18:37 GMT28 March 2020
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    Funerals Begin After Pittsburgh Massacre, a City Politically Divided

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Max Blumenthal, co-founder of the Grayzone Project, and Steven Singer, activist, educator and author of Gadfly on the Wall.

    A shooting victim's family shuns President Donald Trump in Pittsburgh as top officials decline to join him, but Rabbi Jeffrey Myers from the Tree of Life synagogue says that Trump is welcome. The president and first lady Melania Trump are scheduled to arrive in the late afternoon, several hours after the first funerals are held for the 11 victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue. More than 1,000 people have so far signed up for a demonstration at the same time, declaring Trump "unwelcome in our city and in our country." Congressional leaders from both parties — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — have all declined invitations to join Trump on his visit, according to three officials familiar with matter. The city's Democratic mayor, Bill Peduto, will not be appearing with the president. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, a Squirrel Hill resident who lives half a block away from the synagogue, will not be meeting with the president. Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennett has embarked on a visit to Pittsburgh "to be with our sisters and brothers in their darkest hour." As Bennett departs for the city, some members of Israel's governing Likud Party have issued talking points and statements blaming the victims of the anti-Jewish mass murderer for inspiring the attack.

    President Trump said he is preparing an executive order to end birthright citizenship in the United States. To accomplish the idea he floated on Tuesday, Mr. Trump would have to find a way around the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The amendment means that any child born in the United States is considered a citizen. Amendments to the Constitution cannot be overridden by presidential action and can be changed or undone only by overwhelming majorities in Congress or the states, with a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or through a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of state legislatures. The hypocrisy of strict constructionists.

    Miko Peled just published a piece titled "What It Means to be Israeli: Reflections on Identity From an Israeli Peace Activist" in MintPress. This horrific murder in Pittsburgh is shattering a stereotype that a lot of people in this country subscribe to: that Jews are a monolith. Peled writes, "A great number of the larger Orthodox communities, as in the state of New York, for example, are survivors of the Holocaust and are strictly anti-Zionist. Clearly, Israelis cannot identify with them." A lot of Americans mistakenly believe that members of an Orthodox community who are Holocaust survivors would love to go to Israel. There are those in America who take issue with President Trump and the foreign policy of the Trump administration.


    Max Blumenthal — Co-founder of the Grayzone Project.

    Steven Singer — Activist, educator and author of Gadfly on the Wall.

    Jason Holland — Writer at CounterPunch.

    Cornell Brooks — Professor of public leadership and social justice at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of the William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice.

    Miko Peled — Israeli-American activist and author of The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Migrants, 14th Amendment, Trump administration, Israel, Pittsburgh
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