Monday, March 07, 2005

I just received an e-mail from the American Jewish World Service about the U.S. House of Representatives eliminating $150 million of humanitarian aid for Darfur. Ruth Messinger, the head of AJWS, wrote: "Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives eliminated $150 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Darfur. Send your elected representatives an email demanding the aid be restored, by using our simple take action system." If you are outraged by this example of legislative indifference to human suffering, go to the AJWS web site to send a letter to your representative. The sample letter reads as follows:

I am horrified that, even as violence continues daily in Darfur, the House of Representatives is preparing to eliminate $150 million in emergency food assistance for Darfur from the emergency supplemental. Two million people in Darfur need food. Currently, only one million are receiving any food assistance, and nearly one quarter of children under the age of five living in refugee camps are malnourished.

As a supporter of American Jewish World Service, I call on Congress not to stand idly by as those in Darfur suffer. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. will offer an amendment in the House Appropriations Committee to restore the funding for food aid. While it will not end the violence, $150 million for food assistance will save the lives of tens of thousands. The amendment also provides $100 million in funding for disaster and refugee assistance in Darfur, and other emergencies in the region. I ask that you vote in favor of the Jackson Amendment.

I added the following paragraph:

I write as a Jew who is aware of how the world "stood idly by" when Jews were being massacred by the Nazis. Can we, the United States, "stand idly by" when innocent people in Sudan, men, women, and children, are being murdered? The least we can do is offer humanitarian aid to the survivors. Please vote for the Jackson Amendment.

I urge all of my readers to send a letter to your congressman or woman expressing your support for the Jackson Amendment.

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