Two days after I posted my blog article entitled “Trump’s Shooting Off His Mouth Is Going To Get Some Killed; “Political Serial Bomber” Targets Trump Critics”, 11 people were shot dead and six injured in a synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.
Almost immediately, President Trump’s response to the shooting was to shoot off his mouth once again saying the synagogue massacre could have been prevented had it had arm security.
Well Mr. President, the synagogue did have security.
Trump wants more guns and security to protect people at their place of worship, but I doubt he would include Muslim temples.
RISE IN ANTISEMITISM
The Anti-Defamation League logged a 57 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2017, compared to the previous year, including bomb threats, assaults, vandalism, and anti-Semitic posters and literature found on college campuses.
Swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti have been cropping up on synagogues and Jewish homes around the country. Jews online are subject to vicious slurs and threats.
Many synagogues and Jewish day schools have been amping up security measures.
The number of threats against synagogues in the United States is up 56% in the last year, yet Trump stokes hatred and violence at his pre-midterm rallies and he denies he has something to do with the discourse going on in this country.
When asked at the daily White House Press briefing as to whether President Trumps words and actions are dividing the country and contributing to discourse, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took sharp issue with the question and said President Trump was in fact uniting the country.
Huckabee Sanders went on to blame the media as causing 90% of the discourse in this country with all the negative reporting of Trump.
TRUMP’S TRIP TO PAY RESPECTS TO THOSE MURDERED
Trump announced his intent to travel to Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh and did so on October 30 accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump and his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Cushner, who are both Jewish.
The Mayor of Pittsburgh had requested Trump not go and to wait a week so that the community could bury their dead without distraction nor expense that a Presidential visit entails for local law enforcement.
None of the top four congressional leaders traveled with the Trump and first lady to Pittsburgh, despite invitations from the White House.
Trump was not greeted by a delegation of local elected officials as is the case with most Presidential trips.
When Trump showed up with his family members to the Tree of Life Synagogue where the 11 were killed, he was greeted by a few thousand protesters some chanting “go home” or “your not welcomed here”.
Notwithstanding, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers for the Tree of Life Synagogue greeted President Trump with respect.
Two of those killed were buried that day.
President placed stones, as part of Jewish tradition, and white roses on the Stars of David set up in a makeshift memorial for those killed.
After visiting the synagogue, the president and first lady went to a hospital where they met with medical staff and officers who were wounded in the attack.
The day after his trip, Trump dismissed the demonstration tweeting that the “small protest was not seen by us, staged far away.”
TRUMP DOES NOT GET IT THAT HE IS THE PROBLEM
In a remarkable and open letter to President Trump, a Pittsburg Jewish steering committee known as BEND THE ARC JEWISH ACTION, sent the following letter to the White House:
Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.
For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.
Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted. You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.
The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.
The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.
This means all of us.
In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God. While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:
President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.”
Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Steering Committee
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The embarrassment for Trump is that the Pittsburgh Jewish Community told him in no uncertain terms he was not wanted in their community but he went anyway.
With his trip, Trump shows that he has absolutely no shame, and probably never will, and that everything just has to always be about him.
With any luck, the American people have had a belly full of Trump and the Republican Party and send a strong message to both in the November midterms by electing Democratic majorities in the United State House and Senate.
Just once in his lifetime, Trump could have had respect for others and not go to Pittsburg where he was not invited, not wanted and not needed.
We need to pray that Trump will get the message someday and take responsibility for the division and discourse going on in this country and stop shooting off his mouth via “TWITTER”.