HAeD Letter-Writing Campaign

Currently there are over 300 refugees from Sudan in Israel. Often these refugees are sent to prison. Over the last few years, CARD (the Committee for Advancement of Refugees from Darfur) has arranged for many of the refugees to be allowed to work in Kibbutzim and Moshavim around the country. However, many of the refugees are still in prison and as people fleeing from genocide, do not deserve to be treated like criminals In the past few weeks, former Chief Rabbi Lau has petitioned Olmert to release the refugees and Justice Minister Daniel Friedman was quoted saying, "Israel must become part of those who help the refugees. It is important that we realize that they need help and we must provide them with the assistance they need. That is the desired approach, not to treat them as criminals. We are obliged to assist foreigners, and anyone who has escaped danger and slavery."

What can you do to help?
One of the most important ways to help is to lobby PM Olmert. The most effective way we can do this is by conducting a letter-writing campaign . Basically, we want to inundate Olmert with letters from both Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora asking for the government to release the refugees from prisons and grant asylum to the refugees. It is best to write a letter yourself to show this issue means enough to you to spend the time and effort of drafting a letter. Letters should be kept short, simple and to the point. Also remember to keep letters forceful but not aggressive. Letters can be written in either English or Hebrew and should be addressed to: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert 3 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Jerusalem, Israel 91950 Or ‫ראש הממשלה אהוד אולמרט‬ ,‫רחוב קפלן 3, הקריה‬ ‫ירושלים‬ 91950 Or Fax/02-670-5475) 97226705475+ : ‫)פקס‬ • Most importantly, ask for Olmert to: 1) Help facilitate a quick release of the refugees.

2) Grant asylum and refugee status to those fleeing the genocide in Darfur • Points to focus on: 1) Jewish tradition (Exodus, treatment of "stranger") 2) Focus on the fact that refugees are fleeing genocide 3) 60 odd years after the end of the Holocaust, we remember that we have been persecuted refugees seeking asylum. 4) Many Israelis were once refugees (from Europe and Arab countries) 5) Previous History of Israeli humanitarian gestures (Vietnam, Bosnia) 6) For Diaspora Jews: Israel's image ruined by this breach of humanity • Sign your letter with your name, organisation/synagogue/youth movement, teudat zehut number and country of residence. See below for a sample letter (but please write your own). Letters from Israelis and those in the Diaspora are equally vital in this campaign. Olmert will take note of Israelis because they vote and Diaspora Jews because they help shape world opinion on Israel. Please ask as many people as possible to join in this campaign. See if you can make it a project of your University/College, youth movement, Shul or Temple. It is important for each person to send their own letter (a hard copy), so as to maximise the effect. If money is an issue, contact us and we will reimburse you. Don't hesitate to ask us any questions. Email us at haedarfur@gmail.com or contact Seraphya on +972546213792 / 054-621-3792 Thank you, Seraphya and Arielle HAeD - Hatizule et Amei Darfur http://www.haedarfur.org Join our email list by clicking: http://groups.google.com/group/HAeDarfur/subscribe -----------SAMPLE LETTER: Dear Prime Minister Olmert,

As a Jew and a life-long supporter of Israel, I am very concerned with the situation of Sudanese refugees in Israel. It upsets me that genuine refugees who are fleeing genocide are sitting in prison like criminals.

Sixty odd years ago, we Jews were facing our own genocide and watched as countries blocked our entry and resigned us to the gas chambers. How can we, the descendants of those victims of genocide, allow the Sudanese victims of genocide to be imprisoned?

I urge you to: 1) Help facilitate a quick release of the refugees. 2) Grant asylum and refugee status to those fleeing the genocide in Darfur

In the words of Former Chief Rabbi Lau, "We, the members of the Jewish people, who suffered from persecutions and the world's indifference to our fate when we came to Israel as refugees, cannot allow ourselves to ignore the suffering and distress of other nations... the Torah orders us to love the foreigner."

Sincerely, John Smith President of Dandenong Synagogue, Australia