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Shift in White House Sudan Policy Signifies Move toward Accountability

Saperstein: “The new policy is both a substantive and strategic approach that dispels the ambiguities of our Sudan policy during the past seven months.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or David Goodman
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 19, 2009 – In response to the White House’s recent release of the Sudan Policy Review, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Today’s White House Darfur Policy Review is an important and thoughtful effort to move forward in addressing one of the great ongoing humanitarian tragedies of our time. The policy clearly ties incentives for Sudan to actual changes on the ground, rather than promises too easily broken. It puts in place a mechanism for ongoing high-level U.S. government evaluation in its strategy. It also maintains accountability for crimes against humanity such as those that have occurred for far too long in Darfur, and engages constructively with the referenda process slated in 2011 to decide the fate of Southern Sudan.

The new policy is both a substantive and strategic approach that dispels the ambiguities of our Sudan policy during the past seven months. The Sudanese government can expect focused U.S. attention and engagement on these issues, as well as the continued application of pressure from the international community until visible improvements are made in Darfur.

The ongoing persecution and ethnic cleansing in Darfur continues to be of critical importance and strong concern to the Jewish community. We are encouraged by the policy review and remain determined that its goals and ideals will be fulfilled.

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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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