Shortly after the latest terroristic hate crime against the Jewish community (it's always necessary to note that Jews, despite only representing about two percent of the overall US population, are targeted by a substantial majority of religion-based domestic hate crimes), President Trump and Vice President Pence joined the civilized world in expressing their disgust over the violent incident and voicing solidarity with the victims:
We condemn in the strongest terms the evil & cowardly shooting at Chabad of Poway today as Jewish families celebrated Passover. No one should be in fear in a house of worship. Antisemitism isn’t just wrong - it’s evil. https://t.co/hkLOCf0anp— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 27, 2019
Later that evening, at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, Trump said, "We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated," to cheers. On CNN's breaking news coverage, several members of the panel -- assembled to cover the White House Correspondents Dinner -- openly questioned whether the president's condolences were genuine or sufficient:
Someone who did not second guess the president's sincerity was...the Rabbi whose congregation was attacked, and who was maimed in the hate-filled gunman's assault -- via the Free Beacon:
In an interview with MSNBC's Kasie Hunt Monday, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein thanked President Donald Trump. He described how Trump had been "so gracious and generous" in a phone call between the two. "He was so gracious and generous with his words; exceedingly comforting to me, to my community, and he spoke to me like a friend," Goldstein said. "I'm talking to the president of the United States. He was just exceedingly kind and sensitive, and we spoke for close to 15 minutes." Goldstein suffered two gunshot wounds Saturday, during sabbath and Passover services. He is the chief rabbi of Chabad of Poway, a synagogue located in San Diego, Calif.
The president added, “I'm going to do whatever we can to protect the Jewish people in the United States of America and abroad." Several acts of heroism at the synagogue that day almost certainly prevented further bloodshed. Some of these details are just extraordinary. These men did not know the killer's gun would apparently jam as they confronted him:
When Jonathan Morales and Oscar Stewart heard the gunshots, they ran toward them. The off-duty Border Patrol agent and an Iraq War Army veteran helped stop a suspected gunman who had opened fire at Chabad of Poway on Saturday in what authorities praised as an "act of courage." One person died and three more were injured in the hate-fueled attack during Passover services. Stewart, 51, was in the back of the room when the shots rang out, he told reporters. The veteran said his military training kicked in...Stewart said he started yelling expletives at the gunmen, who stopped shooting when he heard Stewart's voice. “Get down!” and “I’m going to kill you,” Stewart said he yelled. According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the suspected gunman fled the synagogue to a nearby vehicle. Stewart was in close pursuit. "Stewart caught up to the vehicle as the suspect was about to drive away," the department said in a statement. Stewart said he began punching the shooter's window when Morales told him to get out of the way..."He yelled, 'Clear back, I have a gun,'" Stewart said. Then, Morales began firing.
Morales hit the suspect's car, which police later stopped, arresting the 19-year-old killer. The lone victim who was killed is said to have 'taken a bullet' for her fellow worshippers. Rabbi Goldstein revealed that he'd previously urged Morales to attend services with his firearm, due to the threats facing Jews. “I had spoken to him in the past about coming to the synagogue armed because he’s trained, and I want trained security as much as possible,” he told the media. That foresight saved lives. It's also horrifying that his suggestion was prescient and necessary. Within the last month, Muslims, Christians (the top targets of global religious persecution) and Jews have all been slaughtered in houses of worship, on three separate continents. A "revenge" attack by an Islamist was recently foiled by authorities in California.