CAIR supports President's demand for end to Israeli attacks
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, is supporting President Bush's demand, announced today, that Israel end both its settlement activity and it ongoing assaults on Palestinian towns and villages.
The president said: "Israeli settlement activity in occupied territories must stop…I ask Israel to halt incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and begin the withdrawal from those cities it has recently occupied." He said Israel must also "show a respect for - and concern about - the dignity of the Palestinian people" and lift its blockade of Palestinian civilians by opening border crossings and checkpoints.
For the full text of the president's remarks, go to: http://www.msnbc.com/news/734039.asp?cp1=1
In a statement issued following the president's speech, CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Jason Erb said:
"The operative aspects of today's remarks by President Bush, despite being couched in standard pro-Israel rhetoric, are a clear departure from the administration's one-sided support for that nation's brutal and illegal
policies. The President has accurately identified the real sources of conflict in the Holy Land; the settlements, the occupation and the "daily humiliation" suffered by ordinary Palestinians.
"It is also encouraging that the president decided to send Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region. Such high-level intervention is essential to bring about an end to the cycle of violence and the mutual hatred it generates. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad proposed just such an initiative in a meeting yesterday with Secretary Powell.
"These constructive statements must now be followed by concrete and sustained diplomatic action."