The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) stands with all Americans in horror at the terrorist acts committed on our shores September 11th. The attacks resonate in profoundly familiar ways, reminding us of terrorism endured by Israel and its citizenry for decades. They remind us too of attacks suffered by Jewish communities in Argentina, Turkey and elsewhere. Singled out as the Jewish people are by the terrorists’ ideology and by the rationalizations of their apologists, we are especially concerned by their hate-filled rhetoric. This war on terrorism must lead to the defeat and punishment of all those who perpetrate, threaten, and support violence and terrorism. The special relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, built on shared values, is a key component to winning this war.
At this time of trial for America and the world, the JCPA:
- Stands with President Bush as he leads the country in a sustained effort to combat international terrorism;
- Mourns those who were so cruelly murdered September 11th and the members of our nation’s armed forces who have died in this war on terrorism. We honor those, in and out of uniform, who have given of themselves so courageously. We pray for the safe return of all allied military forces engaged in this noble endeavor;
- Supports the Bush Administration’s call for this to be a comprehensive war against terrorism in all of its forms, without distinction. No cause justifies the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians;
- Calls on all nations to stand with the United States in the effort to eradicate international terrorism. As President Bush has said, “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” and those nations which continue to harbor or support terrorism should be judged accordingly;
- Supports both respecting basic constitutional rights and strengthening domestic anti-terrorism measures that enhance law enforcement capacities;
- Applauds the Bush Administration’s freezing the assets of groups and individuals, including American-based non-profits, that have been linked to terrorist activities, as well as moves by major corporations and philanthropies who have blocked donations to such organizations. We call on others to take similar steps;
- Condemns, in unequivocal terms, the bigoted stereotyping, scapegoating and assaults of Muslim and Arab Americans that have occurred in the aftermath of September 11th. American Jews are especially sensitive to these immoral acts and recognize their corrupting influence on our society;
- Deplores the bigotry emanating from some in the Muslim and Arab American communities and elsewhere that falsely accuse Jews, Israel or the so-called “Jewish controlled media” for responsibility in the September 11th attacks;
- Applauds leaders in the Muslim community who have spoken forcefully against interpretations of Islam that have been used to justify and glorify terrorism, and urges all Muslim clergy and leaders, here and abroad, to reaffirm publicly the peaceful principles of their faith and to reject vehemently all acts of terror — the deliberate use of violence against non-combatants for political purposes;
- Recognizes that there is no place in civic life for individuals and organizations who refuse to condemn terrorism unequivocally. While care and sensitivity must be used when employing the very serious charge that an individual or an organization rationalizes, justifies or even supports terrorism, neither should we shy away from monitoring, exposing and seeking to marginalize such individuals and organizations-and calling on others to do likewise. The rejection of terrorism as a valid form of political expression is of paramount importance to global security.