was President Obama’s 100th day in office. Below we recap some of
the positives and negatives of the Obama Administration’s policies and
statements on Palestine/Israel to date, followed by action steps that you can
take over the course of the next 100 days and beyond to influence U.S. policy.
||We’ve noticed some positive developments regarding
the Obama Administration’s stated positions on Israel’s siege of the Gaza
Strip, and Israel’s house
demolitions and settlement building in the West Bank. Perhaps most importantly, President Obama
called for an end of Israel’s
siege on Gaza, when he stated that “As
part of a lasting cease-fire, Gaza's
border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce.”
While the Administration has
exerted some pressure on Israel to allow food deliveries into the Gaza Strip,
it is clear that much more pressure will be needed for Israel to end its
illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, and home demolitions and settlement building
in the West Bank, not to mention the deliberate injuring and killing of unarmed
protesters in the West Bank with high-velocity tear gas canisters.
give mixed reviews to the Obama Administration’s initial handling of aid to the Palestinian people. On the positive side, the President has
recognized the humanitarian catastrophe caused by Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip
and has proposed more than $800 million in assistance, including for
humanitarian aid. On the negative side,
not one dollar of this proposed assistance is earmarked toward the
reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
While U.S. provision
of urgent humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip is certainly welcome, much
of the proposed aid is of dubious value and purpose for Palestinian civilians,
such as training for Palestinian security services. Worst of
all, in March, the Obama Administration allowed the delivery of more than 300
containers of munitions to Israel, even before the State Department completed its
investigation into Israel’s violations of the Arms Export Control Act during
its December-January war on the Gaza Strip. We’re still waiting to see whether there will be any conditions or
deductions in military aid in the President’s upcoming FY2010 budget request.
several press reports have indicated that the Obama Administration is
considering conditioning military aid
and/or loan guarantees to Israel
on a freeze in settlement building, the President’s record so far on military
aid to Israel
has been decidedly negative. The White
House has reiterated its commitment to implement the Bush Administration’s $30
billion Memorandum of Understanding for military aid to Israel over the
we’re on the topic of our disappointments with the Obama Administration, we
have to give a big “thumbs down” to his Administration’s
unwillingness to meet with us. We
tried requesting a meeting with the Presidential Transition Team and then the
National Security Council only to be turned down after months of fruitless
President Obama at his word when he stated that “I will
listen to you,
especially when we disagree.” Despite
the fact that we organized an open letter, entitled “President Obama: We Need a
Change in Israel/Palestine Policy,” endorsed by more than 500 organizations,
and collected about 25,000 signatures on postcards, petitions, and emails
opposing military aid to Israel, his Administration so far has been unwilling
to meet with us to listen to our policy recommendations.
From the Obama
Administration’s mixed record so far, it is clear both that public discourse on
Israel/Palestine is changing and politicians are beginning to respond to this
change, and that we need to continue to educate, organize, and advocate to accelerate
In the spirit of the great
abolition organizer Frederick Douglass, who stated that “Power concedes nothing
without a demand. It never has and it
never will,” here are some action steps that you can take to bring us closer to
1. Protest the removal of billboards in
Albuquerque calling for an end of military aid to Israel.
we let you know about the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel's campaign to place billboards around Albuquerque calling for an end of military aid to Israel.
Well, sure enough, this week we
heard from our friends in Albuquerque
that the billboard company, Lamar, took down the billboards due to pro-Israel
pressure. Learn more and take action to
protest this act of censorship by clicking here.
a video of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan speaking at the dedication of the
billboards and learn more about all the other inspiring activism that took
place on Tax Day to protest military aid to Israel by checking out our interactive
Google map by clicking on the map to the right.
View Tax Day Protests against Military Aid to Israel in a larger map
2. Write to President Obama opposing his
anticipated request for $2.775 billion in military aid for Israel in his
upcoming FY2010 budget request.
3. Sign up to organize
to challenge military aid to Israel in your community.
Send your own personalized letter to the President asking for a complete
investigation into Israel’s
violations of the Arms Export Control Act during its December-January war on
the Gaza Strip and convey your opposition to additional military aid going to Israel
by clicking here.
Receive an organizing packet in the mail from us with postcards, petitions,
flyers, fact sheets, stickers, and an educational DVD—everything you need to
educate and organize people in your community to challenge military aid to Israel. Since
February 2007, we’ve sent out nearly 1,200 organizing
packets to volunteers in more than 600 cities and 48 states (yep, still waiting
on Nevada and North Dakota). Check out the amazing Google
map of all of our organizers below and sign up to join them today by clicking here.
View Challenge Military Aid to Israel in a larger map
4. Offset your tax contribution to Israeli military occupation.
Although Tax Day has come and
gone, it’s not too late for you to make a statement that you don’t want your
tax dollars going to fund Israel’s
human rights abuses of Palestinians. According to our research, Israel
killed more than 3,000 innocent Palestinians, including more than 1,000
children, during the Bush Administration, often with U.S. weapons.
We’re estimating that in FY2010,
each individual tax payer will on average be giving $17.75 in military aid to Israel. Offset your tax contribution to Israeli
military occupation and human rights abuses by making a tax deductible
contribution to us by clicking on the logo below.
| For each contribution of $17.75, we will send you some of these “Yes, We
Can…End U.S. Military Aid to Israel!”
Offset the tax contribution of
just five people or more ($88.75 or more) and we’ll send you the stickers and a
copy of the award-winning documentary Occupation
Offset your tax contribution of military aid to Israel today by clicking on the icon to the left.