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President Obama's Call for Assad to Relinquish Power Welcomed by Reform Movement
Pelavin: "We welcome President Obama's call for President Assad to step down. We agree that it is the only path that will allow the Syrian people to pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic government."

Contact: Eric Harris or Sean Thibault
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C. August 18, 2011 – In response to President Obama's call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The Reform Movement remains deeply concerned by the Syrian government's vicious display of violence and brutality against its civilians. Our prayers go out to all those who have been injured and the families of those who have been killed in this struggle.

For far too long, the Syrian people have suffered the punishing savagery and cruel despotism of President Assad's government. The people of Syria are entitled to the right to express their opinions freely, peacefully assemble without threat of persecution or violence, and express their political will through fair and legitimate elections. 

We welcome President Obama's call for President Assad to step down. We agree that it is the only path that will allow the Syrian people to pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic government. 

We sincerely hope the citizens of Syria can achieve this mission through peaceful discourse as they seek a future free of oppression and fear.

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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