Two Jewish Groups Oppose Budget “Onslaught”

— Hershl Hartman

Budget-slashing efforts at state and federal levels were labeled “a determined onslaught against the social structure of this country” in a joint statement released today by two national secular Jewish groups.

Citing the “traditions of the Jewish labor and progressive movements,” the statement urges the groups’ members and others in the Jewish community to call upon “reasonable elected officials” to stand up against extremists who would balance budgets at the expense of the least-powerful.”

Joining in the statement were the Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations, with 24 affiliated communities and Sunday schools across North America, and the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, a 111-year old organization dedicated to fostering Jewish cultural identity and social and economic justice.

The full text of the statement follows the jump.
“From the State House in Madison, Wisconsin, to the House of Representatives in Washington, D. C., recent days have seen a determined onslaught against the social structure of this country.

“Under the guise of ‘fiscal responsibility,’ the targets have ranged from government workers to health care, and food for impoverished children, from Planned Parenthood to public radio and television, among many others.

“As inheritors of the traditions of the Jewish labor and progressive movements that contributed significantly to the social structure that today defines the United States, the undersigned organizations call upon all reasonable elected officials-regardless of party-to resist these unconscionable attacks.

“We urge our members and others in the Jewish community to make their voices heard to elected representatives at all levels of government, urging them to stand up against extremists who would balance budgets at the expense of the least-powerful at the behest of those able to expend millions to assure their own profits. We stand in solidarity for the right of all workers to organize and bargain collectively.

“It was everyday working women and men and professionals who created the social structures of this country. We cannot allow right-wing extremists to destroy them.”