Crisis in the Former Yugoslavia

Adopted by the Executive Committee of the UAHC Board of Trustees
September, 1992
New York, NY

Events in the former Yugoslavia have shocked the world. Reports of attacks on civilians, the establishment of concentration camps, and "ethnic cleansing" — the mass expulsion of innocent people singled out for their ethnic or religious identity — summon the darkest memories of World War II.

The Western world must not turn its back on this unfolding catastrophe, which is the bloodiest factional fighting in Europe in half a century. The Jewish people in particular, bound by the memory of its own martyrs, views the violence, the ongoing violations of human rights, and the displacement of the people of that troubled region in the name of ethnic purity as intolerable. The cries of anguish of the innocent cannot be ignored.

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Executive committee of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:

  • Applauds the efforts now underway in Geneva to reach a political settlement to the war that would permit large numbers of the refugees to return to their homes;
  • Urges the government of the United States to exert its leadership to bring to an end the slaughter, dispossession and devastation in Bosnia;
  • Calls upon the United States, acting in concert with the European community and the United Nations, to take the necessary steps to open the detention camps to inspection; to guarantee the commitment of all belligerent parties to international law, particularly the Third and Fourth Geneva Convention; and to speed the delivery of adequate food and medical supplies to suffering communities in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Calls upon our congregations to work in support of the above goals and to assist with humanitarian aid by following the action guidelines distributed by the Commission on Social Action.