Time is not on our side. In just five days, on July 1st, the Israeli government will begin de jour annexation of large parts of the West Bank. Over 1,000 lawmakers from 25 European countries have penned a letter to Israel warning that "acquisition of territory by force has no place in 2020 and must have commensurate consequences." U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the pending annexation plan “a watershed moment” that “would constitute a most serious violation of international law.” But Israel has been clear: it is only the U.S.’s response to annexation that matters. Only the U.S. can force them to apply the brakes.
The Trump Administration -- Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner, David Friedman -- has handed Benjamin Netanyahu this vile opportunity. We certainly can't count on them to be the ones to stop it. Congress has to STEP UP! Send a message to your Senators and Representative right now urging them to quickly develop and introduce legislation to prohibit any U.S. funds — almost $4 billion a year — from being used for annexation activities such as home demolitions, settlement growth, water theft, land grabs.
Leveraging U.S. military aid isn’t a novel tactic. In 1956, President 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 U.S. made 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 just this month to Cameroon. Why is Israel an exception?
Not only is U.S. policy towards Israel and the Palestinian struggle immoral, unethical, and violent, but it doesn’t represent the will of the American people. According to a recent Washington Post poll, 67 percent of Americans and an incredible 81 percent of Democrats consider it “acceptable” for, or even the duty of, elected representatives to question the Israeli-American relationship. This past Monday, we sent a letter signed by over 100 organizations to Joe Biden and Donald Trump making this belief known and calling for a just and principled foreign policy in the pursuit of Palestinian rights. Now, we must appeal to Congress.
The majority of Democrats in Congress — including such staunch Israel apologists as Ted Deutch, Steny Hoyer, Chuck Schumer, and Ben Cardin — have released statements urging Israel not to annex. But without actual consequences, the apartheid state will be laughing all the way to the bank.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Send an email to your representatives in Congress urging them to quickly develop and introduce legislation prohibiting U.S. military funding from being used for any annexation activities. No more blank check for Israel.
Onwards freedom and justice for Palestine,
Ariel, Ann, Asia, Carley, Caty, Cody, Emily, Jodie, Kelsey, Leila, Leonardo, Makena, Mary, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, Teri, and Yousef