For years, whenever Jews and Muslims engaged in dialogue and activism together, it usually concerned — or foundered — on one issue: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, that appears to be changing.
Regardless of what’s happening across the ocean, Jews and Muslims in the United States are joining together to fight for shared domestic concerns. “It is a perhaps growing recognition that [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] cannot define how American Jews and American Muslims relate to one another,” said Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, the Anti-Defamation League’s director of interreligious engagement. “The shared concerns we have about prejudice, about bias, about threats of violence, about disenfranchisement — these are the kinds of things that can bring us together.”
On Monday, the American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America launched the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, a group of religious and business leaders from both communities who will help draft domestic policy legislation and advocate on issues of shared concern.
The ADL is planning to increase its efforts to provide support for legal and legislative efforts in the fight against anti-Muslim bigotry. And the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative, which educates young Muslim leaders about Judaism and Israel, held a retreat over the weekend titled “Living in Trump’s America: Muslim Vulnerability and Jewish Echoes.”
“What’s happened as a result of the poisonous atmosphere that Trump has created is that American Muslims are desperate for allies,” said Yossi Klein Halevi, the Muslim Leadership Initiative’s co-director. “And the argument that MLI has made to the Muslim community — which is that the Jews are, at least in theory, natural allies for embattled Muslims — now has become compelling.”...
The newly formed Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, which has 31 members from both communities, formed shortly before Trump was elected last week. The council will focus on protecting the right to wear religious head coverings, prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, recording hate crimes and advocating for immigrants and refugees, according to Robert Silverman, the American Jewish Committee’s director of Muslim-Jewish relations. “It is a reaction to some of the bigotry and hate speech that came out of the campaign,” Silverman said. “We’re concerned about the public discourse in the whole country. We’re also concerned about messages that originated within the two communities. The Trump phenomenon is only going to make it come together more quickly.”
Jewish activists who have long championed Jewish-Muslim collaboration believe their community is finally coming around. Rabbi Marc Schneier, co-founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which brings together leaders from the two religions, says he hopes Jews will come to the defense of Muslims if Trump follows through on his proposals to ban Muslims from entering the country, or to create a registry of American Muslims.
In June, Schneier’s foundation launched an initiative called Muslims are Speaking Out that highlights Muslim condemnations of extremism and aims to dispel misconceptions Americans have about the Muslim community. “We have the obstacle of greater Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric,” Schneier said. “The opportunity is that this is another test for the American Jewish community. Will it step up to the plate, and will it perform as it has done in the past?”Source
Same thing in Europe.
President-elect Donald Trump’s victory marks the beginning of a new world order, and rabbinical leaders across Europe are concerned about how this will impact their continent and its Jewish population, Conference of European Rabbis (CER) President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said Tuesday.
At the biannual CER Standing Committee gathered for the second day in Minsk, Goldschmidt, who is also the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, told The Jerusalem Post that he believes US influence over its allies and other countries in the world is going to be greatly diminished under Trump’s leadership.Pinchas warned Trump against engaging with patriot parties in Europe.
Turning to Europe, Goldschmidt said that populist parties across the continent have been strengthened by the success of populism in the US. But he warned that there is a significant difference between Trump and his Republican party, and the Freedom Party of Austria or Marine Le Pen's National Front party in France, which he describes as “the most extreme right-wing parties which have been founded by Nazi collaborators and pro-Nazi sympathizers.”
Jews are forming "alliances" with unspecified parties to defend their practice of inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals. I think we can guess who those unspecified parties are.
“What we see right now is a revolution happening in the world,” Goldschmidt says. “Europe has been weakened with Brexit and we fear now that with new winds blowing from the US, Europe is going to change as well. And not for the better.”
The CER, which comprises more than 700 Jewish religious leaders across Europe, is bracing for a tougher battle over efforts to ban elements of Jewish religious practice. Having already spent the past 10 years fending off attacks against shechita (kosher slaughter) and brit mila (circumcision), the CER's stated aim is to maintain and defend the religious rights of Jews in Europe.
"The CER’s mission to protect the freedoms of the Jews here," Goldschmidt has stated, noting that the body of rabbis is reaching out to both Jews and non-Jews, and building coalitions across the board in its work to counter potential restrictions on Jewish life.Source