Stop annexation, leverage aid to Israel!

Senator Van Hollen has introduced legislation to prohibit U.S. assistance to Israel — almost $4 billion a year —  from being used for illegal Israeli annexation. The legislation is an amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate is expected to vote on it this month. FILL OUT THE FORM TO SEND AN EMAIL TO YOUR SENATORS URGING THEM TO COSPONSOR THIS HISTORIC LEGISLATION (oversees supporters, scroll down to sign the petition)!

Current cosponsors: Sanders (D-VT.), Leahy (D-VT.), Warren (D-MA.), Murphy (D-CT.), Udall (D-NM), Schatz (D-HA), Heinrich (D-NM), Carper (D-DL), Baldwin (D-WI), Merkley (D-OR), and Kaine (D-VA)

Dear Senate:

I am calling on you to cosponsor Senator Chris Van Hollen's amendment to the 2021 NDAA to prohibit U.S. military aid from funding Israeli annexation of the West Bank. It means no U. S. tax dollars for home demolitions, land grabs, settlement construction, water theft, and more. This is the way to achieve freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis and to uphold international law and the values of dignity, equality, and freedom. 

To be clear, leveraging U.S. military aid isn’t novel. In 1956, Eisenhower threatened to withhold all military assistance to Israel unless it immediately withdrew its troops from Egypt. In 1975, President Ford stopped all-new military and economic assistance to Israel until withdrawal from the Sinai desert was complete. In 1977, President Carter warned of all future arms sales to Israel being “terminated” unless the invasion of Lebanon was ended. In 1982, the Reagan administration banned sales of the cluster bombs to Israel following their use in the invasion of Lebanon. Even George H.W. Bush, one of the world’s biggest war criminals, initially refused Israel a $10 billion loan guarantee until it froze all West Bank settlement construction. 

The U.S. has leveraged military assistance to Egypt, Pakistan, and Cameroon. Why should Israel be an exception?

On June 30, 13 members of Congress wrote a letter, led by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Jayapal, saying that U.S. military funds should not support either Israel’s de facto annexation or the de jour annexation likely to take place this month. The letter reads: “The Netanyahu government receives $3.8 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded military handouts every year and with the backing of the impeached president, they are seeking to use that money to formalize an apartheid system. The implementation of that system would mean our tax dollars – instead of being used to fund health care or replace lead water pipes – would be used to perpetuate and entrench human rights violations in Palestine, including limitations on freedom of movement, further expansion of illegal land theft, home demolitions and cutting off access to critical resources like clean water. We are coming together as progressive lawmakers today to clearly say: Enough is enough. Whether within our own borders or abroad, we will no longer accept that our national budget be spent on human rights violations. We must make prioritized investments that promote health and social justice for all instead.”

Following that letter, Van Hollen introduced the Prohibiting U.S. Funds from Supporting Israeli Annexation of the West Bank Amendment to the 2021 NDAA along with Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio),

If Israel does annex the West Bank—blatantly violating human rights & intl law—Congress MUST put conditions on US funding to Israel. We must hold Netanyahu accountable for destabilizing the region and violating Palestinian human rights.

As we’ve seen in the past, words alone will not stop Israel’s government from moving forward with decisions that grossly violate Palestinian human rights and international law. Our government currently gives 3.8 billion dollars annually in military support to Israel. We need to use this assistance as a tool to pressure the Israeli government to abide by international law and respect for Palestinian human rights. Please add your name to Van Hollen's amendment.


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