Anti-Defamation League is the first major Jewish group to call on the president to resign. AJC, AIPAC say Trump “incited.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The Anti Defamation League became the first major Jewish organization to call on President Donald Trump to resign following the riot on Capitol Hill by his supporters last week, the organization said in a statement released Friday.
“The Anti-Defamation League today called for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, either by the means afforded by the U.S. Constitution or through his own resignation,” the statement said.
“In our over 100 years of history, ADL has never called for the President of the United States to be removed from office, but what occurred on Wednesday was inexcusable,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “It will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days of American democracy and it makes unambiguously clear: President Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed.”
Greenblatt later told The Forward newspaper he knew that Trump would most likely not see the ADL statement, but said “as one of the nation’s leaders on tracking and fighting white supremacy the ADL had to make the strongest possible statement after Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol.”
“The idea that a sitting president could incite a terror attack on the American government, there is no precedent for that,” said Greenblatt. “It is indisputable that the responsibility lies right at his feet.”
Greenblatt served in the White House as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama. Under Greenblatt’s leadership, the ADL has been accused of engaging in partisan politics and veering from its primary mission, which is, in its words: “To stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people.”
In one prominent example, in 2018, the ADL immediately attacked the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, stating its concern that “Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record does not reflect the demonstrated independence and commitment to fair treatment for all that is necessary to merit a seat on our nation’s highest court.”
At the time, JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin wrote: “By repeatedly involving it in political controversies, it is impossible to pretend that Greenblatt’s vision of the group isn’t fundamentally that of a Democratic Party auxiliary that is increasingly overshadowing and marginalizing its still vital role as the nation’s guardian against anti-Semitism.”
Two other major Jewish groups criticized Trump, but stopped short of calling for his ouster.
“We share the anger of our fellow Americans over the attack at the Capitol and condemn the assault on our democratic values and process. This violence, and President Trump’s incitement of it, is outrageous and must end,” tweeted AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that is seen as the most influential bipartisan Jewish lobby group in Washington.
Similarly, the American Jewish Committee slammed Trump for inciting his supporters.
“Pres. Trump, You’ve incited rioters,” tweeted AJC director David Harris. “You’ve undermined democratic values by a refusal to accept the election results. You’ve encouraged folks to reject a peaceful transfer of power. I represent a nonpartisan org., but never when it comes to acts of violence & insurrection.”
Harris tweeted later that he had been attacked in social media “for speaking up against violent threats to democracy & rule of law in America, I’ve now been called: Traitor, Liar, S**thead, Fraud, Imbecile, Communist sheep, Turncoat, Nonamerican, Sellout, Pathetic joke.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a less direct statement, calling for the “orderly transfer of power,” but not referring to Trump by name.
“The orderly transfer of power is a hallmark of and essential to American democracy,” the organization said. We are disgusted by the violence at the US Capitol and urge the rioters to disperse immediately. Law and order must be restored, and the peaceful transition of administrations must continue.”