×

Letter: Stop the persecution


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

As Jews and as Americans, we have powerful collective memories. We know about ethnic oppression, how it starts, progresses and ends. And we say, Never again! Not to us, not to anyone; not in Europe, not in the Middle East, not in America — nowhere. We know about being refugees, fleeing hatred and violence directed at us, wandering the oceans in search of sanctuary and finding none. And we say, Never again!

We recognize the signs, the leaders and would-be leaders fanning the flames of fear to promote their own careers and ideologies. We are determined to oppose this fear and hatred.

We stand with oppressed ethnic groups here and throughout the world but at this particular time and place we wish to express our solidarity with the Islamic branch of the human family. We urge all to join us in speaking out on their behalf and to offer them support against the irrational hatred directed against them.

History teaches us that it is never just one group that is singled out for oppression. Bishop Niemöller in his comment on how the Nazis persecuted one group after another while the German people stood by silently finishes by saying, “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Let us stop the persecution of the people of Islam before what we do becomes a blot on our history.

Rabbi ANDREA COHEN KIENER

on behalf of the board of directors

Temple Israel

Greenfield