NEW YORK (Apr. 26)
The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council has launched a national campaign to urge the Clinton administration to act immediately to stem the “ethnic cleansing” being committed largely by Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The association of 13 national Jewish agencies and 117 Jewish community councils, called for the immediate lifting of the arms embargo imposed against Bosnia and for the “immediate and appropriate application of military force, including limited air strikes designed to stop the Serbian aggression.”
The member agencies also called for an increase in humanitarian aid to civilian populations, the isolation of Serbia through severe economic and diplomatic sanctions and the creation of a war crimes task force to gather information and evidence to be used in subsequent war crimes proceedings.
“Clearly, the limited measures taken by the international community thus far, including the imposition of economic sanctions against Yugoslavia and the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina, have not succeeded in protecting civilians or promoting an effective peace process,” the umbrella group said in a statement issued Monday.
“As we commemorate the Holocaust this month by resolving that ‘never again’ will we stand by and allow genocide to go unopposed, the organized Jewish community calls upon the American public to join us in imploring our government to assume its rightful moral responsibility and global leadership by taking the following decisive measures to end this barbarity,” the group said.
NJCRAC is urging its member groups to begin a lobbying campaign involving, among other things, telephone calls and letters to the White House and Congress.
The umbrella group’s statement came as President Clinton told reporters Monday that the United States and its allies must come up with a “stronger policy” on Bosnia and that he hoped to announce new U.S. proposals soon.
Earlier in the day, Clinton signed an executive order freezing Yugoslav assets in the United States and implementing tighter trade sanctions approved by the United Nations.