Resolution on the Chinese Genocide of the Uighur Minority

Posted on: Tuesday March 24, 2020

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly deeply values and affirms our Torah’s profoundly humanitarian mitzvot such as “One law for the native and the stranger among you” (Exodus 12:49), “The stranger….you shall love as yourself” (Leviticus 19:34) and many other Biblical and Rabbinic assertions of our obligations to the “Other,” both interpersonally and internationally; and

Whereas the Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic minority in China, numbering about 10 million people and living mostly in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), has been subjected to extreme persecutory measures by the Chinese government, which has locked down Xinjiang and severely restricted mobility and freedom of expression; and

Whereas Xinjiang has become a totalitarian police state of truly historic proportions, widely called one of the most heavily policed places in the world, in which the Chinese government has pioneered futuristic surveillance systems, and at least 1,000,000 Uighurs have disappeared; and

Whereas over the past 3 years, alarming reports of a mass internment system have emerged. Adrian Zenz, a researcher in the European School of Culture and Theology in Komtal, Germany, documented the scope and construction of these concentration camps, which began in March 2017; eyewitnesses report that in these camps, officials seek to brainwash prisoners to disavow Islam and pledge loyalty to the Communist Party, torturing those who refuse; and

Whereas in early August 2018, a United Nations panel said that according to numerous and credible reports, up to a million Muslims have been put in these camps in Xinjiang, in which prisoners are arbitrarily detained without charge or trial.  Chinese government officials cite common “crimes” such as “viewing foreign websites, taking phone calls from relatives abroad, praying regularly, or growing a beard”;  and

Whereas countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States have condemned China’s actions; and

Whereas synagogues and Jewish schools have begun to organize an information, education, and advocacy campaign known as ESAU: Every Synagogue/School Advocating for the Uighurs, to raise awareness of the genocide and encourage members of the Jewish community to join efforts to help the Uighurs and address the root causes of the oppression;

We therefore resolve that the Rabbinical Assembly encourage its members to inform their constituents about the genocide, through Social Media, email, or print updates; to arrange for speakers from/about the Uighur community; to circulate advocacy-action announcements as well as information about what Jewish and other organizations are doing to address this human rights catastrophe, furthering opportunities for dialogue and advocacy to save lives.