Washington, D.C. – Following recent morally reprehensible comments by candidates seeking the nation’s highest office, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) issued the following statement:
All campaigns—especially those for the presidency—should be about finding solutions to our nation’s problems, not about divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. We call on all candidates to commit to addressing real issues confronting our nation and cease the over-the-top, headline-hungry antics.
There is no place in America, a nation founded on religious freedom, for discrimination on the basis of religion—or any other immutable characteristic, for that matter. This time it is Muslims that have been singled out, but in past years it has been gays, and before that Catholics, Jews, Japanese, Irish, and other groups that are a part of the fabric of our unique and diverse American society.
The JCPA opposes the use of demagoguery and demonization that have become commonplace in election campaigns, and believes that civil political discourse is the key to having a knowledgeable electorate. Indeed, recent statements are misleading to voters, because they imply that sacrificing our values will advance our security, which is a fallacy. The minute we jettison our values for a false sense of security is the minute we let the terrorists win.
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.