Feldman: We hope this decision sends a clear message to the government in Khartoum that it is time to end the attacks on the civilian population of Darfur, and that it clears the way for a renewed international effort to bring a United Nations peacekeeping force to Sudan.
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New York, New York, January 30, 2007- In response to Monday’s consensus decision by the African Union (AU) rejecting Sudan’s bid for the presidency of the organization, Rabbi Marla Feldman, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We praise the African Union for recognizing the grave humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan by rejecting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s candidacy for the organization’s presidency. Sudan’s selection would have severely undermined the current AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The rejection reflects the understanding of the international community – in Africa and beyond – that the Sudanese government’s actions are directly related to the ongoing violence in Darfur.
In advance of the summit the Reform Jewish Movement sent a letter of concern to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking that the United States use its influence to block Sudan’s effort to win the AU presidency. We hope this decision sends a clear message to the government in Khartoum that it is time to end the attacks on the civilian population of Darfur, and that it clears the way for a renewed international effort to bring a United Nations peacekeeping force to Sudan.
Time and time again we have declared that we will “not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:16). We now encourage the international community to stand with us and take the necessary steps to ensure the protection of the people of Darfur.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.