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Talking Points

July 11th, 2012

Talking Points: Members of Congress

1. From moral, financial, and legal perspectives, the United States cannot afford to continue providing military aid to Israel to commit human rights abuses against and oppress Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and to deny them their rights to freedom and self-determination.

2. Instead of providing Israel with $3.1 billion in military aid in 2013, we could much more wisely spend this money to provide 373,376 low-income families with affordable housing vouchers; or retrain 495,640 unemployed workers for green jobs; or educate 909,204 at-risk youth through early reading programs; or supply basic health care services to 24,902,818 people lacking insurance. (www.aidtoisrael.org)

3. The Arms Export Control Act limits the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.” Israel’s illegal military occupation and discriminatory policies toward Palestinians are neither.

4. The Foreign Assistance Act states that no U.S. aid may be provided to any country “which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” From 2000-2009, the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem documented Israel’s killing of 2,969 unarmed Palestinians.

5. Israel's government and military has proven time and again that it is incapable of conducting a credible, transparent, and objective investigation into alleged human rights abuses. Congress should conduct a credible and transparent investigation into Israel’s misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.

6. Twenty five percent of the military aid given to Israel is allocated for spending on Israel's own domestic weapons industry. U.S. taxpayers are literally subsidizing Israel's weapons industry at a time when our own unmet domestic needs and budget pressures are at an all time high.