Rabbi Asher Knight is an Associate Rabbi for Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas
On December 21st my wife, Ana, and I lay on our backs gazing up to the heavens above. Together we watched the rare sight of a lunar eclipse on the northern winter solstice. How rare of an event was this? The US Naval Observatory says that it last occurred in 1638 CE, 372 years ago! The moon began to look like a crescent. As the hour progressed, the bright light of the moon got smaller and smaller.
John Prendergast is Co-Founder of Enough, the anti-genocide project at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.
Most people know Luol Deng as a basketball player for the championship-contending Chicago Bulls. As a Celtics fan, it pains me to acknowledge that is a very good basketball player, and I wish the Celts had him. But Luol has even bigger things on his mind these days than a run at an NBA championship.
The oil rich area of Abyei in Sudan, a small area that has historically connected the North and South of Sudan, has officially delayed its referendum vote that was supposed to take place in early January. The referendum for the entire South will continue as planned. The Northern and Southern governments are currently in negotiations to develop a political solution to the area. Though this is a significant set back and finding a solution before January 9th will be challenging, there is still hope that the process as a whole will go through and it can be resolved. Yet, this shows just how critical that there is a strong U.S. presence in Sudan. You can take action and urge President Obama to make peace in Sudan a top priority
The Obama administration announced yesterday the appointment of Dane Smith as a high level U.S. official to Darfur. He was the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Sudan from 1986 through 1989 and has worked in Liberia, Botswana and Guinea. With increased violence in Southern Sudan and Darfur by the government, the RAC and other advocacy organizations, welcome increased U.S. focus on Sudan. It is critical that the United States stays active in Sudan, both in the South and Darfur, as the referendum approaches and a real chance for peace is possible.
You can take action now and encourage Congress to continue to pressure the administration.
Today is International Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the UN adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration’s thirty articles lay out the basic human rights guaranteed to every person on earth. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Although human rights violations can be seen in all corners of the world, the current situation in Sudan is critical. The contentious referendum for Southern independence is just a few weeks away and the situation in Darfur worsening. This is a crucial time for the United States to take action in support of a peaceful future for the Sudanese people. You can encourage U.S. leadership by writing Congress and urging your Senators and Representatives to support the Administration keeping Sudan, and particularly Darfur, a priority and helping ensure these basic human rights.
Joe Maddens is Outreach and Coalition Manager at Save Darfur Coalition/Genocide Intervention Network. The newly merged organizations seek to prevent and stop genocide and mass atrocities throughout the world.
This holiday season comes with even more opportunities to gather with your friends and family. As the weekend approaches, 7 days of rallies, film screenings and action meetings begin to wrap up. Throughout the week, activists have dedicated over 60 events to those affected by the past, present, and potential wars of Sudan.
Information, news stories, and ways to get involved in the upcoming referendum in Sudan from the Religious Action Center
Dear RAC Blog followers,
I am excited to announce the launch of a new blog series, The Future of Sudan, Updates and News on the Upcoming Referendum. Check back frequently as we will be posting information, news stories, and ways to get involved in the upcoming referendum in Sudan.
Save Darfur/Genocide Intervention Network is organizing a call in day today to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just dial 1-800-GENOCIDE and leave a message asking Secretary Clinton to appoint a Darfur diplomat to help bring an end to the crisis that has gripped Darfur for far too long. When you call, you will hear a message that you can pass on, and then you will be connected to her office.
You can also urge your member of congress to make Darfur a priority using the RAC’s action alert
And check out this news article from the New York Times about the upcoming Sudan referendum