I’ve been incredibly heartened by the outpouring of support for the Jewish community in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Saturday. Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate has been helping to organize a vigil here in my city, and they had to change the venue for it yesterday to accommodate all the people who are expected to come now. It is a horrific tragedy that has had the remarkable effect of bringing people together in one of the most divisive periods of American history.
Not for nothing, but the Muslim community has been one of the most supportive. Muslim Americans have raised $150,000 through crowdfunding for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. This is not unusual. After the Charleston, S.C. shooting, the Muslim community in America raised money to help rebuild 8 Black churches that were burned in the wake of that shooting. I remembered also that Muslims in the San Antonio area paid tribute to the victims in the Sutherland Springs church shooting, although sadly, it took me a minute to wade through the conspiracy theories about the shooter being Muslim before I could locate that story, and in the meantime, also spotted a story where a small Texas community put up a three-year legal battle to keep a Muslim cemetery out of its town. Also, another story where a Kansas man who plotted to blow up a mosque the day after the 2016 election is asking for a more lenient sentence because of his “‘early and avid support” of Trump, arguing that the climate in the months leading up to the 2016 election should be taken in account when evaluating the comments prosecutors used to build their case.” So, basically, he’s arguing that he was under the influence of Trump and could not be held responsible for his actions. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, but it does also illustrate the power of Trump’s rhetoric to do harm.
Nevertheless, it’s really heartwarming to see how communities of all faiths have come together to support the Jewish community. That being said, this is really not OK:
Rabbi Loren Jacobs of Messianic synagogue Shema Yisrael offers prayer before VP Pence speaks at Michigan campaign event: "God of Abraham … God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah…hate inspired shooting in synagogue in Pittsburgh"https://t.co/tRwFvBTjYE pic.twitter.com/u6JJCfdhgj— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) October 29, 2018
For those of you who don’t know the exact import of that tweet, what’s happened here is that VP Pence had a fake rabbi from Jews for Jesus say a prayer for the victims of the synagogue shooting. And it gets worse. After briefly mentioning the victims of the shooting, the Jews for Jesus rabbi starts praying for REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES.
Then, rather than praying for the victims and survivors of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, Mike Pence's Christian Rabbi prays —by name— for each Republican candidate on a list given to him. pic.twitter.com/nZ5Vj6MQs8— Rafael Shimunov 🔥 (@rafaelshimunov) October 30, 2018
Just how screwed up is this? Here, take a look at a sampling of tweets:
I don't know how strongly I can suggest how tone-deaf and offensive it is, today of all days, to have a Jews for Jesus leader at a campaign event instead of an actual Jewish rabbi. https://t.co/njtlfTbOr8— Adam Bonin (@adambonin) October 29, 2018
This is very weird. I can’t stress how across-the-spectrum, left to right, Reform to Orthodox, distaste is for Jews who embrace Christianity while maintaining superficial Jewish trappings. It’s like inviting a minstrel to a black solidarity event. https://t.co/m0uIcjve2s— (((Ron Kampeaaaaaaaaghhhhh!!!))) (@kampeas) October 30, 2018
UPDATED with video of Pence introducing Jacobs as "a leader in the Jewish" community. He then threw Jewish Republican Lena Epstein under the bus by saying she was the one who invited the "rabbi". https://t.co/xZe6eS2G2f https://t.co/Iqer7aNRGB— Chris Savage (@Eclectablog) October 30, 2018
The members of #TreeOfLife are NOT “Messianic Jews!” #Pence 😡 and Rabbi Loren Jacobs were absolutely out of line today and completely tone deaf. #Pence should be ashamed and Rabbi Jacob knows better than to participate. #Inappropriate— RRhae (@GarrettRuby) October 30, 2018
as a jew, let me tell you how bad it is.— pop!goestheweasel 🌹🏳️🌈 (@mikeytheweasel) October 30, 2018
jews for jesus is an evangelical group funded by the southern baptist conference, with a goal to convert jews. that's their only mission.
and to do it when american jews are being killed just for being jews, is heinous.@vp https://t.co/zrZmhbqPbR
Imagine Pence invited a Christian pastor who describes himself as an "ex-gay" and runs a conversion therapy ministry to speak after the Pulse Nightclub massacre and you'll understand what's going on here. https://t.co/TzEwUUUJfw— Dan Murphy (@bungdan) October 30, 2018
At the very best, this will forever be the administration that, after a massacre in a synagogue, found a "Jews for Jesus" leader and said, "close enough".— Justin Hendrix (@justinhendrix) October 30, 2018
Jews for Jesus, notably, would be an actual example of a false flag— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) October 30, 2018
And if that’s not tone deaf enough, the President has decided to visit Pittsburgh today against the wishes of the mayor and the Jewish leaders of the community, who worry that Trump will upstage their funerals. Trump doesn’t care.
The mayor asked Trump not to visit while they are “burying the dead” and Jewish leaders told him to stay out until he stops “endangering minorities.”@realDonaldTrump is not respecting their wishes. He is traveling to Pittsburgh to visit the scene of the crime that he incited.— Ryan Knight 🌊 (@ProudResister) October 30, 2018
He tried to get Schumer and Pelosi to join him, too, but they were like, “Nope. Nope. Nope.”
#Pittsburgh sources tell me that the @realDonaldTrump WH is FALSELY claiming on #Fox and elsewhere that the PA gov, pgh mayor and county exec will join him at a rally in the city on Tuesday. They all refused as of Mon night. WH also asked #Schumer and #Pelosi; they said no, too.— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) October 29, 2018