JCRC Expresses Solidarity with Ukraine
March 2, 2022
After meeting with Luda Anastazievsky, who chairs the Minnesota Ukrainian American Advocacy Committee, the JCRC sent the following letter on March 1, 2022, to every member of Minnesota’s, North Dakota’s, and South Dakota’s Congressional delegations. Steve Hunegs will also speak at a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Sunday, March 6, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. We realize this Congressional letter and the rally at the Minnesota State Capitol are just small steps in support of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression, but we also know both are greatly appreciated by our friends in the local Ukrainian community. Additionally, we encourage everyone to contribute to the emergency campaign for Ukraine organized through the Jewish Federations of North America, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and St. Paul Jewish Federation. Click here to support the emergency campaign.
Here is the copy from the congressional correspondence:
“On behalf of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas we are writing with the utmost urgency in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including members of the Ukrainian Jewish community, and in coordination with our friends at the Ukrainian American Advocacy Committee.
“As the consensus public affairs voice for the Jewish communities of Minnesota and the Dakotas we respectfully implore Congress to 1) immediately enact devastating sanctions on Russia, including personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs he relies upon; 2) fully isolate Russia by all economic and diplomatic means; 3) robustly arm the brave Ukrainian defense forces without delay; and 4) provide generous financial and humanitarian assistance to relieve the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
“The philosophical and practical underpinning of American foreign policy has been the Atlantic Charter since August 1941. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed—on behalf of the United States and Great Britain to the following fundamental points: the implicit use of collective security to prevent territorial aggrandizement; prevent territorial changes made against the wishes of the people; restoration of self-government to those denied it; freedom from fear and want; abandonment of the use of force and disarmament of aggressor nations. More than 80 years later—we urge Congress to affirm these principles in defense of Ukrainian independence and the Ukrainian people.
“The fate of not just the peaceful nation of Ukraine hangs in the balance, but also the peace, prosperity, and freedom which has taken root in Europe and much of the rest of the world following WWII and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The United States cannot allow Putin’s unrestrained brutality to prevail and reshape our world in his depraved imagination.
“Standing united and resolute in defense of Ukraine will send a clear message that though Americans may be divided politically on so many issues, we are still a great nation capable and willing to stand up not just for what is right, but for our own national interests.
“As Americans and as Jews, for whom the horrors of the Holocaust and the vulnerability of the State of Israel are always close to our hearts, we cannot help but watch the devastation unfolding on television and in our news feeds with a deep sense of helplessness. Just today, for example, we learned that the memorial at Babi Yar, site of one of the most infamous single massacres of Jews during the Holocaust, was damaged by the Russian bombardment of Kyiv.
“However, as a member of Congress, entrusted with the awesome power and responsibility to safeguard our nation, interests, and values, there is much that you and your colleagues can do on a bipartisan basis to make a material difference in support of the Ukrainian people.
“Please do not let this turning point in history pass without doing everything you can to ensure that the people of Ukraine emerge victorious not just in defense of their homeland, but as the defenders of a world in which democracy and freedom triumph over unchecked aggression and domination.
“Thank you in advance for considering our perspective at this most consequential moment.”