NEW YORK, May 29, 2012 In response to the massacre of more than 100 civilians by the military forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We condemn in the strongest terms the massacre this weekend of more than 100 Syrians, many of them children, by President Assad's forces in Syria. This tragedy is yet more evidence as if any were needed -- why Assad must relinquish power and bring an end to the violence that has been perpetrated over the past year. The world must know about the events in Houla. We will do our best to make sure that the Houla Massacre will not be forgotten, and that the victims will be both remembered and honored.
"In the meantime, we are hopeful that Kofi Annan's attempt to reinforce a peace plan he negotiated just months ago will prevent further loss of lives.
"Through this horrific massacre, and too many others, President Assad and his government have clearly chosen to put themselves outside the community of nations. Today's joint action by the United States, Canada and other allies to expel Syrian diplomats is a sad, but wholly appropriate, step.
"Within the international community, strong opposition to the Assad regime and strong support for the regime's victims will continue to be vital moving forward."