To the editor: During the 2016 campaign, one of then-Republican nominee Donald Trump’s tweets included an image of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s head over a pile of money with a six-sided, obviously Jewish star next to her. Trump denied it was intended as a Jewish star.
When the white supremacists and neo-Nazis were marching in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, the president did not at first specifically call them out during the melee with protesters. Rather, he said there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Trump decries antisemitism. He says the hate has to stop. He says we should all get along. But the words are hollow. The ad with the Jewish star let his supporters know exactly who he is.
Daniel Gruenberg, Los Angeles
To the editor: I am heartbroken by the recent killings and attempted killings. I hold Trump responsible. As President Truman said, the buck stops here.
Trump has imbued our lives with fear and hate.
I heard the news of the Pittsburgh attack as I was driving to my synagogue. I did not turn around. I will continue to live my life as a Jew. Antisemitism will not win.
Esther Friedberg, Studio City
To the editor: Sadly I had anticipated something like the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting happening in my lifetime.
Every High Holiday, many synagogues have armed guards to protect their congregants. Now armed guards will be required as part of routine planning for weddings, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah celebrations, and other religious events.
Our country is becoming like so many others around the world. What changed? I think I know. It starts at the highest levels of our government.
Leon Sturman, Sherman Oaks
To the editor: I am deeply disturbed by this latest mass shooting. The alleged killer not only expressed his antisemitism through this horrific act but also his contempt and hatred of immigrants and refugees, whom he believes are invaders coming in to kill our people.
I can’t help but connect his words with what our president has been saying about immigrants ever since he took office — that they are coming here to take our jobs and bring crime. For someone already inclined to violence, hearing this message about immigrants on a continual basis could certainly help light the fuse that explodes as a violent act like this shooting.
We need new leaders in Washington, ones who can collaborate to take sensible action on issues in a way that does not incite fear and violence.
Joanna Ryder, Hermosa Beach