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A ‘Dark Day for America:’ US Jewish Groups Denounce Mob Violence and Rioting on Capitol Hill

avatar by Ben Cohen

Police fire tear gas at supporters of President Trump as they attempt to storm Capitol Hill. Photo: Reuters/Leah Millis.

Jewish groups on Wednesday mourned a “dark day” for America, as hundreds of rioters stormed Capitol Hill to prevent US legislators from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

Rabbi Marvin Hier — the founder of the Los-Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), who recited a blessing at President Donald Trump’s inauguration in Jan. 2017 — declared that “the very values and rights bestowed by our democracy are degraded and diminished when police officers have to draw their guns to protect our duly elected officials in the heart of our nation by violent protesters who, by their reckless and dangerous behavior, have inflicted grievous wounds on our nation.”

Continued Hier: “Nothing, not even the emotional charges of voter fraud in a presidential election can ever legitimize or excuse such behavior. For as the Talmud warns ‘Pray for the welfare of the government, for without…it man would swallow his fellow.’  Today is a dark day for America.”

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for Trump to be held accountable for the violence launched by some of his supporters after he delivered a 90 minute speech to a protest rally on Wednesday morning.

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“The President has promoted sedition and incited violence. People assaulting law enforcement officers or breaching government buildings must be arrested and held accountable,” the ADL stated. “More than anything, what is happening right now at the Capitol is a direct result of the fear and disinformation that has been spewed consistently from the Oval Office. President Trump has a responsibility to call for an end to this violence and unrest that he has sowed. His campaign of disinformation is a clear and present danger to our democracy.”

The ADL then urged social media companies specifically to take action against Trump’s accounts.

“Social media companies should suspend his accounts ASAP as they would do for anyone else advocating disinformation and promoting violence,” the ADL said. “It’s time.”

Several of the president’s Twitter posts on Wednesday afternoon repeated his unsupported claim that the Nov. 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” with one message denouncing Vice-President Mike Pence for “not having the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

Trump did later address the rioting on Capitol Hill on Twitter, tweeting, “No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

Other Jewish groups were similarly outraged by Wednesday’s clashes in Washington, DC.

“The peaceful transition of power is the bedrock of our democracy,” tweeted the American Jewish Committee (AJC).  “We are shocked and horrified by the violent riots taking place on Capitol Hill at this time. We urge @POTUS to call for an immediate end to the riots and respect the certification process currently underway.”

The Republican Jewish Committee (RJC) also called for a halt to the rioting.

“We support peaceful protest, but storming the halls of Congress and the Capitol building is unacceptable,” the RJC tweeted. “We condemn these actions. G-d bless the @CapitolPolice.”

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