As an American citizen, I would like to see President Bush demonstrate some of the courage and resolve exemplified by the celebrity activists, using his power to try to persuade China to change its behavior. If China does not cooperate, the president should reconsider his plans to attend the Olympics.
Saturday, Oct. 13, three leaders of Jewish World Watch flew from Los Angeles to Africa for a two-week trip, with their ultimate destination the Sudanese eastern border refugee camps, Iridimi and Touloum in Chad. Jewish World Watch's Solar Cooker Project, led by Board President Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Executive Director Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug and project leader Rachel Andres, has raised $850,000 to date, to provide self-sufficient and easy-to-use cookers to women in the camps so they don't have to put themselves in grave danger of rape or murder when they leave the camps to collect firewood.The Jewish Journal invited the three travelers to record diaries while on their journey, the first entry of which, written by Kamenir-Reznik, an attorney, longtime activist and Jewish leader, we reprint here. It was written four days before departure.
While the Darfur crisis enters its fifth year, the American Jewish Committee and Warner Independent Pictures have taken a lead in raising awareness of and combating the genocide in the Western Sudan region, where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced. For some time now, the AJC has had a national task force dedicated to Darfur, but in the past year and a half, members of the AJC's Los Angeles branch developed a film proposal that ultimately led to "Darfur Now," a documentary from Warner Independent that follows the efforts of six people to resolve the humanitarian disaster. The film will be released in theaters on Nov. 2.
Kristof knows that one way to change government policy is through an outraged public, but getting the American public to care about millions of nameless genocide victims in faraway Africa is no easy task. "What we need," he proposes, "is more troubled consciences -- pricked, perhaps, by a Darfur puppy with big eyes and floppy ears."