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New Site Details Budgetary Trade-Offs of Military Aid to Israel

February 9th, 2010

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Washington, DC — The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation launched today a new interactive website--How Much Military Aid to Israel?--that details the estimated amount of taxes that each state and county in the United States will provide in military aid to Israel during the course of a ten-year $30 billion agreement signed between the two countries in 2007. The US Campaign plans to launch data for Congressional districts and cities later this week.

The website also documents budgetary trade-offs that are involved in providing military aid to Israel.  The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation found that this same earmark could provide per year more than 364,000 affordable housing vouchers to low-income households, or retrain 498,000 workers for green jobs, or supply early reading programs to 887,000 at-risk students, or provide access to primary health care services for more than 24 million uninsured Americans.  A detailed methodology for the derivation of these budgetary trade-offs can be found by clicking here.

According to Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, “Instead of giving Israel an average of $3 billion in weapons each year to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians in its illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, our taxes would be much better spent on unmet domestic needs.  From both a moral and financial perspective, we can’t afford to give Israel these weapons.”

The launch of the website comes one week after the Obama Administration sent its FY2011 budget request to Congress, which contains a record $3 billion in military aid to Israel.

Israel routinely misuses U.S. weapons provided as military aid at taxpayer expense to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians in the course of its illegal 42-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts.  During the Bush Administration, Israel killed at least 3,107 innocent Palestinian civilians, often with U.S. weapons.

The Obama Administration’s decision to include $3 billion in military aid to Israel in its FY2011 budget request comes just over one year after Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 war on the occupied Gaza Strip, in which 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 US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation calls on the Obama Administration and Congress to fully investigate Israel’s potential violations of the Arms Export Control Act prior to appropriating an additional $3 billion in military aid to Israel in the FY2011 budget.

The “How Much Military Aid to Israel?” website can be viewed by clicking here
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