A hearse is parked outside the Beth Shalom Synagogue, where a funeral will be held for Joyce Feinberg.. (photo credit: REUTERS/JESSICA RESNICK-AULT)
WASHINGTON – Pittsburghers buried the last victim of a massacre that shook their city to its core on Friday, shortly before Jewish residents entered their first Shabbat in mourning.
The headline of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured the first words of the Jewish mourner’s kaddish, underscoring the city’s widespread grief over a shooting at a synagogue last weekend that killed 11 congregants.
The American Jewish Committee encouraged Jews and non-Jews across the country to “show up for Shabbat” over the weekend in a show of strength, fearlessness and solidarity with Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill victims. The social media campaign drew the attention of lawmakers and celebrities and brought thousands out to synagogues, some now guarded with cautionary layers of security.
Across America, leaders of both parties in Congress and candidates for office in Tuesday’s midterm elections went to local shuls. Lines formed outside of synagogues in the country’s largest cities. And the campaign spread overseas, from London and Brussels to Jerusalem, where local officials attended services in a gesture of support.
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s new chairman, Isaac Herzog, visited Pittsburgh this weekend to rally the community there. The agency coordinated last week with the Israel Trauma Coalition to send five grief specialists to Squirrel Hill in order to aid trauma victims.
Herzog has called for Jewish “unity” in the wake of the event, despite political differences within the Diaspora community, and called for “very firm action” in response to a spike in antisemitic incidents worldwide.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who serves the synagogue that was targeted last weekend, with another message of support.
“I called Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue to send once again my condolences to the bereaved families,” Netanyahu stated on Twitter, “and to express my appreciation for the dignified way that he has represented the Jewish community of Pittsburgh in the wake of this horrific attack on Jews.”
“I want to thank all the leaders in the United States and around the world who have condemned this horrendous antisemitic attack,” he continued, “and I want to thank President @realDonaldTrump for going with his family to pay their respects to the dead and to visit the wounded, and for his powerful statement that ‘those seeking their [the Jewish people’s] destruction– we will seek their destruction.’”
Trump responded forcefully to the massacre last weekend with condemnatory comments at a rally in Indianapolis. Later in the week, he visited Pittsburgh with his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both observant Orthodox Jews who reportedly guided the president through the crisis.
The Tree of Life shooter, Robert Bowers, pleaded not guilty in court to federal charges on Thursday and requested a trial by jury. He entered the synagogue last Saturday armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and several other weapons, declaring his intention to “kill all the Jews”.
He faces 44 charges, 32 of which are punishable by death.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.