A condemnable crime
Jews living in this country, or anywhere else, have a right to gather in a synagogue and pray there in peace. They have a right to observe their religious rituals on their holy days without being disturbed, much less shot at. The 19-year-old who carried out the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, north of San Diego, violated those rights. It was a despicable act and I condemn it in the strongest terms possible.
The place was filled with heartbreaking scenes.
The only one killed was a saint-like 60-year-old Congregant, Lori Kaye. She had gone to the synagogue to say Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead, for her mother who had died recently. Her physician husband was called to tend to a wounded worshipper. He fainted when he found that the “wounded worshipper” was his wife and she was not wounded but was dead.
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein lost his finger in the shootout when he tried to defend himself against the shooter.
The heartbreak was mixed with puzzlement.
The shooter himself called 911 to report the shooting and, when an officer reached him on the roadway, he offered no resistance but jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately arrested.
He was not a Palestinian nor a Muslim. In fact, he was being investigated in connection with an arson attack on a mosque in nearby Escondido on March 24.
My deepest sympathies to the relatives of the woman killed, to the relatives of those injured, to the Rabbi, to the entire Jewish community of the area. May the injuries caused to the bodies and the souls heal quickly and completely. May the anger and hate be replaced with understanding and love.
Readers of this paper may wonder why I, a strong critic of Israel, am posting this. Because I believe that a wrong is a wrong no matter who the wrongdoer is and innocent victims must be shown grief and sympathy whoever they may be.
Besides, my quarrel is not with the Jews as such. My quarrel is with Zionist Jews and their supporters who believe it is alright to not only usurp by force land that belongs to others, but also to massacre them and imprison them, whether in Gaza or the West Bank.
Gulamhusein A. Abba