IfNotNow Calls on the Institutional Jewish Community to Join the Resistance Against Trump

Over the past several days, prominent American Jewish institutions that claim to speak for the American Jewish community have publicly welcomed and pledged to work with Donald Trump after his victory on Tuesday.

The overwhelming majority of the Jewish community — 76% of Jews according to exit polls — voted against Trump’s bigotry and hatred. To us, these statements from Jewish institutions are at once outrageous and infuriating.

IFNotNow protesting against AIPAC’s invitation to have Donald Trump speak at their annual conference in March of 2016

Throughout our history Jews have tried to position ourselves close to power for our own survival. For example, we were exploited for centuries in Europe as the “Middle Agents” meant to represent the Christian ruling class to the peasants who were deeply oppressed. This attempt to be close to power consistently proves a futile exercise — and fails to protect us.

One statement that stands out in particular is from the Jewish Federations of North America — both because of the size of its organizational infrastructure and because of the deepness of its conciliatory message.

In it, the JFNA opens by saying it is “very much look forward to working closely with you and your administration on uniting our country”. It concludes by pledging full assistance to the “transition in the next 10 weeks and beyond.”

What does it mean that the JFNA sends a congratulatory letter to Trump calling for unity when Muslims, women, immigrants, and people of color are being harassed on the streets and targeted with graffiti?

What does it signal to the broader community when the JFNA offers to assist with the Trump Administration’s transition while Trump supporters are spraying swastikas on storefronts on the anniversary of Kristallnacht?

What does it say about the JFNA’s institutional priorities when it celebrates Trump’s “support” for Israel’s security, while Naftali Bennett celebrates Trump’s victory as justification of indefinite occupation in declaring “The era of the Palestinian state is over”?

IfNotNow calls on the Jewish Federations of North America, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, to withdraw their statements welcoming the Trump Administration and to join the Jewish community in building the mutual defense and resistance against Trump.

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IfNotNow is a movement to end the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation and gain freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians. IfNotNow has chapters in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Detroit. To learn more, visit ifnotnowmovement.org.

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