“We are living through a painful time in our country. Like you, we are horrified by the violent death of George Floyd and are angry, sad and hurt over the inequities that still exist in our country,” said American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) CEO Howard Kohr and co-chief executive Richard Fishman in a letter addressed to “our African American outreach family,” the Jewish Insider reporter.
AIPAC is the largest pro-Israel group in the United States.
“When a member of our family is attacked, we are all attacked. When a member of our family is in pain, we are all in pain,” the letter reads. “Racism, intolerance and inequality must have no place in our country.”
Thanking the African-American community for its support for Israel, AIPAC signed off the letter saying, “We want you to know that we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and the Black community in the face of these tragedies and in your enduring struggle for the same rights and respect to which all Americans are entitled.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, of which AIPAC is one of 50 members, issued a statement this week calling for “an end to the scourge of racism that led to George Floyd’s death, an end to senseless bigotry, xenophobia, and antisemitism, as well as an end to civil unrest, and a return to mutual engagement, constructive dialogue, and building coalitions.”
Arthur Stark, Chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:
“We join our fellow Americans nationwide in mourning the appalling and detestable killing of George Floyd. We are outraged and call for the police officers responsible to be held accountable and brought to justice. This tragedy is one that has occurred all too often.’’
The statement adds: ‘’American Jews historically have been and will continue to be allies of the African American community and all others in the fight against racism and injustice in the United States. Rabbi Joachim Prinz, an early Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington in 1963 and was the last speaker before Dr. King gave his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. Many other prominent Jewish leaders, along with thousands of American Jews, were and are actively involved in the civil rights movement.’’
‘’Given our history of facing oppression and Jew hatred, which continues to this day, we empathize deeply with the suffering of others and the indignance of prejudice and bigotry. We believe that there are remedial measures that can and must be implemented to help prevent a reoccurrence of this terrible event.’’
‘’The First Amendment right to peacefully protest, an American birthright, must be protected. At the same time, we condemn acts of violence and vandalism, and urge respect for the law and those charged to enforce it with justice, most of whom are people of good faith endeavoring to serve and protect our communities. The violence and looting hurt many families and individuals while undermining the sense of security and trust essential to the effective functioning of our society. It must stop.’’
The statement concludes: ‘’We pray for an end to the scourge of racism that led to George Floyd’s death, an end to senseless bigotry, xenophobia, and antisemitism, as well as an end to civil unrest, and a return to mutual engagement, constructive dialogue, and building coalitions. We stand ready, as a community, to help move our country forward.”