The shooting that left two dead and several injured in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday — when Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for their faith — has shined a spotlight on the worldwide rise of anti-Semitic incidents.
The attack in Germany, where investigators are pursuing anti-Semitic motives after the assailant reportedly shot at the door of a synagogue in an attempt to gain entry, drew swift condemnation from United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and renewed calls from Jewish groups in the U.S. to step up cooperation in combating anti-Semitism.
“We have been saying for several years that anti-Semitism is real, it’s resurgent, it’s lethal and it’s multi-sourced,” American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said in an interview.
Harris added that Wednesday’s Yom Kippur attack in Halle, coming on the heels of the one-year anniversary of an anti-Semitic shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, “should all be triggering alarm bells. The question is whether they are.”
Robert Bank, president and CEO of American Jewish World Service, issued a statement calling on people “of every background around the world to combat the increasing waves of hatred and intolerance against all people, including anti-Semitic, racist, Islamophobic, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic violence.”