New U.S. Genocide Policy a Welcome and Needed Shift; JCPA Will Work with Administration to Ensure Enforcement
Today’s Presidential Directive that preventing mass atrocities is “a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the Unite States,” is a powerful policy shift that recognizes the US’s tools and imperative to act before another genocide can occur.
“We will not stand idly by while entire populations are murdered. With this announcement, we know that neither will our government,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “This directive recognizes the need to identify and stop atrocities before they occur. If the range of tools laid out today were used in the 1930s, entire Jewish communities may not have been erased from Europe.”
“This policy also recognizes the security, in addition to human, cost of genocide,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles. “Thousands of refugees forced to flee their homes, as we’re seeing in Sudan today, is destabilizing, dangerous, and often leads to more conflict. The ideal, as President Obama has recognized, is to bring the weight, influence, and, if necessary, force of the United States to bear on those who would try to recreate another Holocaust.”
In March 2011, the JCPA’s member agencies representing the organized Jewish community adopted a policy that “calls upon the government of the United States to view as a fundamental national and global interest the development of policies and global partnerships geared toward the prevention and ending of mass atrocities, and more particularly, prevention and punishment of genocide.”
“That the United States has now adopted such a policy is an important and encouraging step,” said Gutow. “But as violence continues in Darfur and a new genocide is unfolding on the border with South Sudan, our work is to ensure that America keeps its promise and implements the policies that will save lives.”