It appears that any presidential outreach to the stricken Jewish community in Pittsburgh, Pa., is going to carry some provisions that I hope the president will honor.
Jewish leaders have told Donald Trump that he isn’t welcome in their city until he renounces white supremacists specifically and categorically. The demand came in the form of a letter written by members of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.
Members have demanded also that the president stop targeting minorities, such as those who are fleeing repression in Central America and have formed the so-called “caravan” en route north.
According to The Hill: “The Torah teaches that every human being is made … in the image of God. This means all of us,” the leaders wrote. “In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.”
Pittsburgh is mourning the deaths of 11 congregants of Tree of Life synagogue. A man known for his anti-Semitic views is under arrest for the slaughter of worshipers on Saturday, the Jewish Shabbat, or sabbath.
Donald Trump should go to the city. He should extend his hand. He should lend his full support. He already has condemned the massacre as an “assault on humanity.”
The Jewish leaders want more. They are demanding the president say something vastly different from what he declared in 2017 after the Charlottesville, Va., riot that left a young woman dead. He tossed blame at “both sides,” the Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, along with those who protested against them. He then declared there were “very fine people … on both sides.”
He needs to retract that hideous attempt at moral equivalence.
That’s what the Pittsburgh Jewish leaders are demanding.
Are you listening, Mr. President?