The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an unsubstantiated smear by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that those protesting the genocide and ethnic cleansing being carried out by Israel’s far-right government in Gaza are spreading “Mr. Putin’s message” and that the FBI should probe the protester financing.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
“We are deeply disturbed by Former House Speaker Pelosi’s comments. Rep. Pelosi’s claim that some of the Americans protesting for a Gaza ceasefire are working with Vladmir Putin sounds delusional and her call for the FBI to investigate those protesters without any evidence is downright authoritarian.
“Sadly, Rep. Pelosi’s comments echo a time in our nation when opponents of the Vietnam War were accused of being communist sympathizers and subjected to FBI harassment.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including many young people, progressive activists, and Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian, and Black Americans, have been protesting to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Millions more Americans support a ceasefire, including the majority of Democrats, according to mainstream surveys.
“Her comments once again show the negative impact of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by those supporting Israeli apartheid.
“Instead of baselessly smearing those Americans as Russian collaborators, former House Speaker Pelosi and other political leaders should respect the will of the American people by calling for an end to the Netanyahu government’s genocidal war on the people of Gaza.”
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He added that last week, CAIR welcomed a preliminary ruling issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the U.N.’s principal judicial body, that declares South Africa’s charge of genocide against the Israeli government plausible, allows the case to proceed, and orders the Israeli government to take various measures to prevent genocidal acts and report back to the ICJ in one month.
Washington, D.C., based CAIR criticized the ICJ for not going further and calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
CAIR also called on the Biden administration, which previously dismissed South Africa’s case as “meritless,” to apologize, accept the ruling, and stop providing support for the Netanyahu government’s genocidal attacks on the people of Gaza.
Awad noted that CAIR said that the over 200 members of Congress who sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken denouncing South Africa, dismissing the nation as “Israel’s enemy,” and expressing their “disgust” at the well-substantiated genocide filing made against Israel at the ICJ), should be “ashamed.”