U.S. military aid for Israel must be conditional, says Israeli NGO

The President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now (APN) has called for conditioning the U.S. military aid for Israel, saying the Israeli occupation government has no intention of moving towards a two-state solution.

Israeli-American Hadar Susskind, who is also an IDF veteran, has called on the U.S. government to condition its annual 3.8 billion dollars of military aid to the occupation state of ‘Israel’.

In an article he wrote at the Time, Susskind said when he “served as a combat soldier in the Israeli military, I carried an American-made M-16. I drove American jeeps and fired American missiles.”

“As a dual American-Israeli citizen who has spent years in both countries, my commitment to Israel did not end with my army service,” Susskind wrote.

“From my home in the U.S. the past 20 years, I’ve been in the trenches of the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement for nearly all of my life.”

“It is from this vantage point of caring deeply for both Israel and the U.S., and in my capacity as President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now, that I am calling on the U.S. government to condition its annual 3.8 billion dollars of military aid to Israel.”

“We are the first progressive Zionist organization to endorse conditioning aid, and we do not take this step lightly. But what has become abundantly clear, underscored by the horrifying images coming out of Gaza, East Jerusalem and inside Israel last month, is that continuing to give Israel military aid without conditions neither serves U.S. policy interests—nor, I would argue, does it serve Israel.”

Susskind said that last month’s “terrifying escalation of violence laid bare what has been abundantly clear for many years: the Israeli government has no intention of moving towards two states. It’s been seven years since there’s been even a pretense of a peace process.”

“A cabinet led by Naftali Bennett in the newly sworn-in Bennett-Lapid unity government offers no more promising indication that ending the occupation would be on the agenda, and just yesterday responded to the release of incendiary balloons with another round of missile strikes in Gaza.”

Susskind said that “we can’t control what the Israeli government does, but we can ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is used to uphold U.S. values and to achieve U.S. policy goals.”

He said that Americans 3.8 billion dollars of yearly aid supports Israel’s defensive military capabilities, “as do I,” and

“But it also manifests as American bombs killing hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, including 67 children, and soldiers wielding American M-16s as they displace families in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan,” he added.

Susskind said that Americans must explicitly ensure that their tax-payer dollars serve their foreign policy objectives, and they do not go towards human rights violations, and that there are specific consequences if they do.

“This puts Israel on equal footing with every other country who receives U.S. aid, all of whom receive it conditionally,” Susskind wrote.

“Conditioning aid goes further than restricting aid, which does not address fungibility and carries no meaningful consequences for violations of human rights.”

“Conditioning aid can go further than simply investigating the use of U.S. military equipment, which in theory is already illegal under the Leahy law.”

“If Israel continues its policy of expelling Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, for example, the U.S. could cut some percentage of the aid. If new settlements are legalized or existing ones expanded—these international law violations would come with specific U.S. aid reductions,” Susskind wrote.

(Source / 18.06.2021)

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