Washington: Palestinian human rights activists in the United States have condemned Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s recent visit to the US capital, renewing calls for an end to US unconditional military aid to Israel.
US Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters last week that Israel would be there demanding $ 1 billion Then “complete” the Iron Dome missile interception system, as well as buy weapons for the Israeli air force. 11 days of fighting Israel’s Hamas, a Palestinian faction that leads the Gaza Strip.
Israeli bombing of besieged Palestinian territory kills 235 Palestinians, including 67 children, displaces at least 58,000 PalestiniansTwelve people, including two children, have been killed in Israel by rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
“The State Department is already trying to rush there $ 735 million in additional arms sales on top $ 3.8 billion annually “American taxpayers provide it to Israel every year,” Mohammad Habeh, the American Muslim National Development Coordinator for Palestine, told Al Jazeera.
“After the wholesale destruction of Gaza, after the killing of more than 60 children, to come to the United States to demand another $ 1 billion is unthinkable.”
Reports of a meeting between Gantz and Biden’s national security adviser, Ake Eke Sullivan, on Thursday morning did not say whether Israel’s request for $ 1 billion in military aid was formal.
Gants made a note in the tweets that he discussed with Sullivan “defending Israel’s QME.” QME stands for “qualitative military edge”, noting Israel’s decades-long technological superiority over the United States helped fund Critics say the aid package encourages the Israeli government to act with impunity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“American tax money should not be spent on financing apartheid ethnic cleansing, especially when there is so much need here in the United States,” Habeh said.
The National Security Council said announcement: During the meeting, Sullivan stressed the Biden administration’s “commitment to strengthening all aspects of the US-Israel security partnership, including supporting the Iron Dome.”
“Mr. Sullivan was able to ensure that immediate humanitarian assistance could reach the people of Gaza,” the statement said. On May 25, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinke announced that the United States will provide $ 38 million in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.
But to some Palestinian rights activists, the gesture seems empty.
“In other words, you give a few million dollars to the Palestinians for humanitarian aid, but then you sell hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons to their oppressive country.” said Laura Albast, a Palestinian-American activist for the Palestinian Youth Movement, who took part in a small demonstration outside the White House on Thursday afternoon in protest of Ganc այց’s visit.
“Biden said he was going to defend human rights. We took to the streets to march of tens of thousands, we signed petitions, we raised our voice against the crimes of Israeli apartheid. “But it is clear that Biden does not care about our human rights or the rights of the Palestinians,” Albast told Al Jazeera.
He added that he had relatives in Gaza whose house was destroyed during the Israeli bombing last month. “Everyone is safe, thank God,” he said. “But their house is completely destroyed. Where are they going now? ”
US aid to Israel
US military aid to Israel has long been a cornerstone of the country’s foreign policy, and the significant political influence of pro-Israel groups has helped build a strong, bipartisan consensus in support of the billions of dollars Washington sends to Israel each year.
But Palestinian advocacy groups say they are witnessing a changing Israeli-Palestinian discourse in the United States. public opinion is moving among Democratic Party voters, even if that shift has yet to reach the party’s leadership.
However, members of the progressive Democratic Party have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of military aid. When the Biden administration announced its intention to sell to Israel an additional $ 735 million ammunition – a revelation first reported during the Israeli attack on Gaza – several progressive members of Congress tried to block it,
He submitted a bill Representative Betty McCollum which seeks to ensure that US aid money is not used by Israel to facilitate the demolition of Palestinian homes, the detention of Palestinian children, and the occupation of Palestinian lands, among other activities.
“My colleagues are in a hurry to provide the Israeli military with another $ 1 billion to fund apartheid, while our education system, our health care system, our housing system are all being funded,” Democrat Congressman Corey Bush said recently. tweet:, referring to Gants’ visit. “Our communities need that $ 1 billion. Send it to us instead. ”
At the same time, on May 23, more than 500 pro-Biden pro-democracy activists signed a letter urging his leadership to take a tougher line against Israel and to do more to protect Palestinian rights. As you wrote in your tweets last month, “No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are being violated.” We could not agree more. “Therefore, we urge you to unequivocally condemn the killing of Palestinian civilians by Israel.” States:,
For Palestinian-American activists, such signs are an encouraging sign that the years of organization are beginning to bear fruit. “Everything is starting to change,” Habeh said. “For so long, American aid to Israel has been completely empty, without any conditions. When that is the case, why was Israel changing its behavior?”