November 23, 2016
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) welcomes and applauds President-elect Donald Trump's recent disavowal of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group that recently held a conference in Washington, D.C. spewing anti-Semitic and other hateful rhetoric.
"The JCRC condemns the Nazi slogans and gestures as well as the vile anti-Semitic rhetoric used by the head of the National Policy Institute at last weekend's conference. We are alarmed by the increasing hateful and divisive tone of public discourse across the ideological spectrum.
"The recent statement by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) condemning the conference places in historical context the dangers of this rhetoric. The USHMM states: 'The targeting of Jews was central to Nazi racist ideology. The Germans attempted to kill every Jewish man, woman and child they could find. Nazi racism extended to other groups. By the end of World War II, the Germans and their collaborators had murdered six million Jews and millions of other innocent civilians, many of whom were targeted for racial reasons. The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.'
"Finally, the JCRC joins the Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations calling on the 'President-elect and our nation's political, religious, civic, education, media and business leaders, from across the diverse spectrum of American society, [to] continue to vigorously denounce all expressions of hate targeting any group or individual, and to reinforce American values and ideals that promote our common goals with respect, and in a spirit of shared dedication to our cherished democracy.'"
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.