Baltimore police
Baltimore policeiStock

The murder of 31-year old Jerusalem resident Efraim Gordon in Baltimore, Maryland this week has sent shockwaves through the American Jewish community and in Israel, especially as it is being treated as a robbery gone wrong even though Gordon’s sister Ella told Arutz Sheva that it was a “murder with an anti-Semitic background.”

Blake Flayton, co-founder of the New Zionist Congress, said on Twitter, “The family heard his assailant shouting antisemitic slurs before he shot him. A murder of a kippah-wearing Jew in cold blood on the streets of America.”

In a statement on her website, Pamela Geller questioned whether Jews are still safe in America. She lamented the lack of media coverage.

“Where else have you read this story?” she said. If the murder victim hadn’t been a Jew, “we’d be tortured with the story 24/7.”

Baltimore native, @machiswife, who tweets as Jasmin, echoed Geller’s sentiment. “In Baltimore, Efraim Gordon was shot and killed. Shot and killed for being Jewish. In my home town. I’m disgusted. Not an ounce of media coverage.”

She wondered how long the silence from voices that usually speak up would continue. “I mean quite literally no one is talking about this. Go ahead and stay silent. Go ahead and continue to ignore and oppress (and) abuse Jewish people,” she added.

Law student Joel Taubman was quick to note that Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott had promised to unite the city against anti-Semitism.

So far Scott has not addressed the killing of Gordon, although he is meeting with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to address general gun violence in the city.

“Mayor Scott, will you ensure #JusticeForEfraim?” he tweeted.

“(Baltimore Police) are ignoring that Efraim Gordon's murder was a hate crime. The family made clear this was not a theft, but a targeted attack,” Taubman wrote in a follow-up post.

“Your daily reminder that #EfraimGordon was shot dead this week in Baltimore by an attacker yelling antisemitic slurs. The murderer(s?) has not been found and police are still calling it a robbery,” he tweeted.

Other American Jewish activists on Twitter posted similar calls for justice under the hashtag, #JusticeForEfraimGordon.

“In an antisemitic hate crime, Efraim Gordon, visiting from Israel, was killed by shooter yelling antisemitic slurs. The Baltimore police are saying it's "a robbery gone bad. The killer is on the loose. His crime? That he was visibly Jewish with a kippah,” tweeted @AJshResistance.

Baltimore City Councillor Yitzy Schleifer in a statement said, “We are constantly on a unified front working to fight for the safety of the community. It has been, and continues to be, both our top priorities from day one in office. The community has now suffered the ultimate loss from the horrific violence plaguing this City. Our efforts to ensure the safety of our constituents will not only continue, but will increase. The murderer must be apprehended and prosecuted. Justice must be served. And we must never wake up to anything like this again.”

Israel-based writer Hen Mazzig wrote on Twitter that the story is already getting lost in the news cycle.

“Orthodox Jew Efraim Gordon was killed in Baltimore yesterday. Witnesses heard his murderer shout antisemitic slurs while gunning him down,” he tweeted. “ Because he was visibly Jewish in public, Efraim lost his life. We cannot — and will not — let his story get lost in the news cycle too.”

Gordon was in Baltimore to attend the wedding of a cousin when he was shot and killed on the steps of a relative’s house.

Most American Jewish organizations have so far declined to issue statements on the murder.