Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Take Action Now: Stop Arming Israel

Demand an arms embargo, demand that Israel be held to account for striking civilian targets. Email this letter to your local, state, and national elected officials. Urge them to take action.

Click for contact info:
US Representatives 
US Senators
US President
Israeli Embassy 

Dear __________________,  
I am deeply troubled by recent events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I urge the US government to immediately stop the transfer of all arms to Israel. An arms embargo is the only long-term solution to Israel’s 47 yearlong military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
F-16s, Hellfire missiles, U.S. government-issued Caterpillar bulldozers, Apache helicopters and other weapons, munitions and equipment have been directly linked to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by Israeli forces. Knowing this, the U.S. government is not only violating its own law and policy, but is complicit in the commission of these human rights violations. 
Many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, are calling for an UN-imposed comprehensive arms embargo on Israel and Palestinian armed groups. From 2008-19, the US is projected to provide military aid to Israel worth $30 billion.  
The U.S. government must stop arming a military power that launches devastating attacks with impunity against civilian populations, and regular engages in the use of excessive force, including the recent collective punishment of the Palestinians in the West Bank that proceeded the murder of both Palestinian and Israeli teenagers (which Israel has admitted was not the work of Hamas), as well as the escalation of violence in Gaza - the third such assault on a blockaded and displaced people since 2009. 
Since Israel began military operations targeting the Gaza Strip, over 1,700 Palestinians and 54 Israelis (all military personal except for 3) have been killed. The United Nations has estimated that 77% of the deaths in Gaza are civilians. Of those, over 24% are children.   
Israel is an occupying power whose military tactics routinely violate international humanitarian and human rights law. To help stop these human rights violations, the U.S. must stop supporting Israel unconditionally and do its part to protect the lives of non-combatants. U.S. policy prohibits the provision of weapons where there is a credible expectation that they may be used in grave human rights violations. Israel must put in place effective mechanisms to ensure that they are not using American made weapons to violate the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people. 
The U.S. must act in accordance with its own laws and policies concerning weapons transfers. It must stop arming Israel. This is the surest way to end the ritual of violence, to protect Israel’s security, and achieve Palestinian freedom.  

Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories constitute war crimes and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions, including the most basic principles and laws of armed conflict (as detailed here by legal experts and in this vital piece: "Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked").

Call the White House and protest American complicity in Israeli war crimes: switchboard 202-456-1414, ask for President Obama’s office.

Sign the BDS Movement's petition and check out their fact sheet: The Case for a Military Embargo on Israel

Learn more ways to take action at StopIsrael.net

[The language used in this letter draws heavily from various human rights organizations including Amnesty International.]

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