Jewish Group to Trump: You’re Not Welcome Until You Denounce White Nationalism
A Jewish progressive organization is calling for Trump to denounce white nationalism after the Tree of Life shooting.
After a mass shooting in Pittsburgh which killed eleven Jewish synagogue members, one self-proclaimed progressive Jewish organization wrote a letter to President Donald Trump telling him he wasn’t welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounced white nationalism.
The incident occurred during the Jewish Shabbat morning services at the Tree of Life Synagogue last Saturday. The temple is located on Squirrel Hill where children’s TV host Fred Rogers formerly lived. The shooter has been arrested and identified as Robert Gregory Bowers, 46.
Bowers was charged late Saturday with 29 federal counts, including hate crimes and had posted anti-Semitic rants on social media. He allegedly shouted anti-Semitic statements during the rampage at the synagogue.
In response to the event, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, released a letter addressed to President Trump accusing him of emboldening a growing white nationalist movement and calling the shooting a culmination of Trump’s influence.
The letter read:
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.
Trump’s Response to Tree of Life Shooting
President Trump quickly condemned the shooting as “an assault on humanity” but was lambasted online for tweeting about the World Series game soon after the killing occurred. He also suggested that the arrested gunman should be given the death penalty and added that an armed guard stationed inside the synagogue could have done better to prevent the attack.
“If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better,” the president said. “Maybe it could have been a very much different situation.”
“It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world. This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst,” Trump said during a rally Saturday night.