Washington, DC-More than one dozen prominent national
organizations released an open letter today to the Senate and House
Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related
Programs, opposing the Obama Administration's FY2010 budget request for
$2.775 billion in military aid to Israel. The President's FY2010 budget
request for military aid to Israel is $225 million more than Congress
appropriated in FY2009 for this purpose.
The letter, organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,
argues that the time has come to end or, at the minimum, condition U.S.
military aid to Israel. "At this time of acute economic crisis," the
letter reads, "as well as from a political, legal, security, and moral
standpoint, our country should not continue to provide Israel with this
blank check." The full letter is available on-line by clicking here.
Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the
Israeli Occupation, stated that "It is inconceivable that President
Obama is proposing a record amount of military aid to Israel during the
most serious recession since the Great Depression, especially since
Israel consistently misuses U.S. weapons to commit grave human rights
abuses and systematic violations of international law in its illegal
military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East
During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 3,000
Palestinian civilians who took no part in hostilities, including more
than 1,000 children, often with U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms
Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. During its December-January
war on the occupied Gaza Strip alone, Israel killed nearly 1,200
This open letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee is part of a
growing movement to hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S.
weapons to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.
Earlier this year, the US Campaign organized an open letter, entitled
"President Obama: We Need a Change in Israel/Palestine Policy," calling
on the Obama Administration to cut off military aid to Israel. More
than 500 organizations endorsed this letter and tens of thousands of
individuals sent the President letters and postcards with the same
demand. The open letter originally appeared as a full-page ad in the
inaugural edition of Congressional Quarterly and can be viewed by
In February, the US Campaign held a Capitol Hill policy briefing
examining the effects of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel on
Palestinian civilians during the Bush Administration. A video and
PowerPoint presentation of the briefing and research findings can be
viewed by clicking here.
The US Campaign has been leading a national effort to challenge
military aid to Israel since August 2007, when the United States and
Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase military aid to
$30 billion over the next decade. Since that time, more than 1,200
people in more than 600 cities in 48 states have signed up to organize
to challenge military aid in their communities. For a Google map of the
organizers, click here.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition
of more than 280 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.