On Tuesday, several members of the US Congress signed and promoted a letter calling for the US to limit military aid to Israel if Tel Aviv goes ahead with the annexation of Palestinian land.
The letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, contained a strongly-worded call for a US intervention to block the annexation of Palestinian land as championed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Unilateral annexation in the West Bank would alienate US lawmakers and citizens. We cannot support an undemocratic system in which Israel would permanently rule over a Palestinian people denied self-determination or equal rights,” the letter, which has not been officially released yet, but a copy of which was made available to the media, read in part.
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) June 29, 2020
Spearheaded by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and signed by Reps. Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, along with Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the letter also warned,
“Should the Israeli government move forward with the planned annexation with this administration’s acquiescence, we will work to ensure non-recognition as well as pursue conditions on the $3.8 billion in US military funding to Israel, including human rights conditions.”
The letter further threatened to withhold “funds for the off-shore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them”.
Our lone stable, democratic ally in the Middle East faces unprecedented threats and challenges, and U.S. support is critical to ensuring our strategic partner remains strong & secure.
But some members of Congress are calling to cut aid to Israel.
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) June 30, 2020
In response, the Washington D.C.-based pro-Israel lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), moved quickly to promote the Israeli government annexation agenda, calling on members of Congress not to show any support for the letter.
The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported that AIPAC has also “opposed an earlier anti-annexation letter that won the support of more than 190 Democrats in the House of Representatives, but did so much less publicly.”
“That letter, which contained a more centrist and pro-Israeli argument against annexation, was eventually signed by many Democratic lawmakers considered allies of AIPAC and strong supporters of Israel,” Haaretz added.
Click here for the full text of the letter. (PDF)
(The Palestine Chronicle)