On May 5, the Biden administration notified Congress that it approved a $735 million weapons sale to Israel, giving lawmakers 15 days to review and potentially block the sale. News of the sale did not reach mainstream audiences until Monday, May 17, leaving only a few days for U.S. residents to respond and voice their opinions.
On Monday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) told his fellow committee members that he was planning to send a letter asking to delay the deal so they could review it. The following day, Meeks said he was no longer planning to request a delay.
We call on Chairman Gregory Meeks and President Biden to block the $735 million sale. The United States already gives Israel $3.8 billion in military aid per year. Now, when Israel is engaged in war crimes and violating the human rights of Palestinians, is not the time to further grow Israel’s military capabilities. In fact, the bulk of the arms sale “is for Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions that can turn so-called dumb bombs into precision-guided missiles,” according to The Hill.
Grassroots pressure on Congress has built up quickly in just a couple days. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, Rashida Tlaib, and Bernie Sanders have introduced resolutions to block the sale in the House and the Senate, but today is the last day to stop it from going through. Even if the U.S. does send Israel the weapons, we can show the military-industrial complex that selling arms to countries that are abusing human rights will no longer go unchallenged. It will be met by a surging anti-war movement. Share our petition and demands on social media to increase the pressure.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has the ability to pressure the White House by acting to delay and block this unprecedented deal. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters, “I support the president in his efforts to work to bring the violence to an end.” A $735 million arms sale is no way to end violence.
We also call on all members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to do everything in their power to stop the ongoing assault on Gaza. Read and share our statement on the assault on Palestine here:
Featured image credit: Emma Sron