3rd Thursday Alert: Tell the Administration and Congress Not to Disburse Military Aid to Israel
Israel’s former and current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said last week, “We formed a different government, with different policies, and we run things differently.” So far, the new Israeli coalition government, sworn in on Dec. 29, 2022 and recognized as the most right-wing coalition in the country’s history, has spared no effort – or time – in advancing policies that further ignore or violate the rights of Palestinians in Israel and those living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
In the past few weeks:
- Israel’s District Coordinating Office of the Israeli military moved to evict roughly 1000 Palestinian residents of Musafer Yatta, a community in the southern West Bank near Gaza, leading to the expulsion and displacement of the Palestinian families who live there;
- Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced that it will be a priority for Israel to accelerate the construction and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank;
- Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has been convicted of supporting Kach, a group previously designated as a terrorist organization by the US government, made a provocative visit to the al-Aqsa esplanade, a visit condemned by the UN, Palestinians and Arab countries, the US, and other countries;
- $127 million in tax revenues due the Palestinians have been frozen by Israel, in response to Palestinian intentions to join the International Criminal Court (ICC); and
- the Palestinian flag has been banned from display in public spaces.
Such actions are reprehensible in themselves, and given PM Netanyahu’s statement, do not bode well for Palestinians in 2023, especially since B’Tselem, the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, issued a report last week concluding that Israel killed more Palestinians in 2022 than any year since 2004. This follows the killing of two Palestinians in an occupied West Bank town near Jenin to begin 2023.
When Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the incoming Israeli government, he named Palestinian rights as a value to which the US and Israel must commit. Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights are not new but are already intensifying.
In this week dedicated to remembering the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember Rev. King’s vocal opposition to militarism. As Israel continues to violate the rights of the people living under its control, violating international law and principles of human rights – as well as US laws – the US must end its military support of Israel, which amounts to $3.8 billion per year.
Call on the Administration and your elected representatives in Congress to suspend US military aid to Israel immediately, not to disburse this year’s allocation, and to support the rights of Palestinians to equal justice and peace.