Muslim Leaders Announce Gaza Humanitarian Campaign

December 30, 2008

Representatives from CAIR-LA and MPAC
Representatives from CAIR-LA and MPAC

Southern California Muslim leaders this morning announced a humanitarian campaign to provide aid to Palestinian victims of the brutal Israeli air strikes, and called on the Bush administration to help reinstate a ceasefire.

During the press conference, representatives from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), the Muslim American Society of Greater Los Angeles (MAS-LA), and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California condemned the ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as a "brutal and immoral violation of international human rights norms."

"Targeting civilians on either side is unacceptable. Israel's war machine is executing an operation that is totally unacceptable by all standards," said Dr. Maher Hathout, MPAC Senior Advisor. "Our elected officials have a responsibility to stop the massacre of Palestinians, which is taking place using weapons supplied by American taxpayer dollars."

Hussam Ayloush, CAIR-LA Executive Director, added: "We demand that our government take immediate steps to end the immoral and illegal Israeli bombardment of Gaza. We also demand the Bush administration join with the international community in seeking the end to the savage collective punishment of the people of Gaza."

Community leaders also called for donations to support humanitarian campaigns being conducted to provide critical aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Mostafa Mahboob of Islamic Relief USA described the dire situation on the ground, and emphasized the need for funds to provide direct assistance to Palestinians.


"The 1.5 million residents of Gaza had been facing the worst humanitarian crisis in 30 years before the current crisis began. Now the need for humanitarian aid is even more for essentials such as medicine, food, and fuel," said Mahboob. "Our staff are risking their lives to deliver aid to hospitals, who are facing a serious shortage of medical supplies. The public's support is urgently needed to help meet the current humanitarian need."

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chair of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, also called on imams to focus their Friday sermons on encouraging people to support humanitarian campaigns and praying for the victims of violence.

MPAC board member Hedab El Tarifi also described the painful and desolute conditions being faced by her family members who live in Gaza.

"It's very painful for me to stand here and talk about my family's pain but I have to be their voice," El Tarifi said. "It is very cold, there is no electricity to heat their homes. They have to keep the windows open because with all the bombing and the F-16s flying low, they're afraid the windows will shatter. Their children are screaming constantly and they don't know what to do. A father with his nine chidlren sleeping next to him only to wake up to find four of his children dead next to him... I do believe that humanity is dead and buried in Gaza unless we do something about it."

REQUESTED ACTIONS:

1. Donate generously to support the 1.5 million residents of Gaza suffering from Israeli air strikes to the following humanitarian organizations:

Islamic Relief USA

KinderUSA

Palestinian Children's Relief Fund

American Near East Refugee Aid

2. Call your members of Congress TODAY.

Since Congress is currently in recess, contact the district office of your members of Congress.
Click here to locate your U.S. Representative, and click here to locate your Senators.
Suggested talking points:

President Bush and Secretary Rice should exert diplomatic pressure to immediately re-instate a ceasefire. Israel's military assault is disproportionate, inhumane, and immoral. The U.S. is the only country that has the capability to effectively halt this vicious cycle of violence.

All human life is sacred. Israel must stop its collective punishment of Palestinians, and allow critically needed medical supplies and food to be delivered to the residents of Gaza.

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