World Jewish groups and Israeli leaders have condemned the terror attack on Sunday inside the popular LGBT nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, in which a terrorist shot and killed at least 50 people and wounded 53 others.
In what has become the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the 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 (AJC) 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 (JCPA) Director David Bernstein called the attack “an act of terrorism and a mass hate crime,” while Anti-Defamation League (ADL) 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 it is “yet another reminder of the serious threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group.”
Meanwhile in Israel, just days after last Wednesday’s shooting terror attack at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have 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.
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) June 12, 2016
“On behalf of the people and government of Israel, I extend our deepest condolences to the American people,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States at this moment of tragic loss,” he said.
Orlando is thousands of miles from Israel, but the tragedy there has deeply saddened me. We Israelis feel your pain as if it were our own.
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 12, 2016
The city of Tel Aviv also lit its municipal building in the colors of the LGBT and American flags in solidarity.