Statement by American Muslim Organizations: End Israeli Aggression and Occupation, Uphold American principles
The American Muslims for Palestine along with several national and regional Muslim organizations, including the Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) have signed onto a joint petition demanding an end to Israeli aggression and its occupation of the Palestinian people. Several hundred individuals also have signed on. Add your name.
August 2, 2014
The Israeli aggression against the civilian population of Gaza has surpassed all levels of brutality and cruelty. For over three weeks, the Israeli government has unleashed a violent campaign that has so far resulted in more than 1600 deaths (including more than 400 children, 300 women and dozens of elderly people), and more than 9,000 wounded (over 2500 children and 1600 women). No building, however sacred, was spared: more than 8,500 homes, 76 mosques, 2 churches, and 25 hospitals and health clinics were destroyed. Ambulances, doctors, nurses and paramedics, schools, universities, UN buildings, libraries, shelters, food markets, playgrounds, graveyards were also bombed, in addition to 152 educational facilities.
According to Israeli authorities 95 percent of the sixty declared Israeli fatalities are military, while according to the UN about three-quarters of Palestinian casualties are civilians. Consequently, top UN officials and human rights groups have conducted investigation and accused Israel of “war crimes,” and even called for the UN to impose an arms embargo against Israel.
Therefore, we, as American Muslim organizations, academics, Imams, community leaders and activists, affirm our unequivocal support for Palestinian rights to freedom and dignity while forcefully condemning the illegal and oppressive occupation structure.
In short, we call for:
1) An immediate end to Israeli aggression and occupation: This distressing fact must be central to all efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The unceasing violence against the Palestinian people that has taken place for decades must end immediately. It should include the end of the siege and blockade of Gaza, the opening of all border crossings, and the release of thousands of political prisoners in Israeli prisons. The world, as contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, must take responsibility and provide protection and security to the defenseless Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation and control.
2) Stop Sending US Tax Dollars To Israel: We call on our government and Congress to stop punishing Palestinians and to act in America’s best interest by upholding the UN Charter, the Fourth Geneva Convention and our cherished ideals of supporting freedom and self-determination. An Israel that continues to occupy millions of human beings and apply Apartheid-like policies to control them should be rejected and ostracized. We demand that our tax dollars not be used in perpetrating the occupation and suffering of Palestinians. In America it is illegal to fund institutions that practice racial, ethnic or religious exclusions, which is precisely what Israel praxis in every aspect of its discriminatory approach to the Palestinians. Funding racism and Apartheid is un-American and we call for an end to it. The President and the Secretary of Defense have a specific legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use US weapons against innocent civilians. Such use not only violates International Humanitarian Law and constitutes a war crime, but its systematic violations also constitute crimes against humanity.
3) Support the BDS Campaign to end occupation: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is one non-violent tactic that was employed successfully during the South African freedom struggle. We believe that as BDS continues to successfully grow worldwide, a similar, peaceful outcome in the Middle East conflict will result. We call on all justice-seeking, freedom-caring and peace-loving people across the US and around the world to join the BDS campaign until the occupation ends and Palestinian rights are restored.
4) We affirm the UN Charter, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, and the Fourth Geneva Convention (particularly Article 3 and Protocol I which is part of Customary International Law). They collectively provide protection for the Occupied Palestinians. Furthermore, we affirm the right of the Palestinians to defend themselves in the face of continued occupation, expansion of settlements and land expropriation. International Humanitarian Law does not allow for Israeli reprisals or disproportionate response against the occupied Palestinians, which respectively represent war crimes and crimes against humanity.
We call for the dozens of UN resolutions, which for decades, have called for the restoration of Palestinian rights, and which have been ignored by Israel and its supporters, to be implemented. This includes ending Israel's occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem; dismantling all Israeli settlements within the 1967 areas; and resolving the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with the principle of the right of return enshrined in UN resolution 194.
The American Muslim community, through its national organizations and community leaders, call for a worldwide education and mobilization campaign to achieve these objectives. We call on all organizations and community members to join the dozens of demonstrations across the country in support of the Palestinian struggle. We urge all to speak out and be heard. We further urge them to participate politically and translate their anger and frustration at the one sided support for Israel into votes across the country at the ballot boxes come November 4th, 2014. Our votes are and grassroots power will be mobilized for Palestine, justice, and human and economic rights, both domestically and across the globe in November. We do believe that a different world is possible but it can only come about through knowledge and actions manifesting the highest ethical ideals. We urge the community to continue calling the White House, congressional representatives and Senators demanding a change in our government policy and supporting Palestinians aspiration for an end to the Occupation, and for freedom and dignity.
In his farewell address, George Washington warned his fellow citizens against the “passionate attachment of one nation for another” because it “produces a variety of evils,” and that such sympathy would be “facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists.” As responsible members of society we call upon our fellow citizens and national leaders to uphold the principles upon which America was established more than two centuries ago: self-determination, freedom, justice, equality, and respect for the rule of law.
1. American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
2. American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
3. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
4. Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
5. Muslim American Society (MAS)
6. Northern California Islamic Council (NCIC)
7. Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF)
8. Peace Thru Justice Foundation (PTJF)
9. Muslim Voters of America (MVA)
10. Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
11. Lamppost Productions
12. Sahaba Initiative
13. Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project
14. Institute of American Muslim Youth
15. Palestinian American Society (PAS)
16. American Muslim Voice
17. Muslim News Digest
18. Islamic Society of Nevada, Las Vegas
19. Islamic Foundation North
20. Islamic Leadership Institute of America
21. MAS PACE & Outreach Chicago
23. Islamic Academy of Burlington County, Inc.
24. Musiad USA
25. American and Middle-Eastern Affairs Center (AMEAC Think Tank)
26. Shura Council southern California
27. Yildiz Technical University
28. Islamic Society of Corona-Norco
29. Incarcerated Youth Tutorial Project at UCLA
30. Islamic center of south bay-la
32. Muslim Association of Cleveland East
33. Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)
34. Muslim Student Union UC Irvine
35. Islamic Center of Wheaton (ICW)
36. IQRA' International Educational Foundation
37. The Prayer Center of Orland Park
38. Dar-us-Sunnah Masjid &community Center
39. Islamic Society of West Contra Costa County Richmond, CA
40. Islamic Society of Greater Houston
41. Muslim Navayath Voice
42. Arab Muslim American Federation
43. Muslim Peace Fellowship
44. Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance
45. Islamic research & publications, IVP
46. Masjid Al-Taqwa, Chgo., South Shore