Friday, April 15, 2011

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


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 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: I am sure you'll be as outraged as I am about how are taxes are being spent..


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.