The conflict and resultant genocide in Darfur has now worsened and spread into neighboring Chad. The New York Times reports:
ADRÉ, Chad — The chaos in Darfur, the war-ravaged region in Sudan where more than 200,000 civilians have been killed, has spread across the border into Chad, deepening one of the world’s worst refugee crises.
Arab gunmen from Darfur have pushed across the desert and entered Chad, stealing cattle, burning crops and killing anyone who resists. The lawlessness has driven at least 20,000 Chadians from their homes, making them refugees in their own country.
Hundreds of thousands more people in this area, along with 200,000 Sudanese who fled here for safety, find themselves caught up in a growing conflict between Chad and Sudan, which have a long history of violence and meddling in each other’s affairs.
"You may have thought the terrible situation in Darfur couldn’t get worse, but it has," Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch, said in a recent statement. "Sudan’s policy of arming militias and letting them loose is spilling over the border, and civilians have no protection from their attacks, in Darfur or in Chad."
Indeed, the accounts of civilians in eastern Chad are agonizingly familiar to those in western Sudan. One woman, Zahara Isaac Mahamat, described how Arab men on camels and horses had raided her village in Chad, stealing everything they could find and slaughtering all who resisted.
The dead included her husband, Ismail Ibrahim, who tried to prevent the raiders from burning his sorghum and millet fields. Like so many others in this desolate expanse of dust-choked earth, she fled west with her three children, much as people in Darfur have been forced to do in recent years.
"I have lost everything but my children," she said, her face looking much older than her 20 years. She is now a refugee, with thousands of other displaced Chadians, in Kolloye, a village south of here.
"We have three bowls of grain left," she said. "When that is gone, only God can help us."
American Jewish World Service has done good work during this crisis. Donations can be made securely online. Edah, the Modern Orthodox breakaway from the ever-calcifying Yeshiva University-inspired ‘Centrist’ Orthodoxy, has made this a front burner issue as well.*
On the other hand, haredim of all stripes and YU’s ‘Centrist’ Orthodoxy have been silent. It is exactly these people who are the first to claim antisemitism and condemn non-Jews for failing to help Jews.
But I wonder – if the Nazis had only killed Gypsies, had set up Auschwitz only to gas and burn them and not us, would Jews have done anything to save them? Should we have? If not, why not?
* [More ideas to help bring security to Darfur can be found on the SaveDarfur.org website.]