Stand With Tree of Life Synagogue Community, Join Us in Condemning Violence and Anti-Semitism

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Wednesday October 31 2018

In an unconscionable act of hate, a man attacked worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this past Saturday. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers vigorously condemns the attack and the anti-Semitism that motivated it.

Our members mourn for the deceased and feel pain in empathy for their loved ones and community. We wish speedy recovery to the injured and send our condolences to the families and all those mourning friends and loved ones.

Victims include people like Rose Mallinger who, at 97, had volunteered for years preparing breakfast for others. In the coming days we will hear more about the victims and their contributions to the community. Each one had a story. Celebrate their lives. This loss reminds us that things have gone too far when hateful rhetoric is directed against entire communities and leads to violence. It re-traumatizes the victims of the Holocaust, as well as their descendants.

It fills us with sorrow to know that someone would target people gathering in a place of peace and worship based on their Jewish faith and identity.

Sadly, the alarming tide of hatred and xenophobia, including anti-Semitism that we are witnessing today divides people, breeds fear, and instigates violence. Anti-Semitism and other hateful doctrines are not new, and we have always had to fight hard against them. This is our responsibility as loving, interconnected people, and as trade unionists.

We must continue to confront hate in all its forms, it has no role in modern society but a destructive one, and thus becomes an instrument of oppression.

Anti-Semitism has a long and brutal history. It is an ancient scourge, and whether we are speaking of the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, or the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis, we remain firm in our condemnation of such acts, when ethnic and religious communities are targeted.

Today we see the unacceptable rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and violence directed against refugees and immigrants. In Canada, we have witnessed massacres of women and hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women. White power and white supremacy are on the rise.

Previous generations have taught us that this must be stopped before it gets worse. We have no choice.

Meanwhile, do not lose hope: we believe at the same time that love and solidarity overcome hate, and are essential in a world so damaged by senseless propaganda and ignorance. Your hope, combined with passionate action, can shine as a beacon in our dark times.


In Solidarity,

Dave Bleakney
2nd National Vice-President