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Take Action: Obama-Netanyahu Meeting Today

May 13, 2009

Amid growing signs of an impending policy clash between the United States and Israel over the issues of Israeli settlements, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and Palestinian statehood, President Obama meets today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Obama Administration has called for an end to Israel's siege of the Gaza Strip, a freeze on Israeli settlement building and home demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and for the conclusion of a negotiated peace during the President's first term in office.

While the Obama Administration deserves credit for articulating these policy goals, they are highly unlikely to come about unless the United States exercises leverage on Israel.  The United States should end, or at the very minimum, condition its military aid to Israel to achieve these goals.

However, earlier this month, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget request to Congress and, as expected, included in it $2.775 billion in military aid for Israel, an increase of $225 million from this year’s budget.


The budget request now goes to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs for hearings and “mark-ups”.

This request for an increase in military aid to Israel comes despite the fact that Israel consistently misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts.


During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 3,000 Palestinian civilians who took no part in hostilities, including more than 1,000 children. During its December-January war on the Gaza Strip alone, Israel killed nearly 1,200 Palestinian non-combatants.


Especially during this acute economic crisis, is this how you want Congress to spend your taxes? If not, then take action below.

For additional analysis of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, check out US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis' Institute for Policy Studies talking points by clicking here.

TAKE ACTION


1. Send a personalized letter to the Members of Congress on the Appropriations Subcommittee
.

Let these Members of Congress know that you oppose the President’s FY2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel
Since last week, we've sent more than 70,000 letters to these Members of Congress. To send your letter, please click here.


2. Get your organization to endorse our open letter to the Appropriations Subcommittees.

The US Campaign is organizing an open letter to the Appropriations Subcommittees opposing the President’s FY2010 budget request for $2.775 billion I military aid to Israel.
Since last week, more than 75 organizations have endorsed this letter. To read and endorse the letter (organizational endorsements only please), click here.

Check out the list of national organizations that are joining with us to launch this open letter:


1. American Jews for a Just Peace

2. Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

3. Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy

4. Council for the National Interest

5. Council on American-Islamic Relations

6. Episcopal Peace Fellowship

7. Fellowship of Reconciliation

8. Friends of Sabeel—North America

9. Grassroots International

10. Interfaith Peace-Builders

11. Middle East Research and Information Project

12. Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation

13. New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

14. Progressive Democrats of America

15. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

16. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom—U.S. Section

To read the full text of the open letter and to have your organization endorse it, please click here.


3. Spread the word about our campaign.

Copy and paste the graphic to the left and link it here and then place it on your website, blog, social networking site, and email signature.


4. Sign up to organize to challenge military aid to Israel in your community.

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 more than 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


5. 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!” stickers.

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 101.

Offset your tax contribution of military aid to Israel today by clicking on the icon to the left.