British Jewish socialist solidarity with Pittsburgh massacre victims


London vigil for Pittsburgh

By Marcus Barnett in London, England:

Monday, October 29, 2018

Jewish socialists hold vigil for Pittsburgh victims

JEWISH socialists condemned Donald Trump yesterday for having “lifted the lid” for racists and fascists in the United States.

Julia Bard of the Jewish Socialists’ Group (JSG) warned that
the far right feels emboldened by the US president.

She was speaking ahead of a vigil at the Battle of Cable Street mural in east London last night, organised in solidarity with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, where a shooting at a synagogue killed 11 people on Saturday.

Suspect Robert Bowers is in custody over the attack on a Hebrew naming ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill area.

Most of the victims were elderly, with Rose Malinger, a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor, and retired twins Cecil and David Rosenthal among them.

Ms Bard’s statement reads in full: “We send our solidarity, condolences and love to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh.

“Robert Bowers, a nazi sympathiser, targeted these particular Jews because the Tree of Life congregation are local partners of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which works to resettle refugees.

“The most extreme fascistic and white supremacist ideas and movements had been marginalised in the US by the success of the civil rights movements of the 1960s and ’70s, but racism remained part of the fabric of American life.

“Now, though, Trump’s vicious hostility to all America’s minorities, including people of colour, Muslims, Jews, indigenous peoples and Hispanics, has lifted the lid, and hardcore racists and fascists once again feel free to declare and act on their inhuman beliefs.”

JSG said on its Facebook event page for the vigil that it would collect funds for Nelma (North East London Migrant Action) “to show that the far right can not break us apart with fear or turn us against each other.”

Pittsburgh Synagogue Murder Spree Latest In 4 Decades Of Organized Anti-Semitic Attacks. By J.J. Goldberg, October 28, 2018: here.

How Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Hate Led To A Synagogue Shooting. By Ari Ne’eman, October 27, 2018.

Former president of Pittsburgh synagogue says Trump not welcome: ‘He is the purveyor of hate speech’: here.

More than 22,000 people have signed an open letter to President Trump telling the president to stay away from the grieving city following the mass shooing at a local synagogue that killed 11, the Washington Post reported. Read more here.

THE WORLD MOURNS The Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower turned out the lights in honor of the 11 people killed in an anti-Semitic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Eight men and three women were slain by suspected gunman Robert Bowers, including two brothers and a husband and wife. In response, Muslim groups have raised thousands for victims of the atrocity, and leaders of a Pittsburgh Jewish organization said President Donald Trump should not visit the city because he’s “not welcome.” [HuffPost]

A crowdfunding campaign formed by two Muslim groups has raised more than $100,000 for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11, the Times of Israel reported: here.

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Bonaire coral spawning, video


This 2011 video says about itself:

How does an animal like coral that lives attached to the bottom (and can’t move around) create new colonies far away? Jonathan spends a week in Bonaire studying coral spawning. He learns how these animals release eggs into the water at the right time of the year to create new coral colonies. But they only do it at night, at certain times of the year. Jonathan’s film expedition requires careful timing.

A new study has found that a common coral species might have evolved unique immune strategies to cope with environmental change: here.

Corals know how to attract good company. New research finds that corals emit an enticing fluorescent green light that attracts the mobile microalgae, known as Symbiodinium, that are critical to the establishment of a healthy partnership: here.

‘Boycott tennis, football in bloody Saudi Arabia’


This 25 October 2018 video from England says about itself:

Demonstrators gather outside Saudi embassy to protest Yemen bombings and Khashoggi killing

Dozens of people gathered outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London on Thursday evening to protest against the gulf state’s war in Yemen and the killing in Turkey of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Amnesty calls on Djokovic and Nadal to avoid Saudi Arabia

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey has also put Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a difficult situation. The best two tennis players in the world at present would play a demonstration match in the Saudi city Jeddah on 22 December, but the pressure on both tennis players to abandon that lucrative performance increases as the political tension around
the Khashoggi case increases. …

Already a year ago, Nadal and Djokovic signed a contract stating that they will play a lucrative demonstration contest in Jeddah on 22 December. The match is financed by the Saudi government.

Amnesty International, among others, has now called on both tennis players to refrain from playing there, since this would give a wrong signal. By playing tennis in Jeddah, Nadal and Djokovic, according to Amnesty International, give credibility and approval to a controversial regime. …

Incidentally, Amnesty International not only appeals to the tennis players. Eg, the Italian football clubs Juventus and AC Milan received a letter from the human rights organization asking them not to play the Super Coppa match in Saudi Arabia. That match – between the national champion and cup winner of Italy – is scheduled for January 2019.

Pro wrestling stars John Cena and Daniel Bryan have reportedly pulled out of an event in Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pittsburgh, USA synagogue massacre mourners speak


Over 2,500 people packed the Soldiers and Sailors hall in Pittsburgh for Sunday's memorial for those killed in the Pittsburgh, USA synagogue on Saturday

By Samuel Davidson in Pennsylvania in the USA:

Thousands attend memorial for victims of mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue

29 October 2018

On Sunday, several thousand people attended a memorial service for the 11 victims of the mass shooting the previous day at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The memorial was held at the Soldiers and Sailors Hall in the city’s Oakland section.

