MR
07.05.09
Obama Misses Opportunity for Accountability on Aid to Israel
by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Washington, DC (May 7, 2009) -- The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 280 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality, today criticized the Obama Administration for including $2.775 billion in unconditioned military aid to Israel in its FY2010 budget request.

According to Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, "President Obama missed an opportunity today to demonstrate his professed commitment to budgetary accountability and human rights by proposing $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in his FY2010 budget request.  During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 3,000 Palestinian civilians, including nearly 1,200 non-combatants during its December-January war on the Gaza Strip, often using U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.  From an economic, legal, and moral perspective, we cannot continue to give Israel a blank check with which to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians."

"Armed and Dangerous: Weapons Transfers to Israel during the Bush Administration," Capitol Hill Policy Briefing, 2 February 2009


Earlier this year, the US Campaign organized an open letter, entitled "President Obama: We Need a Change in Israel/Palestine Policy," calling on the Obama Administration to cut off military aid to Israel.  More than 500 organizations endorsed this letter and tens of thousands of individuals sent the President letters and postcards with the same demand.  The open letter originally appeared as a full-page ad in the inaugural edition of Congressional Quarterly and can be viewed by clicking here.

In February, the US Campaign held a Capitol Hill policy briefing examining the effects of U.S. weapons transfers to Israel on Palestinian civilians during the Bush Administration.  A video and PowerPoint presentation of the briefing and research findings can be viewed by clicking here.

The US Campaign has been leading a national effort to challenge military aid to Israel since August 2007, when the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase military aid to $30 billion over the next decade.  Since that time, more than 1,200 people in more than 600 cities in 48 states have signed up to organize to challenge military aid in their communities.  For a Google map of the organizers, click here.


The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 280 organizations working to change to U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality.  For more information about the US Campaign, please click here.
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