Showing posts with label Tax Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax Day. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our new online resource, WeaponsToIsrael.org, discussed in KPFK interview

Hear our National Advocacy Director interviewed for five minutes last Tuesday about Israeli military misuse of U.S.-provided weapons, plus the resulting financial strain on U.S. communities, plus our Tax Day 2011 launch of our awesome new online resource, weaponstoisrael.org, on KPFK Radio's Sojourner Truth program.



Friday, April 15, 2011

This Tax Day, Learn Exactly How Israel Misuses U.S. Weapons

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Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in a press briefing, organized by our friends at the Institute for Middle East Understanding, with two courageous and inspiring young adults who have been deeply affected by U.S. weapons transfers to Israel.

Amer Shurrab
’s two brothers—Ibrahim and Kassab—were shot in Gaza by Israeli soldiers during “Operation Cast Lead,” denied medical care and left to bleed to death. Emily Henochowicz, a U.S. citizen, lost an eye after an Israeli soldier fired a high-velocity tear gas canister at her during a protest against Israel’s deadly assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Amer and Emily’s heartrending stories remind us why it is so important to redouble our efforts to end U.S. military aid to Israel. After all, it is our weapons, paid for with our tax dollars, which are responsible for these tragedies and thousands more.

With Tax Day at hand, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation launches today a major, new resource to educate people about the weapons we provide Israel and the deadly impact they have on Palestinian civilians forced to live under Israel’s brutal, 43-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

Our new website www.weaponstoisrael.org documents in detail more than 670 million weapons, valued at nearly $19 billion, given to Israel by the United States in the last decade. We also document the weapons Israel misused during that period to kill at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians who took no part in hostilities.

When we compiled this data, which we’ve posted in a variety of slideshows and spreadsheets, we were shocked by the sheer magnitude of these weapons transfers and the degree of our complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians.
For example, our research reveals that the United States gave Israel more than 47 million pieces of ammunition in just the last three years. That’s more than enough bullets to kill every Palestinian in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip ten times over! What a chilling statistic.

With more than 500 different types of weapons given to Israel over the past decade, our website shows that the United States is deeply, intricately, and comprehensively implicated in almost everything Israel does to maintain its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Check out today: www.weaponstoisrael.org. I am sure you'll be as outraged as I am about how are taxes are being spent..

Sincerely,

Josh Ruebner
National Advocacy Director
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

PS: If you’re as upset as I am that our tax dollars are funding Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians, then join me in “offsetting” the estimated $21.59 that you will provide in weapons to Israel this Tax Day, by making a tax-deductible contribution to support our work.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

