[/icon-box]Various Jewish community groups are protesting GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s upcoming speech at the annual policy conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) next week in Washington, D.C., citing the candidate’s appeals to bigotry and violence as antithetical to the values of the American Jewish community.
Groups including the Workmen’s Circle, If Not Now, and the ad-hoc group Jews Against Trump are circulating petitions calling on AIPAC to rescind its invitation to the demagogic political figure, each petition gathering hundreds of signatures a piece, including those of dozens of rabbis and Jewish communal service professionals. “As Jews and as Americans, we condemn hate speech in all its forms,” The Workmen Circle’s petition states (http://bit.ly/252QMo3). “We are horrified by your invitation to Donald Trump to speak at the upcoming policy conference and we call on you to withdraw it immediately.”
In a statement issued Monday (http://bit.ly/21vJ9Ce), the Union for Reform Judaism, America’s largest Jewish religious denomination, announced its intention to protest Mr. Trump’s speech: “The Reform Movement and our leaders will engage with Mr. Trump at the AIPAC Policy Conference in a way that affirms our nation’s democracy and our most cherished Jewish values. We will find an appropriate and powerful way to make our voices heard.”
Likewise, a concerned group of hundreds of Jews of various denominations planning to attend the conference have organized a mass-demonstration called “Come Together Against Hate” in which they plan to walk out on Mr. Trump’s speech. In a statement issued today (http://bit.ly/22ll1Ib), the group’s organizers Rabbi David Paskin and Rabbi Jesse Olitzky write, “We are committed to saying that Donald Trump does not speak for us or represent us, and his values are not AIPAC’s values. They are not the values of the Jewish community.”
Another group called If Not Now, which consists of younger Jews opposed to the policies of AIPAC, is also planning to demonstrate outside the conference in condemnation of its invitation of Trump. A call to action posted to the group’s Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/1RjCwmW) states, “If there is anyone who should stand up to a neo-fascist who threatens and intimidates minorities it’s the American Jewish community. American Jews have long fought for freedom and dignity for all people because of our history of persecution by strongmen who blamed us for society’s woes.” Over 150 activists have pledged to attend.
After learning of these various protest efforts, AIPAC sent an email to conference attendees stating that any vocal disruption of Trump’s speech will result in one’s permanent banning from AIPAC events. The email reads in part, “You are welcome to disagree with a speaker, but you are expected to do so silently and respectfully, in a way that reflects the higher order values of AIPAC and of yourself as an activist. If you choose to disrupt the program, understand that you will be removed, your conference credentials will be taken, and it will be the last AIPAC event you attend.”
- Jews Against Trump — Daniel Sieradski, [email protected]
- Union for Reform Judaism — 212-650-4000
- Come Together Against Hate — Rabbi David Paskin, [email protected]
- IfNotNow — Carinne Luck, [email protected]
- Workmen’s Circle — Anne Toback, [email protected]
Jews Against Trump is an ad-hoc coalition of hundreds of Jews of all religious denominations and political persuasions who are deeply concerned about Donald Trump’s racist demagoguery and violent incitement. We oppose all efforts by Jewish communal institutions and leaders to legitimize his candidacy. Find us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/fighttrump and Twitter at @fight_trump. For more information contact Daniel Sieradski, [email protected], 347-585-0350.