PALESTINE: Good News via Peace Action

We now have two complementary strategies to restrain U.S. support for the war on Gaza.

First, we are still pushing for a ceasefire, and more members of Congress are coming on board. Late last week and over the weekend more moderate Democrats, including key Jewish congressional leaders joined in supporting a ceasefire including Jamie Raskin, Sara Jacobs and Becca Balint.

Secondly, we aim to use the most powerful lever Congress has to impact the behavior of the Israeli government: U.S. arms transfers. The U.S. builds and finances much of Israel’s arsenal.

Please write today to ask Congress to block a pending arms shipment to Israel. These weapons can be used in human rights violations.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar just introduced a measure to block a $320 million arms sale to Israel. [1] The bill, which is called a Joint Resolution of Disapproval, would revoke the export license of a type of guided bomb kit that is used in the airstrikes killing so many civilians.

The State Department notified Congress of this particular weapons transfer on October 31, the same day Israel struck the Jabaliya refugee camp in an airstrike that killed about 50 Palestinians. The bombs that were dropped on the camp are usually outfitted with “precision” guidance systems of the type being transferred in this batch.[2] These are the type of “sophisticated” weapons that are killing civilians and destroying civilian targets.

U.S. law is supposed to prohibit the transfer of U.S. weapons to countries who use those weapons to commit human rights violations. The Biden administration actually tightened the rules on arms transfers to say that weapons shouldn’t be transferred if they are “more likely than not” to be used in atrocities.[3] Clearly, in Gaza, the killing of thousands of civilians and the destruction of schools, apartment blocks, hospitals, refugee camps etc. violates this standard. Congress can use its powers to enforce this policy.

Can you write your Congressmember today to block the pending arms shipment to Israel.

Thank you for your continued activism on this important campaign.

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

1. Omar unveils resolution to block weapons sale to Israel, The Hill, NICK ROBERTSON, November 16, 2023

2. Israel Used 2,000-Pound Bombs in Strike on Jabaliya, Analysis Shows, Christopher Coetti, New York Times, November 3, 2023

3. Unpacking Biden’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, John Chappell, Ari Tolany, Lawfare, March 1, 2023.