A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the international community to intervene after at least 12 Lebanese civilians, including women and children, were killed in an Israeli attack on a convoy fleeing threats to destroy their village.
The fleeing civilians had reportedly sought protection from UN peacekeeping forces in the area, but had been turned away, according to American Muslims.
In a statement, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
"The international community must respond to this latest massacre of Lebanese men, women and children by taking concrete action to protect that nation's civilian population and infrastructure from attack.
"Israel has stated clearly, and demonstrated through violent actions, that it is attacking civilian targets in Lebanon in order to achieve a political goal. This is the very definition of state terrorism.
"Our nation cannot maintain credibility in condemning acts of terror carried out by individuals and groups, while offering diplomatic cover and material support to a state that is engaged in a brutal campaign against an entire civilian population," said CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper.
Meanwhile, CAIR, considered the largest group in the US representing Muslims, has not issued a press release or made statements condemning Hezbollah or Hamas for their acts of terrorism that triggered Israel's military response. They did, however, schedule press conferences in cities throughout the country in order to criticize President Bush for not pressuring Israel to cease fire.
"We are concerned that our government's refusal to even request a cease-fire to end humanitarian suffering in Lebanon and Gaza creates the perception that Muslim and Arab lives are somehow less valuable than Israeli lives," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
"Targeting civilians to achieve a political goal is terrorism, whether the target is a pizza parlor in Tel Aviv or an apartment building in Beirut," he said.
As with CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, Mr. Awad made no mention of the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities or Hamas' continued terrorist activities in Gaza.
During one press conference, Hooper took a cheap shot at the American president echoing the nonsense promulgated by Democrat Party leaders -- such as Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- about Bush's slow response and comparing the evacuation of American citizens out of Lebanon to Hurricane Katrina.
God forbid these voices of appeasement didn't make a extremely serious crisis a political talking point to use for the purpose of grabbing power for themselves and their party.
Another organization, the Arab American Institute also released a press release, this one condemning Israel's attack against Hamas fighters in Gaza. The AAI condemned Israel’s indiscriminate use of helicopter and tank fire in highly populated Palestinian centers, resulting in the death of 20 Palestinians, including children.
AAI called on the Bush Administration to speak out against the deepening crisis in the Gaza Strip and urge both sides to stand down while diplomatic efforts continue to try and secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured several days ago.
“It’s unconscionable that the use of such heavy weapons should be tolerated in such populated Palestinian towns as Beit Lahiya and the Jabaliya Refugee Camp,” said AAI President James Zogby, brother of polling company owner John Zogby.
“It is the silence of our government – in the face of the abyss facing the Palestinians and Israelis – that has partly resulted in the tragic deaths we have seen today.
”Twenty Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were killed as Israeli forces – backed by helicopter gunships and tanks – pushed further into Gaza. Israeli forces repeatedly launched aerial strikes into crowded groups of Palestinians."
To their credit, the AAI does maintain a more moderate position than CAIR, but there is a big problem with their call for a cease fire on both sides: the terrorists, especially Hezbollah, cannot be partners in any negotiation as long as they are armed to the teeth and continue their M.O. of breaking agreements and continuing their call for the death of the Jewish State.
For Israel to pull back now would only postpone the inevitable -- a return to the battlefield in the future to fight even better armed terrorists.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.