Washington, D.C. | www.mpac.org | October 7, 2023 — The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) expresses grave concern over the escalating violence between Hamas and Israel. MPAC condemns the taking of innocent lives by both parties. This video clip of Ayman Mohyeldin on MSNBC is a must-watch to gain a full insight on the events transpiring in the region.
To truly understand what is happening, we must look to the source of the problem; an ongoing occupation in violation of international human rights law that has left the Palestinian people, in particular Gazans, stripped of their basic rights and human dignity. By actively, and often violently, preventing their pursuit of a self-defined identity, national autonomy, and global recognition, Israeli occupation and the world’s continued silence has offered Hamas and other groups the political vacuum needed to propel themselves into positions of leadership and justify their violent attacks.
In turn, Israel uses the attacks of Hamas, and other groups, to justify their disproportionate and devastating assaults on Palestinians, targeting primarily civilian areas. The resulting unyielding cycle of death and destruction reaps no benefit nor levies any consequence greater than the continued dehumanization and death of the Palestinian people. This inhumane cycle is not new; Israel’s response will be disproportionate and innocent civilians, including children, will bear the brunt of the attacks. Schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure — much of which has yet to be rebuilt since the last cycle of attacks — will be further decimated.
“The policy of the United States has consistently been to deny the reality of the Palestinian plight, only recognizing the situation as a mere ‘conflict’ and standing by to further arm and support Israeli aggression,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati.
“Rather than use their influence to end the bloodshed of Palestinians and Israelis alike, the United States focuses its foreign policy on forging deals with other Arab nations in support of Israel. In doing so, they perpetuate the humiliating frustration of the Palestinians and fuel the cycle of violent reaction to occupation. As a global leader, as well as a fundamental player in the history and maintenance of the Palestinian Occupation, the United States must take effective steps to address both the current war and the occupation as a whole.”
MPAC calls on the international community to take immediate action to end the violence. We urge the United States to use its influence to end the occupation and protect the rights of the Palestinian people. MPAC believes it is only through the protection of Palestinian humanity, dignity, and sovereignty, that the region shall see progress towards real peace that is based on the freedom of the Palestinian people.
Addendum 1:11 PM, 10/12/2023
MPAC reiterates its stance against violence and terrorism in all forms. There are confirmed reports of attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas. Simultaneously, there are credible video reports from Palestinians showing the devastation and the death of civilians, including innocent children. Israeli officials have cut off food, electricity, aid, and water to Palestinian civilians, which is reprehensible.
It’s important not to conflate actions by Hamas with the Palestinian people and collectively punish the people of Gaza in retaliation for the attacks committed. The suffering of Palestinian civilians should not be a consequence of Hamas’ actions, and the Israeli government must refrain from using these actions as a pretext for perpetrating further human rights violations against the Palestinian population.