Protests meet Trumps in Pittsburgh
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand with Rabbi Jeffrey Myers as they place stones at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in the wake of the shooting at the synagogue where 11 people were killed and six people were wounded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, . (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/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 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 Orthodox 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’s mayor, Bill Peduto, a Democrat, had suggested Trump wait until families had buried the dead to visit.

But the White House noted that Tree of Life’s rabbi, Jeffrey Myers, had said the president was welcome any time.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post