Be vigilant to protect all our neighbors

Anti-Semitism is not welcome in our community. As a people, we in the this area value our Jewish neighbors and have for generations.

Anti-Semitism, or any other form of bigotry, is just wrong.

You will have noticed that we italicized the words “community” and “people” above. That is because we believe firmly that anti-Semitism is not part of our culture in this area.

In all likelihood, people in Pittsburgh, where a gunman killed 11 people and wounded seven at the Tree of Life Synagogue several months ago, feel the same.

So do those in San Diego County, California, where another gunman killed one woman and wounded three other people last week.

Assailants at the synagogues in those two places were outliers in the extreme. That is, they were deranged beyond the understanding of the people of their communities. Obviously, no one understood just how dangerous the sick minds of the killers had become.

It is possible, in fact, that warm, welcoming communities — such as ours — find it difficult to conceive of such homicidal mania.

That places a special responsibility upon us. It is to be vigilant in spotting and doing something about violent bigotry focused on anyone. We owe that to our neighbors.

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