New York, NY, January 15, 2022 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) tonight praised Texas law enforcement and the FBI for their work in bringing to an end the tense hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, issued the following statement:
We are deeply grateful to Texas law enforcement and the FBI for their work in ending the tense hostage situation in Colleyville and for the safe return of the hostages to their families. We are also thankful for the support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the many other public officials who handled this situation with the gravity it deserved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, who have endured a horrific trauma. ADL will remain on the scene now and in the difficult days ahead.
This situation is a painful reminder of the fact that synagogues in America continue to be at risk for terrorist attacks. There is no doubt, given what we know so far, that the hostage-taker chose his target carefully. We urge law enforcement and prosecutors to investigate the role antisemitism may have played in motivating the suspect.
Reports have indicated that the suspect called for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist with links to Al Qaeda who railed against Jews during her trial and who had blamed her guilty verdict on Israel. Whether or not this is true, the attack is a reminder that hardened conspiratorial antisemitism is a core tenet of extremists across the spectrum including radical Islamists. And yet let us hope the resolution of this crisis can serve as an opportunity for dialogue and engagement between the American Jewish and Muslim communities so we do not allow hate and those who promote it to divide us.
Finally, though the hostages have been rescued, we urge continued vigilance in securing synagogues and all Jewish institutions in the wake of this attack. The risks remain high in light of the historic level of antisemitism across the country and the proliferation of anti-Jewish hate online. ADL offices across the country will be reaching out to local law enforcement in the coming days to ensure that steps are being taken to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community.