Statement by Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service, on the election of former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. and Senator Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States
“As the leading global Jewish human rights organization, we are encouraged by the apparent outcome of the U.S. presidential election, which will allow our supporters and the human rights activists we support worldwide to work in a more positive environment for advancing the human rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, women and girls, LGBTQI+ people and others.
“For 35 years, we have worked together as globally minded American Jews to build a better world, and we have learned that U.S. elections have a powerful impact on the communities we support worldwide. In 2020, the results of this election provide AJWS and our grantee partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America with tremendous reason for hope. This is an opportunity to pivot from doing all we could to mitigate damage caused by the Trump administration to the possibility of creating positive change for the communities we care about in partnership with a new administration.
“Over the past four years, we have witnessed how the Trump administration acted on the global stage with complete disregard for the people in the world who need their human rights upheld the most. With a new administration slated to take office in January that has stated its intention to play a leadership role on global issues, we commit to:
- Supporting efforts to reestablish the U.S. as a leader on human rights by repairing the damage done to global human rights agreements, courts and institutions; rebuilding the infrastructure and professionalism of the U.S. State Department;
- Advocating for the U.S. to rejoin the global fight against climate change;
- Pushing for the repeal of draconian U.S. policies that limit reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion.
- Supporting the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; ensuring that those who are disproportionately neglected get the support they need.
- Calling on our nation’s leadership to stand up against authoritarian leaders and support democratic rights.
- Leveraging our strong partnership with our global grantees to bring the leaders of the communities and social movements we support in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to the halls of power in Washington, D.C. to shape more humane and effective U.S. laws and policies.
“Inspired by the lessons of Jewish history and the enduring Jewish value of respecting the dignity of every person, we believe that the test of whether any society is just is when the most marginalized communities believe that they are experiencing justice. That’s the high bar we have set for human rights worldwide and for our own country’s efforts to support them.
“While we focus sharply on supporting human rights worldwide, we applaud President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris for their commitment to a more just and inclusive America free of racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of intolerance.”
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