Every senior rabbi in Los Angeles has written to California Congressman Ted Lieu to ask him to back a law banning goods made from forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province from entering the United States.
The letter represents an “unprecedented coalition of cross-denominational rabbis” in LA, in what was described as “an incredibly powerful statement about the importance of this issue”.
Orthodox signatory and coordinator Rabbi Pini Dunner said: “I’ve lived here for ten years and I’ve never seen anything like this. We have every senior rabbi in LA signed up to this campaign.”
In their letter to Lieu, the 17 rabbis cite “horror stories” about the Uyghurs being “seized at night, their heads shaved, being put on trains and interned in concentration camps, forced into slave labour, and systematically murdered”.
They said this was “all too familiar to the Jewish community… For us, remaining silent is simply not possible. We cannot stand by as the blood of our human brethren is spilled by evil murderers for no reason other than their faith and ethnic identity”.
The rabbis, from across the denominational spectrum, told Lieu that the Chinese government “must be held accountable for this unconscionable crime against humanity” and that the US “must remain a moral compass for the rest of the world”.
Lieu, a Democrat who was born in Taiwan, was asked to support the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, to stop goods made with forced labour in Xinjiang from entering the United States.
The rabbis said it would “ensure that American consumers do not become unwitting supporters of the genocide and crimes against humanity being committed against the Uyghurs”.
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