Dec 14, 2021 - World

Exclusive: Jewish groups urge Biden to take action on Uyghur genocide

People protest China's human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province on April 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
People protest China's human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province on April 6, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A group of more than 200 Jewish organizations, rabbis and synagogues have sent a letter to President Biden and top U.S. officials urging them to do more to oppose the Chinese government's genocide of ethnic Uyghurs, according to a copy of the letter viewed by Axios.

What they're saying: "The horror stories we are hearing of Uyghurs taken in the night, separated from their families, and put on trains to forced labor camps are all too familiar to the Jewish community," the letter's signatories state.

  • "We therefore urge you and your administration to take the concrete steps recommended by a coalition of leading human rights organizations (such as countering Chinese government propaganda and strengthening sanctions) and to increase the number of Uyghurs admitted to the U.S. as refugees."

Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., which led the effort, has a committee dedicated to raising awareness about the Uyghur genocide, and it regularly holds protests outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

  • "What we’re looking for are very strong sanctions," Rabbi Aaron Alexander of Adas Israel said in an interview with Axios.
  • "We want the United States to lead the way in creating the kind of brute force condemnation and excision from the world community until it stops."

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