Identity, Israel, Justice

Jerusalem Darfur Rally Draws Hundreds

Last night’s Darfur rally in Zion Square drew about 350 people, by my estimate, primarily young Orthodox yeshiva and seminary students of non-Israeli origin, some of whom wore ever-so-neutral orange hatzilu et amei Darfur t-shirts. The speeches, given by Jewish students and educators from across the spectrum (secular to Orthodox), were primarily conducted in English with supplemental Hebrew, and invoked several biblical precepts regarding the love of one’s fellow and saving a world by saving a life. Attendants were also led in prayers and chants of “Never again!”
The highlight of the evening was the speech by “The Ambassador,” Eytan Schwartz, who drew attention to the fact that 250 Darfurian refugees are still behind bars in Israeli prisons, treated as enemies of the Jewish state (as I’ve reported on previously). He is helping coordinate an effort with The Holtine for Migrant Workers to grant these refugees asylum in Israel.
The event kind of reminded me of Tisha Ba’av at the kotel: Everyone was supposed there for a really intense, meaningful purpose, but instead stood around socializing. Nonetheless, it was an impressive turnout though I’m not sure about the coverage it received, other than in The Jerusalem Post. It did manage to raise awareness among some onlookers, as I myself was asked by several passers-by what the rally was all about.
The evening, somewhat ironically, concluded with maariv, with the men and women separated accordingly. (Gender oppression? Naw…) But it was moving to see so many young men and women praying for the Darfurian people, as it was superb finger in the eye of those who would dare suspect Jewish leadership on this issue of being motivated by anti-Muslim politics.
More photos here.

9 thoughts on “Jerusalem Darfur Rally Draws Hundreds

  1. terrible situation in darfur but definitely not a genocide. it’s obvious necessary to stop massacres and violence but why compare with the extermination of jews. nobody in europe except big jewish organizations (because of implication of “arabs” and “muslims”? probably) is considering that for a genocide.

  2. “nobody in europe except big jewish organizations (because of implication of “arabs” and “muslims”? probably) is considering that for a genocide.”
    At least you didn’t write that this was all part of some Zionist plot to take attention from the “real genocide” taking place in Gaza. Regardless, you are wrong. People all over the world—even in France—are claiming this is genocide.
    The “Sudan Tribune” notes:
    Sept 6, 2006 (PARIS) — French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on Wednesday condemned what he called the “genocide” in the Sudanese province of Darfur — the first time a French government figure has used the term.
    “The Independent” in the UK:
    As the genocide in Darfur goes on, chaos and killing spread to Sudan’s neighbours
    By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor
    Published: 21 April 2006
    Blogs like “Harry’s Place” as well as activist organizations like “Protect Darfur” have been writing about the genocide in Darfur for quite a while as well.

  3. Besides this clearly being a Zionist Conspiracy, the systematic murder, perpetration of sexual assault, intentional separation of offspring and the destruction of natural resources resulting in the inability to bear children, could make the “situation” in Darfur be considered a Genocide.
    And now for the non-sarcastic info:
    The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:”
    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
    I mean clearly, the Jews – the only group who even started to say anything in the early 1990s for a little place called Rwanda and an other place called Former Yugoslavia – are behind the killings of Darfurians. We are very much supportive of destroying Sudan…cause that is high on the agenda.

  4. Jewish leadership in the struggle for Darfurians will result in less support for Darfurians.
    Jewish non-participation in the struggle will result in less support for Darfurians.
    Moral; Jew if you do, Jew if you don’t.

  5. yes, a mechitza to daven maariv clearly constitutes a crime of oppression worthy of juxtaposition with a genocide.
    give me a break.

  6. Oh come on it was more than 350 :). At least Ynet and JPost, and The Media Line think so…
    Anyway, thanks for the post.
    Ahh the orange Save darfur shirts. We were thinking of not selling them in orange, but we sell them in 20 different colors, and we realized that people would do a double take when they saw what was actually written on the shirt. Kind of like the orange shirts which say “Refusers are destroying the country” in response to the soldiers that refused to evacuate Gush Katif.
    oh, by the way… deitybox …. There was no mechitza, as kikar zion is not a normal place of worship so all you need is a separation not a mechitza. Oh and come on, can’t people practice halachik Judaism without being attacked for it. Normally I get annoyed at the orthodox for not accepting others, but being labeled a right wing religious fanatic by some people just makes me laugh. I was pro disengagement and go to shira hadasha. I think that if most of my friends who are farther right would have antagonized people, so I am glad I am not guilty of what people accuse me of, so we don’t blemish a cause that all Israelis and Jews can stand behind. Now if only I could figure out a way to join with Israeli Arabs in this….I think for now I will be happy that at least most of Israel’s Jews can agree on something.

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