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23 June 2008

Take Action: Votes on Military Aid to Israel Coming Soon

We’ve just learned that the House and Senate committees which have jurisdiction over foreign aid will be voting soon on military aid to Israel for FY2009.

The House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs will “mark-up” the foreign aid bill on July 16 and 17, respectively, which includes the President’s request for $2.55 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel.

Since the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in August 2007 to increase military aid to $30 billion over the next decade, together we’ve done a lot of good work to challenge military aid to Israel; however, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and do a lot more in order to get it cut off.

Even though Hamas and Israel agreed upon a truce last week, Israel continues to use U.S. weapons everyday to enforce a brutal and illegal military occupation and siege on Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, in violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act.

As the Appropriations Subcommittees prepare to vote on the foreign aid budget for FY2009, we ask all of our member groups and supporters to get involved and help us challenge military aid to Israel.

Take Action

1. Send a personal letter to each Member of Congress on these subcommittees. Each Member of Congress on these subcommittees has already received more than 6,500 letters opposing military aid to Israel—that’s almost 200,000 total letters! But clearly it’s not enough because none of them have yet publicly questioned military aid to Israel. So we need to keep those letters coming. Send yours right now by clicking here.

2. Have your organization endorse our sign-on letter to these subcommittees. To date, nearly 350 organizations from 40 states plus Washington, DC and groups of U.S. citizens abroad have signed the letter. Help us get 500 organizational endorsements calling on Congress to cut off aid to Israel before the committees vote on the foreign aid budget. To view the letter and endorsing organizations and to add your organization’s endorsement, please click here.

3. Sign up for an organizing packet to challenge military aid to Israel in your community. So far, we’ve sent nearly 250 packets to volunteer organizers in 40 states. The organizing packets include postcards, petitions, and fact sheets—everything you need to educate and organize people in your community to challenge military aid to Israel. Sign up today so that we can get you a packet in time for you to collect signatures and get them back to us before the committees vote next month. To become a military aid organizer, sign up by clicking here.

4. Schedule a meeting with your Members of Congress for the August recess. Representatives and Senators will be in their home districts and states during August to meet with constituents. This is a perfect opportunity for you and/or your organization to form a delegation and talk to your Members of Congress about your opposition to military aid to Israel. Sign up to coordinate meetings with your Members of Congress by clicking here.

For those of you who haven’t requested a meeting with your Members of Congres before, we’ve got instructions on how to do it posted here along with some tips on how to conduct the meeting posted here. We’ll have additional materials ready for your August recess meetings soon, but in the meantime sign up to coordinate a meeting and start working on getting it scheduled by clicking here.

5. Save the date—July 14—as a national call-in day. We’ve tentatively marked down July 14 as the date for a national call-in day to Congress to oppose military aid to Israel. More details to follow—stay tuned!

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