Two rabbis join George Clooney in protest of Sudanese government

In the ceaseless work of repairing the world, George Clooney will rub shoulders with two activist rabbis, who will join him tomorrow at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington to protest the Sudanese government’s blockade of food and humanitarian aid to endangered citizens.

The actor has been crusading on behalf of Sudanese civilians for nearly a decade, though the situation remains dire. Clooney has apparently found two allies in Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism and Rabbi Steve Gutow, president for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, who will join him for at least one leg of a Washington trip that will reportedly culminate with meetings with President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to The Daily Beast.

Earlier this week, Clooney made an illegal trip to the oil rich region of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan, where the Arab-dominated Sudanese government has been conducting missile strikes against its own citizens. Much like the situation in Sderot, Israel, where inhabitants live in fear of aerial attacks, Clooney captured the everyday challenges these Sudanese villagers face in a Youtube video.

But while Clooney’s celebrity has brought needed attention to the region, it has not resolved the conflict. Clooney told the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday night that the situation is worse than ever.

The battle for survival in a hostile environment is a familiar struggle for Jews the world over, who have been subjected to the worst impulses of humanity over the course of their existence. Let this be a wake-up call and rallying cry that no one should rest until the whole world is redeemed.

From an Associated Press report on Clooney’s work:

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — In the second YouTube video in a week to highlight an African conflict, George Clooney makes an illegal and dangerous trip to the southern reaches of Sudan, where the actor witnesses what an American activist said Thursday was likely a Chinese-made missile sail overhead.

Clooney’s four-minute video highlights attacks on civilians in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, a region that U.S. officials say could soon suffer a severe hunger crisis. The video comes about a week after a YouTube sensation about Joseph Kony, the leader of the brutal Central Africa militia the Lord’s Resistance Army.

In the Clooney video, which he wrote and directed, a man from the Nuba community is seen pushing Clooney to take cover after a rocket sails overhead. Mothers carrying children and young children lugging water jugs can be seen moving toward the rock caves.

Ryan Boyette, an American who lives in the Nuba Mountains, said Sudan’s military has been launching large, Chinese-made rockets against civilians — not military forces with the rebel group known as the SPLM-N. Boyette said most of the rocket victims are caught off guard because they don’t know the rocket is approaching.


During his advocacy work in Sudan, Clooney helped found the Satellite Sentinel Project, which uses satellite imagery to monitor activities of war.