This past Thursday marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world reflects upon a crime which has no equivalent.
Elie Wiesel pushed us all, no matter how uncomfortable it felt, to remember what happened to the six million.
He saw Israel as a cornerstone to Jewish survival and reminded us, no matter how unpopular his perspective, that anti-Zionism is a despicable cover for antisemitism.
And he insisted that, no matter how monumental the task, to be a devoted Jew required fighting hatred and taking action for human rights wherever oppression is occurring.
He showed up, on the ground, in Cambodia. And in Bosnia. He urged the world to act in Darfur. He demanded intervention in Rwanda.
We the undersigned follow his example and call on the international community to acknowledge the evidence of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of the Uyghur people.
At the verge of the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, we urge the leaders of the free world to give refuge to the Uyghurs.
We urge the athletes and the sponsoring corporations to walk away from these games unless Beijing takes steps to reunite Uyghur families. And we urge the world’s citizens to embrace the cause of this persecuted population.
The Chinese people have amazed the world over the past fifty years as they grew their economy and lifted themselves out of poverty.
But the world’s full respect requires that the Chinese government recognize the most basic human rights; cooperate with international institutions to allow unfettered investigations in Xinjiang; dismantle the camps; un-disappear the courageous Uyghur dissidents who have stood up for their people: Yalqun Rozi, QurbanMamut,IlhamTohti –tonamebutafew.
Last month President Biden signed into law the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed by a united Congress.
Will more countries follow?
The UN must urgently invoke the Genocide Convention’s legal and moral obligation to act on Xinjiang.
We pray they will.
May our actions this year be worthy of the weight of this day.