AJC Statement on Presidential Campaign Violence

Mar 17, 2016, 12:50 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is strictly non-partisan. It abstains from taking stands on candidates and is content to let the electoral processes play out. But when the process is infected with threats of violence and disruption, it is not a candidate at issue; it is the viability of democracy itself.

Violence and threat of violence have no place in American politics. There should be no threats to disrupt political rallies and no threats to disrupt a convention if a candidate is denied the nomination by his party's convention. Too many democracies have failed, to be replaced by autocratic governments, when violence became a sanctioned political tool, especially by those who feel disenfranchised and choose not to await ordinary change at the ballot box.

We do not draw analogies to the rise of communism and fascism lightly, but both of those tyrannical movements rose to power replacing democratically elected governments, by virtue of threats of, or actual, violence against their opponents.

The political season is a long one, and in the heat of the moment, candidates and their supporters say and do things they do not mean or which they phrase carelessly. We hope that the violence seen so far is an aberration which stops now. Those who have resorted to, or sanctioned, violence need to repudiate it now. Nothing less than the survival of American democracy is at stake.

AJC (American Jewish Committee), a non-partisan advocacy organization, does not endorse or oppose candidates for elected office.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee