Jewish leaders press D.C.-bound Mubarak on Sudan


WASHINGTON (JTA) — One hundred Jewish clerics and organizational leaders signed a letter reproaching the Egyptian president for hosting his Sudanese counterpart.

The letter comes on the eve of Hosni Mubarak’s White House visit.  

"We wish to express our deep concern that Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir recently visited Egypt, despite the fact that the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the genocide in Darfur," said the letter handed Sunday to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington. "As Jewish leaders living in the aftermath of the Holocaust, we are keenly aware of the need for swift action against the perpetrators of genocide.  Bashir should be brought to justice, not treated as if he is a respected international leader."

The letter, organized by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, was signed by rabbis affiliated with the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams as well as lay Jewish leaders. Most of the signatories are American, although some are Canadian and Israeli.

Mubarak is visiting Washington starting Monday as part of President Obama’s push to accelerate a resumption of Israeli-Arab peace talks. The White House wants Egypt to help press the Palestinians back to the table and to persuade other Arab nations to make conciliatory gestures to Israel.

Mubarak will meet Monday morning with U.S. Jewish leaders.

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