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Saperstein: Recognizing that in recent years the world community could and should have done more to stop those genocidal activities, our leaders seem increasingly committed to ensuring that "never again" will have meaning. Yesterday, the U.S. Congress took a noble step toward fulfilling that goal.
WASHINGTON, July 23, 2004 - The U.S. Congress unanimously passed a resolution declaring the atrocities being committed in Darfur, Sudan, a genocide, and calling on the White House to take stronger action to achieve security, humanitarian assistance, and accountability. In response, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress put partisanship aside to pass measures declaring that the massive genocidal atrocities in Western Sudan must be stopped. They raised their voice to say that that the world cannot stand idly by while two million lives are at risk from violence, thirst, hunger, and disease; that it must put in place a system of justice to reign in and punish the government-supported militias who pillage and rape and slaughter people simply because they are of different tribal affiliation and color; and that an urgent multilateral humanitarian response is required and must be protected by armed forces. We applaud the U.S. Congress for this vital step.
We ask that the Bush administration, the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and countries across the globe to pay heed to this resolution and do what is necessary to stop the atrocities and the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Darfur. Ten years ago, the world stood idly by as 800,000 ethnic Tutsis were systematically slaughtered in Rwanda by rival extremist Hutus. And, over the last 21 years, more than two million people were lost and another five million people forced to flee from their homes in a devastating civil war in Southern Sudan. Recognizing that in recent years the world community could and should have done more to stop those genocidal activities, our leaders seem increasingly committed to ensuring that "never again" will have meaning. Yesterday, the U.S. Congress took a noble step toward fulfilling that goal.
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(CCAR) whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis .