Ruebner Releases Policy Brief on U.S. Military Aid to Israel

Article excerpt

As American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference attendees spent March 6 lobbying for Israel on Capitol Hill, Josh Ruebner, national advocacy director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, visited Washington, DC's Palestine Center to describe the fruits of their labor. Most American taxpayers would be surprised by his talk, "Armed and Dangerous: U.S. Weapons Transfers to Israel."

Ruebner began by describing the death of 10-year-old Abir Aramin, shot in the back of her head by an Israeli soldier firing a rubber-coated metal bullet after she had bought after-school sweets in East Jerusalem on Jan. 17, 2007. "Abir's case represents everything that is so fundamentally wrong with this policy of providing U.S. weapons to Israel," Ruebner said. In the U.S., he noted, we hear about how U.S. weapons to Israel are needed for the self-defense of this small country surrounded by hostile neighbors. However, as little Abir's death demonstrates, and Ruebner's policy paper emphasizes, these weapons are misused "to entrench Israel's illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and to commit the systematic human rights abuses against Palestinians."

Ruebner also described Israel's misuse of high-velocity tear gas canisters, which have killed at least five Palestinian civilians since 2009 and gravely injured two U.S. citizens, Tristan Anderson of Oakland, CA and Emily Henochowics of Potomac, MD. …