Smith-Wade-El issues statement on Pittsburgh synogogue shooting trial verdict

LANCASTER, June 16 – State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, released a statement on the guilty verdict issued against the shooter in the Pittsburgh synogogue shooting in 2018.

With the news that the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter has been found guilty on all charges, our office wishes to extend our solidarity to the Jewish communities of Allegheny County, Lancaster County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the entire United States.

“Our thoughts and prayers as an office, and more importantly, my will and vote as a legislator are with those who summoned the will to testify in this trial.

“For years, our Jewish friends and neighbors have been sounding the alarm about the ever-increasing rise of antisemitic hatred, the growing threat of Christian nationalism to American democracy, and the cultural hegemony that dominates and oppresses vulnerable minority communities.

“The arc of the moral universe does not bend toward justice on its own. It takes the bravery of those who have acted in defense of human rights in a world that would harm them for it.

“While hate may begin in the margins, in the shadows, it grows and multiplies in broad daylight thanks to the passive acceptance of the majority. Finally, hate reaches its monstrous apotheosis as an irreversible force, sweeping away millions in its wake. The time is now to stop the rising tide of antisemitism in our homes, in our workplaces, in our towns, in our commonwealth.

“Please do not waste time talking about how ‘this is not our country’,’ as if the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history was an aberration. This is our county. The massacre is both a sign of the times and what is to come if we remain passive and do nothing.

“The massacre and this verdict are a wakeup call to each and every one of us.

“Peace to the fallen - may their memory be a blessing.

“Now, the rest of us must take up our responsibility to fight back and denounce antisemitism, to comfort our friends and neighbors who are suffering, to bend the arc of the universe with both hands.”