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Dear All —

3GNY would like to thank everyone who made it to the Darfur Action
Meeting on Tuesday. We’d also like to thank Makor for hosting this
meeting and offer a special thanks to our guest speakers Ira Horowitz
from American Jewish World Service and Elise Keppler from Human Rights
Watch.

For those unable to attend, Ira and Elise shared with us valuable info
and insights about Darfur. Of note:

Ira provided us with some background,

– Darfur is a region in the far west of Sudan — Africa’s largest nation.
– Darfur is about the same size as Texas and is home (“Dar” in Arabic)
to the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa tribes.
– Since February 2003, a government-backed Arab militia known as
janjaweed has been engaging in a brutal campaign to wipe out
communities of these African tribal farmers in Darfur.
– The perpetrators and victims are primarily Muslim, and black in skin
tone, but the victims identify as African and the perpetrators identify
as Arab.
– Some say this is really a competition for land and resources between
nomadic cattle herders (the janjaweed) and sedentary farmers (the
tribes). However, both race and land are contributing factors.
– Up to 90% of all villages in Darfur have been destroyed.
– Government air raids frequently precede or follow these militia attacks.
– The reason some feel it’s not genocide is because some are unsure if
there’s intent to kill or destroy all (or part) of the African
tribesmen.

and some numbers (since February 2003)…

– 1.83 million IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Darfur
– 3.5 million Conflict-Affected Persons in Need of Assistance
– 400,000+ Deaths — men, women and children

Elise described the reaction of the international community and the
difficult effort in prosecuting those responsible,

– Since brokering a deal to end the two-decade old civil war in the
South of Sudan, the US and other powers are reluctant to pressure the
Sudanese government on Darfur, for fear of disrupting the peace in the
South.
– The most effective vehicle for prosecution is the ICC (International
Criminal Court). Many are proposing that the UN Security Council pass a
resolution referring this crisis to the ICC. However, due to perceived
political leanings of the court, the US would most likely veto such a
resolution.
– Other nations on the Security Council, China (Sudanese oil importer)
and Russia (Sudanese arms supplier) are also major obstacles.
– The Sudanese government, of course, has refused to cooperate.

and the most realistic action we can still take to save Darfur…

– Ideally, put on the ground a UN force, which would be better able
than the smaller, existing African Union force, to intervene to stop
the killing.
– However, putting UN forces on the ground would take a year, at least,
and that’s if the Sudanese government doesn’t obstruct the effort —
which it most likely will.
– A shorter-term solution is for the AU forces to be expanded and given
more leeway to protect civilians. The UN can make this happen.

To get the UN moving on this, our government needs to apply pressure.
By showing our strength in numbers, we can stir our government to push
aside its politics and act. Here are several things we can do to make
our voices heard:

INITIATIVES:
To sign the Million Voices postcard: www.millionvoicesfordarfur.org

Phone Calls (most agree these are more effective than letters)
– US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton: 212-415-4050
– President Bush, 202-456-1111

– AJWS has been a leader — on the ground and behind the scenes — in
the effort to save Darfur. To learn how to host your own Darfur
Awareness event, order “Not On Our Watch” wristbands, donate to relief
efforts, and more, please visit the AJWS website: www.ajws.org.

– The Human Rights Watch website, www.hrw.org, provides excellent
background about Darfur and also offers information on what we can do.

RALLIES:
1. Vigil In Support of Darfur
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (feel free to come at any time)
U.S. Mission to the U.N., 140 East 45th St. (Btwn Lex & Third)
For more info: please contact Helga Moor at helgamoor@yahoo.com/ 212-628-4005.

2. Save Darfur Rally to Stop Genocide Sunday, April 30, 2006
3GNY is working with Makor to help organize a trip for us down to DC on
Sunday, April 30. We’ll join thousands of others to raise awareness and
pressure our government to move faster in saving Darfur. We aren’t
registering people yet, but to receive more info and updates on this
rally, please email Rachel Silverman at rachelariel@mac.com.

LOCAL AWARENESS EVENTS:
1. Genocide in Darfur
Thursday, March 9, 2006 @ 6:30 p.m.
146 West 29th Street (btwn 6th and 7th Aves)
(With Julia Greenberg of AJWS)

2. A Call to Action on Darfur: Symposium & Action Fair
Sunday, March 12, 2006
12:00 noon – Start of Action Fair
1:00 p.m. – Start of Symposium
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
36 Battery Place

3. Stories from Home: The Littlest Witnesses
Drawings from the Children of Darfur
February 19 – March 18, 2006
Carlitos Cafe y Galeria, 1701 Lexington Ave.(btwn 106th and 107th)
(Sponsored by Human Rights Watch and presented by Art for Change)

Whatever action we choose, it’s essential we encourage others to do the
same. 3GNY will issue updates about these initiatives and our
participation with the April 30 rally in DC. Also, check out our
website’s discussion boards and share your thoughts on our event and
how we, as 3Gs, can use this group to raise more awareness about Darfur.