World Jewish leaders condemn Orlando nightclub terror attack



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's full statement on the Orlando nightclub terror attack. Credit: Screenshot from Twitter.

( World Jewish groups and Israeli leaders condemned the terror attack on Sunday inside the LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla., in which a terrorist shot and killed at least 50 people and wounded 53 others.

In what was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, 29-year-old terrorist Omar Mateen dialed 911 during the attack to express support for the Islamic State terror group before using an assault rifle to gun down the victims.

"On behalf of world Jewry, I condemn this horrific act of terror and wish to express the Jewish people's solidarity with the victims and with the LGBT community,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder in a statement.

"We are simply speechless in the face of such an act of pure evil and hatred,” said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris, who mourned “the loss of innocent lives" and expressed hope for the "full recovery of those rushed to area hospitals and in need of urgent medical attention."

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Director David Bernstein called the attack “an act of terrorism and a mass hate crime," while Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said the attack had “all the markers of both an unconscionable hate crime and an act of terrorism on a scale we have not before witnessed in America," and is “yet another reminder of the serious threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin also issued condemnations of the attack in Orlando. 

“To @POTUS: The attack against the LGBT community in #Orlando is cowardly & abhorrent. #Israel stands w/America in the fight against hatred," Rivlin tweeted.

"On behalf of the people and government of Israel, I extend our deepest condolences to the American people following last night's horrific attack on the LGBT community in Orlando," Netanyahu said in a statement. "Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States at this moment of tragic loss." 

The city of Tel Aviv also lit its municipal building in the colors of the LGBT and American flags in solidarity with Orlando.

Posted on June 12, 2016 .