An “Austere Challenge” for Sure

By Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director
Don’t you just love these names the Pentagon invents for its military operations? From the makers of Operation Odyssey Dawn, coming in May 2012, it’s Austere Challenge!
If you thought U.S.-Israeli military cooperation was already tight, it’s about to get a whole lot closer. According to an April 4 article in Defense News, U.S. and Israeli military planners are busy at work on an exercise that would entail an “unprecedented expansion of security cooperation” between the countries. The article makes clear that this is no ordinary military exercise, but one aimed at “enabling the two countries to func­tion in wartime as a joint task force (JTF).” Yikes. Exactly what contingency planning for a joint U.S.-Israeli war is in the offing? Israeli military planners appear giddy at the prospect. “We’re talking about a huge step up in substance, size and proce­dures,” an Israeli officer told Defense News. “It’s an historic upgrading of strategic cooperation that extends beyond interoperability into how to jointly plan and execute contingency op­erations.” No wonder the Obama Administration can lay a legitimate claim to being the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, notwithstanding its much-ado-about-nothing feigned brouhaha over Israel’s ongoing expansion of its illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Between record-breaking appropriations of military aid to Israel and unprecedented levels of military cooperation, President Obama has made clear that Israel will be rewarded, rather than sanctioned, for its intransigence in maintaining its illegal military occupation of Palestinian land. So much for change we can believe in. No doubt that it will be an “austere challenge” for us to confront effectively this increased military coordination, but keep your eyes peeled and be ready to take action when we launch an advocacy campaign about this in the future. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to move ahead with our work to end U.S. military aid to Israel. Here are ways you can plug in, along with some teasers for upcoming stages of the campaign we’ll be rolling out over the next few months: * Check out our website How Much Aid to Israel? to learn how much money your community provides in weapons to Israel and what that money could purchase instead for unmet needs in your hometown. While you’re there, be sure to take action and sign up to help us organize our campaign to end military aid to Israel. * The Tax Man Cometh this year on April 18. To mark Tax Day and to let you know exactly what your taxes are going toward, we will be launching next week a comprehensive database of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel over the past ten years and the impact these weapons have on Palestinian civilians. Check out a sneak-peek of the prototype website: How Many Weapons to Israel? and be sure to let us know what you think. * In May, we’ll unveil ways that you can get involved in bringing an ad campaign to your city that raises awareness about the moral and financial costs of U.S. military aid to Israel. And in June, we’ll be rolling out a campaign to organize city council resolutions opposing U.S. military aid to Israel. Stay tuned for ways to get involved!
Finally, before you give Uncle Sam his due this year, make sure you lower your future tax burden by making a tax-deductible contribution to support the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and our educational campaign to challenge military aid to Israel.
We estimate that the average individual taxpayer will be providing Israel with $21.59 in weapons this year. “Offset” your contribution to weapons to Israel by making a tax-deductible donation to us today.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"That's Billion with a B": US Campaign protests at the IRS building on Tax Day

Check out video of the US Campaign and allies protesting at the IRS Building in Washington, DC on Tax Day, and see below for more reports on Tax Day protests and actions across the United States

Last week, on Tax Day, the US Campaign and its member organizations held Tax Day actions to educate people about Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons to commit human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians, and to organize people to demand that our elected officials end tax-payer subsidies for Israeli occupation and apartheid. More than one dozen public actions took place across the country, from Baltimore to Milwaukee, New York to Oakland, and McAllen, Texas to Sebastopol, California to name a few.

In Washington, DC the US Campaign organized a lunch-time protest at IRS headquarters. During the event, which was cosponsored by Washington, DC Area War Tax Resistance and Code Pink, protestors handed out info to tourists and government employees alike.

In New York City, US Campaign member groups Women In Black-Union Square and Code Pink NYC organized protests outside of Manhattan post offices. Check out the review of these actions in an article in The National.

In New Haven, Connecticut, US Campaign member group Middle East Crisis Committee put up a billboard calling on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. Learn more about this billboard campaign by clicking here.

And last weekend, US Campaign member group American Friends Service Committee-Chicago held a ground-breaking mock Congressional hearing at the University of Chicago, entitled "Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values?" The amazing 4-hour hearing included a panel on U.S. military aid to Israel, introduced by US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, with testimony from Amer Shurrab and Cindy Corrie. To watch videos from the hearing, please click here.

If you organized a Tax Day action, please let us know about it by clicking here.

In preparation for Tax Day, the US Campaign distributed about 200 organizing packets across the country to volunteer organizers to educate people about Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons and organize them to demand an end to military aid to Israel on Tax Day and beyond. You can order your organizing packet as we continue our campaign to challenge military aid to Israel by clicking here.

Did you remember to file your taxes on time last week? If so, the US Campaign estimates that you-the average individual tax-payer-gave $19.19 of your money to Israel for the purchase of U.S. weapons to be misused to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.

There's still time for you to "offset" the taxes that you give to Israeli occupation and apartheid by making a tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign in increments of $19.19. The more you donate to us, the less taxes you'll owe Uncle Sam on future tax returns, so please make your generous contribution today to support our ongoing efforts to challenge military aid to Israel. For every "offset" contribution of $19.19 you make, we'll send you one of these stickers to the right. Get yours today by clicking here.