

Today, the day after the massacre, as the victims are being buried, we mourn the lives cut short. Tomorrow, we – and, we hope, the large majority of American Jews who support the rights of immigrants – must redouble our political support for organizations and candidates who fight for progressive causes here and in Israel. Partners for Progressive Israel, together with like-minded groups here and in Israel, will continue to support the rights of immigrants, Palestinians, working people and others, to the freedoms so many of them are denied.

Paul Scham

Partners for Progressive Israel