Anti-Semitic Shooter Kills 11 People in Pittsburgh Synagogue

Trump visits synagogue memorial

via The Blaze

Trump visits synagogue memorial

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania- In the early morning hours of October 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue, Robert D. Bowers walked into the synagogue with an AR-15 and three handguns.  Killing 11 people and injuring 6 others in the deadliest attack on the Jewish American community, Bowers eventually surrendered and is awaiting trial on 29 counts, including the obstruction of religious freedom, a crime punishable by death.

As people came to worship in the synagogue, Bowers walked into the building, shot 13 people, and was about to leave when authorities showed up.  He exchanged gunfire with the police, then ran back inside to hide in a third-floor room, according to police accounts. When he surrendered, he was wounded, although it wasn’t clear whether the police wounded him or if it was a self-inflicted wound.  Currently, he awaits 29 criminal counts including criminal homicide, aggravated assault, and ethnic intimidation. Bowers does not have any past criminal record. Robert Bowers showed his Anti-Semitism online, where he found like-minded individuals who expressed his ideas.  The social media website that he used, Gab, claims no responsibility for Bowers’ actions.

Who were the people that Robert Bowers killed?  Eleven people, including Irving Younger, Melvin Wax, Rose Mallinger, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, Jerry Rabinowitz, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Daniel Stein, and brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal.  Everyone remembered them as kind people who would always help the community. Irving Younger was the self-appointed greeter at the synagogue, and Melvin Wax was known for being deeply religious, always being the first to arrive.  Despite being 97, Rose Mallinger was well known for being very “full of life” and was expected to make it to 100. Couple Bernice and Sylvan Simon were married in the synagogue, physician Jerry Rabinowitz was well known for being a compassionate treater of HIV.  Joyce Fienberg was known for treating her husband’s Ph.D. students like family, and Richard Gottfried practiced dentistry with his wife. Brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal were inseparable. All of them did not expect to be persecuted because of their faith.

After the shooting, Donald Trump visited the synagogue, despite protests from more than 1,000 locals.  They believe that midterm elections, combined with his message to block the “caravan” at the border, and his response to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, completely contradicts anything he says to help those killed in Pittsburgh.  For many Jews, Trump’s hate for the caravan mirrors how the St. Louis, a ship with 1,000 Jewish passengers, was turned away from the U.S. in 1939.  Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, went to a Shabbat service in London to show his support for the Jewish community.