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Jewish Organizations Call on Senate to Advance Burma Sanctions to Address Crisis of the Rohingya People

Broad coalition of Jewish groups and leaders pen letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of Burma sanctions, refugee assistance and accountability around crimes against the Rohingya people

Rohingya people of Burma.jpg
Photograph courtesty American Jewish World Service

January 5, 2018: Today, a broad coalition of organizations from across the Jewish community — including leaders of major organizations and the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox movements — released a letter urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to advance the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017 (S. 2060). Twenty-four national organizations, including American Jewish World Service, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish Labor Committee, signed this letter, alongside 48 local organizations and 246 rabbis and communal leaders. The letter urges Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Ben Cardin to champion this legislation, advance it through the Committee process, and ensure its passage in the full Senate.

In the face of unconscionable atrocities against the Rohingya people by the Burmese military, the signers have joined together to press for the immediate passage of the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017. The bill would increase humanitarian aid for displaced Rohingya communities, codify targeted U.S. sanctions against those responsible for the violence, and establish a mechanism to help provide accountability for crimes committed against the Rohingya people and other minorities in Burma. As the letter states, passing the legislation “would send a powerful message to the Burmese military and the global community that the United States will not be silent or inactive in the face of mass atrocities.”

The full text of the letter is available here. The letter was signed by the following national organizations:

• Ameinu
• American Conference of Cantors
• American Jewish Committee
• American Jewish World Service
• Anti-Defamation League
• Central Conference of American Rabbis
• The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
• The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
• JACOB: Jewish Alliance of Concern Over Burma
• Jewish Council for Public Affairs
• Jewish Labor Committee
• Jewish Women International
• Jewish World Watch
• The Orthodox Union
• Rabbinical Assembly
• Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
• Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
• The Shalom Center
• T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
• Union for Reform Judaism
• United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)
• Uri L'Tzedek: Orthodox Social Justice
• Women of Reform Judaism
• The Workman’s Circle