Yad Vashem urges Olmert to welcome Darfur refugees

The chairman of Yad Vashem has urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to allow refugees from the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan to remain in Israel, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority announced Monday. "As members of the Jewish people, for whom the memory of the Holocaust burns inside us, we cannot stand by as the refugees from the genocide in Darfur hammer on our doors. The memories of the past and Jewish values compel us to show solidarity with the persecuted," Avner Shalev wrote in a May 17 letter to the premier. At least 180,000 people have been killed and more than two million forced to flee their homes in three years of violence in Darfur, a vast region about the size of France, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.