Israeli UN Ambassador: Pittsburgh synagogue attack shows we must act to prevent future atrocities

The attack Saturday by a gunman on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people and left six wounded shows that it is time for all of us to take action against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigoted terror.

Not only should this type of attack be condemned – we must reassess and improve our security measures to protect us from future atrocities.

Every American must condemn this attack. Regardless of political persuasion, the slaughter was not just an attack on the Jewish community, but an assault on America’s values.

Freedom of religion – a core value of American society – is under assault. Three years ago, a deranged individual opened fire on people praying in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. This type of religiously inspired violence is un-American and must be condemned.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise across the Western world. The Jewish community is keenly aware of this anti-Semitic violence. For years, Jews have been the top target of hate crimes in America.

And European Jewry is experiencing an alarming spate of anti-Jewish violence, including from bigots who couch their anti-Semitism in anti-Israel rhetoric or motives.

Barely a couple generations removed from the Holocaust, European Jews are heightening the security measures in their communities to protect against the latest reincarnation of anti-Semitism. In America, we need to do the same.

Finally, we must go on the offensive and begin monitoring social media sites to identify those most likely to commit terrorist attacks.

Finally, we must go on the offensive and begin monitoring social media sites to identify those most likely to commit terrorist attacks.

Authorities say the man accused of being the Pittsburgh killer made his intentions clear through his social media presence; so, too, did the individual accused of sending 14 pipe bombs to prominent Americans and CNN through the mail.

In Israel, we have successfully prevented attacks by monitoring people whose social media statements and affiliations raise red flags. We conduct an investigation and speak with the suspect’s family to further assess the likelihood for that individual to commit violence. This tactic has saved many lives.

Israel is no stranger to anti-Semitic violence. Yet, we have learned how to best prevent terrorist attacks while still upholding the same freedoms found in America.

It is important to be vigilant in condemning, protecting against, and monitoring incidents of anti-Semitism. Propagating this bigotry on social media – whether it’s calling Jews derogatory names or referring to us as “termites,” as Louis Farrakhan did recently – should have no place in America and must be exposed.

Additional security measures must be taken to ensure no one fears the freedom to practice their religion. And law enforcement must begin monitoring social media to prevent future attacks.

In Jewish tradition, it is said that destroying a life is like destroying a universe. This weekend, 11 universes departed from this world. As we remember the dead, pray for the wounded, and grieve with the families, let us make sure we do what is necessary to protect the community.