Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland Stands Strongly Against Islamophobia
Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland (JVP-PDX) pledges to join with all those resisting Islamophobia. The direct targeting of Muslims through the Trump administration’s attempted travel ban is based on extreme right-wing, fringe, racist views, views we categorically reject.
The Executive Order recently signed by President Trump that created a travel ban on refugees, immigrants, and others coming to the U.S. from seven nations is blatant discrimination against Muslims. JVP-PDX applauds the temporary restraining order and the 9th Circuit ruling against Trump’s unconscionable ban.
“We will put our hearts, souls, and bodies on the line to stop these hateful and racist attacks. We promise to love, defend and fight alongside our friends, neighbors, and all communities directly impacted by these mean-spirited Executive Orders,” said Dr. Dick Adams, a JVP-PDX member.
The Islamophobic and xenophobic discourse and policies being promoted by the Trump administration are based on fear and lies that directly promote discrimination against Muslims. Trump’s claim of the need for these policies to assure national security has been well debunked.
There is an extremely fringe, ultra conservative right wing Islamophobic movement in our country that has been carefully researched. Key members of Trump’s administration, specifically Steve Bannon and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, are affiliated with that movement and are now central in making U.S. policy. This landscape of the Trump White House is not just counter to our best values as a nation but it also is responsible for an increase in hate crimes, and sets a dangerous foreign policy that is likely to intensify anti-American sentiment around the world.
As an organization committed to working for justice and equality for Palestinians and Israelis, JVP is also gravely concerned that some of the same individuals who are driving this policy of hate and fear towards Muslims in the U.S. are those who also promote the most reactionary and right-wing agenda toward Israel—supporting settlement expansion, land confiscation, racism toward Palestinians and backing the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Jewish Voice for Peace will organize throughout our community to stand in solidarity with our Muslim, immigrant & refugee neighbors, friends, community members, and all who are targeted. Muslims and Arabs have significantly contributed to American society for many generations and are an integral part of the fabric of our country.
As a Jewish organization, we have a special responsibility to call out the historical parallels in the hatefulness and illegitimacy of these Executive Orders. The Network Against Islamophobia, an important part of Jewish Voice for Peace, is a national movement whose work, as allies of Arab and Muslim communities, is to identify, educate and stand against systemic Islamophobia.
Several generations ago, the U.S. closed its doors to desperate Jewish refugees, many of them our family members, fleeing the Nazi Holocaust. We also bear witness to the voices of our Japanese and Japanese-American friends and neighbors who themselves or their family members were targeted and interned during WWII as they too speak out in support of the Muslim community. We are here to say that these tragic episodes in our history must not be repeated. Never again – not for anyone.
We remember well and are inspired in this dark time by the words of Martin Niemöller, the prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public critic of Adolf Hitler:
…Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We all belong here. We proudly pledge – with our bodies if need be – to love, defend, support and speak out for one another.