11 Killed at Synagogue - Bombs Sent to Leading Democrats
On Saturday, October 27th Robert Bowers an avowed antisemite entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and fired at the congregants at services. Eleven were killed. In addition, two other congregants and four police officers were wounded. The gunman surrendered to police.
Violence in America fueled by political venom reached new heights on the week of October 21st. It started on Tuesday, October 23rd when a bomb was found in the mailbox of George Soros, philanthropist, financier who happens to be Jewish and has been the target of right-wing attacks over the past few months both in the United States, Hungary, and even Israel. In the week leading up to the attack, Soros was accused of directly financing the caravan of migrants from Central America who have been slowly walking across Mexico towards the United States.
The next day bombs were found addressed to the Former Secretary of State Hilary Clintons, President Obama, Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Democratic US Rep. Maxine Waters, CNN addressed to the former director of National Intelligence John Brennan.
On the same day, October 24th Gregory A Bush a 51-year-old what male shot for no apparent reasons two African Americans at a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown a suburb of Louisville. Earlier he had tried to enter an all-black church, but the doors were locked.
On Thursday and Friday, additional bombs were found addressed to Former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic US Sen. Cory Booker, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Democratic US Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic donor Tom Steyer. What did all of the targets of the bombs have in common, all strong critics of President Trump most of whom were personally target by Trump for attack.
By Thursday night the FBI was reasonably sure who had been sending the bombs. In the middle of the night, President Trump tweeted “Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens, and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
On Friday Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Florida, was arrested Friday in Plantation. He was accused of making and sending all of the bombs. The suspect a self-proclaimed strong supporter of President Trump who attended all of his rallies in Florida and even attended the inaugural. Sayoc’s van was covered with pro-Trump and Pence stickers as well as stickers of Clinton in the scope of a gun. His social media feeds were full of rants against liberals, immigrants, and Jews.
The terror escalated to a whole new level on Saturday morning October 27th when a lone gunman with an AR-15 automatic weapon and three pistols entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where Sabbath morning services were taking place. The gunman Robert D. Bowers reportedly stated all the Jews must die before opening fire. He killed 11 worshippers. On his way out he encountered police wounded four of them and then retreated into the synagogue. Bowers then surrendered to police after being wounded.
Those killed in the attack were:
Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland
- Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township
- Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
- Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
- Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill
- David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill
- Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg
- Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg
- Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
- Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
- Irving Youngner, 69, of Mt. Washington
Bowers is an avowed antisemite who claimed among other things that the Jews and Soros were responsible for bringing the caravan of Central Americans to America- that they were going to replace the whites in America. He attacked HIAS - (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) who now helps both Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants. Just before the attack, Bowers posted “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I cannot sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics; I’m going in.”
At his trial in October 2021 Officer Clint Thimons said he asked Bowers why he did it.
“He was very calm and he said he’s had enough and that Jews are killing our children and the Jews had to die,” Thimons testified.
The attack on the synagogue was the worse attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. It comes after the Anti Defamation League reported a 50% increase in anti-anti-Semitic incidence in the United States in 2017. On the evening after the attack President Trump stated:
“All of America is in mourning over the mass murder of Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We pray for those who perished and their loved ones, and our hearts go out to the brave police officers who sustained serious injuries. This evil Anti-Semitic attack is an assault on humanity. It will take all of us working together to extract the poison of Anti-Semitism from our world. We must unite to conquer hate.”
Despite this statement, many believe that Trump's constant divisive rhetoric and fear mongering are responsible for at least a significant part of the rise of antisemitism in the United States. On the other hand his supporters deny that his rhetoric has anything to do with any violence that has developed citing various violent actions such as the shooting of Rep Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders support as evidence.