2016-12-21 / Editorial

Jewish groups respond to human tragedy in Aleppo


The civil war in Syria has long been a tragic situation.

After years of inaction and failed attempts to broker humanitarian cease-fires, the horrific nightmare seems only to have exacerbated in recent days. As attacks by the Assad regime and its allies have intensified on the rebel stronghold of Aleppo recently, scenes of bloodshed unravel on social media and good-bye messages from civilians caught in the crossfire have been widely shared. Earlier this month, the United Nations confirmed that 82 civilians, including women and children - reportedly promised safe passage - were murdered in Aleppo.

It is our hope that renewed action from non-governmental organizations, including many Jewish groups, will, at the very least, help civilians.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for the community’s public policy groups, recently condemned the atrocities, saying, “Never again means never again for everybody.”

Other Jewish groups also alluded to world inaction during the Holocaust. “We know all too well from history the tragic consequences of governments that failed to find the will to act in the face of such unspeakable crimes against humanity,” said David Harris, the American Jewish Committee CEO.

Israel’s defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, has labeled Assad a “butcher” and called or his removal.

Meanwhile, an Israeli grassroots initiative to help Syrian children has swiftly gained traction, raising almost half a million shekels from more than 2,700 donors in the first few days of a crowdfunding campaign.

A number of Jewish groups are also holding rallies worldwide to protest the atrocities.

As Jews, we have a moral obligation to speak out and prevent genocide. Hopefully, our collective voices and actions will save lives. s

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