November 18th, 2012 09:51 EST
U.S. Muslims Call on President Obama to Demand Ceasefire in Israel
A coalition* of American Muslim and Arab-American civil rights, community and advocacy organizations today called on President Obama to demand that Israel restore the ceasefire that it broke with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Since Israel began its latest round of attacks on Gaza, a number of Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been killed, including the 11-month-old son of a BBC journalist.
SEE: Journalist`s 11-Month-Old Son Killed in Gaza Strikes (Wash. Post)
In a statement, the coalition said:
"We urge President Obama not to sit on the sidelines as American taxpayer-funded weapons are used to kill civilians -- including babies -- and to destroy the civilian infrastructure in Gaza. Our nation`s blind support for Israel`s brutal actions has done and continues to do immense harm to America`s image and interests in the Middle East and worldwide.
"We regret the death or injury of any civilians on either side of this tragic conflict. It is time to tell Israel and the world that Palestinian blood and property are just as precious as that of Israelis. Until the core issue of justice for the Palestinian people is addressed by our nation and by the international community, we will no doubt witness endless repetitions of these senseless cycles of violence.
"America must not be party to this violence, either through action or inaction."
Media reports indicate that the latest violence in Gaza was triggered November 5 when Israeli forces killed a 23-year-old Palestinian man as he "approached the border fence." According to some accounts, the slain Palestinian was mentally challenged. On November 8, Israeli forces shot and killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who was "playing football with his friends in front of his family`s house."
SEE: 7 Palestinians, Including 3 Children, Killed and 52 Injured as Israeli Attack on Gaza Continues
* SIGNATORIES of the joint statement include: (in alphabetical order)
* American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
* American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
* American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
* Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
* Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
* Muslim American Society (MAS)
* Muslim Legal Fund of America (MFLA)