Congress seeks $200 million in additional military aid for Israel
CAIR is calling on members of the Muslim community and other people of conscience to contact President Bush and state representatives to ask that they not support an effort in Congress going over the president's head to gain an additional $200 million in aid for Israel's military.
That aid, if approved, would in effect be a reward for the recent aggression against Palestinian civilians. The congressional effort came to light today in a Washington Post article, "Supporters Consider How to Increase Military Aid for Israel."
The call for additional aid comes as former President Jimmy Carter said that a possible REDUCTION in American taxpayer aid to Israel could be used as pressure to achieve peace in the region. Carter wrote Sunday in the New York Times:
"[Ariel Sharon's] rejection of all peace agreements that included Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands, his invasion of Lebanon, his provocative visit to the Temple Mount, the destruction of villages and homes, the arrests of thousands of Palestinians and his open defiance of President George W. Bush's demand that he comply with international law have all been orchestrated to accomplish his ultimate goals: to establish Israeli settlements as widely as possible throughout occupied territories and to deny Palestinians a cohesive political existence...
"There are two existing factors that offer success to United States
persuasion. One is the legal requirement that American weapons are to be used by Israel only for defensive purposes, a premise certainly being violated in the recent destruction of Jenin and other villages...The other persuasive factor is approximately $10 million daily in American aid to Israel...The existing situation is tragic and likely to get worse. Normal diplomatic efforts have failed. It is time for the United States, as the sole recognized intermediary, to consider more forceful action for peace..."
The 2002 foreign aid program provides Israel with more than $2 billion in military aid and some $730 million in financial assistance. This is nearly one-fifth of total U.S. foreign aid. Israel has been the largest annual recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since 1976 and the largest cumulative recipient of assistance since World War II, according to government statistics. (AFP, 4/21/2002)
"It is unconscionable that Congress would consider rewarding Israel with American tax dollars for its ongoing atrocities in the Occupied
Territories. America is sending relief aid to the devastated Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin. Taxpayers should not be forced to send more weapons to those who caused that devastation," said CAIR Governmental Affairs Director Jason Erb. Erb noted that recent polls show public broad support for a reduction in aid to Israel. (Time/CNN Poll, 4/12/2002)