Israel: Religious Leaders Sign Urgent Appeal to Support the “Global Human Rights Torch Relay” (Photo)

On February 18, 2008, the “Human Rights Torch Relay”
initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG)
arrived in Israel, and a torch relay ceremony was held in downtown Tel Aviv.
Religious and ethnic leaders jointly supported the “Human Rights Torch Relay”
and signed an urgent appeal to demand the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to immediately
stop human rights violations such as harvesting organs from living Falun Gong
practitioners, and other atrocities.

The International Human Rights Torch was officially lit in Athens, Greece
on August 9, 2007. Since then, the Human Rights Torch Relay has visited several
dozen countries and regions, including Europe and the USA, Asia and Australia.
The aim of the one-year long Human Rights Torch Relay is to appeal for the world's
attention to China's human rights violations, and stop the CCP's persecution
of Falun Gong and other groups.

The Israelis who participated in the Human Rights Torch Relay rally said that
due to tensions between religions, it's quite rare to see different religious
leaders appear at the same activity to support the same thing. Therefore, it
was really special that the religious leaders jointly signed the urgent appeal.

Rabbi Chaim A. Cohen, from Rabbis for Human Rights stated, “This is our duty
to be together, to realize that we all one and we are sharing this all together
and if we violate the human rights of one individual we violate the human rights
of everybody because we are all together, all created in the image of God.”

Sheikh Zinaldin Farouk, leader of Israeli Cherkessians, a community in north
Israel stated, “We heard that what's happening in China is a big horror
and so the world will have to stand all together as one to stop the horrors
going on there. It's especially even more important because the Europeans
and the whole world agreed to choose Beijing to host the Olympics. Because such
horrors take place there, this is a big shame for the whole world.”

Father Abu Hatoum is a minister of the Greek Melekite Church in Nazareth,
88 miles north of Jerusalem. He said that when he heard about the situation
in China, he decided to act, because it's very important to him to love
and help all people facing persecution.

Religious leaders from different places in Israel held a special hearing on
February 18. Mr. David Kilgour from Canada, one of the authors of the investigative
report titled, “Bloody Harvest–Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting
of Falun Gong Practitioners in China,” Jennifer Zeng from Australia, a survivor
of China's Forced Labor Camp system, and representative of the US-based
“World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong,” Xia Yiyang,
respectively talked to the attendees about the CCP's harvesting organs
from living Falun Gong practitioners and the CCP's persecution of Falun
Gong practitioners in forced labor camps in China. After the hearing, the religious
leaders jointly signed an urgent appeal to demand the CCP immediate stop committing
crimes against humanity.

The religious leaders who signed the appeal included Sheikh Abed Elsalam Manasra,
General Secretary of the High Sufi Council in the Holy Land, Sheikh Aqel El'
Atrash, head of the Association for Peace and Coexistence, Rabbi Arik Ascherman,
CEO of the Rabbis For Human Rights, Rabbi Daniel Shiloo from Qdumim, Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Leader of Uzbeq community, Jerusalem, Mr. Eliyahu Mclean,
interfaith peacemaker, Jerusalem, Haj Ibrahim Abu Elhawa, ambassador of goodwill
from the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem.

Copy of the “Urgent Call of Religious Leaders”

Posting date: 27/Feb/2008
Original article date: 27/Feb/2008
Category: World News


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