JTA – It was a day like no other in modern American history: an armed mob broke police into the US Capitol, destroyed offices and took the podium in the Senate. The legislature has gone under lock and key. At least one person was shot.
The Capitol Police evacuated Congressmen who went through the ceremonial function of counting the votes that a group of Republicans led by Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz tried to derail. US President Donald Trump, who still refused to accept his loss, had asked the protesters to march to the Capitol.
The new Congress has at least 33 Jewish members in the House and Senate who would have been present today. There are also hundreds of Jewish employees, although many are working remotely in the pandemic.
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Here are some snapshots of their experiences from social media posts by Jewish legislators and in interviews with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
« I just had to vacate my office over a bomb that was reported outside while the president’s anarchists try to force their way into the Capitol, » tweeted Luria, a Virginia Democrat who was recently re-elected for her second term has been. « I heard what sounds like several shots. »
Like virtually any other legislature – a handful of leaders are the exception – Luria is housed in buildings next to the Capitol.
« I do not recognize our country today and the members of Congress who supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans, » she said.
« I stay safe in my office, as are my co-workers who have been directed to stay at home, » said Slotkin, a one-time CIA analyst. « Rep. Andy Levin has been with me since his office building was evacuated. »
Levin, a Michigan Jewish royalty whose father retired long-time MP Sander Levin posted a video on social media to say he was safe and initially smiled: He was still from infused with the good news for his party that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff had won. The Senate is racing in Georgia, handing the Senate over to democratic control.
« The joy of it is washed away as we unite here at the Capitol Going through attack on our democracy, « he said. « The President of the United States has encouraged his supporters to overrun the US Capitol. »
Levin recalled being a longtime human rights activist who had seen insults against popular protests and interviewed dissidents in Haiti and China.
Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who chaired impeachment hearings, and Manning, DN.C., a former chairman of the Jewish Federations of North America, declined interviews for the time being. Both told JTA they were safe.
Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., the chairman of the judiciary committee who served as the ship’s impeachment officer, said on Twitter that he was safe and secure.
« Go ahead no mistake: President Trump and his makers are directly responsible for this violence, « he said.
Have confidence. These terrorists will fail. You will be brought to justice. Your facilitators will be brought to justice. If the president and his allies have some honor left, they’ll tell these thugs to resign now.
« This is outrageous, and the president caused it, » he said. « We should indict and convict him tomorrow. »
Jacky Rosen from Nevada said she was safe. « The violent attacks we see today on our democracy are reprehensible, » said the democrat on Twitter. « It is time for us as a nation to come together and denounce hatred and violence.
Brian Schatz, the Democratic Senator from Hawaii, promised to return to the business at hand – and confirmed Biden’s election. » We will honor our commitments as they do in the Constitution, « he said on Twitter. » Authoritarianism will not win. «
Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who is to become the Senate majority leader, reprimanded Trump on Twitter. » It’s a little late for that . Do not you think? « Schumer asked Trump on Twitter after the president called for peaceful behavior and praised the police on the same platform.
Cardin, the Maryland Democrat who is one of the quieter Senate members, was unusually brutal, quoting the same Trump- Tweet calling for peaceful protest « Pour the gasoline, light the match, and then praise the firefighters, » Cardin said.
Zeldin from New York and Kustoff from Tennessee are the only two Jewish Republicans in the country House. Before the uprising, they had each – at the last minute – expressed their cautious support for the challenge to Congress in the election vote.
Both said they were safe and called for silence. « This is not America, that we love, « Zeldin said on Twitter. » We can’t discuss & even on January 6th after a presidential election, but in our republic we choose people to participate in the that day to express our objections in the Capitol. «
» These actions are unacceptable, « said Kustoff. « We are a nation of law, not a nation of violence. »
Kustoff and Steve Cohen, a Democrat, share the distinction of being Jewish members whose neighboring districts encompass an entire city, Memphis, with a tiny Jewish community . Cohen’s half of the city is mostly black. He didn’t hold back his anger on Twitter, which he saw as the police’s reluctance to treat the insurgents.
« I have to say what I thought, » Cohen said on Twitter. « If these criminals were black, there would have been tear gas, there would have been arrests and there would have been confrontations. » For some reason, those white rednecks got away with doing what they wanted and went into the night. “
Now the criminals are gone and now they are being juiced. Rednecks on bourbon and beer. Expect More Demolition and Violence Tonight
Wild, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was spotted in a dramatic Getty photo lying in panic on the floor of the house when Colorado Democrat Jason Crow reached out and Reassured.
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., comforts Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., as he takes cover while protesters disrupt the joint session of Congress to confirm the vote of the electoral college.
« Tough day but I’m still here, » Wild said on Twitter after hearing concerns from constituents. “We will confirm this choice. We will do our duty to this country. We will not be intimidated by the actions of these terrorists. “
The Vermont Independent, which ran for the Democratic President nomination in 2016 and 2020 and became the first Jewish candidate to win nomination competitions for major parties, was ready to give its historic verdict on the Trump presidency. « The man directly responsible for today’s chaos is Donald Trump, who made it clear that he will do anything to stay in power – including insurrection and incitement to violence, » said Sanders. « Trump will go down in history as the worst and most dangerous president in history. »
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