Political News

Pittsburgh synagogue rabbi to politicians: tone down 'words of hate'

Posted October 30, 2018 8:42 a.m. EDT

— Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers called on politicians on Tuesday to tone down hate-filled rhetoric after the recent shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

In an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day," Myers said elected officials must be speak responsibly in order to end hate-filled speech within the country. Saturday's shooting, in which 11 people were killed, was the deadliest anti-Semitic incident in American history.

"When you speak words of hate, when you speak ill of the other candidate, any words of hate, Americans listen to you. They get their instructions from you," Myers said, "When you speak words of hate, you say to them, 'This is okay, you can do it as well.'"

Myers said hate is not defined by one political party, but Americans look to elected officials and their speech as the models for the country.

"Hate is not blue, hate is not red, hate is not purple. Hate is in all," Myers said. "Tone down the hate. Speak words of love, speak words of decency and of respect. When that message comes loud and clear, Americans will hear that and we can begin to change the tenor of our country."

Myers said he has no plans to meet with President Donald Trump, who is planning to visit the city later Tuesday, but has received hate-filled backlash for saying the president is welcome at his synagogue.

"It is just continuous in this vicious cycle. Hate promulgating more hate promulgating more hate," Myers said. "We need to be better than this, we can be better than this."