WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), together with the Muslim Public Affairs Council and other advocacy groups across the United States, Thursday called on President Barack Obama to adopt an even-handed policy that ensures sustainable peace in the Middle East. The call is contained in the groups' open letter, published in the New York Times inauguration edition. The coalition, which included the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Jews Against the Occupation, LA Jews For Peace, Pax Christi Metro New York, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, and United for Peace and Justice, provided recommendations to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The open letter to President Obama said: "With your historic inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, we share our sincerest congratulations and hope that you will uphold your commitment to change. "As American citizens we are deeply concerned that our nation's one-sided approach to the Middle East crisis compromises America's ability to act as a fair negotiator. Our foreign policy has upheld the interests of Israel, but has failed to do the same for the Palestinian people. Israel - the fourth largest military power in the world - has devastated a population of 1.5 million people, one without an army, navy, or air force. As the attacks in Gaza demonstrated, the outgoing administration chose to defend Israeli aggression even though the violence resulted in the disproportionate deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians, including 300 children, as compared to 13 Israelis. Indeed, the loss of all of these lives cannot be justified." "Civilian casualties should not be dismissed as collateral damage," said CAIR-New York Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. "We urge the Obama administration to avoid a double standard that allows Palestinian civilians to be killed without protest and accountability." "As President Obama said on Tuesday, the era we are entering is one of responsibility," said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "We pray that he and his administration will take responsibility to help the people of Gaza to rebuild their lives, end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory, and produce a viable Palestinian state."