U.S. Arabs and Muslims condemn Israeli use of excessive force

Washington, DC, October 2 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation's largest Arab-American grassroots organization, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim-American advocacy group, today appealed to President Clinton to use his influence with Israel to end the shooting of unarmed civilians by the Israeli military in occupied Palestine.

The groups strongly condemned the use of extreme and excessive violence by Israeli occupation troops against Palestinians, at least 50 of whom have been killed in the past five days.

At a press conference held today with other major Arab-American and Muslim-American organizations at the offices of CAIR, ADC President Hala Maksoud appealed to President Clinton to use the special relationship between Israel and the United States to end the killing.

"Our government has the political and financial leverage necessary to help stop the killing of Palestinian civilians. Now is the time to use that leverage," said Omar Ahmad, CAIR board chairman.

The groups stressed that American taxpayer dollars are being used to finance this "mass murder", pointing to the billions of dollars going to Israel in the form of financial aid.

"The United States has an unquestionable ability to convince Israel to restrain its troops and end the killing of Palestinian civilians," she said. "The Palestinians of Jerusalem are guardians of a sacred trust on behalf of the entire Arab and Muslim worlds," Maksoud continued. "The international community, especially the United States, has serious responsibility to end the killing and provide international protection for the Palestinians of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza who are living under this brutal occupation," she said.

In a statement released from the White House today, President Clinton called on both sides to exert maximum efforts to restore calm immediately. The President spoke to Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat this weekend to express his deep concern about the escalation of violence and to convey his condolences to the families of the victims.

Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat agreed that, as soon as conditions permit, the United States will chair a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian security officials for the purpose of fact-finding and to prevent a reoccurrence of the events of the past few days.

Meanwhile, millions of television viewers all over the world have watched as Israeli troops indiscriminately used live ammunition against thousands of unarmed Palestinians, including 12-year-old Mohammed Al-Durah, who was gunned down by Israeli snipers.

The Palestinian demonstrations held over the past few days were instigated by the highly provocative intrusion last Thursday by Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon into one of the holiest Muslim sites, the Haram Ash-Sharif, in occupied East Jerusalem. Sharon's visit was openly touted as a demonstration of Israel's self-proclaimed sovereignty over all of East Jerusalem.

The Israeli reaction has included indiscriminate use of live ammunition, tanks, helicopter gunships and even anti-tank missiles against unarmed demonstrators, leading to the widespread deaths among Palestinian civilians.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 476, among others, insist Israel must withdraw from the 1967 occupied territories in exchange for peace. The reckless provocation by Sharon, whose involvement in anti-Palestinian atrocities includes responsibility for the massacre of thousands of unarmed Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, combined with the continued Israeli refusal to withdraw from occupied Palestinian lands, sparked this latest expression of determination on the part of the Palestinian people.

Among the latest victims is an 18-month-old baby shot to death by Israeli settlers who have been actively involved in the shooting of unarmed Palestinians.

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.