Tree Of Life Synagogue Shooting
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Politics and Activism

A Holocaust Survivor Escaped Death For The Second Time Last Week, Let That Sink In

We have to remember that there is only one race — the human race.

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Family

On Saturday, October 27th, the 46-year-old gunman, Robert Bowers, opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue. Bowers stormed into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, shouting hate for Jews and killing worshipers in a 20-minute attack. This attack is being considered the worst attack on Jews at worship in American history, where 11 people were killed, two worshipers were injured and four officers were also injured.

A Holocaust survivor, Judah Samet, has almost paid with his life for being Jewish twice. Isn't that insane? More than 70 years ago, he narrowly escaped death in Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Again on Saturday, he looked death in the face.

On Saturday at 9:49 AM, approximately four minutes after the service had started, Judah Samet, pulled into the parking lot of Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. According to The Huffington Post, Samet said that as soon as he pulled into the lot, a man dressed in black tapped on his window and advised him to back out because there was an active shooting going on inside the synagogue.

According to The Washington Post, Samet said, "It's almost like, 'Here we go again.'" After experiencing a great deal of anti-Semitism in concentration camps, he thought that the world had become just a little bit better. He said, "We're now more than 70 years away from it, and here it happens all over again."

Before entering the synagogue, Bowers posted a message on Gab: "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I'm going in." In addition, his profile also showed multiple anti-Semitic comments and conspiracy theories, including one referenced in his last post claiming that the organization Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was bringing "invaders in to kill our people." I believe that these opinions shouldn't have been put up on social media for the world to see. Comments like these can spread like wildfire and cause others to agree with something that can cause havoc — which it did.

Holocaust denial is another act of anti-Semitism, where people deny the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II. These claims can include that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers to mass murder Jews or that the actual number of Jews killed was significantly lower than the historically accepted figure of five to six million.

Anti-Semitism is the hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews, which is generally considered to be a form of racism. The fact that there is still so much anti-Semitism in this world today disgusts me. Growing up, I have not witnessed much anti-Semitism. I believed that hatred amongst Jews had diminished after the Holocaust after people saw all of the horrors and anti-Jewish bigotry that occurred. In reality, it only hibernated for a while and now going public, it will probably get worse. Plus, it is easier these days for people to get their hands on guns and weapons that can release their built up hatred.

There is still so much evil in the world today, and according to the FBI, Jews in the United States are annually subject to the most hate crimes of any religious group, despite only making up two percent of the American population. This fact is sad and shows that we have not progressed as much as we think we have as a nation.

As we get deeper into Trump's presidency, we realize that he is against immigrants and people who were not born in the U.S. President Trump uses campaigns and speeches to express his feelings towards this group of people. What are tactics like these creating? Tactics that preach a dislike towards a specific group of people — whether it be African Americans, Muslims, Hispanics, Jews, or whites. To be honest, sometimes I feel as if we are going back in time and we have to learn how to not be silent in the face of these new policies that President Trump may be throwing at us that are attempting to roll back decades of progress on racial equity.

We have to remember that there is only one race — the human race. I think that people tend to forget that. 11 innocent lives were taken at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue. What is it going to take for anti-Semitism to die? Let that question sink in.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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