As the tense and tragic situation in Afghanistan continues to unfold, J Street is deeply moved and concerned by the plight of the hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees who are desperately seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of their country. As an organization firmly rooted in Jewish values and committed to the rights of immigrants and refugees, we urge the Biden administration and Congress to secure the safe and speedy evacuation and resettlement of as many Afghans seeking safety as possible, along with any American citizens and other foreign nationals remaining in the country.
Throughout our history, Jewish people have learned time and again what it means to be refugees, forced to flee our homes in order to protect the lives and well-being of our families and to pursue some hope of a better future in a far-off land. We know what happened to our families and ancestors who were able to find the sanctuary they needed — and what happened to those who were denied it. Both our tradition and our history compel us to do all that we can to welcome the stranger, and to advocate for those fleeing persecution today — particularly as so many Afghans risked everything to ally themselves with our soldiers and diplomats.
We commend the Biden administration for all that they have done to evacuate many thousands of people from Kabul so far. We urge them to continue these efforts in earnest and to seek to defer any pre-existing deadline if it proves necessary in order to accomplish this critical task.
We also will continue to call on our government and on local officials to help resettle as many refugees as possible inside the United States, recognizing that in recent years our country has consistently failed to welcome the number of refugees that can and should be accommodated by a nation of our size, resources and commitments. Working in support of our partners in the Jewish community and beyond, J Street and our members stand ready to do all that we can to help the Afghan families who now must make new lives for themselves far from their homeland.