JCPA passes Darfur, Muslim dialogue resolutions

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed resolutions endorsing the possible use of military force in Darfur and encouraging Muslim-Jewish dialogue.

The measures were passed Monday night at the organization’s annual Plenum during  the resolutions session.

The Darfur resolution, in addition to calling for intensified diplomatic efforts by the United States and the appointment of a senior full-time envoy to the Sudan, states that the U.S. government should "not exclude the option of military means if feasible, and in coalition with other countries, to protect the innocent civilians in Darfur and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid." The resolution passed overwhelmingly after an effort to strike the paragraph on the military option garnered little support.

The Muslim-Jewish dialogue resolution, which its sponsors said offered guidance to communities pursuing such efforts, also passed with strong support. The resolution encourages the two faith groups, when appropriate, to "work in coalition to advance our common commitment to civil liberties" and the struggle against racism and prejudice. It also acknowledges that "differences remain" among the two communities, but "they should not necessarily preclude efforts to dialogue."

The narrowest vote of the evening came on an amendment to a resolution adopting a "comprehensive energy policy" that addressed both the environment and climate change. A section that said the JCPA would be willing to consider temporary support of offshore drilling as part of a comprehensive plan was eliminated by a 331-281 vote. The resolution later passed easily.

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