(March 15, 2019 / JNS) The Jewish world stands in solidarity with the people of New Zealand after at least 49 people were killed and dozens injured, including children, in mass shootings at two mosques in the town of Christchurch on Friday in what the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said marked “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“The New Zealand Jewish Council has no adequate words to describe how sickened and devastated we are by the coordinated attacks on Christchurch mosques today,” Stephen Goodman, the president of the New Zealand Jewish Council told the Jewish Chronicle.
“Racist individuals imbued with pure hatred of Muslims have attacked normally peaceful New Zealand,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris. “Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of today’s unspeakable crime of mass murder.”
He added that “we in the United States have witnessed horrific attacks on houses of worship, including churches, mosques and synagogues. No one is fully protected from violent hatemongers. We are truly saddened that this same hatred has emerged so violently in New Zealand. The answer must be unity, solidarity and linked arms against evil.”
“I would like to express my horror and revulsion at the terrorist attacks which have targeted people attending two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand today during Friday prayers,” said World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder. “I extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the victims, and to the people of New Zealand. We must redouble efforts to combat hatred and division in our societies, from wherever it emanates.”
The Zionist Organization of America “condemned with all our hearts the horrific murder of 49 innocent Muslims while at prayer,” and sent their “heartfelt condolences to their families and friends.”
Police said that four people were taken into custody. One man, who is reported to be in his late 20s and from Australia, has been charged with murder and will appear in court in Christchurch on Saturday. The gunman reportedly posted a white-nationalist manifesto on social media prior to the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter that Israel “mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand.”
Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand. Israel sends its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 15, 2019
“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!” tweeted U.S. President Donald Trump.