A Jewish Position on Trump’s Indecent Immigration Plans—An Editorial by Peter Eisenstadt and Ayala Emmett

Chemi Shalev wrote in today’s Haaretz an article under the title “The Shameful Jewish Silence on Trump’s Anti-immigration Incitement.” He points out that American Jewish organizations have been strangely silent in condemning Trump’s call for mass expulsions. We want to draw attention to an article we published a few days ago in the Jewish Pluralist, “Expulsion According to Trump” to which we must add, “Taking a Jewish Position,” to the title. We wrote the essay as Jews committed to Jewish principles of justice and placed Trump’s indecent proposal to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America on our Jewish screen of a history of expulsions. This Jewish history obligates (mehayev ?????) us to remember (lizkor ?????) the horrors of expulsions, the tragic and brutalizing destruction that they bring on people and nations.

We refuse to be part of this shameful silence. We reiterate here that the expulsion plan of 11 million human beings from the United States would be a personal, familial, social and cultural destruction of monumental tragic consequences. The denial of citizenship to children born in the United States is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and cries out to heaven in its gross injustice. We must not avert eyes from the real face of expulsions. As Jews, we know what it means to be treated as less than human, to be expelled from our homes, to be treated as if our lives didn’t matter or count. And we know the time to stop this idea and plan is now. It cannot be allowed to become an accepted position in our national debate over immigration. And it certainly it cannot be allowed to be put into practice. As Jews, we know that intemperate rhetoric, unchecked, can have terrible consequences. We cannot be bystanders when Trump’s insidious incitement is uttered.