Please write an op-ed or letter to the editor for your local newspaper urging that the Bush Administration implement required loan guarantee deductions to Israel. Below is a model op-ed for you use.
Where there's no will, there's no way.
Bush Administration must implement loan guarantee deductions to Israel.
In April of this year, when Congress approved $9 billion in U.S.-backed loan guarantees to Israel, it was stipulated that the loan guarantees were issued "only to support activities in the geographic areas which were subject to the administration of the Government of Israel before June 5, 1967." Congress made clear that dollar-for-dollar deductions would be made for the amount of money spent by Israel in its illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
Since 1967, Israel has sunk more than $10 billion in non-military expenditures into its illegal settlements. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Israel spends at least $556 million yearly on settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, the separation wall being built by Israel on expropriated West Bank land will stretch approximately 400 miles--annexing 98% of the Israeli settlement population and between 45-55% of the West Bank land area. The total anticipated cost for the wall is at least $1.5 billion. This wall guarantees continued conflict, expropriating yet more land to create Palestinian ghettos in which the inhabitants are severed from their property, communities, and livelihoods.
And yet, despite Israel's continued massive expenditures in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Bush Administration continues to stall on demanding deductions to the loan guarantee program. The White House must back up U.S. demands with concrete incentives and punitive actions. As Israel's biggest patron--every day $10 million in U.S. aid flows to Israel--the U.S. is the only power with leverage to put the brakes on Israel's provocative and expansionist actions.
By law, President Bush was obliged to report to Congress by September 30 on deductions to be made for fiscal year 2003. His failure to do so must be remedied immediately and the appropriate deductions must be made retroactively. The Administration's delay gives Israel a green light to continue building new settlements and expanding existing settlements and to step up the destruction of Palestinian civil society through construction of the disastrous wall. All of these actions are illegal under international law and are preventing the establishment of a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Without a will in the U.S. to brake Israel's actions, there's no way to peace.