05 October 2010

Are We Doing Enough About Darfur?

A month ago, a schoolmate of mine, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, wrote a piece in the Jewish Journal of LA entitled "A Jewish Apology to the World", in which he points out some things for which the Jewish community has come up short. One of these is "only 65 years after the Holocaust, we have not done enough to try to stop the genocides in Darfur, the Congo and other countries around the world."
When I went to a big rally in DC over four years ago on the issue of Darfur, it was a big showing regarding the issue and there was a lot of hope that some diplomatic pressure could yield some positive results on the plight of the Darfurians. However, there wasn't a whole lot of headway and, still to this day, not a whole lot has been successfully pulled off. People can still go to rallies or give money, but how much good do either do? The rallies probably aren't going to accomplish much and the money, even if it isn't handled improperly, will go to food that hopefully will get to the right mouths, but it still could get stolen or the Darfurians could still have horrible things happen to them.
So what is left to do? Yes, as Rabbi Yanklowitz has pointed out, we have not done enough - but what is enough? I think that the one thing that will succeed will certainly take a lot of money, but it will be a more efficient use of money than has gone on thus far. It would effectively be an insertion of mercenaries functioning as peacekeepers to defend the Darfurians from the Janjaweed. That way, they could be certain to be safer than they have been for most of the past decade. Granted, the concern could be that the small force could be seen as a threat to the Janjaweed, which the Sudanese government could then try to bring in bigger and better weaponry....
In any event, does this fall on the Jewish community's shoulders that we have fallen short? I don't think so.

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