500+ Organizations Tell President Obama:
No Aid for Israel in FY2010 Budget

February 25th, 2009

Washington, DC -- More than 500 local and national organizations have signed on to an open letter urging President Obama to hold Israel accountable for its violations of the Arms Export Control Act and not include military aid to Israel in his upcoming FY2010 budget request.

The letter, organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, opposes the $2.775 billion earmark for military aid to Israel that the President is expected to include in his upcoming budget request. During Israel's December-January war on the occupied Gaza Strip, Israel misused U.S. weapons to kill more than 1,300 Palestinians, injure more than 5,000, and destroy an estimated $2 billion in civilian infrastructure. The open letter originally appeared in the inaugural edition of Congressional Quarterly and is also available online
here.

According to Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, "President Obama's welcome promise of budgetary accountability should extend to U.S. foreign aid programs, first and foremost of which is military aid to Israel.  After killing more than 1,300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in December and January with U.S. weapons, Israel must be held accountable for its violations of Arms Export Control Act.  President Obama should not request additional weapons for Israel to ensure that U.S. policy in no way supports Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians."

This open letter is part of a growing movement to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.  In January, Rep. Dennis Kucinich requested the State Department to investigate Israel's violations of the Arms Export Control Act.  This month, after visiting the occupied Gaza Strip, Rep. Brian Baird called for a reassessment of U.S. military aid to Israel.

Earlier this month, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation organized a Capitol Hill policy briefing, entitled "Armed and Dangerous: Weapons Transfers to Israel during the Bush Administration".  During the briefing, the US Campaign presented its initial research findings into the impact of Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons on Palestinian civilians.  A video and PowerPoint presentation of the briefing can be found on-line by clicking
here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 250 organizations working to change to U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality.  For more information about the US Campaign, please click
here.