No, Trump did not cause the Pitts­burgh shoot­ing

Cecil Whig - - OPINION - Ac­cent@ce­cil­ Jay Ambrose Jay Ambrose is an colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Read­ers may email him at speak­to­jay@ The Ce­cil Whig wel­comes letters to the editor from our read­ers. Letters must in­clude the writer’s name, ad­dress and teleph

— “It’s your fault,” shouted a pro­tes­tor at Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump when he showed up to honor the 11 Jews slain in the Tree of Life syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh. But no it wasn’t.

He stirs things up, this pres­i­dent does, and he can be vir­u­lent and crude. None of this is a pleas­ant fit with mourn­ing a hor­rific show of ha­tred to­ward fel­low hu­mans who have done so much to en­rich our civ­i­liza­tion. But un­der­stand that the man ar­rested for the shoot­ing just may have shot Trump, too, if he had a chance.

He fig­ured Trump was part of a Jewish con­spir­acy to take over the world, and guess why he might have seen Trump as linked to his ab­surd imag­in­ing. Be­cause Trump is so at­tached to Jews, that’s why. Trump has a daugh­ter who mar­ried a Jewish man, con­verted to Ju­daism her­self and has pro­duced three Jewish chil­dren who surely get hugs from a lov­ing grandpa.

Fig­u­ra­tively speak­ing, Trump also hugs mil­lions of Jews in Is­rael. He has re­v­ersed Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s snarling poli­cies by heartily sup­port­ing this Jewish na­tion, as in the United States rightly rec­og­niz­ing Jerusalem as its cap­i­tal.

Oh, that’s a cruel mis­take, some said, be­cause they saw this af­fir­ma­tion of an es­tab­lished fact — and con­cur­rence with U.S. law — as a set­back for reach­ing peace agree­ments with Pales­tini­ans who, ex­cuse me, have threat­ened Is­raeli an­ni­hi­la­tion, re­fused ne­go­ti­a­tion and abet­ted ter­ror­ism. In a poll, 73 per­cent of Jewish cit­i­zens in Is­rael said they ap­prove of Trump.

Ob­vi­ously, crit­ics of Is­rael, in­clud­ing some of its cit­i­zens, are not ipso facto anti-Semitic, but just as ob­vi­ously at­tacks on Is­rael can re­flect dis­gust­ingly big­oted an­i­mos­ity to­ward Jews. Is­rael is no more per­fect than any other na­tion. But some dis­jointed crit­ics come close to equat­ing Is­rael’s free­dom, jus­tice and demo­cratic rule of law with the mur­der­ous tyranny, bla­tant in­jus­tice and dic­ta­tor­ships of its en­e­mies.

In try­ing to pro­tect it­self, Is­rael is seen by some as be­ing ex­ploita­tively cruel, and thus we have had boy­cotts of Amer­i­can com­pa­nies do­ing busi­ness with Is­raeli firms seen as abet­ting the shame of it all. Pro­fes­sors, col­lege stu­dents and oth­ers have joined in even as a ma­jor­ity of states have said this is re­pel­lent. Agree­ing with the states are Chris­tian evan­gel­i­cals, deeply re­li­gious con­ser­va­tives who tend to like Trump and cel­e­brate Jews as God’s cho­sen peo­ple.

Ar­gu­ments about Trump’s al­leged an­tiSemitism, mean­while, mix mis­in­for­ma­tion with un­shak­able bias. For in­stance, we had lib­eral pun­dits ex­co­ri­at­ing him for talk­ing about in­ter­na­tional bankers in ca­hoots with Hil­lary Clin­ton to do away with our sovereignty. Here, they said, was a com­mon, Jewish con­spir­acy-the­ory slur when in fact it was a ref­er­ence to a Wik­ileaks rev­e­la­tion of Clin­ton giv­ing a speech at a Brazil­ian bank and call­ing for open bor­ders.

Then there was Trump get­ting slammed af­ter the Char­lottesville riot for say­ing it wasn’t just the neo-Nazis and white su­prem­a­cists who were vi­o­lent. Even though it was one of them ar­rested for killing a woman with his car, vi­o­lence by the other side was con­firmed by news ac­counts and even the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union. I my­self was par­tic­u­larly grabbed by a New York Times story that took note of a hor­ri­fied Univer­sity of Vir­ginia stu­dent who saw a counter-pro­tes­tor beat­ing an alt-right man with a stick af­ter he was knocked to the ground.

It kind of sounds like what some are now do­ing to Trump. He could not per­suade top Wash­ing­ton of­fi­cials to go with him to Pitts­burgh or to have of­fi­cials in the state and city greet him there in­stead of protestors. Maybe he has earned some of the hu­mil­i­a­tion, but it is cen­turies of dis­eased thought and the killer him­self who have taken dear lives and given us this Euro­pean-style ex­pe­ri­ence of hell, not the pres­i­dent of the United States.


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