December 8, 2015
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in response to yesterday's proposal by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that all Muslims should be barred from entering the United States:
"As Jews throughout the world celebrate Chanukah, which commemorates our ancestors' national liberation, and on the heels of our American Thanksgiving, we are reminded that religious freedom is both a Jewish and American value, which can only truly flourish when this right is safeguarded for all people.
"By contrast, Mr. Trump's hateful proposal to bar Muslims, including American citizens, from entry to the United States based solely on their religion is deeply offensive to us as Jews, unquestionably unconstitutional, and has absolutely no place in American politics.
"As Americans and as Jews, we are cognizant that Mr. Trump's proposal comes in the wake of last week's terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA, by a couple apparently radicalized by the Islamic State terrorist group. While we join our fellow Americans in mourning the murder of 14 innocent people, scapegoating and singling out all Muslims for odious discrimination is not a solution worthy of the American people or our traditions. It is also precisely the kind of absurd overreaction that our enemies are counting on to incite additional rounds of lethal terrorism against Americans and our allies.
"Finally, as a nonprofit organization, which neither endorses or opposes candidates for office or favors one political party over the other, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas is heartened to see that swift condemnation for Mr. Trump's obnoxious, nativist proposal is coming not just from our national Jewish partners, but also from Mr. Trump's fellow Republican presidential candidates and from respected conservative Jewish publications such as Commentary Magazine."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.