WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2023 – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a congressional letter led by Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), joined by 12 members of Congress, urging President Biden to better ensure the human rights of Palestinians and guarantee that U.S. military funding to the extreme right-wing apartheid Israeli government does not support human rights violations. 

Read The Letter: Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Twitter: “.@SenSanders and I sent a letter to @POTUS and @SecBlinken on the escalating violence in Palestine and the alarming actions of the new extreme right-wing Israeli government. To achieve peace, we must ensure U.S. funding is not used to violate humanrights. 

The letter notes the “ongoing illegal de facto and de jure annexation of the occupied West Bank” and warns that the “Israeli government’s anti-democratic mission to dismantle the rule of law is a threat to both Israelis and Palestinians alike.”  

The letter also calls for U.S. taxpayer dollars to not support illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land and for the enforcement of all U.S. laws, including the Arms Export Control Act, Foreign Assistance Act, and U.S. “Leahy Laws,” to prevent gross violations of Palestinian human rights by the Israeli government. 

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:  

“We commend the leadership of Representative Bowman and Senator Sanders, along with the 12 members of Congress who signed this letter, for their commitment to human rights and justice in Palestine.  

“The Israeli apartheid government’s ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians, including the demolition of homes, the killing of innocent civilians, and the theft of their land, should not be funded by American taxpayer dollars. 

“We join the members of Congress in urging the Biden administration to ensure that U.S. military funding is not being used to support human rights violations in Palestine.” 

CAIR’s recently released civil rights report details the organization’s legal impact protecting the right of every American to boycott the Israeli government over its human rights abuses of Palestinians. Many Americans choose to participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to treat Palestinians with dignity and in accordance with its obligations under international law. Legislators in several states have sought to punish Americans for engaging in this protected free speech. 

The letter has garnered the support of a broad coalition of organizations working towards justice and human rights in Palestine, including: Adalah Justice Project, AJP Action, American Friends Service Committee, Americans for Peace Now, Arab American Institute, Center for Constitutional Rights, Center for Jewish Nonviolence, Churches for Middle East Peace, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Defense for Children International – Palestine, Demand Progress, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Detroit Jews for Justice, Dream Defenders, Ekō, Human Rights Watch, IfNotNow Movement, Institute for Policy Studies New Internationalism Project, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Justice Democrats, Movement for Black Lives, MPower Action Fund, Our Revolution, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, RootsAction, Sunrise Movement, SURJ, United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR), US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, US Palestine Council (USPC), Virginia Coalition for Human Rights, Win Without War, and Working Families Party. 

On April 5, CAIR condemned an attack by Israeli forces on Palestinian worshipers offering Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and called on the Biden administration to issue a similar condemnation. 

SEE: CAIR Action Alert: Urge Biden, Congress to Condemn Israeli Attack on Al-Aqsa Ramadan Worshipers 

Israeli forces stormed the holy site, firing stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshipers who were offering special Ramadan prayers. Hundreds of worshipers were arrested. 

CAIR has previously called on the Biden administration to stand up to the new Israeli government composed of openly racist and genocidal far-right politicians.        

Last year, CAIR welcomed an investigation by a UN commission of inquiry into the Israeli government’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.           

In an open letter, five former European ministers labeled Israel’s policies against Palestinians as “the crime of apartheid.” Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch, and the Presbyterian Church USA have labeled Israel an apartheid state. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing also recognized that Israel is committing apartheid against Palestinians.     

A group of Israeli law professors says changes introduced by the current far-right Israeli government 
“validate the claim that Israel practices apartheid.”   

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  www.cair.com            

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.