On Saturday, a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas faced a hostage situation after three hostages were held for almost 11 hours. The hostages were unharmed, and the perpetrator was killed after a rescue team breached the synagogue. However, there is no word as to whether the perpetrator was killed from a self-inflicted shot or if the perpetrator was shot by law enforcement. In response, prominent Jewish lawmakers in South Florida are responding to the synagogue attack.
In a live-streamed video, the perpetrator alleged to have had explosives in the synagogue, but no reports indicate if this was true or not.
Immediately, an outpouring of support was shared on social media by Florida lawmakers.
On Twitter, Florida Rep. Lois Frankel (D) issued a response, saying that she was praying for the safety of the Rabbi & congregants being held hostage in Colleyville, Texas.”
Praying for the safety of the Rabbi & congregants being held
hostage in Colleyville, Texas.
— Rep. Lois Frankel (@RepLoisFrankel) January 16, 2022
Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D) shared that “the synagogue was targeted yesterday because it’s a synagogue” and that “Jews were taken hostage because they’re Jews.”
The synagogue was targeted yesterday because it’s a synagogue. Jews were taken hostage because they’re Jews.
Let’s stand up to antisemitism together. The Senate should unanimously confirm Deborah Lipstadt as US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. The time is now.
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 16, 2022
Calling for a stand against antisemitism, Rep. Deutch called for the Senate to “unanimously confirm Deborah Lipstadt as US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.”
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) also took to Twitter to respond to the attack, expressing that she prays “everyone comes from this horrifying situation unharmed.”
I pray everyone comes from this horrifying situation unharmed. Shabbat is about rest, reflection + peace, and my hope is that’s what emerges at the end of this. https://t.co/DhfjNPeSYX
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) January 15, 2022
“Shabbat is about rest, reflection + peace, and my hope is that’s what emerges at the end of this,” she added.
In an interview with CNN, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker spoke of how he interacted with the attacker, Malik Faisal Akram, before the attack.
"Some of his story didn't quite add up, so I was a little bit curious, but that's not necessarily an uncommon thing," he said before describing how the attacker pulled out a gun as the congregation took part in prayers.