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Pittsburgh Jewish Group tells Trump: Not welcome until “You Fully Denounce White Nationalism”

In an open letter to President Donald Trump, a group of Pittsburgh Jewish leaders said that he is not welcome to visit the city unless he fully denounces white nationalism.

On October 27, Trump said that he planned to visit Pittsburgh in wake of the mass shooting that took 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Trump made the announcement while speaking to reporters before a rally on the same day as the shooting, but did not offer details about when his visit may take place.

“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” the leader stated. “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.”

The letter also calls on Trump to “stop targeting and endangering all minorities” and “cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.”

During the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday, alleged gunman Robert Bowers, age 46, reportedly screamed “all Jews must die” before he opened fire. Prosecutors have filed 29 charges against Bower, 22 of which could lead to the death penalty.

President Trump:

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 mυrderer 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 mυrderer’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, Jamie Forrest, Joshua Friedman, Jamie Harris, Tammy Hepps, Harry Hochheiser, Sasha King, Jonathan Mayo, Elinor S. Nathanson, Avigail S. Oren, Kate Rothstein, Yael Silk

© Photo

Gage Skidmore and Kevin Crivelli

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