My fellow Orthodox Jews: Start fighting for the Uighurs – The Forward

(Us gentiles, too.)

«This is where we come in. The American Orthodox Jewish community — my community — is, understandably, largely self-focused. As easily identifiable Jews and the sector of American Jewry most immediately confronted with challenges regarding anti-Semitic violence, education funding and protection of religious rights, many of us feel we have bigger — or, at least, more immediate — fish to fry than advocating for the freedom of an oppressed people half a planet away. That they are Muslims, and that some of them, even if only a handful, are part of terrorist groups, makes it all the easier to avert our gaze.

We must not. The overwhelming majority of Uighurs, and likely all of those in China’s detention centers, are innocent civilians. It is their ethnicity and religion that make them subversives in the eyes of the Chinese authorities.

And, at least to some of us, the image of millions of innocent people being concentrated against their will in camps and mistreated is one that a people characterized by the Talmud as “merciful, modest and charitable” (Yevamot, 79a) cannot ignore.»

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