Yesterday, the U.S. Capitol was the scene of a deadly insurrection by pro-Trump rioters, some displaying Confederate and Nazi paraphernalia employed by antisemitic and white nationalist groups, as they desecrated America’s temple of democracy. This outrageous attack was incited by the sitting President of the United States. He was aided and abetted by Members of Congress, including several U.S. Representatives from New York, who announced that they would support the demonstrably false claims of a stolen election and seek to overturn the will of the voters — a blatant violation of the oath they took to uphold the Constitution.
NYJA must be absolutely clear: Donald Trump cannot be trusted to hold power — not now, not for the next 13 days, not ever again. We support efforts by Senator Chuck Schumer and many members of the NY congressional delegation to remove Trump from office immediately, either via the application of the 25th Amendment or impeachment and removal by the Congress. Every day that he is allowed to remain in office poses a threat to our democracy. He must be held accountable for his desperate and dangerous efforts to cling to power at all costs.
Yesterday’s mob violence is an affront to every one of the Jewish values that drive NYJA’s work: Dignity, Justice, Responsibility, Equality, and Unity. These very same values are the foundation of our democracy. And we are called upon now to put those values into action. As Jews, we know all too well the consequences when mob power grows unchecked in a democracy — we can never allow that to happen in the United States.
We share the feelings of fear and anger that so many are grappling with in the aftermath of yesterday’s insurrection. We should not hide from those feelings, but neither can we allow them to overwhelm us. For those seeking a balm for the soul, we hope that you will join us and hundreds of other Jews across New York for a vigil organized by the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, in collaboration with NYJA and a multi-faith coalition of New York organizations.
The event will take place tomorrow, January 8, at 3 PM, and you can register here. The list of speakers, spiritual leaders, and musicians includes: U.S. Representative Mondaire Jones, Mandy Patinkin, Neshama Carlebach, Reverend Dr. Chloe Breyer, Pastor Gil Monrose, Daisy Khan, Rabbi Mira Rivera, Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Avram Mlotek. Rabbi Levitt and Rabbi Mlotek are both members of the NYJA Leaders Network.
As President-elect Biden reminded us yesterday, American democracy is far stronger than the desperate actions of an outgoing President or the angry mob he incited. We will survive this, we will stand together to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions, and we will heal.
Matt Nosanchuk is co-founder and President of the New York Jewish Agenda.