Stephen Bannon in 2016..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – A coalition of organizations that together represent America’s Conservative Jewish movement have called on President- elect Donald Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon, a figure affiliated with the ultra-nationalist alt-right movement, to a senior White House post.
Issuing a rare joint statement, the Rabbinical Assembly, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Cantors Assembly, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs said faith compels them “not to remain silent in the face of hate or the vilification of any group.”
“Americans rightfully demand an unambiguous affirmation of the principles that have guided our country: tolerance, justice, freedom and respect for all people,” the Friday statement reads. “The United States is a nation of all its people. We call upon President- elect Trump, therefore, to rescind this nomination.”
The decision by groups such as these to speak out does not come lightly, as they often refrain from commenting on political appointments. They have created an exception for Bannon, however, “who, as head of the Breitbart News site, trafficked in white nationalism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and misogyny.”
“Breitbart is an outlet for the altright, a movement that is contrary to both our American and Jewish values,” the statement adds.
The Conservative movement joins the Anti-Defamation League in calling for Trump to rescind his offer. The American Jewish Committee has also issued a statement of warning over what it “stands for” – values of pluralism that its partner organizations claim Bannon rejects.
Adding to the chorus of opposition, several other Jewish organizations wrote a letter to Trump on Friday condemning the Bannon hire. Among them are J Street, the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, the Orthodox Social Justice Movement and the National Council of Jewish Women.
“We call on you to staff your administration with individuals who exhibit excellence and empathy, and a commitment to protecting the security, honor and dignity of all American regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation,” their letter reads. “Your recent decision to appoint Stephen Bannon to the post of senior counselor and strategist in the White House runs counter to these principles and should be rescinded for the sake of the American people and the honor of the government of the United States.”