Jewish groups laud Trump impeachment, denounce incitement to insurrection

American Jewish Committee, Union for Reform Judaism, J Street denounce Trump’s assault on US democracy.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the presidential election results by Congress, in Washington in Novemer, 2021. (photo credit: JIM BOURG / REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the presidential election results by Congress, in Washington in Novemer, 2021.
(photo credit: JIM BOURG / REUTERS)
Several Jewish organizations have welcomed the impeachment on Wednesday of US President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives and condemned him for his role in the storming of the US Capitol last week.
At a rally given at The Ellipse, adjacent to the White House, on January 6, Trump spoke to several thousands of his supporters, whom he had told to attend via Twitter. He called on them to march to the US Capitol building and demand that Congress not certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November 3 presidential election.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated,” Trump said, among other incendiary comments.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors, with the article of impeachment stating that Trump “willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,’” and that these remarks incited the crowd to interfere with Congress’s certification of the election results.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC), one of the oldest and respected US Jewish organizations, said it welcomed the passage of the impeachment resolution and reiterated its “unqualified condemnation” of Trump’s actions, which it said “run counter to the democratic values we hold dear,” and disqualify the president from continuing to occupy his office.
“He has subverted the will of American voters by falsely alleging, without evidence, that the November 2020 election was illegitimate, beset with fraud, and ‘stolen.’ Beyond that, he has incited his followers to commit acts of insurrection which involved an assault on a sacred edifice and which resulted in chaos, injury, and death,” the AJC said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
It added that “public officials charged with responsibility for addressing such conduct” use all means possible to hold Trump to account for what happened, including in the courts.
The Union for Reform Judaism said it applauded the passage of the article of impeachment “for his incitement of violence against the United States government,” and urged the Senate to convict him on this charge.
“President Trump’s behavior has shaken our democracy to its core. The president’s language and his actions preceding the riot and in the days since are an abdication of moral leadership,” said the URJ in its statement.
The organization said that “the expression of remorse is central to the act of teshuva, repentance” but that “rather than accept responsibility or express contrition for the role that his words played in the desecration of the Capitol and the deaths of at least six individuals, including two Capitol Police officers, President Trump has stood by his disproven lies and provocative rhetoric.”
The organization noted that Trump said in a video he tweeted out as the riot and invasion of the Capitol was underway that he loved his supporters involved in the attack, “among them white supremacists who rampaged through the House and Senate, some armed, some dressed in clothes bearing racist and antisemitic words and symbols.”
The left-wing J Street organization, which called for Trump’s removal from office immediately after the storming of the Capitol, also welcomed the passage of the article of impeachment.
“The House just voted (for the second time) to make clear what a majority of Americans know to be true: Trump is a danger to our democracy and is not fit to be our president. He never has been and should never have the opportunity to hold elected office again,” the organization said on Twitter.