New Voices Against Unconditional Support to Israel Getting Momentum in U.S.
New Voices Against Unconditional Support to Israel Getting Momentum in U.S.
Tuesday, August 12,2008 09:18
By Khaled Salam

The Council for the National Interest (CNI), founded by former Congressman Paul Findly, launched a campaign to lobby U.S. Congress to stop U.S. aid to Israel unless Israel “follows through with measures that are deemed essential for peace” according to the petition sent to members of Congress.

 

A statement on the CNI website reads “As Israel continues to expand its illegal settlement activity, blockade Gaza, expand the Apartheid Wall, limit Palestinian movement, and apply collective punishment measures, the U.S. is deemed responsible for funding these measures.  This approach greatly diminishes U.S. credibility among Middle Eastern moderates, and creates fodder for the radicals”

 

“Continued aid to Israel must be contingent upon its willingness to follow through with measures that are deemed essential for peace: Israel must stop seizing additional Palestinian land, checkpoints must be dismantled, and the building of settlements must be halted”

 

It is unclear how successful this campaign will be or what impact it will have, if any, especially in light of the strong influence the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S has on the highest decision making circuits in the government and Congress.

 

The campaign, however, represent a new voice that’s getting momentum in the U.S. speaking up against U.S. unconditional support to Israel and its implications on U.S. interests and security.

 

Earlier this year, the JStreet.org, which is a new pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby was founded in the U.S. by liberal American Jewish activists to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically, and support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region,  according the statement on their website.

 

Click here to sign the petition. Below is template of the petition letter CNI asked supporters to send to their congress representatives.

 

“This letter is to urge you not to support military aid to Israel for Fiscal Year 2009. I am also asking you to urge your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to curtail support so long as the Israelis continue to violate the US Arms Export Control Act, the Foreign Assistance Act, and refuse to dismantle their illegal settlements, barriers and checkpoints in the West Bank, and continue to imprison the Palestinians in Gaza under concentration camp conditions”.

 

Israeli policy also violates stated US policy that a two-state solution is the best road to peace in that region. While Israeli leaders publicly endorse this approach, their “actions on the ground” effectively make a solution impossible.

 

This reality has existed for decades and is certainly one of the root causes of radicalism against the US among Muslims around the world. We are, in effect, enabling Israel to cause the United States enormous foreign policy problems resulting in unnecessary conflicts with a number of countries in the Middle East. It’s wrong for the victims in Palestine and elsewhere, and for the United States.

 

I’m sure that you will agree that the first consideration on any US policy, military aid or otherwise, is the real impact it will have on American interests, not those of a foreign country and its supporters.

 

I appreciate your consideration of my views and hope that you will take action to help reverse this destructive policy.

http://www.ikhwanweb.com