Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Addition of Genocide to Charges against Sudanese President a Step Forward

Saperstein: "We applaud the ICC for taking necessary steps to bring those responsible for the genocide in Darfur to justice."

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 12, 2010 -- In response to the International Criminal Court's release of a second arrest warrant for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir on charges of committing genocide in Darfur, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

"The Reform Jewish Movement welcomes the additional charge of genocide in the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. This decision represents a step toward the legitimization of a system of international law that presents consequences for crimes against humanity, such as have been committed by the Government of Sudan against innocent civilians in Darfur.

While this new warrant is just a charge - President al-Bashir would have to stand in court and be tried for the ICC to determine their stance on whether or not the crimes committed by al-Bashir did indeed constitute genocide - we applaud the ICC for taking necessary steps to bring those responsible for the ethnic cleansing in Darfur to justice.

We also call on the United States government to make clear to the Sudanese government that it and other members of the international community will not tolerate any reaction to this warrant that threatens civilians, aid workers or peacekeepers. Such past acts of retaliation have greatly exacerbated the plight of innocent civilians. They have suffered enough. It is time to bring the perpetrators of these morally reprehensible acts to justice.

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 for more.

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