Voice of the Jewish News: Keep up the pressure on China

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Voice of the Jewish News: Keep up the pressure on China

After the defeat of the genocide amendment and the imposition of sanctions on Chinese officials, this week's editorial look at the impact of the campaign and next steps to be taken

Jewish News
Protestors against discrimination of Uyghurs
Protestors against discrimination of Uyghurs

Many will have been left angry by the parliamentary ping-pong that took place between the Commons and Lords over the genocide amendment, which campaigners hoped would limit trade with countries deemed by judges to be guilty of genocide. They may feel deflated and disappointed by its third – and final – to win the support of a majority of MPs this week. 

But look closer and there can surely be little doubt about the impact of the campaign for that amendment, which united all faiths, human rights advocates and survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Despite the government’s large majority, it narrowly won the first vote thanks to a handful of MPs. 

Would we have got to the stage where Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, along with international partners, announced sanctions against officials on the same day as the vote on the amendment without this remarkable campaign? Many think not. The government should be applauded for this crucial step, even if there is still much work to be done. 

Jewish News has been proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a fellow minority community facing oppression, alongside the Board of Deputies, René Cassin and others. For Jews, the unending tragedy of China’s Uyghurs carries echoes of the past, including of the story of Passover, which begins this weekend. We know all too well what it means to be in bondage; after all, we recount the story of the times in Egypt every year and make a point of ensuring our children hear it too, so that it is never forgotten across the generations.  

 There are so many people who deserve a shout-out for their tireless campaigning. The efforts of MPs Nus Ghani, Tom Tugendhat, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Lisa Nandy and Alistair Carmichael will always be remembered together with Lord Alton of Liverpool, campaign convener Luke de Pulford and Uyghur activist Rahima Mahmut. 

But this battle is far from over and we will continue to shine a light on the issue. It is our responsibility to ensure the world does not forget.

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