Trump is not to blame for the Pittsburgh massacre  

This past Saturday, the Jewish day of rest, a middle-aged man burst into a baby-naming service at a Pittsburgh synagogue. What followed was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history.

Eleven men and women, who had come only to celebrate and to pray, were gunned down, their blood pooling around their scattered prayer books. A heroic team of local police officers charged the shul under heavy fire. Though many sustained severe injuries, the massacre was finally brought to an end. The gunman was captured and should, in my opinion, face the death penalty.

{mosads}President Trump has unequivocally condemned the slaughter as an “anti-Semitic act of ‘pure evil.’” The president declared “the widespread persecution of Jews” to be “one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history,” and one which he vowed to fight. “It will take all of us working together to extract the poison of anti-Semitism from our world,” the president went on, asking Americans to “unite to conquer hate.”

The man named as the shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, announced his arrival at the synagogue by screaming “all Jews must die.” He allegedly later told police officers that Jews were committing “genocide against his people.” Pretty ironic, that.

On social media, Bowers had frequently attacked not only Jews but President Trump for his closeness to Jews. “Trump is surrounded by k****,” the killer lamented. ”There is no #MAGA as long as there is a k*** infestation.”

Despite these facts, however, many people have come close to blaming Trump for the shooting.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, widely expected to run for the presidency in 2020, seemed to do so in a statement that said “words matter” and “silence is complicity.” Famed economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman tweeted a link to the story with the caption, “but none of the white supremacist terrorism has anything to do with Trump, oh no.” The Washington Post featured an op-ed on its homepage asking “How much responsibility does Trump bear for the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh?” The author of that piece, GQ’s Julia Ioffe, tweeted “a word to [her] fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.”

To politicize the murder of 11 Jews — the worst anti-Semitic attack on American soil in our nation’s history — is lamentable.

As a Jew, I am extremely grateful to President Trump for the unparalleled support he has shown Israel in the Oval Office. That did not stop me from publicly and strongly criticizing the president for his failure to insufficiently condemn the white supremacists in Charlottesville. But if we are to criticize serious failure, as we must, then we must similarly laud significant success.

In defending Israel, Trump has exceeded our expectations. 

He and his soon-departing Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, brought the fight for Israel at the U.N. to the highest bar yet. He moved the American embassy to the Jewish people’s eternal capital in Jerusalem, which neither Presidents Bush nor Obama did, despite the latter’s promises to do so in 2008.

President Trump has made the decision to remove our nation from the disastrous nuclear agreement signed with Iran, which he called out as a “rogue state.” As we speak, his administration continues its work to reenact sanctions and clear a way out of the Iran deal, not only for our own nation but for our allies in Europe and across the world.

President Trump also signed into law the Taylor Force Act, which finally put an end to the Palestinian Authority’s sadistic practice of handing out monetary rewards to those who’ve killed Jews. Believe it or not, throughout the Obama administration, the Palestinian Authority was giving out enormous sums to those serving prison sentences for murdering or attempting to murder Jews in Israel. In the last year, the Palestinian Authority distributed over $315 million — 8 percent of their entire overall budget — through their outrageous system of terrorist-welfare. All this, from the hundreds of millions of dollars the PA receives annually from the United States in foreign aid — or received, considering Trump has finally begun to cut it.

Just think: if Robert Bowers had been a Palestinian and his 11 victims has lived in Israel, he and his family would have been collecting from their terror-pension for the rest of their lives.

Ultimately, though, what makes the accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump especially unfair is the fact that he is the first president of the United States to have Jewish children and grandchildren. 

Even Trump’s worst enemies would admit that he loves and deeply cherishes his daughter Ivanka, who went through the strictest processes of conversion to become an Orthodox Jew. Through his daughter, Trump now has three Jewish grandchildren, who attend Jewish schools. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka regularly attend synagogue themselves.

For Trump, the looming threats facing Jewish community centers have become, if anything, entirely personal.

As yet more Jewish blood is absorbed into the earth, we cannot allow these events to be sharpened into political spears to be hurled against political opponents. That would only deepen the divides within a nation that direly needs to heal. We must instead take a moment to reflect upon those who are truly spreading hateful gospels against the Jewish people, and do everything in our power to ensure that they are weakened, silenced and eventually brought down. 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network, a leading organization defending Israel and the Jewish people in global media. His most recent book is “The Israel Warrior.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

Tags Donald Trump Jared Kushner Joe Biden Nikki Haley Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

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