(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/14/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on President Bush to demand that Israel stop bombing civilian areas in Lebanon at least long enough to safely evacuate some 25,000 U.S. citizens in that nation.
Bush has rejected calls for a cease-fire despite the fact that Israeli attacks from land, sea and air have killed dozens of Lebanese civilians and severely damaged Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. Israel’s attacks on Lebanon have been condemned as “disproportionate” by the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union and the Vatican.
Israel’s bombing campaign has made it too dangerous for many U.S. citizens, both diplomatic personnel and Muslim and Christian Lebanese-Americans, to leave the areas under attack.
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“If a call for the full cessation of attacks on the civilian population of an American ally is too much to ask for, at least we can demand that Israel stop its bombing campaign long enough to evacuate American citizens,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The highest duty of any president is to protect the lives of Americans.”
Awad also called on the State Department to issue an advisory to U.S. citizens in the Israeli armed forces that they risk violating the Neutrality Act by taking part in attacks on a friendly nation.
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.
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