Saperstein: “Strong American leadership remains indispensable to making real progress toward stopping the genocide of innocent civilians in Darfur, including stronger pressure for the deployment of a United Nations – African Union hybrid peacekeeping force and reengagement of all sides in the peace process.”
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Washington D.C. May 29, 2007- In response to President Bush’s announcement of a new sanctions package against Sudan in efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
President Bush’s announcement today of an increased sanctions package against Sudan is both welcome and long-overdue. Strong American leadership remains indispensable to making real progress toward stopping the genocide of innocent civilians in Darfur, including stronger pressure for the deployment of a United Nations – African Union hybrid peacekeeping force and reengagement of all sides in the peace process.
Whatever progress has been made at the U.N., in humanitarian relief and in peace talks has been in small measure due to the Bush Administration efforts. But it has not been enough. In the nearly three years since President Bush termed the violence in Darfur genocide, hundreds of thousands of civilians have died, and nearly 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes. Today’sannouncement is a crucial stepto bringing peace to the people of this troubled region. We urge the international community to follow the lead of the United States to implement multilateral sanctions and exert pressure to convince the Sudanese government to honor former agreements and allow the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur.
Jewish values command that we cannot “stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:16). We hope and pray that this announcement will motivate action in the international community and the cooperation by the Sudanese government that we have been advocating. We will continue to act until the blood of innocent Darfuri civilians ceases to be shed.
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