Jewish activists interrupted a speech by Donald Trump in Pittsburgh on Wednesday with heckles of “Trump endangers Jews”, ahead of the first anniversary of The Tree of Life synagogue shooting.
Mr Trump was visiting Pittsburgh for a shale conference, when the protesters from Bend the Arc, a Jewish action group, interrupted his speech.
They were escorted out by police, and Mr Trump told the conference: “Don't hurt them. Don't hurt them, please... They don't know they're dealing with very tough people.”
“Go home to mom,” he said to the protesters as they left, according to a White House report of the event.
In a statement, the protesters said that Trump was “not welcome in Pittsburgh.”
“You have spent a year emboldening white nationalists with your rants about invasions, loyalty, and savagery. You have spent a year claiming that immigrants and people of colour are a threat, encouraging the conspiracy theory that Jewish people intend to “replace” white people through immigration,” they said, addressing the president .
“You have spent a year putting children in cages and tearing families apart. And you have spent a year accusing Black and brown people of antisemitism, when you are the one sowing fear amongst all of us for your own personal gain.
“Is it any wonder that the murders in our neighbourhood were followed by more white nationalist murders in Poway, El Paso, and far beyond?”
WATCH: 8 Jews just disrupted @realDonaldTrump’s speech in Pittsburgh — one year after the Tree of Life shooting.— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) October 23, 2019
Trump continues to endanger Jews and all of us. #OurSolidarityWill defeat white nationalism.
Join us & @IfNotNowOrg in pledging solidarity: https://t.co/SXzEFCFrlM pic.twitter.com/i6FjZOeg6b
The Tree of Life synagogue shooting on 27 October last year was the most deadly attack on Jews in the US, leaving eleven dead and seven injured.
The protest came as a poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) revealed that almost a third of American Jews avoid displaying clothing or accessories that could identify them as Jewish.
The poll also found that 88 per cent though the US has a serious problem with antisemitism, and 84 per cent felt it had increased in the past five years.
A total of 95 per cent said they had avoided visiting Jewish institutions or participating in Jewish events because they did not feel safe there and 72 per cent disapproved of the president’s handling of the threat of antisemitism.
Commenting on the results of the poll of Jewish Americans, chief executive of AJC David Harris said: “American Jews could not be clearer about the reality of antisemitism in the US.”
“This hatred is real, comes from multiple sources, and is growing. It needs to be taken seriously and dealt with in a sustained, multi-pronged response.”
Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Harris added: “The fact that the attacks took place in Pittsburgh and Poway triggered a feeling that we’re all at risk everywhere, equally — it can happen anywhere.”