The American Jewish Congress is strongly encouraged by the start of the House Select Committee’s investigation of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. We firmly support its goal of providing a comprehensive accounting of the factors that led to this unprecedented extremist attack on American values, democracy, and institutions. Further, we believe that this investigation provides a unique opportunity for the American people to learn about the antisemitic nature of the extremists who stormed the Capitol. No stone should be left unturned in seeking the truth about this assault.
We therefore strongly encourage the members of the Select Committee to investigate the underlying drivers of the insurrection that are rooted in antisemitism, white supremacy, and the QAnon conspiracy movement. We described these antisemitic drivers in a special report published soon after the January 6th attacks, specifically analyzing the multiple antisemitic images and social media chatter surrounding the days’ events. Our report made it clear that antisemitism was a feature, not a bug, of the mob on that horrific day.
Regrettably, the antisemitic conditions that led to that attack still exist today. Our research, which includes additional studies about the radicalization process that led to the events on January 6th, and the work of our high-level bipartisan Advisory Board to Counter Domestic Terrorism and White Supremacy, make this dynamic clear. From accelerating antisemitic online radicalization to aggressive and unchecked political antisemitism, it is clear that antisemitism was a feature, not a bug, of the mobs’ motivations on that auspicious day, and that it still threatens our democratic life today.
Lastly, we are grateful to the Select Committee for taking on this momentous task, as well as the staff and witnesses who will appear before it, such as the four law enforcement heroes who defended American institutions and gave firsthand testimony on July 27th. Their leadership gives us confidence.
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