An overflow crowd numbering about 2,500 packed the hall and hundreds of people stood outside in the rain to listen to the eulogies and speeches and pay respect to those struck down by Robert Bowers, an anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant fascist.

The 46-year-old shooter walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh shortly before 10 am Saturday with three handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle. He shouted, “All Jews must die” as he began shooting. Bowers’ social media posts show that he specifically targeted the Tree of Life Synagogue because it works with HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] to resettle refugees from Syria and Central America in Pittsburgh.

Bowers, wounded in an exchange of fire with police, reportedly shouted anti-Jewish epithets as he was being taken into custody. He has been charged with 11 counts of criminal homicide and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

The anti-Semitic atrocity occurred the day after the arrest of Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old avid Trump supporter, on charges of sending 14 mail bombs to 12 prominent Democrats and critics of the president. These terrorist acts have come in the wake of a series of fascistic campaign speeches by Trump denouncing the Central American men, women and children in the caravan heading toward the US border as “invaders” and criminals, calling himself a “nationalist,” and attacking Democrats as “cosmopolitans”, an epithet long used by the far right to malign Jews.

Trump accused the billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who is Jewish, of funding the caravan. Soros was one of those targeted in last week’s wave of mail bombs.

In addition to the large turnout for the memorial service Sunday evening, thousands participated in other events held Saturday and Sunday throughout Pittsburgh and in New York, Oakland, California, Washington DC and other locations.

Hundreds who couldn't get in the overflowing memorial listened to the service in the rain in Pittsburgh

The names of the 11 victims were released early Sunday morning. The victims ranged in age from 54 to 97. There were eight men and three women.

The oldest victim was Rose Mallinger, 97, from Squirrel Hill, who, according to some reports, was a Holocaust survivor. A married couple from the city’s Wilkinsburg section, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86, were among the dead. Two brothers from Squirrel Hill, 59-year-old Cecil Rosenthal and 54-year-old David Rosenthal, were also among the victims.

Also killed were: Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township; Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill; Irving Younger, 69, of Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood; Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough; Daniel Stein, 71; and Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland.

Two other worshippers were shot, one of whom is in critical condition. Four police officers were injured, two of whom remain hospitalized.

Five of those killed had been alive during the holocaust. A holocaust survivor who was late for the service was walking up to the building when he heard gunfire and people screaming inside.

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site spoke with several of the people in attendance at the Sunday evening memorial.

One University of Pittsburgh student from the School of Social Work said: “I consider myself a socialist. Bowers targeted the synagogue because of their work with refugees. It is not just about Pittsburgh. There needs to be more emphasis on anti-Semitism as a global issue. I find it upsetting that Trump called himself a nationalist. He then said he didn’t know anything about the history of the word. He’s the president. It’s his job to know this.”

George Hughes, a retiree, told the WSWS, “There are hateful people in this world. Trump is the gasoline for their fire. Not just Trump, but other politicians are fueling this. We created the immigrant problem. In Honduras we didn’t like the leader. The US organized a coup and the people are fleeing a leader who oppresses them.

George Hughes, a retiree who attended the Pittsburgh memorial

“These are problems and chaos our country has created. It is the same thing in Iran and Iraq. We created the problems. Why are we in the Middle East? Why were we in Vietnam? For the same thing—the oil. Innocent people have to flee a country because of problems created by the policies of this government.”

A Brazilian immigrant who has lived in Pittsburgh for the last 26 years and is now a US citizen asked that his name not be used for fear of the anti-immigrant sentiment being whipped up by the Trump administration. “Trump is making all these statements against immigrants and it’s getting people to hate them,” he said. “He is seeking to blame the problems of the country on the immigrants. I came here to show that we can unite to prevent this.”

Trump and prominent Republicans are consciously appealing to anti-Semitic and fascistic elements in response to the growth of working-class opposition and popular hostility to capitalism. Last Tuesday, a day after Trump’s racist anti-immigrant rant in Houston, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted an anti-Semitic tweet singling out three prominent Jewish critics of Trump: “We cannot allow Soros, [Tom] Steyer and [Michael] Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA.” The tweet was deleted the next day.

The Democrats are complicit in the growth of far-right and anti-Semitic forces. They refuse to defend immigrants and refugees and have made Trump’s sending of troops to the US-Mexican border and jailing of tens of thousands of immigrant workers in detention camps a nonissue in next week’s midterm elections. They oppose Trump on the most right-wing possible basis—denouncing him for being “soft” on Russia and insufficiently supportive of the FBI and CIA.

On the Sunday talk shows, Democratic representatives responded to the synagogue massacre by criticizing Trump for “dividing the nation”, not for making fascistic appeals and carrying out police-state measures. At Sunday’s memorial service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, avoided any mention of Trump.

Charleston Black Church Mourns Jews Killed In Pittsburgh Synagogue. October 28, 2018. By Harriet McLeod.