Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress President
Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress PresidentShahar Azran/WJC

Amb. Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, commented on Wednesday on the decision by a Pittsburgh jury to sentence the individual who killed 11 Jewish worshippers in October 2018 at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

“Today’s decision represents a measure of justice for the slaughter of 11 Jewish worshippers on that fateful day in 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue. Nothing can ever bring back the people killed in the attack, the deadliest act of antisemitism in the history of the United States,” said Lauder.

“I visited the synagogue in the aftermath of the attack, and at that time, I said the attack was not only on the Jewish community, but America as a whole,” he continued.

“The jury’s decision is a stark reminder to remain vigilant about countering antisemitism, wherever it may hide. I call on American leaders to amplify their efforts to protect Jewish communities across the country so that such a tragedy never again takes place.”

“May the survivors of the attack and the victims’ families find some comfort from the jury’s decision and may the memory of the 11 people killed be for a blessing,” concluded Lauder.

The shooter, Robert Bowers, was convicted in June on 63 counts in connection with the October 27, 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Later, a federal jury announced that he is eligible to receive the death penalty. He was found to have had a history of antisemitic comments on social media.

Trying to persuade jurors to spare his life, the defense said Bowers has a family history of mental illness and has introduced evidence that his father, Randall Bowers, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Lawyers for Bowers had argued previously that the gunman had psychotic, delusional and paranoid symptoms that made him unable to understand the world or make appropriate decisions.