In March 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia) declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia. Since then, the country has been devastated by brutal war that has created over a million refugees and has resulted in the death of over 250,000 people. The horrors of ethnic cleansing, internment camps, mass murder, rape as a military tactic, and the separation of families, have been inflicted upon the population. These genocidal activities are morally repugnant to the entire civilized world.
It is not possible for us as Jews to view these events dispassionately and without recalling our own years of darkness barely 50 years ago.
The welcome peace treaty provides the opportunity to all the peoples of the former Yugoslavia for reconciliation, reconstruction, restoration of human dignity, and promotion of liberty, democracy, and peace.
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Union of American Hebrew Congregations:
1. Commends President Clinton, Secretary of State Christopher, and Assistant Secretary of State Holbrooke for their role in facilitating the peace accords;
2. Commends the Canadian government for its decision to streamline the sponsorship procedure for admission of Bosnian refugees into Canada;
3. Encourages all members of the international community to take respon sibility for the reconstruction of war-torn Bosnia;
4. Urges the governments of the United States and Canada to support an effective United Nations War Crimes Tribunal and to insist that all parties receiving reconstruction assistance from the U.S. and Canada cooperate fully with the Tribunal;
5. Supports the decisions of President Clinton and Prime Minister Chretien and the Canadian government to deploy troops as participants in the United Nations/NATO peacekeeping forces;
6. Urges President Clinton to continue to seek as broad a popular and c ongressional consensus as possible for U.S. participation in such peacekeeping forces; and7. Urges our congregations to help absorb Bosnian refugees and immigrants and to act as hosts in "exchange" programs that bring Bosnian High School students to North America.