CAIR Joins 70+ Organizations in Urgent Letter to President Biden Ahead of Israel and Jordan Trip, Demanding Immediate Ceasefire, Lasting Peace
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the nation, along with over 70 other American Muslim, Arab American, South Asian American, African American, and various faith-based and civil rights organizations, has sent an urgent letter to the White House.
They call on President Joe Biden to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace during his upcoming visit to Israel and Jordan.
CLICK HERE: READ THE LETTER (OR SEE TEXT BELOW)
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“We, along with 70 other local, national and state organizations, urgently call on President Biden to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the pursuit of a just and lasting peace during his upcoming visit to Israel and Jordan. The root cause of this conflict, Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, must be addressed through credible negotiations. We strongly denounce attacks on all civilians, condemn ongoing Israeli bombings in Gaza, and call on the U.S. to uphold international norms for a just and lasting peace, failing which may lead to further generations of violent conflict and instability.”
In the letter, these organizations emphasize the need for the Biden Administration to protect innocent lives in Palestine and Israel. They strongly call for an end to the recurring cycles of violence through credible negotiations, including a demand for the U.S. to address the root cause of this conflict: Israel’s multi-decade illegal occupation of Palestine, which includes its 16-year siege of Gaza.
Letter signatories also condemn attacks on all civilians, regardless of their nationality, and vehemently denounce the ongoing Israeli bombings in Gaza. They demand the U.S. government condemn the targeting of civilians in both Israel and Palestine, vigorously intervene to uphold international norms, halt the ongoing violence, and resolutely pursue a just and lasting peace.
The letter forcefully denounces the extensive destruction caused by the Israeli government’s bombing campaign in Gaza, which includes the obliteration of apartment buildings, mosques, schools, marketplaces, and refugee shelters. It underscores the grave humanitarian situation and the violation of international law through the Israeli government’s demand for the evacuation of one million Palestinians from northern Gaza.
The letter also firmly condemns Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats of severe collective punishment on the people of Gaza. It explicitly calls out the over 3,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, killed due to Israeli military bombings and related actions that constitute war crimes and violations of international law.
Failure to act, the letter signatories firmly warn, may result in further generations of violent conflict and instability.
Text of Letter Sent to President Biden
October 18, 2023
The Honorable Joe Biden
President of the United States
The White House
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20500
Re: End Violence in Gaza, and Pursue a Permanent Peace
Dear President Biden:
On behalf of the undersigned civil rights groups, human rights organizations, and houses of worship, we write to call on your Administration to urgently seek a ceasefire in the Holy Land to protect innocent people in Palestine and Israel, including American citizens and others in captivity, from further death and destruction.
We also call on your Administration to permanently end these recurring cycles of horrific violence by pursuing credible negotiations to bring a lasting peace, including by ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
Killing civilians is wrong, no matter whether the victims are Israeli or Palestinian, American, or any other nationality. That’s why we unequivocally condemn attacks against civilians in Israel and why we also unequivocally condemn the ongoing bombing attacks on civilians in Gaza.
Our nation must do the same. As your Administration condemns the targeting of civilians in Israel, it must not simultaneously sanction the targeting of civilians in Palestine.
For over a week, the Israeli government has conducted a massive bombing campaign of the blockaded Gaza Strip, destroying apartment buildings, mosques, schools, marketplaces, and refugee shelters. Israel’s far-right defense minister has said that Israel is fighting “human animals” in Gaza and would treat the entire population of Gaza accordingly by imposing a total ban on food, water, and fuel. The Israeli government also demanded that one million Palestinians evacuate northern Gaza, a violation of international law that the United Nations said was impossible.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned, “What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”
With these words, he has threatened to inflict severe and lasting collective punishment on the people of Gaza. This collective punishment is already underway: over 3,000 Palestinians have reportedly been killed to date, including hundreds of Palestinian children. These actions are a violation of international law and constitute war crimes.
To be clear, the Israeli government is not bombing military targets with precision to avoid civilian casualties. It is bombing many innocent people who had nothing to do with the attack on southern Israel. The Israeli government has even admitted that it no longer fires warning shots at apartment buildings before destroying them.
As you know, Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a government of far-right extremists who openly speak of ethnic cleansing. Giving him carte blanche to continue bombarding and blockading civilians in Gaza under the guise of fighting terrorism could lead to the deaths of thousands of more innocent people in the coming days. In recent years, we have seen what happens when the United States gives such far-right governments unqualified support.
Through the acts of bombing an office housing the Associated Press and other media outlets in 2021, killing Shireen Abu Akleh and other journalists, attacking worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and enabling wanton settler violence against Palestinian towns, successive Israeli governments have violated international law. The United States must step in to bring the ongoing violence to an end and demand that all involved abide by international norms, rather than violate them.
This is a critical moment for your Administration. By securing a ceasefire, averting more civilian deaths, and initiating credible negotiations to secure a lasting and just peace, including the end of the occupation, your Administration can make history by stopping the cycle of violence once and for all.
The alternative – enabling Netanyahu’s far-right government to turn Gaza into the latest Aleppo or Grozny – will not bring peace or stability. On the contrary, it will spark further generations of violent conflict.
We stand ready to support your efforts to secure a just and lasting peace for all in the region.
American Muslim Community Foundation
American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)
American Muslim Voice Foundation
American Muslims for Palestine
Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP Action)
Arab American Civic Council
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
Birmingham Islamic Society
Brentwood Muslim Community Center
Center City Mosque, Philadelphia, PA
Center for Security, Race and Rights
Community Masjid of Atlanta
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
18 Million Rising
Gainesville Islamic Cultural Center
ICNA Council for Social Justice
Islamic Association of North America
Islamic Center of Morris County
Islamic Community Center of Atlanta
Islamic Council of Dayton
Islamic Organization of North America
Islamic Shura Council of Southern California
Islamic Society of Basking Ridge
Islamic Society of Central Delaware
Islamic Society of Chester County
Islamic Society of East Columbus
Islamophobia Studies Center
Justice Human and Dignity
Majlis Ash-Shura (Islamic Leadership Council) of New York
Majlis Ash-Shura Of Metro Atlanta (Islamic Leadership Council).
Majlis Ash-Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley
Masjid Ar Rahman Coatesville
Masjid As Sabur
Masjid Saad Foundation
Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
Muslim American Society
Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC)
Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley
Muslim Community Network
Muslim Community of Nassau County
Muslim Forum of the Pacific Northwest
Muslim Power Building Project
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
MVPA Musalla Islamic Center of Palo Alto
No Separate Justice
Noor Islamic Cultural Center
Northern California Islamic Council
Osman Gazi Mosque
Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
PNW Justice group
Safe Communities Initiative
South Florida Muslim Federation
The Long Island Muslim Society
The Mosque Cares | Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed
United Muslim Masjid
US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)
West Valley Muslim Association
Yemeni Alliance Committee
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
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