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Bay Area Muslim-American organization calls for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war

Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Bay Area’s largest Muslim-American organization, called for a “cease fire” in the Israeli-Hamas war Thursday. 

The group making the plea included not only prominent CAIR members but also local leaders. Those with ties to Gaza said their family members have nowhere to escape to. 

“They finally arrived to the southern part of Gaza where it was supposed to be safe,” said Rami Sulpan, who has family in the area, “where they were assured it would be safe, only to find the bombardment was all around them.”

CAIR, both in the Bay Area and nationwide, wants to see more support for a proposed congressional resolution which would demand the Biden administration seek de-escalation and a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. 

The organization is asking the public to pressure their public officials to support the resolution. One of those officials: Gov. Gavin Newsom, who announced a surprise trip to Israel Thursday. 

CAIR said the governor’s previous public statements supporting Israel would lend credibility to the call for peace. 

“Governor Newsom is respected nationally and internationally,” said CAIR Sacramento Executive Director Basim Elkarra. “And we feel his leadership — to show the leadership, to call for a ceasefire, and stopping the massacres in Gaza — will ultimately keep both Palestinians and Israelis safe in the long run.”

Others, who are not part of CAIR, agreed with the call. 

“I’m here to demand accountability of my fellow elected officials and to support the ‘cease fire now’ in Gaza,” said Education Board Member Maimona Afzal Berta. “We each have a role to play from our positions of power.”

One member of Jewish Voice for Peace said the main issue was innocent people suffering and dying. 

“That was true when Hamas attacked Israeli civilians, leaving at least 1,400 dead and more wounded and millions traumatized,” said Wendy Greenfield. “It is equally true when the Israelis hold a population captive in Gaza, subjecting it to mass bombardment.”

CAIR said it hopes to generate at least 100,000 messages to send to Congress. 

Source: NBC Bay Area

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