Stunning: Cory Booker's statement on Jersey City slaughter doesn't mention Jews or antisemitism
See update below:
New Jersey senator Cory Booker delivered a slap in the face of Jews everywhere with his statement on the horrific attack on his constituents in Jersey City, targeted because they were Jews. Not a word about Jews or Jew-hatred, or the spread of violence directed against Jews.
Booker is traveling the same road as his buddy Barack Obama, who could bring himself to condemn only "zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris," on the parallel targeted slaughter of Jews in Paris at a kosher supermarket. They were not "randomly" targeted, and to pretend Jew-hatred was not the motive is dishonest and dangerous. Booker is equally irresponsible, using only the word "residents" to describe the victims. At least he didn't call the slaughter random, but he gave no reason behind it, calling it merely "senseless," as if there were no motive.
I have no problem at all with the emphasis Booker did place on the sacrifice of Jersey City police detective Joe Seals and his family. But ignoring the other victims, who were killed because of their religion and ethnicity and failing to identify the evil that lay behind the entire project is scarily dishonest, as if Jew-hatred is so normal and understandable that it needs no notice at all.
Here is Booker's statement:
U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement on today's killings in Jersey City:
"Once again, our nation is faced with scenes of carnage, fear, hopelessness, and loss. There should be no place in America where residents are gunned down while shopping for groceries, officers are slain while protecting our communities, and children are sheltering in place at school. These tragedies cannot become our new normal.
"I am thankful to the Jersey City Police Department, first responders and law enforcement officers from across New Jersey and neighboring areas that bravely ran toward danger to steer their neighbors to safety. My prayers and deepest sympathies are with the victims of today's horrific and senseless tragedy in Jersey City. Our focus now should be continuing the investigation, honoring the sacrifice of Detective Seals and our other fallen New Jerseyans, praying for the full recovery of the injured officers, and doing everything we can to protect our communities from gun violence."
Earlier today, Booker was at the Jersey City Greenville precinct for a briefing by local law enforcement and representatives from federal agencies about the ongoing investigation.
The officer killed today in Jersey City was named Joe Seals, a south district detective with the police department's cease fire unit.
He was the father of five and had served on the force since 2006. He recently moved out of Bayonne earlier this year to North Arlington but reportedly loved his Hudson County hometown, and loved wearing the uniform of the Jersey City Police Department.
"It's a really tough day for the city of Jersey City," Mayor Steven Fulop told reporters this evening.
Two other officers wounded in today's shootout were treated and released.
Joe Seals was promoted to detective and was a leading police officer in removing guns from the streets, according to Mayor Fulop. Veteran reporter Jonathan Dienst said Detective Seals approached a van that was connected to a weekend Bayonne murder he was investigating. The officer was mortally wounded. The van then fled to the bodega where five people, including the two suspects, died after a shootout with police.
The detective was killed while trying to interdict guns at the cemetery, Police Chief Michael J. Kelly told reporters this evening.
Update: Senator Booker offered a second statement, together with Senator Menendez, (not before the cameras and not exactly powerful) that does mention Jews:
U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez today released the following joint statement in response to the fatal shooting this week in Jersey City being formally investigated as a hate crime and potential act of domestic terrorism:
"The targeted attack that terrorized the streets of Jersey City and took four innocent lives appears to be fueled by anti-Semitism and hatred towards police. This is not who we are as New Jerseyans or Americans. These reprehensible acts might test our faith, but we must steadfastly commit ourselves to creating a world where no family member or community has to endure the pain felt in Jersey City right now.
"This inhuman attack on our Jewish community and the men and women of law enforcement who risk their lives each day to protect the public was an attack on all of us who call New Jersey home, on our values and our belief in religious liberty and human rights. Each of us grieves along with the families of the victims and the people of Jersey City.
"The brave first responders who swiftly responded deserve our sincere thanks and gratitude, especially to the family of Detective Joseph Seals, who made the ultimate sacrifice and crystallized the risk our officers take each day they kiss their families goodbye and leave for work. To the families of Moshe Deutsch, Mindy Ferencz, and Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, we not just offer our prayers and our offices' assistance during this difficult time, but we commit to ensuring their lives were not lost in vain by renewing our resolve to combat rising anti-Semitism across our nation and the world and to pursue common sense, lifesaving gun safety reform."
"New Jersey is the most diverse state in the nation, where we take pride in welcoming people of different faiths and backgrounds, and live together as neighbors, friends and coworkers in pursuit of our shared common goals. Our strength is rooted in our differences and our ability to worship freely. There is no room in our communities or in our hearts for this evil. Not today, not tomorrow, never."
Caricature by Donkey Hotey.
Hat tip: Lauri Regan.