A letter describes the DC rally to stop genocide in Darfur
I know that you’ve been reading and hearing about the Darfur situation in the Sudan. Last Sunday I went to Washington and joined a rally at the mall with tens of thousands of others. For 3-1/2 hours, we heard about 40 different people from all walks of life deliver speeches – every one being very inspirational. The main themes were "never again," “"not on my watch," and "enough is enough""
The World needs to hear our crying out against the genocide in Darfur and the ethnic cleansing. I was proud that participants organized by the American Jewish Committee and other Jewish organizations were extremely well represented, to make the world aware that Jews are not just standing by while genocide is taking place.
On Monday, I met with the following people in Government, names of whom you are probably aware--Robert Zoellick, US Deputy Secretary of State, Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, Senior Representative on Sudan at the State Department, and Mike Gerson, Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning. They explained what our government’s participation is in this matter. Click on to Wednesday, May 3rd, Tribune, you will find an article on Darfur which explains it all, and also names some of the people we met with.
Regarding our meeting with Robert Zoellick, who had to excuse himself because he had just received notice that the peace talks in Nigeria had failed. Many nations had assembled to propose a peace agreement between the rebels and the Khartoum government--that meeting failed to meet its deadline. He immediately excused himself and went to the airport, on to Nigeria shortly thereafter.
While meeting with another State Department official, Mike Gerson, Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning, who received a call from the President and was asked to leave immediately to the President’s office on this matter.
It is obvious that our government is very heavily involved with this conflict. Without getting into all of the details, Darfur is extremely complicated on a worldwide basis. Best we can do now is hope that the parties to the conflict can, in fact, reach an agreement, and thereby stop the genocide.
I asked, out of frustration, what can we do to help? They determined that the best thing we can do at this time is contact as many of the foreign embassies as we can, urging them to support the effort to urge the parties involved to come to an agreement. That will have an effect on the United Nations, African Union, and NATO, all of whom are part of the equation. In the Chicago Tribune, it gives you a rather complete picture of the status of the negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria.
Larry Goodman, Board Member JUF and JDC