Monday, March 5, 2012

Report Denounces Weapons to Israel as AIPAC Assembles


March 5, 2012

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director

Washington, DC (Monday, March 5) -- As members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) prepare to lobby tomorrow on Capitol Hill for more U.S. weapons for Israel, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will launch its first policy paper, which calls for the United States to end military aid to Israel. The report release comes after President Barack Obama stated yesterday at AIPAC's policy conference that "Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance [to Israel] has increased every single year."

"U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications & Options," establishes the legal, political, economic, strategic and human rights rationale for ending $30 billion of U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons transfers to Israel from 2009 to 2018. The 40-page paper can be downloaded at:

The US Campaign will present the policy paper at a briefing on Tuesday, March 6, 12:30-2:00pm, at the Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20037. For additional details and to RSVP, please click here. Printed copies of the policy paper will be distributed at the briefing.

The briefing culminates the five-day series of events, "Occupy AIPAC."

National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, who authored the paper, stated:
"U.S. military aid to Israel is a policy that is running on autopilot and must be reconsidered. U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make us complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip and defeat U.S. foreign policy objectives of halting Israeli settlement expansion, ending Israeli military occupation, and establishing a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace."
The policy paper highlights the following facts, among others:
From 2000 to 2009, the United States appropriated $24.1 billion of military aid to Israel, transferring more than 670 million weapons, rounds of ammunition, and related equipment.

From 2000 to 2009, Israel killed at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians, including 1,128 children, often with U.S. weapons in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act.

From 2009 to 2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a 25 percent annual average increase over previous levels of military aid, despite its negative political and strategic ramifications.

From the Eisenhower to Bush, Sr. Administrations, at least 10 times the United States conditioned aid to Israel, threatened to cut off aid to Israel, or sanctioned Israel for violating U.S. laws and/or working against foreign policy objectives.

Since 2000, Members of Congress and/or the State Department have investigated or requested investigations into Israel’s potential misuse of U.S. weapons at least five times; however, no public action has been taken to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. laws.

With the same amount of money that the United States gives each year to fund weapons for Israel, the federal government could instead fund affordable housing vouchers for 350,000 low-income families, or green jobs training for 500,000 unemployed workers, or early reading programs for 900,000 at-risk students, or primary health care to 24 million people without insurance.
The policy paper concludes with specific policy recommendations for the President and Congress to ensure that any money appropriated in the future for additional weapons to Israel are not misused to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians, but to further U.S. foreign policy objectives.