CAIR has outlined 10 positive, pro-active steps concerned Americans can take to help end Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, restore the cease-fire and the flow of humanitarian aid and promote a more balanced U.S. policy in the Middle East.
1) Take part in local marches and protests. Help organize peace rallies that condemn the massacre of innocent civilians.
2. Visit your elected representatives during the upcoming “Day on the Hill” in Washington, D.C., sponsored by a coalition of major Islamic organizations. Contact 202-384-8857 for advice on meeting with legislators.
3. Visit the local offices of your elected representatives to talk with them about the need for a more balanced Mideast policy. Use CAIR’s
“Legislative Fact Sheet” on the Gaza crisis.
You can also learn how to arrange to meet elected officials and best practices for meeting with your representatives on CAIR's website.
4. Write or call President Bush and members of Congress. Talking points:
* Israeli attacks block efforts to bring peace with justice to the Middle East, harm our nation’s image and interests worldwide and strengthen voices of extremism in the region.
* The Palestinian people must be given some hope of freedom from Israeli occupation and domination.
* Israel’s immoral and illegal collective punishment of the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip must end.
* America must support a just and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that takes into account the rights and responsibilities of all parties.
* American taxpayer dollars should not be used to for weapons that kill Palestinian civilians.
Ask your elected officials to adopt an even-handed Middle East policy that is in our nation’s - not Israel’s - interest.
5. Contact President-Elect Obama to ask that he speak out now in favor of a more balanced and pro-American policy in the Middle East that takes the rights of all parties to the conflict into consideration.
Contact the Obama administration transition team here.
6. Sign CAIR’s online petition urging our nation's leaders to speak "in favor of peace and justice for all parties in the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Gaza Strip." When completed, the petition will be sent to elected officials nationwide and will be given to members of the current and incoming administrations.
7. Use Friday prayers to educate members of the Muslim community about the plight of the civilian population in Gaza and the need for a balanced Mideast policy, a cease-fire and the resumption of humanitarian relief. Urge community members to take the actions outlined in this alert.
8. Monitor local media coverage of the Gaza crisis. Contact those media outlets to either praise balanced coverage or to criticize biased coverage. Call in to radio talk shows and write letters to the editor to express your views. To find local and national media contact information, click here.
Post comments on media websites and blogs that discuss the crisis. Begin your own blog and link to other sites that support a balanced American policy in the region. Start a free blog at: http://www.blogger.com.
9. Organize meetings between Muslim and interfaith community leaders and members of your local newspaper’s editorial board.
To meet with a newspaper editorial board:
* If possible, gather evidence of any media bias in the newspaper. (Also look for examples of positive, balanced coverage.) Save one-sided news articles or video clips. Record talk shows. Follow a newspaper’s editorial position.
* Build a coalition of local leaders.
* Plan for the meeting.
* Get together for a strategizing session and assign duties.
* Present your case. Be clear about goals. Stick to your points.
* Conclude with specific a request for more balanced coverage and input from those who support peace with justice in the region.
* Follow-up. Send a letter outlining agreements reached.
Contact CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper for more information on coordinating a meeting with an editorial board or contacting media outlets. Call 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Contact the State Department to call for action in defense of Gaza's civilian population. Call 202-647-4000 and ask for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs or click here.