A group of progressive Jewish leaders demanded that President Donald Trump stay away from Pittsburgh after Saturday's deadly synagogue massacre until he denounces white nationalism.
Eleven members of the Pittsburgh's Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership wrote a letter to the president accusing him of stirring the hate that led to the shooting that killed 11 people and injured six others at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the letter said. “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.”
“The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. This means all of us,” they added. “In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.”
Trump condemns “wacko” shooter, calls for armed synagogues: The president responded to the deadly shooting by describing the gunman as a “wacko” before adding that an “armed guard” would have produced “better results.”
"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," he said at a rally Saturday.
Tree of Life Rabbi welcomes Trump: While progressive Jewish leaders made headlines by denouncing Trump, Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said in a television interview Monday that the president is welcome to visit and said it would be his “honor” to meet the president. He added that, "we turn to the leaders of our country, and we’ve gotta stop hate. And it can’t just be to say we need to stop hate. We need to do, we need to act to tone down rhetoric."
GOP accused of stoking hate: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) pointed to the anti-Semitic attack and the bomb sent to billionaire Jewish Democratic donor George Soros as the result of conservatives stoking anti-Semitism.
“It’s an ancient hatred, and it’s no accident that they’ve made George Soros the symbol of this, and you do see people from the president on down playing on this, candidates around the country playing on this,” Schiff said on CNN's “State of the Union” Sunday, adding that this “unprecedented expansion, explosion of anti-Semitism, doesn’t happen on its own — it happens because it’s fed.”