Press Releases

Muslims Applaud Court’s Condemnation of Israeli Wall

A prominent national Islamic civil rights and
advocacy group today applauded a ruling by the highest U.N. court that
Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank violates international law and
should be torn down.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also criticized the Bush
administration for dismissing the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
ruling. (An administration spokesman said today that the issue of the wall
should be addressed through the Middle East peace process.)

In its ruling, the ICJ stated: “The court is of the view that the United
Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council,
should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the
illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall.”

The court dismissed Israeli arguments that the barrier was essential for
its security and said the wall infringed on Palestinian freedom. It also
ordered Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians directly impacted by the
wall and to return land seized for its construction.

Even the lone dissenting judge on the 15-member panel, American Thomas
Buergenthal, acknowledged that Israel’s wall might violate international
law. (The other judges were from China, Madagascar, France, Sierra Leone,
Russia, Britain, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Brazil, Jordan, Egypt, Japan,
Germany, and Slovakia.)

In its statement, CAIR said:

“Today’s ruling is a historic victory for international law and justice.
Unfortunately, we once again see our own government swimming against the
tide of world public and legal opinion to defend Israel’s neo-Apartheid
policies. How long will America’s international image and interests be held
hostage by a powerful domestic lobby for a foreign government? And when
will the Palestinian people deserve inclusion in America’s drive for
freedom and justice worldwide?”

The Washington-based group’s statement reflected similar comments in
response to the ruling from world leaders. European Union foreign policy
chief Javier Solana said today: “The wall not only results in confiscation
of Palestinian land and causes untold humanitarian and economic hardship,
but also could prejudge future negotiations and hinder a just political
solution to the conflict.”

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:
cair@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:
rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist’s window to
the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called
ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with
American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

 

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