Action on Darfur
As Jews, we are guided by the teachings of our Torah. The Book of Leviticus (19:16) teaches, “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor," In the Book of Exodus we learn, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9). The Rabbis teach us that one who saves one life saves the world.
Jewish history has been marked by persecutions, pogroms and other attacks on Jews simply by virtue of having been born a Jew. Most recently, the Holocaust taught us the lesson that we should not allow a similar tragedy to occur again.
In light of our tradition, as Conservative Jews, we cannot remain indifferent to the plight of those in Darfur. It is imperative that all of us take immediate action to stop this suffering.
The Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism were founding members of the Save Darfur Coalition and were present at its initial meeting with Elie Wiesel in 2004. We have consistently voiced support for strong action on the crisis in Darfur with resolutions passed in 2005 and 2007.
What is needed
- Write to your member of Congress and the administration and urge them to give $186 million in additional funds in the budget for peacekeeping in Darfur.* The president’s request includes 391 million for peacekeeping in Sudan during 2008, but this amount will only be enough for the U.N. mission in South Sudan. For those rabbis who reside outside of the United States, urge your government to provide adequate funding for peacekeeping in Darfur.
- Urge your senators and representatives and governmental officials in other countries as well as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon to ensure funding for Phase 2 of the AU-U.N. plan and for the eventual deployment of a hybrid AU-U.N. peacekeeping force.
- Ask your members of Congress in the U.S. to support the additional funding in the 2008 budget of $276 million for emergency humanitarian relief in Darfur and Chad. This funding should be divided as follows: $45 million for Emergency Migration and Refugee Assistance (ERMA), $139 million for International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) and $92 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA).
- Urge your representative to pass H.R.2489 The Genocide Accountability Act. This legislation would close a loophole in current U.S. law to ensure that all perpetrators of genocide, no matter where they are from or where their genocidal crimes were committed, could be tried in the U.S.
For more information, contact The Save Darfur Coalition
click here for a Sample Letter to President Bush on Darfur
click here for the Rabbinical Assembly Resolution on Darfur
click here for the USCJ Working Toward Help for Darfur