Giffords Wasn’t Shot Because of Her Judaism, ADL Says
01/11/11
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WASHINGTON (JTA) -- An analysis of Internet musings by Jared Lee Loughner dismisses speculation that he may have targeted U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords because she is Jewish.

"In the end, the writings so far revealed seem to indicate no particular leanings about race, and it is difficult to come away from the postings with such a conclusion," according to the analysis published Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL analysis also said that the writings do not "point to a particular ideology or belief system."

Loughner's "semi-coherent" writings "are indicative of an individual who has been exposed to a number of different ideas, from across the political spectrum, and has sometimes appropriated external concepts -- often seemingly divorced from their original context," the analysis said.

Loughner, 22, waived bail Monday when he appeared in a federal courtroom to face two federal charges of murder and three charges of attempted murder. He is expected to face additional state murder charges.

Also Monday, President Obama spoke with Giffords' rabbi during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the Jan. 8 shooting at a shopping mall in Tucson.

A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson's Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached in the wake of the attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.

Giffords turned to Aaron after a visit to Israel in 2001 ignited an interest in her Judaism, and the two were close. Aaron performed the ceremony when Giffords married Cmdr. Mark Kelly, an astronaut, in 2007.

Last Update:

01/13/2011 - 15:06

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I saw one report last week that a school friend of Loughner said that Loughner was Jewish himself. Since then I have not seen any reporting to confirm or deny that Loughner is Jewish. Can the Jewish Week research this matter?

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