Following the announcement that President-elect Donald Trump has selected Stephen Bannon as his senior counselor and chief strategist, Bend the Arc Jewish Action CEO Stosh Cotler released the following statement:
“President-elect Trump’s selection of Stephen Bannon, a professional purveyor of white nationalist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as his top adviser is as horrifying as it is unsurprising. Those of us who were alarmed by Trump's campaign when it began over a year ago are starting to see the things we feared come to pass, and this is one of them - the elevation of an avowed bigot to a position of incredible official power. On Election Day, a majority of voters rejected the hatred central to the Trump campaign. We know many of them would join us in condemning this attempt by the President-elect to normalize and legitimize white supremacy, and we call on leaders across the political spectrum to denounce it as well.”
Bend the Arc Jewish Action has been a leader in the Jewish community’s work to combat the extremism and bigotry seen in this year’s presidential race. Bend the Arc Jewish Action mobilized tens of thousands of Jews against Donald Trump’s campaign of hate for over a year. In October, Bend the Arc Jewish Action organized a massive ‘Let My People GOTV’ initiative that mobilized Jewish activists nationwide to personally knock on the doors of over 20,000 voters for Hillary Clinton in the critical swing states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In September, Bend the Arc Jewish Action organized an anti-Trump ‘Book of Life’ Day of Action in the spirit of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and released a viral video message from the older generation to today’s young voters. In June, Bend the Arc Jewish Action organized a series of anti-Trump Vigils Against Violence in 50 cities (see the report on the actionhere). Bend the Arc Jewish Action also strongly denounced Trump’s plan to start a government registry of Muslims last fall and repeatedly called on the Trump campaign’s chief Jewish supporter – the Republican Jewish Coalition – to rescind its endorsement. Bend the Arc Jewish Action’s sister organization, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, also launched a televised campaign, “Heard it Before,” comparing anti-immigrant rhetoric in the presidential campaign to what Jewish immigrants faced a century ago. 30,000 American Jews signed petitions denouncing Trump and joined Bend the Arc Jewish Action’s effort to defeat his campaign.