Stimulate America’s economy, not Israel’s
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on President Bush and Congress to reject Israel’s new request for billions more in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid, and to instead use those funds to stimulate America’s economy. CAIR says giving more financial aid to Israel drains much-needed funds from the economy and serves to harm American’s image and interests.
The group’s request comes as President Bush released a new economic stimulus package designed to accelerate income tax rate cuts, wipe out all federal taxes on stock dividends and boost the child tax credit. The announcement of the stimulus proposal coincides with meetings this week between Israeli and administration officials to discuss a special aid request of up to $14 billion in grants and loan guarantees.
“It is time for elected officials to decide whether they serve the interests of American taxpayers, or those of a foreign government engaged in a brutal military occupation. Sending more aid to Israel would not only deprive America’s economy of much-needed funds at a time of economic crisis, it would further damage our nation’s interests in the Muslim world by again offering blind support for the oppression of the Palestinian people,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. He added that despite decades of American taxpayer support, Israel largely ignores American interests and entreaties when denying the Palestinians their right to freedom and justice.
Awad noted that Israel’s aid request comes as a number of cash-strapped states are asking for economic support and lawmakers nationwide are seeking funds for drought relief, education, job programs, transportation, prescription drug benefits for seniors, environmental concerns, and law enforcement. President Bush recently invoked emergency economic powers to limit the annual pay raise for federal workers.
Israel’s latest aid request is in addition to the more than $3 billion American taxpayer dollars that nation already receives annually. (Israel is the world’s largest recipient of American aid. The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that Israel has cost the United States $1.6 trillion since 1973.) Israeli officials say the additional aid would help defray the cost of dealing with the intifada and support their recession-bound economy.
Media reports indicate that U.S. officials have asked that Israel keep a “low profile” during aid talks so as not to anger the Arab and Muslim world as the United States moves toward war with Iraq.
ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.)
Contact the White House and Congress to ask that the multi-billion-dollar Israeli aid request be rejected.
1. Call the White House at: 202-456-1414 or 202-456-1111.
2. Contact your elected representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. (Have your zip code ready.)
3. Go to http://capwiz.com/cair/home/ to e-mail the President and/or your elected representatives.