In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/13/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact their elected representatives and urge that they condemn Israeli attacks on civilians in Gaza and Lebanon that have left dozens of innocent civilians dead, and many more wounded.
CAIR asked those who contact Congress and President Bush to point out that such attacks only serve to strengthen extremism in the region and that the United States must adopt a more balanced Middle East policy.
Following incidents in which several Israeli soldiers were taken captive by militants, Israel has launched attacks that the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), France, Greece, and other nations have termed “disproportionate,” “excessive” and “pointless.” Dozens of Lebanese civilians, sometimes whole families, have been killed in the most recent Israeli attacks.
A statement issued by Finland, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said: “The European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel. The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified.” France’s foreign minister condemned Israel’s attacks as “a disproportionate act of war.” Greece called on Israel “to avoid the use of excessive and pointless force which cannot provide a solution to the problem.”
Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure in Gaza have produced a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions. Electricity is out 12-18 hours a day in Gaza following an Israeli attack on the area’s only power plant two weeks ago. Gaza hospitals are only taking emergency cases. Many people are selling everything they own just to buy scarce food supplies. A spokeswoman for the UN’s World Food Program said some 85 percent of Gazans are dependent on food handouts and many families are eating only one meal a day.
SEE: Crisis in Gaza? (NBC)
“Israel is killing civilians and inflicting massive humanitarian suffering on both the Palestinian and Lebanese populations in order to achieve a political goal, which clearly fits the definition of state terrorism,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. Awad said that more Americans are realizing that Israel is a strategic liability, not an asset to the United States, as outlined in a recent Harvard University report.
SEE: The Israel Lobby
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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