The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for an “immediate cease-fire” in Israel and Gaza following the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel that killed more than 1,200 Israelis—including civilians and even babies—and took about 100 hostages.
CAIR has also condemned as “war crimes” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans for a counterstrike against Hamas.
When The Daily Signal reached out to CAIR for comment, America’s largest Muslim organization doubled down on its condemnations of Israel’s response.
“The American Muslim community has always condemned attacks against any civilians, including the violent attacks on Israeli civilians last weekend and the attacks on Palestinian civilians happening in Gaza right now,” CAIR Deputy Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell told The Daily Signal in an email statement Wednesday. “Yet many supporters of the far-right Israeli government have not taken this same principled stance.”
“Too often, some of the Israeli government’s supporters either ignore or actively support violence against Palestinian civilians, including Netanyahu’s ongoing medieval siege and mass bombing campaign of civilians in Gaza,” Mitchell added. “The Israeli government has cut off food, water and electricity to civilians in Gaza, bombed everything from mosques to schools to apartment buildings without firing warning shots as it sometimes did in the past, and pledged to turn Gaza into a land of tents.”
“These are war crimes that everyone should condemn,” the CAIR leader said.
“American Muslims oppose and condemn the targeting of all civilians, whether Israeli, Palestinian, American or any other nationality. Period. It’s time for all supporters of the Israeli government to do the same,” Mitchell concluded.
But Jason Bedrick, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, slammed CAIR’s statements as “ludicrous” and a “charade.”
“CAIR absurdly conflates Hamas terrorists who targeted Israeli citizens for mass murder and unspeakable atrocities with the Israelis who seek to defend their citizens while minimizing Palestinian civilian casualties,” Bedrick, who is Jewish, told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday. “There is no moral equivalence here.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“CAIR willfully ignores that Hamas is using Israeli hostages and Palestinian civilians as human shields—hiding behind mosques, schools, and apartment buildings,” he added. “When there is collateral damage as Israel strikes legitimate military targets, Hamas knows that they can count on CAIR to make excuses for them and demonize Israel.”
“It is ludicrous for CAIR to claim that, before firing at military targets, Israel owes Hamas warning shots that would allow their militants to escape,” the Heritage scholar added. “If CAIR really cared about civilian casualties, it would call on Hamas to stop using human shields. Americans can see through this charade. Hamas is solely culpable for every drop of Israeli and Palestinian blood spilled in this conflict.”
Hamas often uses mosques as military installations, turning the places of worship into legitimate military targets.
“CAIR is fulfilling the role for which the Muslim Brotherhood founded it at the outset—to be apologists for terror, especially from Hamas,” Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday. His coalition represents 2,500 Orthodox Jewish rabbis in American public policy.
The FBI listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator with the Holy Land Foundation, which was convicted of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, which the State Department identifies as a terrorist group. CAIR received two $5,000 payments from the Holy Land Foundation.
CAIR has pushed back on those claims, noting that “there is no legal implication to being labeled an unindicted co-conspirator, since it does not require the Justice Department to prove anything in a court of law.” CAIR also has cited a 2010 case in which the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Justice Department violated the Fifth Amendment rights of groups such as CAIR by including them on the list of unindicted co-conspirators.
Menken also pushed back on CAIR’s war crimes accusation.
“CAIR avoids mentioning that at this moment, Hamas is committing 120 war crimes every second, by continuing to hold kidnapped civilians,” he said. “The Israelis are committing no war crime by saying that Hamas, which is responsible for the well-being of its own population, will receive basic supplies when it surrenders those hostages, and not a second before.”
Menken wrote for the Federalist that “calling for Israel’s ‘restraint’ is depraved and offensive.”
“As I said in my Federalist op-ed this morning, ‘Restraint is how you lose wars. Restraint is how you allow a vicious enemy, driven by hate, to rebuild its capabilities and learn new and crueler ways to inflict violence and terror,’” he told The Daily Signal. “Hamas has demonstrated that calls for cease-fire are calls for more dead civilians.”
“This conflict will end when Hamas is utterly and completely destroyed, at which point innocent Gazans will be able to choose leaders who focus upon their own people and economic development, rather than upon new and more barbaric ways to kill Jews,” he added.
Hamas militants attacked Israel on the last day of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, as well as the Sabbath day of rest and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. The terrorists slaughtered over 1,200 Israelis, including about 250 at a music festival, and kidnapped more than 120. The State Department confirmed Wednesday that 22 Americans had died in the attack.
“This morning, on Shabbat and a holiday, Hamas invaded Israeli territory and murdered innocent citizens, including children and the elderly,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) Saturday. “Hamas has started a brutal and evil war.”
“They didn’t go for military targets. They went for civilians. They went for grandmothers, children, babies,” Israel Defense Forces’ international spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in a video message Sunday. “The numbers are unprecedented.”
“The style of attack is barbaric,” Hecht added. “In a way, this is our 9/11.”
Hamas militants shot civilians at bus stops, on roads, and in their cars, photos show, according to Israeli experts who spoke to the Times of Israel. Videos reportedly show Israeli civilians, including women and children, getting abducted and taken to Gaza. Two videos raise concerns of sexual assault or rape.
An Israel Defense Forces commander told journalists that soldiers found beheaded babies in the carnage of Hamas terrorists.
Israeli forces have launched airstrikes into Gaza, preparing for an assault to root out Hamas in response to the horrific terrorist incursion.
President Joe Biden has unequivocally stood with Israel in the attack’s aftermath, though critics have claimed that Biden’s negotiations with Iran—including a $6 billion prisoner swap—emboldened Tehran, which supports and finances Hamas.
On Monday, CAIR urged all Americans to contact members of Congress to demand a cease-fire and stop funding Israel.
“The Israeli government has for decades utilized American taxpayer funds to support its apartheid occupation and perpetrate human rights violations against Palestinian civilians. Congress cannot permit this to persist if we genuinely aspire to secure a lasting peace,” CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw said in a statement.
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad released a harsh condemnation of Netanyahu on Wednesday.
“Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right, openly racist Cabinet members admitted that they planned to commit war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and that is exactly what they are doing by bombing schools, mosques, marketplaces, hospitals and apartment buildings while starving a captive population,” Awad said. “And through public statements and actions, our nation has yet again given Israel the green light to commit these war crimes against defenseless Palestinians.”
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The post ‘Charade’: CAIR Doubles Down on Claims About Israeli ‘War Crimes’ After Hamas Terrorist Attacks appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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