As Members of Congress prepare to go on recess in August, let’s remind them that Palestinians living the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip can't go on recess from the Israeli occupation, thanks to them providing ever greater amounts of weapons to Israel.
As firefighters in Colorado struggled to battle wildfires this summer with an aging fleet of privately owned tankers and scrambled to find additional tankers to prevent cities from burning down, Members of Congress were busy passing a law calling on the president to provide Israel with refueling tankers to facilitate an attack on Iran.
Instead of investigating accounts in the State Department's annual human rights report that Israel repeatedly shot Palestinian children in the legs for collecting gravel and misused U.S.-supplied tear gas against civilians, Members of Congress are proposing in the 2013 budget to give Israel an additional $950 million to purchase anti-missile systems, on top of the already record-breaking $3.1 billion in military aid.
While Congress may be out of touch with the priorities of ordinary Americans, they are not out of reach.
Emails, phone calls, and even meetings are often handled by Capitol Hill staffers, but many Members of Congress personally monitor their Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. Today, we're asking you to cut through the communication filters and Tweet at your Members of Congress , or “like” them on Facebook so you can post on their wall.
Whether you’re on social media 24/7 or not, please to write a letter to the editor of your local paper urging Congress to fund community needs, not Israel’s misdeeds. Our resources make it easy for you to tie military aid to Israel into local issues. The easiest way to utilize these resources is to identify an issue in your local paper (i.e. the closing of a food bank, school funding shortages, unemployment) and then refer to our website www.aidtoisrael.org to see how much money people from your Congressional district or state are giving to Israel.
If you live in a typical midsize U.S. city like Fort Wayne, Indiana (population 250,000) then you and your fellow residents will be paying more than $40.9 million of tax in weapons to Israel from 2009-2018. With that same amount of money, each year the federal government could provide 497 families with affordable housing vouchers, provide basic health care to 33,125 Ft. Wayne residents, or teach early reading skills to 1,209 school children.
Always include the names of your Representative and/or Senators so that they see your letter appears in their press clippings.
Your letters to the editor will frame the local debate, educate your community, pressure your Member of Congress, and help generate questions during events that members will be hosting during August.
Lastly, if you have a story or picture about the misuse of tear gas, then please submit it to War Resisters League, a member group of the US Campaign. Check out their newly- launched tumblr site documenting the use of tear gas around the world to stifle non-violent dissent.
Taking these actions today is critical in helping to shift the political calculus in favor of U.S. policies that support human rights and accountability.
PS -- In August, we need activists like you to bird dogg at Congressional events. If you’d like to educate and organize people at Congressional or other events this August or beyond, then sign up for a organizing packet today to help us end U.S. military aid to Israel. The packets come with posters, fact sheets, postcards, flyers, and more—everything you’ll need to be prepared to ask questions at events and organize supporters.
We also need activists like you to set up meetings with your Members of Congress in your home district during the August recess. If you would like to set up an in-district meeting, then please click here or email me directly for more information.
Take these actions:
1. Tweet Your Member of Congress
2. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper tying militiary aid to Israel to unmet domestic needs.
3. Submit your photos and experience with tear gas to War Resisters League and check out their newly launched tumblr website.
"Offset" Your Taxes
Offset your taxes that will be used to purchase weapons for Israel to support human rights and accountability.
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