Rabbis lobby on Congo

By Jessica Elgot, May 19, 2011
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Progressive rabbis have called on the Foreign Office to give greater support to UN peace-keepers in strife-torn Congo.

More than 60 ministers signed a petition to the Foreign Office organised by Radlett and Bushey Reform's Rabbi David Mitchell and Rabbi Colin Eimer from Sha'arei Tsedek North London Synagogue.

Rabbis Mitchell and Eimer, patrons of Save The Congo, presented the petition, addressed to Foreign Secretary William Hague, to Stephanie Sanderson from the FCO Congo desk, supported by Conservative MP David Amess and Baroness Cox.

Signatories included Reform Movement president Rabbi Tony Bayfield and Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich.

Rabbi Mitchell said: "To remain silent while women continue to be raped, civilians killed and communities displaced would go against a major tenet of Judaism - not to ignore the suffering of others. More than seven million people have been killed in the conflict in the last 10 years."

He added: "Almost 80 per cent of Liberal, Reform and Masorti rabbis have signed the petitions we've produced for Save the Congo, but this should be across our community. Support from Orthodox rabbis would be very welcome."

    Last updated: 3:23pm, May 19 2011