(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/6/2009) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today demanded that the Bush administration condemn the “massacre” of more than 40 Palestinian civilians who sought shelter from Israeli attacks at a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip.
In another incident, 12 members of one family, including seven children, were killed in an Israeli attack on the family’s home in Gaza City. More than 600 Palestinians, including whole families, have already been killed in Israeli attacks.
Israel has barred journalists from entering Gaza to report on the results of its attacks or on the humanitarian crisis caused by its blockade of food, medicine and other essential supplies.
SEE: Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza (New York Times)
“We call on President Bush to condemn this latest massacre of civilians using weapons paid for with American tax dollars,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “This massacre, along with Israel’s past attacks on Palestinian homes, schools, universities, mosques, medical personnel, and a Baptist church in Gaza, must be condemned by all those who value international humanitarian law and the sanctity of human life.”
He also called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact the sponsors of a proposed congressional resolution in support of Israeli attacks on Gaza.
“Our elected representatives should focus on serving their constituents, not on offering rhetorical support to the kind of state-sponsored terrorism Israel is perpetrating in Gaza.” Awad said blind political support for Israel’s brutal actions undermines America’s leadership role and status around the world.
SEE: Dems Plan Pro-Israel Resolution
Yesterday, CAIR outlined 10 positive, pro-active steps American Muslims and other people of conscience can take to help end Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, restore the cease-fire and the flow of humanitarian aid and promote a more balanced U.S. policy in the Middle East.
CAIR’s “10 Steps to Help Gaza” included taking part in the upcoming “Let Gaza Live” National March on Washington this Saturday in Lafayette Park outside the White House, visiting elected representatives to talk with them about the need for a more balanced Mideast policy, contacting President-elect Obama to ask that he speak out now in favor of a more balanced and pro-American policy in the Middle East, and signing CAIR’s online petition urging American leaders to speak “in favor of peace and justice for all parties in the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters 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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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com