Yesterday, American Jews woke in terror to the news of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. This terrorism comes after a week of horrific violence against the trans community, immigrants, Black folks, and Democratic officials and donors. That such attacks could be happening in 2018 is frightening.
As young American Jews taking responsibility for the future of our community, we refuse to mince words. The blood spilled yesterday is on Trump’s hands. The antisemitic rhetoric of Trump and other Republican leaders was a direct inspiration for this attack — we cannot ignore that fact.
The rise of antisemitism over the last year has been well documented. This increase in terror is not a coincidence — it is the Trump presidency. Conservative leaders like Kevin McCarthy, Steve King, and Trump are using George Soros and “globalism” as boogeymen to lead a violent resurgence of white nationalism and antisemitism.
11 American Jews were killed because their synagogue embodied the Jewish values of supporting refugees and immigrants. 11 American Jews were killed after a week of conservative leaders pushing the antisemitic lie that paints Jews like Soros as responsible for the Honduran migrant caravan — and paints immigrants and asylum seekers as a danger to the country. This is just one example how antisemitism sits at the root of white nationalism.
But we will not allow Trump’s lies or the violence he and his cronies incite to scare us away from publicly acting out our Jewish values of caring for the stranger and protecting the vulnerable.
This weekend, we mourn and hold each other close, knowing that many members of our community have been targeted by more than one of the Trump Administration’s fascist attacks this week. Tomorrow, we will be fighting back against those who wish us all out of existence. This fight is not ours alone. Our safety depends on solidarity.
These members of our community were killed in Pittsburgh while praying yesterday morning.
Joyce Feinberg, 75, of Oakland
Richard Godfried, 65, of Ross Township
Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
Jerry Robinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
Cecil Rosenthal, 59 & David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill (brothers)
Bernice Simon, 84 & Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg (husband & wife)
Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington
Baruch Dayan Emet. Zichronam L’Vracha . Rest in Power.