Take Action: No Mention of Aid to Israel in Budget, Thank Pres. Obama
March 2nd, 2009
Thursday, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget outline to Congress and we
were pleasantly surprised to see that it contained no mention of military aid to Israel.
To read the budget outline, click here.(Skip ahead to p.87 for the section on the
Department of State and other international programs.)
Tuesday, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to explain his
budget outline. His only reference to Israel
was a reiteration of his Administration’s priority “To seek progress toward a
secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors”.To read President Obama’s remarks to Congress,
Does this mean that President Obama will
not include $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel when he delivers his actual
detailed budget request to Congress in April as expected?That’s highly doubtful.
But the absence of any mention of it in the budget outline or the President’s
address to Congress does mean that military aid to Israel is becoming a political liability, something that is
now downplayed and no longer trumpeted.
If our analysis is correct, then what accounts for this shift?Undoubtedly it is our growing movement to hold Israel
accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons to commit horrific
human rights abuses against Palestinians.
a related note, we also attended a Capitol Hill briefing by Rep. Barney Frank last Tuesday.Rep. Frank has a great proposal to cut
military spending by 25%.Unfortunately,
when we challenged him on reining in
spending on military aid to Israel
and holding it accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons, he ducked our
question.Watch the short video on the left.
Keep up the pressure—it’s
working!—by taking action below.
1. Thank President Obama for not including military aid to Israel in
his budget outline. Send
a letter to the President today asking him to investigate Israel’s prior misuses of U.S. weapons
against Palestinians and to reconsider his anticipated request for additional
weapons in his upcoming detailed budget. To send your letter, please click
2. Organize to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel in your community. Even as we begin to see glimmers
of hope that the United States
is considering changing its policy of unconditional support for Israel and
holding it accountable for its human rights abuses of Palestinians, we have to organize on a long-term, sustained basis
to make this happen.
Since February 2008, we have sent more than 1,000 organizing packets to people and organizations
all over the country to educate and mobilize people in their communities to
challenge military aid to Israel.
Check out our Google map below showing the locations where people are
Also, be sure to read Amnesty
International’s report, “Fueling
Conflict: Foreign Arms Supplies to Israel/Gaza,” released on February
23.In the report, Amnesty International
details the role U.S.
weapons played in Israel’s
recent war on the occupied Gaza Strip and calls for an arms embargo.