Protests meet Trumps as they pay respects at Pittsburgh synagogue

Trump and his wife, Melania, briefly entered the crime scene and lit a candle before laying white roses by the Stars of David bearing the names of the victims outside.

PROTESTS MEET TRUMPS AS THEY PAY RESPECTS AT PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE, October 30, 2018 (Reuters)
WASHINGTON – Hundreds of Pittsburghers took to the idyllic streets of Squirrel Hill on Tuesday as US President Donald Trump and his family visited the Tree of Life Synagogue, the site of an unprecedented massacre of Jews this past weekend.
Trump and his wife, Melania, as well as his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, briefly entered the crime scene and lit a candle before laying white roses by the Stars of David bearing the names of the victims outside.
Ivanka and Jared are both observant Jews, as is Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who stood outside the synagogue as the family entered. Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer was also there.
Trump said the purpose of his brief visit was to pay respects to the 11 congregants slaughtered in prayer this past Shabbat. The attack marks the deadliest antisemitic assault in American history, and the president, over the weekend, vowed to “destroy” those who seek to attack Jews or their way of life.
But several leaders of Pittsburgh’s vibrant Jewish community rebuffed his overtures. While the neighborhood’s rabbis were busy with funerals and families of the fallen, several members of their synagogues planned a march demanding Trump expressly condemn white nationalists and bigots.
Protesters sang Jewish prayers as they slowly walked through Squirrel Hill’s streets. The gathering was organized by a local chapter of Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish organization that has opposed the president’s policies on immigration.
And their protestations could be heard inside the synagogue as the president was there, according to one pool reporter with him on the scene.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, had suggested that Trump follow the wishes of the victims' families.
But the White House noted that Tree of Life’s Rabbi Jeffrey Myers had said the president was welcome any time.


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