Our hearts and minds continue to be with the people of Gaza, who are currently suffering under one of the most extreme humanitarian crises on earth as a result of ongoing genocide. As of the time of writing, more than 11,000 people have been killed since hostilities began, including more than 4,500 children, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Over 1.5 million people in Gaza are estimated to be internally displaced, and all are facing critical shortages of fuel, food, water, and medical supplies.
Today we’re writing to you about an upcoming Senate vote on U.S. funding for the weapons causing so much death and destruction in Gaza. As if annual U.S. military support to Israel of $3.8 Billion dollars isn’t enough, Congress is now considering a supplemental funding bill for $14.5 billion dollars in military hardware to Israel. To make matters worse, the Biden administration has requested an unprecedented emergency “waiver” for military aid to Israel that reduces Congressional oversight and public transparency about aid transfers to Israel.
Given how our weapons are already being used in widespread and evident war crimes, it would be unconscionable to approve this additional money, much less reduce public transparency and oversight over how it is being used.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Call Senator Gillibrand’s office at (202) 224-4451 and Senator Schumer’s office at (202) 224-6542. (Not in NY? Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Senators!)
2) Once connected, say:
“Hello, my name is (your name) and I am a voting constituent from (city). I am calling today because I am horrified by the destruction and loss of life in Gaza. I oppose U.S. military support for the violations of human rights by Israel. I urge the Senator to oppose additional guns, artillery shells, and bombs to Israel which would mean that the U.S. is aiding and abetting these human rights violations. I oppose the president’s effort to take away Congressional oversight authority for military aid to Israel. Given the violations happening, it is critical that there be transparency about these arms transfers. I urge my Senator to vote NO on the supplemental spending bill for military aid to Israel.”
None of the bombing is bringing the hostages back, or actually making Israelis safer. Many of the Israeli families of the hostages are asking for the focus to be put on the release of the hostages and oppose a ground invasion that could lead to the hostages being killed. Many support a prisoner swap to release the hostages.
Meanwhile, the bombardment of Gaza is inflicting massive trauma and suffering on yet another generation of Palestinians. Whether the bombs are technically “precision-guided munitions” or not, when they hit hospitals, mosques, apartment blocks, refugee camps, and schools, they end up killing civilians, including children. That’s why groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are calling for “a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict.” Other weapons include artillery shells which a recent Oxfam report warned are “a weapon of choice in Israel’s ground operation in Gaza, which will cause untold harm to civilians as it intensifies further.” These unguided weapons are inherently indiscriminate with wide area impacts.
We need to keep pushing for a ceasefire. We need to move key leaders in the Senate to oppose U.S. complicity in this disastrous war. That can in turn put pressure on the administration – and Israel – to end this violence.
Thank you for all that you are doing for peace right now.
Peace Action New York State