Political advocacy NGOs have engaged in a long-time campaign against American security assistance to Israel. Most recently, Defence for Children International Palestine, Human Rights Watch, and others partnered with Betty McCollum (D-MN) on an April 2021 bill targeting Israeli companies and defense forces.
During the May 2021 Gaza conflict, the NGO network intensified its attacks, demanding that the United States impose an arms embargo on Israel and halt military assistance.
In parallel, on May 19, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Mark Pocan, Cori Bush, Betty McCollum, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal, and Andre Carson introduced a joint resolution in the House, seeking to block the sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel. The following day, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the accompanying Senate version. Ironically, these types of weapons reduce harm to civilians during armed conflict and denying them to Israel would increase civilian casualties.
Echoing false allegations and demonization from NGOs, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez called for the United States to end “rubber-stamping weapons sales to the Israeli government as they deploy our resources to target international media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing.” Rep. Cori Bush joined in the current “apartheid” demonization campaign, calling for “Our government must stop funding the apartheid status quo.”
In a press statement, the Representatives cited the support of a number of the NGOs – including American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, Center for Constitutional Rights, IfNotNow, and Jewish Voice for Peace – which all, as seen below, also issued statements in pursuit of this agenda.
Notably, these NGOs and Members of Congress ignore the use of humanitarian aid by Hamas in order to manufacture thousands of missiles, as well as the deadly assistance from Iran and Syria.
Statements from International NGOs
- On May 17, Philippe Nassif, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA, said, “President Biden’s approval of a $735 million offensive arms sale to Israel in the midst of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups directly undermines his commitment to upholding human rights around the world. By supplying weapons that could be used to commit war crimes, the U.S. government is taking the risk of further fueling attacks against civilians and seeing more people killed or injured by U.S.-made weapons.”
- On May 24, Ken Roth tweeted, “If the Biden administration can’t leverage the ~$4 billion in US military aid to Israel to secure respect for human rights — during the bombing of Gaza and the implementation of apartheid — what hope is there for US human rights policy?”
- On May 18, Roth tweeted, “As Israeli bombs rain down on Gaza, the Biden administration choses this moment to approve a $735 million sale to Israel of precision-guided missiles, even though big questions are being raised about what the Israeli military is precisely targeting.”
- On May 15, Roth tweeted, “Democrats in Congress are finally asking this important question: “Why are US tax dollars being used to fuel the repression, violence, and persecution of Palestinians?” The US is supplying Israel with $3.9 billion/year in aid, almost all of it military.”
Statements from American NGOs
Adalah Justice Project
- On May 19, AJP tweeted, “The latest arms deal for Israel is a direct commercial sale of bombs made by Boeing, the same bombs that are killing us in Gaza. ##BlockTheBombs to Israel & then #SanctionIsraeliApartheid.”
- Launched a petition to “Tell Congress: Block the bombs! Stop arms sale to Israel.”
- Launched a petition calling to “sanction Israel” and “end weapons transfers.”
- On May 12, published a press release alleging that the United States was “complicit in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity against Palestinians… With its unconditional financial, military, and diplomatic support of the Israeli apartheid regime.” CCR called to “End U.S. military funding to Israeli apartheid and condition all aid on the protection of civil, policitical [sic], economic, cultural, and social rights, including the end of Israeli apartheid throughout historic Palestine.”
- Launched a petition calling for members of Congress to “join the Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bills to block this newest sale to Israel!”
- On May 19, CODEPINK National Co-Director Ariel Gold tweeted, “Dear @POTUS, In 2014, the Obama administration suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid that massacre in Gaza. In 1981, Reagan suspended F-15&F-16 jets to Israel It’s neither complicated or radical. Suspend delivery of $735 million in precision-guided missiles.”
- On May 23, IfNotNow tweeted, “We deserve a democratic say in whether the U.S. should be sending these weapons to Israel.”
- On May 20, IfNotNow tweeted, “If your Senator or Representative is calling for a ceasefire but not supporting the resolutions of disapproval to stop Biden from selling more missiles to Israel, what they are really saying to Israel is: “Stop this violence now but we’ll help you do it again later.”
- On May 14, JVP published a press release calling to “Support the Palestinian-led call for BDS, demand an end to U.S. military funding to Israel, and help us build a Judaism and Jewish community beyond Zionism.”
- On May 17, JVP tweeted, “We NEED to end U.S. military funding to Israel NOW. We need to be loud and we need to shut this deal down.”
- On May 17, Jewish Voice for Peace Action tweeted, “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO Israel is wiping out entire families in Gaza right now using OUR planes and bombs. We *will not* let Biden send them more. End US military funding to Israel NOW.”
- On May 21, MECA tweeted, “Ask Congress to cosponsor historic resolutions to block weapons to #Israel. As news breaks just now that a cease fire agreement is in the offing, we can’t stop pushing!”
- On May 21, National Lawyers Guild published a statement saying that “The U.S. government should not be selling weapons to a government that has shown repeatedly it will use them to attack media outlets and journalists. As Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep Gregory Meeks must allow a vote on the proposal to halt the arms deal. If he fails to do so, he’s actively working against freedom of the press, democracy, and human rights around the globe.”
- On May 23, USCPR organized a protest demanding “stop our tax $$$ from funding displacement, apartheid, & ethnic cleansing. #HR2590 #SanctionIsraeliApartheid.”
- On May 19, USCPR tweeted “#GazaUnderAttack still & we’re arming Israel’s massacre. Heed Palestinian justice calls: #BlockTheBombs to Israel & then #SanctionIsraeliApartheid.”
Statements from Palestinian NGOs
- On May 20, Al-Haq called to “End all trade in weapons with Israel through a two-way arms embargo and end military-security cooperation.”
- On May 17, DCI-P Senior Advisor Brad Parker tweeted, “60 Palestinian children killed since Monday, widespread targeting of civilian buildings and infrastructure in #Gaza, and Israeli forces are broadcasting US weapons are involved. End US funding to the Israeli apartheid regime & enforce an arms embargo now.”
- On May 17, Parker tweeted, “My @DCIPalestine colleagues in #Gaza have confirmed 60 Palestinian children killed in the past week. The majority have been killed with US weapons. Great you support humanitarian aid, @DebDingell, but that doesn’t stop US-sourced weapons from killing kids.”
- On May 16, Parker tweeted, “.@DCIPalestine‘s evidence collected by our staff in #Gaza confirms 41 Palestinian kids killed since Monday. Israeli forces killed the majority with US-sourced weapons, including F15, F16, F35 warplanes, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, & drone-fired missiles. Do something.”
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
- On May 13, PNGO was a signatory on a statement referring to “American-made F16s and Elbit drones.”
Statements from Israeli NGOs
- On May 20, Who Profits tweeted, “Biden’s administration approved the potential sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, and congressional sources said on Monday that U.S. lawmakers were not expected to object to the deal.”