U.S. Must End Its Military Aid to Israel

Roughly one million of these 1.6 million people in Gaza are refugees from the conflict of 1947–48. Last week Gaza was subject to eight days of bombardment. More than 161 Palestinians were killed including at least 91 civilians and 28 children, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. In response, Hamas sent multiple rockets into Israel and killed five Israelis. A ceasefire was announced, a good thing for all concerned, but Israel’s five-year long illegal blockade of Gaza continues, as does the U.S. massive military aid to Israel, to the tune of over $3 billion per year.

As academics and students, it is our responsibility to know what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank and to urge the Obama administration to change its policy toward the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies toward Palestinians.

Chomsky has described the situation accurately: “The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians.” And he adds: “Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army…and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.” Chomsky further notes that Israel, by militarily occupying someone else’s land, cannot call what it does defense.

The people of Gaza live in a prison, because they are trapped by the Israeli blockade that controls virtually all traffic, human and material, in and out of the territory. An Israeli journalist, Jonathan Cook, notes that Israeli health officials have calculated the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza inhabitants each day and now allow only 67 trucks to enter Gaza with food. The aim, according to Dov Weisglass, was “to put the Palestinians on a diet.” Middle East scholar Juan Cole finds that Palestinian children are suffering from malnutrition, and anemia is widespread, affecting “over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren and over a third of pregnant mothers.” That a modern nation calling itself civilized and democratic should be engaged in this type of oppression is disgraceful and the fact that the U.S. condones it all should concern us as citizens, as taxpayers and as human beings.

We in the United States are partners in this ongoing crime against the Palestinians and therefore against humanity. We must call for an end to military aid to Israel for it is being used to commit murder and grave human rights abuses against all Palestinians.

— Rosaura Sánchez
Department of Literature

Luis Martin-Cabrera
Department of Literature

Charles Thorpe
Department of Sociology