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Trump to visit Pittsburgh after synagogue shooting

01 November 2018

Nancy Bernstein, co-chair of J Street Pittsburgh, a liberal American Jewish group, said that many American Jews accuse Trump of contributing to the polarized atmosphere that led to the shooting and were unhappy about Israeli leaders being so close with the president.

Not everyone in Pittsburgh was opposed to the visit.

Thousands of mourners jammed a synagogue, a Jewish community center and a third, undisclosed site for the first in a weeklong series of funerals for victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.

Suspect Robert Bowers faces 29 federal charges, including counts of hate crimes that are potentially punishable by death. More than 1,800 people, some from across the United States, came to pay respects to relatives of David Rosenthal, 54, and Cecil Rosenthal, 59, at Rodef Shalom, another synagogue in the Squirrel Hill district that forms the heart of the city's Jewish community.

The charges allege that he carried out the killings while violating the victims' constitutional right to the free exercise of religious beliefs - which is considered a hate crime under USA law.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon to offer condolences to the victims of the Synagogue shooting.

The brothers were widely known as "the boys", the Rosenthals' sister, Diane Hirt, noted.

Yes, the White House falsely leaked that the mayor, county executive, and governor of Pennsylvania will meet with him, when it reality, they will be at the funerals for the murdered.

"It was tragic, it was sad - it was a handsome tribute to two wonderful, loving, innocent men", said Paul Taylor, a Catholic priest who attended the service, which he said was "standing room only".

Authorities have not said whether Bowers - who was wounded during the gun battle with police responding to the synagogue - is cooperating with investigators or detailed what he may have told them.

A line stretched around the block as mourners - some in white medical coats, some wearing yarmulkes, black hats or head scarves - passed beneath the blue Romanesque arches into the brick building.

Funeral services were also held for Jerry Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old family physician, and retiree Daniel Stein, 71.

"A lot of people are feeling really angry about this".

"It's just enraging that this type of hate crime could occur here and that the leadership of our country does not denounce anti-Semitism and does not denounce white nationalism and does not denounce neo-Nazism", mourner Joanna Izenson told AFP.

"I think the reason Donald Trump is sending troops to these asylum-seekers instead of help is because in his mind, this is an invasion", Noah said. "It's just such a loss".

The funerals for the victims began on Tuesday and are continuing through the rest of the week.

After the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend, President Donald Trump released a two-part statement on Twitter to condemn the shooting that left 11 dead. Outside, they laid white roses as well as stones for each of the dead, a Jewish burial tradition. Sanders added the president was "moved by the visit". Hundreds of protesters assembled to show their displeasure with Trump's presence.

Many Jews have gathered in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh to make sure that Trump doesn't get the photo-op he wants so badly, he'd defy the wishes of the community in mourning.

The incidents have led to accusations that Mr. Trump has fanned violence through nearly daily tweets and speeches lambasting illegal immigrants, political opponents and journalists in divisive language.

Mr Trump's visit to Pennsylvania's second largest city came seven days before elections that will determine whether his Republican Party maintains control of both houses of Congress or whether the Democrats seize a majority in one chamber or both.

Trump to visit Pittsburgh after synagogue shooting