AJC Urges Congress to Act on Syria

Sep 03, 2013, 19:09 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is calling on the U.S. Congress to support a resolution authorizing President Obama to respond forcefully to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Congress is expected to debate and vote on the measure next week.

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AJC President Stanley Bergman and Executive Director David Harris, in a letter sent to all members of the Senate and House of Representatives today, expressed the global advocacy organization's "support for the decision by President Obama to take limited military action against the Syrian regime in response to the overwhelming evidence of the regime's use of chemical weapons targeted at Syrian civilians."

AJC pointed out that the latest atrocity, committed on August 21 and resulting in the deaths of at least 1,400 people, "constituted a material breach of international norms, including the Geneva Protocol of 1925, prohibiting the use of chemical weapons."

The Assad regime's latest atrocity "also defied President Obama's warning that the use of such weapons would cross a 'red line' – an act of defiance that, for reasons both profoundly moral and strategic, demands a decisive response," AJC added.

The AJC leaders cautioned that "acquiescence in the face of the crimes evidently committed by the Assad regime would doubtless have wide-ranging consequences for U.S. interests and influence in the Middle East and around the world; invite further tests of American resolve and capacity to respond to declared threats; heighten instability in a volatile region; and amount to an abandonment of international responsibility to protect civilians from the use of weapons of mass destruction."

AJC has monitored closely, and with increasing concern, the conflict in Syria, and its ramifications for Syria's neighbors.  The organization urged members of Congress to adopt a resolution that would "respond forcefully to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Such a resolution, we firmly believe, would uphold American principles and advance American interests in the Middle East and beyond."

With 22 offices across the United States, AJC has a constituent base of over 175,000 individuals.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee