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FEATURING TALLIE BEN-DANIEL – When President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump paid tribute on Tuesday to the 11 victims of the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, they were met by a mass protest. More than a thousand protesters gathered outside the Tree of Life Synagogue where a white man named Robert Bowers opened fire last Saturday. The protesters chanted, “Words Matter,” and, “Trump, Go Home.” As the Presidential motorcade passed by, someone held a sign saying, “It’s your fault.” The Synagogue shooting was, “the worst single attack on American Jews in the history of the country.”

Just minutes before he committed the massacre, the gunman posted a note to the right wing social media outlet Gab that HIAS, the Jewish nonprofit that resettles refugees in the United States, “likes to bring invaders that kill our people.” He added, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” The timing of his actions are likely linked to Trump’s whipping up of anti-immigrant hysteria against the “caravan” of refugees heading to the US from Central America.

Tallie Ben-Daniel, Manager of Research and Education at Jewish Voice for Peace.

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