Against the background of Israel’s contempt for international law and violations of Palestinian human rights, and as Washington now considers raising the debt ceiling and making even more substantial cuts to the 2012 budget, Josh Ruebner argues that “the moral, financial and political costs of arming Israel can no longer be ignored”.
By Josh Ruebner
The United States additionally provided Israel 415 million dollars for procurement, research and development of joint US-Israeli missile defence projects, including 205 million dollars to fund Israel’s newly-deployed Iron Dome system.
This anti-missile battery already has altered significantly the strategic balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when Israel successfully shot down incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip earlier this month. With the assured diplomatic backing of the United States to prevent Israel from being held accountable by the international community for its illegal blockade, