CAIR-NJ Calls on NJ Elected Officials to Meet with Palestinian Human Rights Advocates, Stands in Solidarity with Gaza
(Newark, NJ, 10/08/2023) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned New Jersey elected officials’ ignoring of the Palestinian peoples’ suffering at the hands of Israel’s latest onslaught of Gaza, and called on them to meet with Palestinian human rights advocates.
CAIR-NJ has also written to local and state officials with suggested language, additional background information, and resources for their use.
Israeli forces killed at least 232 people and wounded 1,600 others in the Gaza strip in the last 24 hours.
The growing civilian casualty toll comes in response to Hamas’s latest offensive, which killed at least 250 Israelis and wounded hundreds more. The assault on Israel came as a response to the Israeli Defense Forces’ most recent assault on al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and its ongoing siege and blockade of Gaza.
The United Nations has called Israel’s aggressions in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank “illegal under international law” and a “substantial obstacle to peace.”
A number of New Jersey elected officials issued statements in support of Israel’s latest aggressions in Gaza. The New Jersey chapter of American Muslim in Palestine announced a call to join protests in surrounding areas organized by The People’s Forum, Al-Awda, and others.
In a statement, CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed said:
We have long condemned, and continue to condemn, Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. For nearly two decades, Israel has kept Gaza in an open-air prison through its illegal ongoing land, air, and sea blockade. That the people of Gaza effectively broke out of prison — resisting an occupation that is not only inhumane but also illegal under international law — is inevitable and should not be unexpected. We stand with Gazans and Palestinians as they demand dignity.
We also condemn New Jersey elected officials’ statements in support of Israeli apartheid. To paint an image of one-sidedness is both inaccurate and unethical, and an affront to the Palestinian American families and communities here in New Jersey that have long held up Paterson, Clifton, and other areas throughout the state through community service, business, medicine, legal work, education, and more.
In the same ways that these elected officials have supported the Ukrainian people’s sovereignty, resistance, and will, they must also do the same for Palestinians, who’ve lived under Israeli apartheid and occupation for the better half of the last century. We urge them to meet with human rights attorneys from Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and to make space for Palestinian defenders of human rights to speak to the reality of Israeli oppression, which very directly affects the thriving Palestinian American constituency here in New Jersey.
We call on those who support human rights and liberty to join local actions here in New Jersey and surrounding areas in support of the Palestinian call for freedom.
In a statement, the National Lawyers Guild emphasized the legitimacy of the right of the Palestinian people to resist illegal military occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and urges the United States to stop enabling and arming Israel’s perpetration of its atrocities.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org, 908-668-5900 ext. 103