Pittsburgh attack 'inhuman act of violence': pope

Flash 90 Diaspora & Education Minister Naftali Bennett arrives at the weekly government cabinet meeting

Representatives throughout the Arab world issued statements condemning Saturday's massacre of 11 Jews by an antisemitic gunman at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

A female cleric led an a capella rendition of the national anthem and a male cantor read the Hatikvah - a Jewish poem and Israel's national anthem.

The auditorium at Vancouver's Jewish Community Centre was packed.

The massacre came at a time of increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S. Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League reported a almost 60 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 - the largest single-year increase since the ADL began its tracking almost three decades ago.

But also speaking on CNN, a former president of the synagogue, Lynette Lederman, told Trump on Monday to stay away, calling him a "purveyor of hate speech".

There are few Jewish communities that have not been touched by anti-Semitic vandalism.

"Heartbroken", said Aylia Paulding, 37, her voice breaking as she summed up the grief-stricken mood.

Authorities said he wore tactical gear and carried an AR-15 rifle and three Glock 357 handguns into the building at about 9.50am - and used all three, leaving shell casings scattered on the floor.

Six people were injured in the attack, including four officers.

"This loss is our loss, and our thoughts are with Tree of Life Congregation, our local partner Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) of Pittsburgh, the city of Pittsburgh and all those affected by this senseless act of violence".

"They're all anti-Semites - that's the tie that binds them", said Heidi Beirich, director of the center's Intelligence Project.




Year after year, decade after decade, anti-Semitism proves to be among the most entrenched and pervasive forms of hatred and bigotry in the United States.

President Donald Trump denounced "a wicked act of mass murder", while his daughter Ivanka, a convert to Judaism, declared: "America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-Semite".

"There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news", Trump tweeted. He said he planned to travel to Pittsburgh, but offered no details.

She's heard that President Trump is talking about visiting the city and the synagogue and has one word for him: "Don't".

Let's be clear: The attack in Pittsburgh is what real anti-Semitism looks like, with all its horror, fear, and deadly violence.

We've seen academics in this country use the cover of that conflict to demonize Israel and Jews, and just this week the University of Winnipeg apologized after anti-Semitic tropes were expressed at a faculty-sponsored event earlier this year.

"You know, you're always anxious that something would happen", said Myron Snider, head of the cemetery committee for New Light. "It's the environment that you create with your rhetoric".

Bowers lived in a low-income apartment complex in the Baldwin Borough suburb of Pittsburgh, less than half an hour's drive south of the Tree of Life synagogue.

He reportedly worked as a trucker, and has been linked to a rash of anti-Semitic online posts, notably on Gab.com, a site frequented by white nationalists.

One of them was discharged on Saturday and another one will be released later on Sunday.

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