Dear friends and comrades,
Eight days after Donald Trump has been sworn into office, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) reflects on the significance of today, Holocaust Memorial Day. We hear echoes of the fascism and white supremacy of 1930’s Europe in the words and threatened actions of Trump’s administration. We see the racist, Islamophobic, anti-semitic, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist hate and violence Trump fuels and is fueled by. We know his cabinet of billionaires and elitists will not and cannot make good on their promises of a better quality of life and economic future for the people of the United States (and the world). We know that when they do not, he will blame the very people on whose shoulders their wealth has been built and their power has always targeted.
To Trump, his administration and the bigots he has mobilized, we say: Never Again For Anyone!
‘Never again for anyone’ means asserting all our humanity. Never again for anyone means drawing on our histories and standing strong with those being targeted today. Never again for anyone means remembering the people who once hid and protected us as we do the same for others today.
Never again for Black people who are the targets of racism, hate, and State violence; who throughout time – through slavery, colonialism, policing and mass incarceration – and who today continue to be exploited for profit, criminalized, and killed. The resilience of Black communities and the power of Black resistance – from slave rebellions to the Black Panthers to Black Lives Matter – inspire people’s movements across time and place.
Never again for the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America) who have faced and continue to face genocide, ongoing settler colonialism, land theft, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, loss of languages, poverty, state and police violence. Indigenous peoples continue to be at the frontlines of struggles including through the fight against pipelines and resource extraction which threaten their traditional ways of living, their sacred lands, and millions of people’s access to clean water.
Never again for immigrants who live in constant insecurity and instability. Forced out of their homes and homelands, torn from their families as a result of the destruction of sustainable economies and ways of life due to global capitalism. Immigrant labor and lives are exploited – their families and lives threatened by borders that cross their homelands. Trump is issuing executive orders to deport 11 million immigrants and expand an already deadly wall on the US Mexico border. He has threatened to instate a Muslim registry and is committed to using torture in an escalated “War on Terror”. We must demand protection and sanctuary for immigrant women, men, children, transgender and queer people and their families.
Never again for Arabs, Muslims, and people from Southwest Asia and North Africa who are the targets of ongoing and ever increasing hate violence at work, in schools, on the streets as well as profiling, detainment, deportation and persecution from federal and local law enforcement. Trump’s administration includes politicians with explicit Islamophobic beliefs who espouse racist propaganda and threaten policies that criminalize Muslim, Arab and Southwest Asian people, communities and movements. Trump has already begun to put in effect a ban on refugees specifically targeting the countries of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, all of which have been subject to U.S. war and imperialism. We must continue to assert that refugees are welcome here, create sanctuary spaces, and resist every step Trump and his administration takes along the way. And never again for Palestinians whose struggle is a key part of the global war for power and resources, and whose liberation is a fight not only for Palestine but for self-determination, for the right to resist, for indigenous autonomy and against today’s colonizations throughout the world.
Never Again for the peoples of the Global South whose suffering during past colonial Holocausts paved the way, and was often an explicit inspiration, for the Nazi crimes, and whom the Trump Administration continues to target and oppress
Never again for poor people who continue to be at the frontlines of environmental racism, gentrification, economic discrimination and who face increasing homelessness and incarceration. Poor and working class people have always been exploited, displaced and poisoned for the profit of a few, and the few social services and safety nets that are left are already threatened by the Trump administration.
Never again for people in prison who endure and resist against the violence of prisons and who by and large are being punished for the ways they have survived generations of racism, poverty, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and abuse. With over 2.3 million people incarcerated and the highest global rate of locking up its own people, the United States uses prisons to manage centuries of inequality, exploitation and oppression. Incarcerated people are exploited for their labor, profited on by an industry that runs an expanding prison system, and face some of the most violent expressions of state repression. Trump has repeatedly confirmed his support for incarceration, the privatizing of prisons, policing and police violence, the death penalty and even torture, such as reinstating waterboarding. Mass incarceration, solitary confinement, and the private prison industry must be abolished and we must invest in transformative, community-based alternatives.
Never again for women, queer, and transgender people whose bodies, gender, and sexuality are under constant surveillance and are the targets of gender-based violence and murder. Women, queer and trans people live and resist in a society that denies their right to love, to their sexual and gender expression, to have security for their families, to parental rights and to equal employment and pay. Women rising up together against sexism and demanding wages for domestic labor and the right to autonomy over their bodies and sexuality is a step towards liberation for all, and as such is a threat to the men who profit off of women’s bodies and unpaid labor. Queer and trans people are fighting not just for equality within the system, but for dismantling the systems that violently enforce the gender binary and fighting for equity among all genders. We must continue to fight for safer spaces, particularly for trans women of color who are mistreated, abused, murdered, incarcerated and ostracized from communities.
As Jews, we know from our own histories that fascism employs an ordered strategy to targeting groups of people, and we know that wherever we are in that order, it is our duty to fight for the people who are most threatened. Though Jewish people are not the most targeted or threatened by Trump’s administration, and though anti-semitism looks different today than it did in the 1930’s and 40’s, it still serves a purpose within white nationalism. Having been scapegoated, persecuted, and murdered for the interests and failures of those in power, we are obligated to act in solidarity with those being targeted today. For Jews, this political moment should serve to strengthen our resolve in the fight against all forms of racism. Trump’s administration demonstrates something we have known for a long time: Islamophobic, Zionist, and anti-semitic forces align because of shared racist ideology as well as shared economic and political interests in the United States, Palestine, and globally.
So today, on Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember and carry on legacies of Jewish resistance and our ongoing participation in collective struggles for emancipation and justice. We gain strength and inspiration from long histories of Black, indigenous, queer and transgender struggle, the struggles of women, the struggles of oppressed and exploited people across place and time.
Now is the time to stand uncompromised, not to make compromises.
With love and in struggle,