Biden condemns hate speech on anniversary of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting


President Biden on Wednesday commemorated the third anniversary of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue by warning against hate speech and calling for stronger action against domestic terrorism.

“We must always stand up and speak out against antisemitism with clarity and conviction, and rally against the forces of hate in all its forms because silence is complicity,” Mr. Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. “We must recognize in others our shared humanity and summon unexpected faith in unanticipated moments — in the hope that we might heal and rebuild.”

Mr. Biden also called for stronger laws targeting domestic terrorism and gun violence and said houses of worship must be protected.

The Oct. 27, 2018, attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, which killed 11 and left seven injured, was the deadliest act of antisemitism in U.S. history.

Federal prosecutors say accused gunman Robert Bowers was active on social media sites filled with hateful rhetoric. Mr. Bowers himself talked online about killing Jews and made numerous posts on social media disparaging Jewish people and organizations, according to court testimony from a police officer.

Mr. Bowers faces more than 60 federal and state charges, including criminal homicide, attempted murder, hate crime violations and obstruction of religious belief.

He has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

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