Jewish Council for Public Affairs and HIAS organize statement condemning antisemitic, white supremacist, and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories

For Immediate Release:
February 5, 2024

NEW YORK – Today the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the national convener of Jewish coalitions working to build a just and inclusive American democracy, and HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization supporting refugees, along with 15 other national Jewish organizations, released a joint statement expressing their concern over the antisemitic, white supremacist conspiracy theories animating efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Attacks against Secretary Mayorkas have invoked the so-called “great replacement” theory, which relies on dangerous antisemitic stereotypes in alleging a vast conspiracy to support an “invasion” of immigrants, “replace” white voters, and seize power in the United States, while also fueling anti-immigrant bigotry and white supremacy. This same conspiracy theory has directly fueled violence in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso, Buffalo, and a number of other communities.

“We’ve seen the violent, deadly impact that these antisemitic, white supremacist conspiracy theories have on our communities,” said Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “Members of Congress who brand themselves as crusaders against antisemitism are now simultaneously normalizing this dangerous hate that endangers the lives of Jews and so many others, as well as our democracy. We won’t stand silently by when our safety – and the safety of so many others – is used as a political football.”

“We at HIAS know Secretary Mayorkas well, and can attest to his leadership and his strong character, and all he has done to protect the homeland, including the security of the Jewish community,” said Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS. “This impeachment is nothing but a dangerous distraction for Congress, the Administration and the country from those essential duties. The impeachment effort is profoundly disturbing. It is not about high crimes and misdemeanors but about political theater, about stoking fear in the public and vilifying asylum seekers and immigrants. It is Congress, after all, that has long abdicated its responsibility to protect our borders, having failed to enact any comprehensive immigration legislation over the last 35 years, in spite of complete national agreement that the asylum and immigration system in this country is utterly broken and in desperate need of reform.”

The statement, organized by JCPA and HIAS and signed by 17 national Jewish organizations, advocates that the safety of marginalized groups is interconnected and requires unity in such a tenuous moment, especially in the wake of rising antisemitism following Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel.

You can read the full text of the statement below along with the full list of signers.

“As Jewish organizations grappling with the real-world consequences of rising hate and extremism, we are deeply concerned that the effort to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will further normalize dangerous antisemitic, white supremacist, and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories.

“Just five years ago, our community – and this country – experienced the deadliest antisemitic attack ever perpetrated on U.S. soil. Then, on October 7, 2023, Hamas perpetrated the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust when it invaded Israel, inciting hatred and adding fuel to the fire of global antisemitism.

“We now see Members of Congress and other leaders arguing that Secretary Mayorkas is intentionally orchestrating an ‘invasion’ and the ‘replacement’ of Americans. These dangerous, dehumanizing conspiracy theories have fueled a cycle of deadly violence against Jewish, Hispanic, Black, Muslim, and other communities in recent years – and we are deeply concerned that such bigotry and divisiveness will only make our community, and so many others, even less safe at this tenuous moment.

“It is also important to note that Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security have remained steadfast allies of the Jewish community, as well as many others, in responding to and addressing the increasingly serious safety and security concerns we face.

“Make no mistake: legitimate policy differences and debates are not only permissible, but critical to our democratic process. However, this impeachment effort is being cynically exploited to further normalize bigotry at a moment of already-record levels of hate and extremism, which only serves to threaten our communities and our democracy.”

Jewish Council for Public Affairs
HIAS
Ameinu
Democratic Majority for Israel
Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA)
Jewish Labor Committee
J Street
Jewish Women International
Keshet
National Council of Jewish Women
Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
Rabbinical Assembly
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
The Workers Circle
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Union for Reform Judaism
Zioness

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About JCPA

The mission of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is to strengthen and leverage the Jewish community relations network across the nation to champion a just, democratic, and pluralistic society and advance the right of full inclusion of all members of our society, including Jews, free of discrimination, hate, and prejudice.

Inspired by Jewish values of human dignity and equal justice under the law and an abiding commitment to vibrant and secure Jewish communities here, in Israel, and throughout the world, JCPA convenes and catalyzes its network to work with public officials, build deep relations, and engage in advocacy coalitions based on shared goals.

About HIAS

HIAS is the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 23 countries across the globe. We advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity. Learn more and take action at HIAS.org.

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