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US Jewish leaders call for boycott of Beijing Olympics

Original post made by joel, Charleston Gardens, on Apr 29, 2008

"A wide-ranging group of U.S. Jewish leaders plans to release a statement Wednesday urging Jews worldwide to boycott the Summer Olympics in Beijing, citing China's troubling record on human rights and Tibet.

The statement also notes China's close relationships with Iran, Syria and the militant group Hamas.

So far, 175 rabbis, seminary officials and other prominent Jews have signed the declaration, which comes shortly before Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, organizers said.

"We are deeply troubled by China's support for the genocidal government of Sudan; its mistreatment of the people of Tibet; its denial of basic rights to its own citizens; and its provision of missiles to Iran and Syria, and friendship for Hamas," the statement reads.

"Having endured the bitter experience of abandonment by our presumed allies during the Holocaust, we feel a particular obligation to speak out against injustice and persecution today."

Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, past chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, said signers are not alleging that the Chinese government is the equivalent of the Nazi regime, but that China, like Germany in 1936, is trying to use the Olympics as a public relations tool to deflect attention from its record."Web Link

Comments (3)

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Posted by joe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 30, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Many people assume the problem is that China remains a communist dictatorship and that abuses occur because a strong, centralized state ignores the rights of its citizens. With regard to Tibet and the suppression of the religious movement Falun Gong, this may be right. But the larger problem in today's China arises out of the fact that the central Chinese state is in certain ways too weak to defend the rights of its people.

The vast majority of abuses against the rights of ordinary Chinese citizens -- peasants who have their land taken away without just compensation, workers forced to labor under sweatshop conditions or villagers poisoned by illegal dumping of pollutants -- occur at a level far below that of the government in Beijing.

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Posted by ol' lady
a resident of Midtown
on May 1, 2008 at 3:40 pm

joe, you must be joking..are you positing that China's government isn't centrally strong enough to "protect" its citizens? The iron fist which finds and destroys citizens who even try to post dissent online, let alone try to speak out in public?

Are you really suggesting that there needs to be MORE central control and iron fistedness?

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 4, 2008 at 11:48 am

Sounds like a great idea, just too little too late.
The Chinese communist machine is rolling along well, steam-rollering
I disagreed with the decision to hold the Olympics in China in the first place.
But now the Chinese are thrilled to promote themselves to the world community: and - the Olympics start on 08/08/08 - how cool is that!
At this point little gestures showing a myriad of "concerns" over Red China won't get sufficient attention. Let's just hope the athletes stay safe and maintain their health amid the appalling pollution being spewed out over there...where's Al Gore?

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