MORE THAN 500 JEWISH CLERGY AND 50 ORGANIZATIONS CALL ON THE U.S. SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE TO PURSUE JUSTICE IN RESPONSE TO THE ROHINGYA GENOCIDE

Jan 22, 2020 | Blog, JRJN, Statements

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network* demand that the U.S. support the Rohingya people

Today, 52 Jewish organizations and over 500 Jewish clergy from 40 states joined to send a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee demanding action to stop the Rohingya genocide. Hannah Weilbacher, Program Officer for Jewish Advocacy and Engagement for American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading global Jewish human rights organization, issued the following statement:

“American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network have come together to mobilize more than 500 American Jewish clergy from 40 states to send an unmistakable message to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: they must respond clearly and strongly to the perpetrators of the Rohingya genocide by marking up S. 1186, the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act.

“We are proud that the Jewish community has been mobilizing and advocating in the two years since the decades-long campaign of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims of Burma escalated into a genocide in August 2017. We watched in horror as the persecution of the Rohingya people led to a ceaseless and murderous wave of state-sanctioned violence, with the Burmese military razing villages and forcing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people to flee to Bangladesh, where survivors now live in limbo in refugee camps.

“We believe the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is facing a choice: either take up the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act, championed by several of its own Members, or remain silent as this crisis continues with no end in sight. Last year, the full House of Representatives passed HR. 3190, a similar bill that would support the Rohingya people, but the Senate has neither moved it forward, nor advanced its own bill, S. 1186. The U.S. Treasury Department has recently sanctioned top Burmese military officials, and the Jewish community demands that the Senate continues to wield the power of these U.S. government actions by moving forward crucial legislation.

“As a unified Jewish voice of 511 Jewish faith leaders and 52 Jewish organizations, we represent millions of American Jews who refuse to be silent in the face of the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya people. We know all too well, from our own history, what happens when the international community fails to stand unequivocally in defense of minority groups subject to state-sanctioned hate, oppression, violence and genocide.”

Here is the text of the letter delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on behalf of the 511 Jewish clergy from 40 states. To join us in taking action on the Rohingya genocide, click here.

To see list of organizations and individuals who signed this powerful letter, click here.

* The Jewish Rohingya Justice Network is the powerful consortium of Jewish NGOs advocating for the rights of the persecuted Rohingya people of Burma. JRJN’s membership includes 26 organizations and all four major branches of American Judaism—all standing together against genocide. For this letter, the JRJN was joined by 27 other Jewish organizations.

Jewish Rohingya Justice Network Members signing this letter include: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish World Service, The Association of Rabbis and Cantors, Anti-Defamation League, Cantors Assembly, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, JACOB, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish World Watch, The Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, T’ruah and The Union for Reform Judaism. Allies: Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Hebrew College, The Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, Never Again Coalition, The New York Board of Rabbis, The Shalom Center and Uri L’Tzedek

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