Israel: Joint Statement Signed by Religious Leaders and Heads of Ethnic Groups to Stop the CCP's Crimes Against Humanity (Photos)
Over twenty religious leaders and community leaders from various sects and ethnic groups attended the Human Rights Torch Relay in Israel to sign a joint statement calling for an end to crimes against humanity in China and around the world.
The Human Rights Torch, traveling the world with the message that the Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co-exist in China, arrived in Israel on the 18th of February. The torch was lighted and then carried through the streets of Tel Aviv.
Religious leaders and community leaders at the ceremony with Xiaoyi Yang who is investigating the persecution of Falun Gong, Mrs. Jennifer Zheng -- a Falun Gong practitioner and victim of persecution in China, and former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) Hon. J.D David Kilgour, co-author of "Bloody Harvest - An Independent Investigation into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China."
Passing the torch and declaring their stand for human rights
Representatives of various religions clasping hands in solidarity
One event of special significance was a ceremony marking the signing of a joint statement by representatives of different religious and ethnic groups in Israel, calling for an end to human rights abuses in China. Those signing the statement included Rabbis, Priests, Bedouin Sheiks, Sufis, Druze, a Buddhist, and a refugee from Darfur. Some of these honorable guests were elderly people who traveled from different parts of Israel. They all came despite a weather forecast which predicted a storm. Others, who couldn't make it to the event, sent their blessings.
Before signing the joint statement the guests gathered to listen to testimonies by Mrs. Jennifer Zheng -- a Falun Gong practitioner and victim of persecution in China, and former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) Hon. J.D David Kilgour, co-author of "Bloody Harvest -- An Independent Investigation into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China."
Some of the religious leaders quoted verses from their scriptures. The verses were about the creation of man in God's image and of man's obligation to protect the persecuted.
Sheikh Zenaldin Faruk, Imam of the Cherkes Muslims in Israel compared organ harvesting in China to the atrocities of the World War II Holocaust:
"We should join hands and fight against this cruel practice (of organ harvesting). We don't want any more tragedies like the Nazis committed in the forties."
Rabbi Daniel Shiloh from the settlement Kdumim said:
"We are a hundred people here... . We have a very limited ability. We can do things that responsibility obligates us to do. If everyone around the world will do it too, then there will be a reduction, or particular people might be saved."
Rabbi Haim Aaron Cohen from "Rabbis for Human Rights" stated:
"As religious people, we have to pray using our feet. We have to pray with our actions and go to all those places where people do not have the right to pray."
Dr. Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein hosted the ceremony. He has been promoting inter-religious dialogue for many years. He quoted a verse from the Talmud (a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history) that states unequivocally that if a person does not protest a wrong done to his fellow man, he is thus considered an accomplice.
The leaders signed the joint statement in a public ceremony. They reflected a profound understanding of their duty and moral responsibility towards events that are taking place to other people in other parts of the world. The audience was truly moved by their true commitment, in heart and in action, to morality .
The joint statement declared that the Chinese regime's atrocities must stop immediately. It specifically mentioned the persecution of Falun Gong, which began in 1999.
The Chief Rabbi of the city of Haifa (one of the biggest cities in Israel), Rabbi Shear Yeshuv Hacohen, sent a letter of support: "I am unfortunately unable to attend the human rights rally in person. And especially for bringing forth the demand to stop the line of persecution and murder of Falun Gong members in Mainland China..." The Rabbi's letter concluded with a blessing for the success of the mission.
The global Human Rights Torch Relay events have been initiated by the CIPFG -- the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide