January 08, 2011: Arizona Attack is Attack on American Democracy
08:30 PM Jan 08, 2011
Jewish Group Aghast and Repulsed by Attack on Member of Congress and Citizens in Tucson Event
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs offers its condolences and prayers for the victims of today’s deadly shooting in Tucson Arizona that has taken the lives of a federal judge, a congressional staffer, a young child, and resulted in the grave injury of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and several others.
“We are shaken by today’s violence and reminded of the fragility of life and freedom,” said Dr. Conrad Giles, JCPA Chair, and Rabbi Steve Gutow, JCPA President. “Public service is a sacred trust. Our leaders should be treated with respect, regardless of their political perspective. Today’s actions are repugnant to our values of civil discourse and cooperation. Our hearts today are with the victims of the attack. When our tears are dry, we must dedicate ourselves to building a society in which this kind of violence is absolutely unimaginable. While we do not know the motives for today’s attack, we do know that it cannot be viewed apart from the climate of violence and the degradation of civil society that are anathema to democracy.”
“We are aghast by this senseless violence,” said JCPA Washington Director Josh Protas an Arizona native and personal friend of Rep. Giffords. “Our hearts are broken for those whose lives were taken. Our prayers are with the wounded and the families of all the victims. Our nation’s greatest gift to the world—modern democracy—will not be diminished by the violent acts of a few, but strengthened by the outpouring of support by many.”
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has worked closely with Rep. Giffords during her two terms in Congress. Earlier this week, Washington Director Josh Protas, Deputy Washington Director Jared Feldman, and Senior Policy Associate Elyssa Koidin joined Rep. Giffords in her Washington office to celebrate the installation of the 112th Congress.
Donna Beyer, JCPA Board Member from Tucson, said, “Gabby is not just a great friend to JCPA and me, but a source of strength in the Jewish community. Her dedication to her neighbors, her care for the vulnerable, and her love for community, are inspiring. We pray for Gabby’s recovery and that she will continue to inspire us for years to come.”
The JCPA has been in close contact with our local affiliate in Tucson the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.
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