CAIR-NJ Acknowledges Gov. Murphy’s Statement on Gaza, Calls on Administration to Address Israeli Genocide in Gaza

(NEWARK, NJ, 03/27/2024) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today acknowledged Gov. Phil Murphy’s support for a ceasefire in Gaza but said he must also address the Israeli genocide in Palestine.

SEE: Statement from Governor Murphy on the Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

In his statement, Gov. Murphy says, “In that spirit, today, I am adding my voice in support of the Biden Administration’s efforts to secure an immediate and sustained ceasefire by all parties that includes the release of the remaining hostages being held by Hamas. Such an agreement will allow desperately needed humanitarian aid – food, water, medical supplies, and more – to flow into Gaza, saving potentially thousands of lives.”

The Governor’s statement comes in the wake of several Muslim and Palestinian groups’ calls for a boycott of the administration’s anticipated Ramadan iftar. 

SEE: Muslims urge Ramadan boycott of Murphy, NJ public officials over Gaza war

While CAIR-NJ appreciated the governor’s efforts in successfully bringing home some Palestinian Americans in Gaza, the civil rights organization underscored that his support for a ceasefire comes six months into Israel’s war on the already besieged Gaza Strip. To date, Israel has killed over 32,000 Palestinians. New Jersey’s Palestinian community, specifically, estimates it has had nearly 3,000 family members killed.

The Governor also does not acknowledge Israel’s accountability for what international bodies — including a U.S. court — have called plausible charges of genocide.

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:

“Governor Murphy’s support for a ceasefire in Gaza comes in response to Muslim and Palestinian groups’ demands. While we welcome any call for a ceasefire in Gaza that will save thousands of people, the Governor’s statement is nearly six months and several thousand Palestinian bodies late.

“The Governor’s words also deflect from the root cause of violence in Gaza and continue to play a role in the anti-Muslim bigotry we see by shifting blame. To call Israel’s war on Gaza a ‘humanitarian crisis’ is to erase history. This is not a natural disaster; it is a genocide with a government to hold accountable.

“CAIR-New Jersey will withdraw ourselves from his administration’s celebratory events, such as his anticipated annual Ramadan iftar and/or Eid celebration until the Governor addresses the root cause of violence in Gaza — that is, Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. Over 40 of the most prominent New Jersey mosques and Muslim organizations across the state have also agreed to do the same.  

“Our Islamic faith teaches us to be firm in upholding justice. To welcome empty gestures of support for our community is to contradict the very principles of our faith. While it is important and necessary to call for a ceasefire, it is no longer enough. Gov. Murphy must do better to fight for justice for his American Muslim and Palestinian constituencies.”

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

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, dsayedahmed@cair.com, 908-668-5900 ext. 103, 551-221-5592

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