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Aid for Sudan

Things look bleak in Sudan these days. Maybe that's why I'm so eager to focus for a moment on this tiny shred of good news: Teaming up with Jewish groups, Israel to aid distressed Sudanese. It's a first: Israel has never before given aid to an Arab nation with which it has no ties.

Ruth Messinger is quoted, in that article, as saying "We're the community that knows better than anybody else the dangers of silence from the international community and we ought to lead the way[.]" She also wrote a pretty compelling opinion piece about why the rallying cry of "never again" must impel Jews to act.

Rebecca at Mystical Politics recently posted that "never again" is semantically meaningless for most of her students; they learned it in Hebrew school, but don't seem to get that the phrase implies intent to act to stop other genocides. That depresses me, but I'm heartened by the fact of professors both willing and able to take on the project of waking up Jewish adolescents and instilling in them a sense of social responsibility.

Jewish groups have raised a fair amount of money to aid Sudanese refugees. The Jewish Coalition for Sudan Relief was created in June and has raised over $250,000 (you can donate by clicking here). The American Jewish World Service has raised $500,000, and the Union of Reform Judaism has raised $172,000.

Apparently the Israeli aid has been met with shocked delight: "Muhammad Yahya, a native of Darfur and founder of a group called Representatives of the Massaleit Community in Exile, said his countrymen are grateful for the assistance and astonished by its source."

Way to go, Israel. Thanks for doing something I can be proud of.