Over 600 Rabbis, Cantors Vow to Hold Trump Administration Accountable for Human Rights

'Jewish history has taught us that fascism arrives slowly, through the steady erosion of liberties,' pledge reads.

Protesters march against Donald Trump advisers, including Steve Bannon, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 30, 2016.
Protesters march against Donald Trump advisers, including Steve Bannon, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 30, 2016. Ryan McBride, AFP

More than 600 rabbis and cantors signed a pledge to hold the Trump administration accountable for protecting human rights and civil liberties.

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights circulated the pledge, which was posted on the organization’s website in November. It garnered 635 signatures as of last Wednesday.

“As rabbis and cantors, we fervently pledge to raise our voices, and those of our communities, to hold the new administration accountable for protecting the human rights and civil liberties of all people as precious creations in the divine image,” the pledge reads.

“Jewish history has taught us that fascism arrives slowly, through the steady erosion of liberties. And we have learned that those who attack other minorities will eventually come to attack us. To our great dismay, we learned this truth again when, during this election campaign, anti-Semitism rose to the fore, along with racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia.”

The group criticized other Jewish organizations that offered early congratulations to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and others who "have accommodated him by looking beyond” his rhetoric.

“For some Jewish leaders, there will be a temptation to accommodate the new administration in the hopes of protecting our own community’s 'interests,'” the pledge says. “As Joseph learned long ago, and as the Jewish community has learned time and time again, proximity to power does not guarantee protection in the long run. Nor can we ignore the fact that our Jewish community includes people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, people dependent on the social safety net, and others at risk for reasons beyond Jewish identity. Jews will not be safe until every one of us is safe in a just and democratic society.”