Jewish groups in US welcome bill on Rohingya crisis, says paper


YANGON — Jewish groups in the United States have welcomed the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the Senate to sanction Myanmar officials responsible for the persecution of the Rohingya, a publication based in New York has reported.

The Forward, which serves the large and influential Jewish American community, reported on April 15 that the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act was introduced in the Senate on April 11 and was co-sponsored by 14 lawmakers.

The Jewish Rohingya Justice Network, a coalition of 19 groups convened by the American Jewish World Service and representing major Jewish organizations and the four major denominations, had lobbied for the bill, the Forward said.

AJWS programme officer, Ms Hannah Weilbachker, who has helped lead the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network, invoked the Holocaust in speaking about the importance of a Jewish response to events in Myanmar, the report said.

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“The Jewish community knows all too well the horrors of what happens when an international community stands idly by as a genocide unfolds,” Weilbacher was quoted as telling the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service, on April 11.

“The persecution, the violence, the human rights violations and genocide of the Rohingya people echoes the Jewish people’s history across time, across place, and really calls us to come together and have a unified Jewish response to this crisis.”

In December, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum said it found “compelling evidence” of genocide by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya and the House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the crimes a genocide.

However, the State Department has stopped short of doing so, the Forward said.

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