There were two shocking moments in just a few days: First sent a fiery Trump trailer packet bombs to prominent critic of the US President, only by luck, no one was injured. Then, last Saturday, a right-wing extremist killed eleven people in the "Tree of Life" synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The US is once again experiencing days of violence, fear and division. Where does the next crime take place? Who is the target then? Recent US history has shown that it's only a matter of time before something happens again.
Donald Trump likes the role of the aggressor, the opposite-politician; it is something that lies with him. In contrast to the role of the reconciler – as after the tragedy of Pittsburgh. On such occasions Trump has a credibility problem.
When he arrives at the "Tree of Life" synagogue in Pittsburgh on late Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people gathered nearby to protest. "Trump loves Nazis," says a poster. On another is "Trump: kill lies" to read. Such strong criticism when visiting a condolence is unusual in the US, even for Trump.
The frosty reception is probably also because many citizens in the President see a trigger or at least an amplifier for the hostile climate in the country. Trump etches against migrants, dissenters and the media – despite the parcel bombs, despite the massacre in the synagogue, despite the calls to finally rhetorically disarm.
The president's recent ideas show how little he thinks about it: Just now Trump has sent more than 5200 troops to the border with Mexico to protect the country from the "invasion of the migrants caravan," which is still thousands of miles from the US. Border is removed. Only shortly thereafter followed his latest idea: He wants to abolish the birthplace principle. This is to make it difficult for children of illegal immigrants to stay in the US.
Trump's behavior is unsurprising. In less than a week, the important Midterm elections take place and the Republican, as in the 2016 election campaign on the issue of migration.
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Trump's visit to Pittsburgh had already been criticized in advance. Members of the affected Jewish community had stated in an open letter that the president was not welcome in the city unless he thoroughly condemned white nationalism. The signatories saw in the attack a "direct escalation" of Trump's "influence".
In fact, according to recent figures, Jews in the US are increasingly facing insults, threats and vandalism: The Anti-Defamation League counts such incidents with an anti-Semitic background every year and has seen a rise of 57 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.
The Pittsburgh assassin was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and at least three other handguns. According to eyewitnesses, he shouted, "All Jews must die!" According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is the most momentous anti-Semitic crime in US history.
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With his condolence visit in Pittsburgh, Trump now also overruled a request from the local mayor. Bill Peduto had said Trump should wait with his visit until all eleven victims were buried. The funerals began shortly before Trump's visit.
Several members of Congress said they would not attend, including prominent Republicans such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Officially, they did not comment on the reasons for the refusals. However, Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin and Israeli ambassador to the USA, Ron Dermer, traveled to Pittsburgh.
Trump was also accompanied by his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner – both are Orthodox-Jewish faith. The President and the First Lady spent about 20 minutes in the synagogue, lighting candles in honor of the victims. They then placed a white flower and a small stone in front of the stars at the makeshift memorial outside the church, reminiscent of the eleven victims of the attack. The laying down of small stones on graves is a Jewish tradition.
The silence was broken by the cries of the demonstrators in the background: "No more hate."