New York City: 20 Rabbis Arrested at Trump Hotel in Protest Against Ban on Muslims

February 7, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Monday night, February 6, about 200 people marched to and protested at the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, New York City, against Trump’s ban on refugees and on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. The action was called by the group T’ruah: The Rabbinical Call for Human Rights, a network of rabbis and cantors.

At about 8 pm, some of the marchers announced that they were going to do a civil disobedience action and get arrested. A group of men and women walked onto the street and sat down to block the busy avenue that runs on the west side of Central Park, stopping the traffic. The police handcuffed about 20 of the rabbis and led them away in handcuffs.

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, told the New York Times: “We remember our history, and we remember that the borders of this country closed to us in 1924 with very catastrophic consequences during the Holocaust. We know that some of the language that’s being used now to stop Muslims from coming in is the same language that was used to stop Jewish refugees from coming.” (In 1924 the U.S. passed a law to sharply reduce immigrants from Eastern Europe and Asia.)

One protester, a rabbi from Washington, DC, said that his grandfather had come to the U.S. on the last successful voyage of the St. Louis that brought Jewish refugees to the U.S. The next voyage of the St. Louis—known as the “Voyage of the Damned”—was denied entry into the U.S., and the 908 Jews onboard were forced to return to Europe, where many were killed in the Holocaust. The rabbi said, “That’s a lesson that’s very powerful in our family and of course in our people’s history. I think in the current environment, for the United States to close its doors to the most needy, most vulnerable refugees and immigrants around the world is totally obscene.”





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