Over 40,000 people have been killed due to Syrian regime attacks on civilians. In line with the Torah phrase "Do not stand idle while your fellow bleeds," American Jews call for urgent action from our elected officials to stop these mass atrocities!
- President Obama and members of Congress
As members of the American Jewish community, as faith leaders, and as people of conscience, we call on you to act urgently to end the Syrian regime's ongoing killings of civilians. We urge you to lead a multilateral intervention that will stop the bloodshed by imposing a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace.
Over the past year, forces loyal to President Bashar el-Assad have subjected densely populated civilian neighborhoods to months-long sieges, continuous artillery bombardments, and military air raids in an effort to crush an ongoing popular revolution for democracy. Some areas recaptured by the government have seen house-to-house killings of peaceful activists and systematic assaults on women and children. The regime's attacks on civilians have left over 40,000 Syrians killed and 4.8 million displaced so far.
As American Jews, we know all too well the costs of U.S. inaction in the face of mass atrocities. Our sacred texts teach us "Do not stand idle while your fellow bleeds." (Leviticus 19:16) For months now, the Syrian people have been pleading for American intervention to stop the bloodshed. We understand that the situation in Syria is immensely complex; nonetheless, we believe that in situations of mass civilian death, public awareness of the tragedy and action by policy-makers is necessary.
For these reasons, we ask that you move urgently to:
1. Support calls for a no-fly zone over Syrian airspace that will prevent regime usage of chemical weapons on civilians and end catastrophic regime air raids on civilian neighborhoods.
2. Support increased U.S. humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, many of whom now face mortal danger due to the harsh winter weather.
3. Support calls for an end to U.S. government contracts with Rosoboronexport, a Russian state-controlled arms export firm that continues to supply weapons to the Assad regime.
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Founder and President, Uri L'Tzedek
Rabb Irving "Yitz" Greenberg
Rabbi Avi Weiss, Founder & President, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi Arthur Green, Rector and Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Hebrew College
Rabbi Ari Hart, Co-Founder and Executive Board Member, Uri L'Tzedek
Professor Jonathan Sarna, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
Sasha Ghosh Siminioff, Executive Director, Syrian Emergency Task Force
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow, Clal: The Nat'l Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
Rabbi Justus Baird, Dean, Auburn Seminary
Rabbi Ari Weiss, Executive Director, Uri L'Tzedek
Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, Hillel Executive Director, UCLA
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Director of Social Justice Organizing Program, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Rabbi Frederick L. Klein, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, and President Elect, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Rabbi David Jaffe, Founder and Dean, Kirva Institute
Rabbi Yossi Pollak, Beit Chaverim Synagogue, Westport, CT
Rabbi Yair Silverman, Congregation Beth Israel, Berkeley, CA
Rabbi Eytan Yammer, Knesset Israel Congregation, Birmingham, AL
Rabbi Aryeh A. Leifert, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Ari Leubitz, Oakland, CA
Rabbi Alan Londy, Overland Park, KS
Rabbi Jeremy Booty, Norwich, CT
Rabbi Herbert Mandl, Rabbi Emeritus, Kansas City, KS
Rabbi Jason Herman, West Side Jewish Center, New York, NY
Rabbi Zev Farber, Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Alex Shuval-Weiner, Congregation Bnei Yehudah, Overland Park, KS
Rabbi Akiva Weiss, Orthodox Union, JLIC Educator, Rutgers University
Rabbi David Segal, Aspen Jewish Congregation, Aspen, CO
Rabbi Joshua Feigelson, Educational Director, The iCenter, Evanston, IL
Rabbi Avi Feingold
Rabbi Jeremy Booty
Rabbi Alan Yuter
Rabbi Beryl Padorr, Overland Park, KS
Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons, Nahar
Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick, Jewish Community Chaplain, Jewish Family Services
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