“Unfathomable”: Activists once again call for an end to US aid to Israel | Human Rights News

Washington DC – U.S. Palestinian rights advocates condemned Israel’s Secretary of Defense Benny Gantz for his recent visit to the U.S. capital and once again called for an end to U.S. unconditional military assistance to Israel.

US Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters last week that Israel will 1 billion USD required “Supplement” its Iron Dome missile interception system and purchase ammunition for the Israeli Air Force. 11 days of battle In the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Hamas is the Palestinian faction that rules the Gaza Strip.

Israeli bombing of the besieged Palestinian territories killed 235 Palestinians, including 67 children, and at least displaced 58,000 PalestiniansTwelve people in Israel, including two children, were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian groups in Gaza.

“The State Council is already trying to catch up $735 million in additional weapons sales On top $3.8 billion per year U.S. taxpayers provide services to Israel every year,” Mohamed Habeh, Palestinian U.S. Muslim National Development Coordinator, told Al Jazeera.

“After the massive destruction of Gaza and the murder of more than 60 children, it is unfathomable to come to the United States and demand another 1 billion U.S. dollars.”

‘Military superiority’

Reports of Gantz’s meeting with US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan on Thursday morning did not indicate whether Israel’s expected $1 billion military aid request has been formally submitted.

Gantz Tweet He and Sullivan discussed “Protecting Israel’s QME”. QME stands for “Quality Military Advantage”, which represents the technological and military advantages that Israel has possessed by the United States for decades Help financing Through generous aid packages, critics say these plans have encouraged the Israeli government to act with impunity in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“U.S. taxes should not be used to fund apartheid and ethnic cleansing, especially when there is so much demand here in the United States,” Haberch said.

The National Security Council said in a statement statement During the meeting, Sullivan emphasized that the Biden administration is “committed to strengthening all aspects of the US-Israel security partnership, including support for the Iron Dome system.”

On June 3, US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken (right) met with Israeli Defense Secretary Benny Gantz [Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via AFP]

“Mr. Sullivan emphasized the importance of ensuring that emergency humanitarian aid reaches the people of Gaza,” the statement added. On May 25, US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken Announce The United States will provide $38 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

But for some Palestinian rights advocates, this posture feels very hollow.

“So you give the Palestinians millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, and then you sell hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons to countries that oppress them?” Laura Albast, Palestinian-American activist of the Palestinian Youth Movement Said she participated in a small demonstration outside the White House and opposed Gantz’s visit and the expected request for assistance on Thursday afternoon.

“Biden said he will defend human rights. We took to the streets Tens of thousands march, We signed the petition, and we raised the voice against Israeli apartheid crimes. But it is clear that Joe Biden does not care about the human rights of us or the Palestinians,” Albaster told Al Jazeera.

She added that she has relatives in Gaza and their home was destroyed in the Israeli bombing last month. “They are all safe, thank God,” she said. “But their home was completely destroyed. Where are they going now?”

Israel’s 11-day bombing of the Gaza Strip killed 235 Palestinians, injured many, and destroyed buildings and critical infrastructure throughout the territory [File: Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

U.S. aid to Israel

For a long time, US military assistance to Israel has been considered the cornerstone of the country’s foreign policy. The huge political influence of pro-Israel groups has helped form a strong bipartisan consensus that supports the billions of dollars that Washington provides to Israel each year.

But Palestinian advocacy groups say they are witnessing a change in American discourse around Israel and Palestine, and public opinion Changes are taking place among Democratic voters-even if this change has not yet affected party leaders.

Nonetheless, progressive Democratic members are increasingly vocally criticizing military aid.When the Biden administration announced its intention to sell Israel An additional US$735 million In terms of ammunition-a revelation first reported during the Israeli attack on Gaza-some progressive members of Congress Try to stop it.

Also proposed a bill Representative Betty McCollum This is to ensure that US aid funds are not used to facilitate Israel’s actions to demolish Palestinian houses, detain Palestinian children, and confiscate Palestinian land.

“My colleagues are eager to give the Israeli army another $1 billion to fund apartheid, while our education system, our medical system, and our housing system are still underfunded,” Democratic congresswoman Corey Bush told a recent meeting. Said tweet, Refer to Gantz’s interview. “Our community needs that one billion dollars. Instead, send it to us.”

At the same time, on May 23, more than 500 Democratic Party staff and others who participated in Biden’s presidential campaign signed a letter calling on his government to take a firmer stand against Israel and take more measures to defend the Palestinians. s right. “As you tweeted last month,’When basic human rights are violated, no responsible American president can remain silent.’ We fully agree. That’s why we ask you to clearly condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians. “this letter status.

For Palestinian-American activists, these signs are encouraging signs that their years of organizational work are beginning to bear fruit. “The situation is starting to change,” Habehh said. “For a long time, U.S. aid to Israel has been an unconditional blank check. In that case, why does Israel change its behavior?”

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About the Author: Agnes Zang