WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined tens of thousands of people from across the nation at a rally in Washington, D.C., to protest the ongoing slaughter of more than 1700 Palestinians – mostly civilians - by Israeli forces in Gaza.
Capitol police described an "exceptionally large number of protesters" outside the White House and in surrounding streets. Organizers, including the ANSWER Coalition and some 40 other groups, say more than 50,000 people participated in the rally, which included many members of the Jewish community. The protest was carried live on C-SPAN.
SEE: Thousands from Across Country Protest In Support of Palestinians Near White House (Washington Post)
In a speech to the assembled demonstrators, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said U.S. policy in support of Israel's attacks does not represent American values and he accused Israel of "terrorism" in intentionally targeting civilians.
Awad said that polls are showing that American public option is shifting toward rejection of blind support for Israel's massacres of Palestinian children, women and the elderly. He also urged all those at the rally and those watching on television to call the White House (202-456-1111) and to meet with their elected representatives to hold them accountable for their uncritical and unethical support for Israel's brutal actions.
Video: CAIR Director Speaks at D.C. Rally for Gaza
CAIR Asks Obama Administration Not to Restock Weapons for Killing of Civilians in Gaza
Among the demonstrators was Tariq Abu Khdeir, the Florida teenager who was brutally beaten by Israeli forces
Video: CAIR-FL's Hassan Shibly, Tariq Khdeir at Congressional Briefing on Israeli Violations of Law
C-SPAN Video: Full Congressional Briefing on Israeli Violations of U.S., International Law Co-Hosted by CAIR
Similar protests are taking place nationwide.
Video: CAIR Co-Sponsors Statewide Rally for Gaza in Austin, Texas
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)