Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East

Grounded in Abrahamic Theology

Seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians
through political advocacy

                          
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Talking points for withholding or redirecting US military aid to Israel
 
1) US military aid to Israel has continued to increase in recent years and is now at an estimated $3.5 billion per year. Though a wealthy country with a high standard of living and a powerful military, Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid. Current pledges guarantee extravagant US military aid to Israel to continue at the current or higher rates through 2030. Total military aid since 1948 tops the $100 billion mark.
 
2) Through a complicated formula, a portion of US military aid to Israel is used by Israel to enhance its own arms-export industry, a provision unique to Israel. Israel has become a major arms manufacturer and exporter, providing lavish income for Israel's own budget.
 
3) The aid bestowed upon Israel is not a straight line funds transfer. Rather, a substantial portion of US military aid to Israel must be used by Israel to purchase US weapons manufactured in the US, thus tying the policy of military aid to Israel to the US arms industry and American jobs.
 
4) US military aid to Israel subsidizes the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the illegal settlements. A portion of US military aid to Israel, plus additional loan guarantees, goes to building settlements for Jewish-only residents. This occurs through the illegal confiscation of Palestinian land and home demolition. Jewish-only settlements surround every Palestinian city in the West Bank, and their rapid construction, prohibited by international law, has prevented the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

5) US Military aid to Israel transforms Palestine, especially Gaza, into a military testing ground. Seventy-five percent of US military aid to Israel goes into purchasing US-made military equipment, such as tanks, machine guns, bullets, helicopter gunships, military aircraft, missiles, and more. The US depends on Israel to test new military technologies in war conditions. For example, uranium-depleted ammunition and white phosphorous have been fired at civilians in the West Bank and Gaza.
 
6) US Military aid to Israel violates US law and abuses human rights. The Foreign Assistance Act of the United States states in section 116 that "No assistance may be provided under this part to the government of any country which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights." Israel engages daily in degrading and inhumane treatment of Palestinians, such as prolonged detention without charges, strip searches at checkpoints, beatings, torture, and home demolitions. Similarly section 4 of the Arms Export and Control Act prevents the US government from selling defense articles in countries that abuse their use for non-self-defense purposes. The US State Department regularly documents a pattern of systematic violations of Palestinian human rights by IDF personnel, including numerous instances of excessive force, including the use of live ammunition on civilians and children when soldiers are not in danger.
 
7) US military aid to Israel militarizes a volatile conflict, increasing violence, and making peace and reconciliation more difficult to attain. Even Israeli generals and security chiefs acknowledged, in the ground-breaking film "The Gatekeepers", that there was no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and yet the US continues to flood this flashpoint zone with millions of lethal weapons.
 
8) US military aid to Israel is no longer needed for Israel's self-defense, and could be put to much more productive use meeting pressing domestic needs in our own country. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has a very illuminating calculator that reveals what each community's portion of redirected military aid could purchase to meet human needs at home.