Rabbi urges action on Bosnia

THE CHIEF Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks, said yesterday that international military intervention in Bosnia was a religious duty, writes Andrew Brown.

'The Bible commands us not to stand idly by the blood of our neighbour,' he said.

'The international community must act now if it is to stop the slide towards catastrophe, and religious leaders must say so.

'Let us invoke the moral imperative of memory. Let us support international intervention,' Dr Sacks told a fund-raising dinner for the Centre for Christian-Jewish relations.

His call was supported by Liaquat Hussain, of the Bradford Council of Mosques, who said: 'If we are unable to stop the ethnic cleansing, then I think we are not far (removed) from the people who are pursuing this policy.'

Christian leaders were much more circumspect. No Roman Catholic bishop could be found prepared to comment on the matter; the Archbishop of York, Dr John Habgood, was not prepared to say anything, and the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev David Sheppard, said that he had nothing to say until an ecumenical fact- finding delegation returned from Belgrade.

Dr Sacks said: 'If conflicts between Jews, Christians and Muslims have been fuelled by the clash of faiths, then it must be the leaders of those faiths who rise above the conflict and say: in the name of God, stop.'

All-out war looms, page 11

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