Muslim group urges disengaging policy from ‘dictates’ of pro-Israel Lobby


Posted Jul 24, 2006      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Muslim group urges disengaging policy from ‘dictates’ of pro-Israel Lobby

(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/22/06) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called the Bush administration’s decision to rush delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel “unconscionable.”

The New York Times reported today that Israel requested the expedited shipment of satellite and laser-guided bombs last week after beginning its massive bombing campaign against Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure.

SEE: U.S. Speeds Up Bomb Delivery for the Israelis (NY Times)

Israeli attacks on Lebanon have already killed hundreds of civilians. Attacks by air, land and sea have destroyed bridges, roads, electrical networks, airports, port facilities, and other civilian infrastructure in an Israeli attempt to “turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years.” (Israeli Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz issued the threat to destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure.)

Israel today targeted transmission towers for television stations and mobile phones in northern Lebanon. Some 500,000 Lebanese have been forced from their homes under threat of death from Israeli attacks. (Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that the current conflict represents “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.”)

In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said:

“It is unconscionable that our government would rush weapons to a state engaged in vicious and indiscriminate attacks on the civilians and civilian infrastructure of a friendly nation. Thousands of our nation’s citizens also remain in Lebanon facing death or injury from these American taxpayer-supplied weapons.

“The baffling decision to assist in the destruction of a nation that has been held up as a model of democratic reform can only serve to harm our long-term interests in the region. Aiding attacks on civilian targets in Lebanon also calls into question our nation’s commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms.

“America must disengage its Middle East policy from the self-serving dictates of the pro-Israel lobby. Failure to do so will allow Israel to once again drag our nation into its self-perpetuating cycle of hatred and conflict.”

SEE: The Truth About the Israel Lobby’s Influence (Washington Post)

Ahmed added that many legal experts say Israel is in violation of international law and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act for using American weapons to target Lebanon’s civilians and civilian infrastructure. He said CAIR has reached out to the Bush administration to offer the American Muslim community’s help in achieving a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict.

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.