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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 by groups including Jewdas 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.”

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