Obama cites Kansas City killings in heritage month proclamation


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Kansas City shootings are a reminder that Americans must come together to reject intolerance, President Obama said in his Jewish heritage month proclamation.

“Jewish communities continue to confront anti-Semitism — both around the world and, as tragic events mere weeks ago in Kansas reminded us, here in the United States,” Obama said in his, proclamation declaring May Jewish American Heritage Month, issued April 30.

“Following in the footsteps of Jewish civil rights leaders, we must come together across all faiths, reject ignorance and intolerance, and root out hatred wherever it exists,” he said.

The FBI director in a speech this week to the Anti-Defamation League’s Washington summit also made a key point of the three killings last month at two Jewish sites in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.

“We must do everything in our power — in government, in law enforcement, and in society — to stop them,” James Comey said of extremist attackers.

“We must do everything in our power to educate people about diversity and the strength that comes from our differences,” he said. “And we must do everything in our power to bring those who act on such hatred to justice.”

In the White House message, Obama also noted how Jews, despite hardships, “have maintained their holy covenant and lived according to the Torah.” He also said the occasion was a time to “renew our unbreakable bond with the nation of Israel.”

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