AUSTRALIA’S Jewish community has reacted in horror at news a terrorist shot and killed 40 people at two mosques in Christchurch.
The terrorist stormed two mosques in the New Zealand city where he opened fire on worshippers, live-streaming in the Al Noor Mosque.
New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and an “extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence”.
Prior to the horrific shootings, the man wrote a manifesto detailing his intentions, saying he carried out the attack to “show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people.”
He added, “We must ensure the existence of our people, and a future for white children.”
Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin expressed his horror at the tragedy.
“To kill people peacefully gathered to pray is an act of supreme evil, and one our people have experienced too many times. Our prayers are with the community and with the families of the slain,” he said.
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council director of international affairs Jeremy Jones said he had spoken to many Muslim friends around the world in the wake of the shootings.
“Theres a similarity of experience, the Pittsburgh shooting and this,” he said.
“I feel sick to the stomach.
“It’s unimaginable that someone would not only commit such terrible murders, but then try and rationalise it by saying it’s for a better world for their children.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Lesli Berger and CEO Vic Alhadeff extended their condolences to the Muslim communities of Christchurch, New Zealand and Australia.
“We express our deepest sympathy for the families of these innocent victims. This is a day of profound sadness and we stand in solidarity with you at this time,” they said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, “I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.”