JCPA Statement on Shooting of Three Palestinian Students in Burlington, VT

For Immediate Release
November 26, 2023

Jewish Council for Public Affairs CEO Amy Spitalnick released the following statement:

“We’re absolutely horrified by the shooting of three Palestinian students in Burlington last night. There is still more to learn but reports indicate that the students were wearing keffiyehs and speaking Arabic, and the suspect, who was described by Burlington police as a white man with a handgun, didn’t say a word before firing at least four times. 

As Jews, we unequivocally reject those targeting our Arab and Muslim neighbors with bigotry, threats, and violence — full stop.

What we wrote last month – in a statement organized by JCPA and signed by over 160 Jewish organizations – is even more true today: ‘Particularly as extremists continue to exploit this moment, we are reminded that all of our communities’ safety and futures are inextricably linked — and recommit ourselves to fighting hate in all its forms.’

No matter what the loudest voices tell us, this is not zero-sum. Fighting anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate and violence is not at odds with Jewish safety; in fact, our own safety and values demand it.

We are praying for a swift and full recovery for Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed — and for the day when Arabs, Muslims, Jews, and all our neighbors can finally live safely and freely.”