Pittsburgh Jewish leaders tell Trump to stay away unless he denounces white nationalism

President Trump is not welcome to visit Pittsburgh unless he denounces white nationalism and “stops targeting and endangering all minorities,” a group of the city’s Jewish leaders said Sunday.

“For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement,” said a letter signed by 11 Jewish leaders on the website of Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish organization.

“You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence,” the letter said.

Trump said he would visit Pittsburgh following the slaughter of 11 worshipers Saturday inside the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath morning services.

Authorities say the suspected gunman, Robert Bowers, yelled anti-Semitic slurs during the rampage.

Hours before the mass killing, Bowers ranted online against HIAS, a Jewish immigration advocacy organization.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in,” he posted on Gab, a social network site.

The letter on Bend the Arc’s site noted that Bowers’ anti-HIAS post came “at the end of a week in which (Trump) spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America.”

“He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees,” the online letter added.

They pointed out that the Torah states each person is made in b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

“This means all of us,” the group said. “In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God. “

“While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say: President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.”

The letter was signed by: Jamie Forrest, Joshua Friedman, Jamie Harris, Tammy Hepps, Harry Hochheiser, Sasha King, Rachel Kranson, Elinor S. Nathanson, Avigail S. Oren, Kate Rothstein and Yael Silk.