The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America strongly condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack at a nightclub in Orlando. At least 49 people were killed and 53 injured, several very seriously, during gunfire that erupted around 2 am on the first morning of Shavuot.
In a conversation with a 9-11 operator during his rampage, the killer pledged allegiance to ISIS.
In separate statements on Tuesday, after the holiday, each group said it was not acceptable to attack people because of their affiliations. The club catered to a gay clientele, and news reports suggested that that orientation played a role in its selection as a target by the terrorist.
“No individual or group should be singled out in such a nefarious way,” the RCA said. “No American should be assailed due to his or her personal identity,” said the OU.
Israeli officials and secular Jewish leaders in the United States also condemned the attack.
In a statement attributed to Nathan Diament, its executive director for public policy, the OU said:
“The Orthodox Union strongly condemns the violent attack perpetrated this past weekend in Orlando, Florida.
“While all the facts surrounding the terrible crime are yet to be revealed, it is clear that those people who were murdered and grievously injured were targeted because of their identification with the LGBT community. All people of good will must condemn such violence.
“No American should be assailed due to his or her personal identity.
“All acts of terrorism against any group must be vigorously defended against and thwarted.
“The Orthodox Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of those who perished and prays for the full recovery of those injured. We support the work of law enforcement to fully investigate this terrible incident and bring to justice anyone who supported the perpetrator.”
The RCA, in a statement attributed to President Shalom Baum, said: