2009/02/23: Take Action: President Obama to Sanction Israel?


February 24, 2009

President Obama will address a joint session of Congress and deliver a "blueprint" for his FY2010 budget.


According to the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the United States and Israel in 2007 and made public by the US Campaign, the President is expected to request $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in FY2010.

However, there are growing indications that the Obama Administration is considering sanctioning Israel. According to a senior Israeli security official in a Feb. 17 article in Ma'ariv, Israel fears that Special Envoy George Mitchell will convince the White House to cut military aid as a response to Israel's ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank. A Feb. 15 Ha'aretz article speculated that amounts available for U.S. loan guarantees to Israel would be cut for the same reason.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, Sen. John Kerry and Reps. Keith Ellison and Brian Baird visited the occupied Gaza Strip to assess the damage from Israel's recent war and ongoing siege. This was the first time any U.S. government official visited Gaza in more than three years. After their visit, Ellison and Baird released a strong press release, stating:


"If this had happened in our own country, there would be national outrage and an appeal for urgent assistance. We are glad that the Obama administration acted quickly to send much-needed funding for this effort, but the arbitrary and unreasonable Israeli limitations on food and repair essentials is unacceptable and indefensible.  People -- innocent children, women and non-combatants -- are going without water, food, and sanitation, while the things they so desperately need are sitting in trucks at the border, being denied permission to go in."

Keep up the momentum to hold Israel accountable by taking action below.



1. Encourage President Obama to sanction Israel for its misuse of U.S. weapons.
Send a letter to the President today asking him to investigate Israel's prior misuses of U.S. weapons against Palestinians and to reconsider his anticipated request for additional weapons in his upcoming budget. To send your letter, please click here.

Dear UFPJ member groups,

Today, Amnesty International issued a report calling for a cessation of arms supplies to all parties of the conflict in Israel and Gaza and called on the United Nations to impose a comprehensive arms embargo.

This is a moment when the peace movement must step up its efforts to influence the direction of U.S. foreign policy in the region. We urge that your group forward this email and join the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in encouraging President Obama to investigate Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons. And to thank Senator Kerry, Representatives Ellison and Baird for their fact-finding visit to Gaza.

Take care,

Judith LeBlanc
UFPJ Organizing Coordinator.  Sent from webmaster@ufpj.org