We are disgusted to see our federal government put immigrant children in the same camps used to intern Japanese Americans during World War II.
These camps are a blight on our country’s history. America stands for freedom, democracy, and liberty, yet those values were abandoned when our government rounded up and imprisoned Japanese Americans. This is happening again with the imprisonment of migrant refugees.
We are a nation of immigrants, founded on the belief that humans have inalienable rights. Throughout history, Americans have fought to ensure that these rights extend to all people in our country and beyond.
As Jews, we understand the importance of treating all people with dignity and kindness. For two millennia, the Jewish people were forced to wander, exiled from countries again and again, forced to abandon our heritage, subject to laws designating Jews as second-class citizens, terrorized by pogroms, and targeted for extermination and genocide.
Zionism is rooted in the knowledge and understanding of this history.
Emma Lazarus was a Zionist a decade before Herzl even coined the term. She wrote The New Colossus to raise money to repair the Statue of Liberty—the towering symbol that welcomed so many immigrants to our country.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”