Jewish Groups Help Collect 1M Signatures Opposing Steve Bannon Appointment
(JTA) — Jewish and progressive groups delivered over 1 million petition signatures to Capitol Hill opposing President-elect Donald Trump’s pick of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist.
The coalition, which includes J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, IfNotNow and other progressive organizations, urged members of Congress on Thursday to denounce the Bannon appointment.
In a statement, the groups said “there is no place for a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, climate-change denying misogynist in the White House.”
Jewish groups have denounced Bannon due to his links to the “alt-right,” a far-right movement whose followers traffic variously in white nationalism, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Semitism and a disdain for “political correctness.” Bannon called Breitbart News, a conservative news website for which he served as CEO, a “platform for the alt-right,” but has denied being an anti-Semite or white supremacist.
At Thursday’s event, Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, said Trump had “mounted an assault on our most fundamental values as Jews and as Americans.”
“Trump has invited promoters of white nationalist and anti-Semitic views and rhetoric, like Steve Bannon, into his inner circle, unacceptable behavior from anyone seeking to unite and lead our country,” Kimelman-Block said.
Other groups in the coalition include the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org, as well as organizations representing Muslim, Christian, immigrant, racial minority and LGBT causes.
The signatures delivered to Congress came from a number of petitions organized by the participating groups.
The release noted that an array of groups not part of the coalition also oppose Bannon’s appointment, among them, the Anti-Defamation League.