Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President Makes Strong Statement Against Genocide
Saperstein: “The International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir represents a step toward justice both in Sudan and in the international fight for human rights.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 12, 2009– In response to the announcement of the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
The International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir represents a step toward justice both in Sudan and in the international fight for human rights. By calling for President Bashir's arrest, the ICC has made a statement that no perpetrator of genocide, even a head of state, is free from accountability for his or her actions.
As Jews, we are intimately acquainted with the horrors of ethnic cleansing and genocide. We must speak out and call for international efforts for protection, peace and justice when other peoples are similarly threatened with annihilation. After the Shoah, we pledged “Never Again,” yet until now, genocide has been committed in Sudan without repercussion.
It is now incumbent upon the leaders of the world, including those in Sudan, to work to ensure that the pursuit of justice enhances efforts at a lasting diplomatic peace. In the coming weeks and months we must invest in peace in Sudan with more vigor than ever before. We encourage President Obama to appoint a high-level envoy for Sudan immediately, and stand ready to work with the Administration, and others, to help bring peace to this too-troubled region.
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.