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For Immediate Release: January 22nd, 2013

Media Release: Full-Page Print Ad in Roll Call Runs Today: 80,000 to President Obama—Hold Israel Accountable, We Have Your Back.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, congress@endtheoccupation.org

Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace, cecilie@jvp.org

Full-Page Print Ad in Roll Call Runs Today:

80,000 to President Obama—Hold Israel Accountable, We Have Your Back.

LINK: To download PDF of print ad

Washington, D.C. (January 22)--The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace announced that they are running a full-page ad in today’s special presidential inauguration edition of the influential Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, which is distributed to nearly 20,000 Capitol Hill staffers and elected officials. 

The ad calls on President Obama to hold Israel, which receives more than $3 billion per year in military aid from the United States, accountable to U.S. law. The Arms Export Control Act limits the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.” The Foreign Assistance Act explicitly bans military aid from being sent to any government that engages in a “consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”  

Citing Israel’s well-documented track record of human rights abuses against Palestinians, the ad asks President Obama to heed the urgent call of 15 major Protestant church leaders; a delegation of  civil rights leaders, some of whom worked closely with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; 60,000 supporters of Jewish Voice for Peace and another 20,000 supporters of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation— all of whom who have asked President Obama to hold Israel accountable to U.S. and international law. 

According to Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, "With the onset of President Obama's second term and the anticipated re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli prime minister, the United States must embark on a bold departure in its policies to bring about a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace. First and foremost, this means holding Israel accountable for misusing U.S. weapons to commit systematic human rights abuses of Palestinians. Morally and financially, the United States cannot afford to be complicit in Israel's ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people."

Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace Deputy Director stated: "Despite the right-wing Israel Lobby's efforts to scare Jewish voters, American Jews yet again voted in overwhelming numbers to send Barack Obama to the White House. Polls show there's more room than ever for Obama to take a strong stand on U.S. aid, and on settlements.  If President Obama goes there, we'll be ready to back him up. The Israel Lobby just doesn't represent most American Jews—they represent the increasingly right-wing interests of an Israeli government seemingly bent on self-destruction."  

US Campaign is a national coalition of nearly 400 organizations working to end U.S. support for Israel’s 45-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, and to change U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law and equality.

http://www.endtheoccupation.org 

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. JVP has offices in NY and CA, over 125,000 supporters, 35 chapters, a Rabbi's Council, and a youth branch called Young, Jewish and Proud.

http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/



Ad copy:

President Obama—Hold Israel Accountable. 80,000 have your back.

Dear President Obama,

On November 18, an Israeli air force pilot flying a U.S.-made F-16 fighter jet fired a missile at the four-story home of the al-Dalu family in Gaza City, killing ten family members and two others from the al-Muzannar family next door.

Since 2000, Israel has killed more than 3,000 Palestinian civilians like them, often with U.S. weapons provided at taxpayer expense, injured tens of thousands more, and destroyed billions of dollars of Palestinian infrastructure including homes, agriculture, industry, schools and hospitals.

As Amnesty International concluded, U.S. weapons to Israel are “fueling conflict,” enabling Israel’s 45-year illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, denying Palestinian freedom and self- determination, and preventing a just and lasting peace.

Israel is using these weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, which limits the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.” In addition, Israel continues to receive more than $3 billion per year in military aid despite the fact that the Foreign Assistance Act prohibits U.S. aid to countries that engage in a “consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

More and more Americans are demanding that the United States review its misguided and destructive policy of providing military aid to Israel and hold it accountable for any possible violation of these longstanding U.S. laws.

• In October, 15 church leaders, including representatives of the National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America called for “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of these laws and “the withholding of military aid for non-compliance.”

• In November, members of the 2012 Civil and Human Rights Delegation to the West Bank, organized by the Dorothy Cotton Institute in partnership with Interfaith Peace-Builders, called on you to “Insist that the United States condition aid to Israel on compliance with U.S. law (specifically the U.S. Arms Export Control Act) and with international law.”

• In January, Jewish Voice for Peace delivered 60,000 signatures to the White House on a petition which read “Israel, the biggest long-term recipient of US aid, should not be above the law. Mr. President, please condition US aid to Israel on compliance with US and international law. It must not be used to violate the rights of Palestinians.”

• In January, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation delivered 20,000 signatures to the White House demanding that your administration “investigate Israel’s violations of the Arms Export Control Act and hold Israel accountable for killing Palestinians in our name by ending U.S. military aid to Israel.”

Mr. President, it’s time to hold Israel accountable. Act now - we’ve got your back.

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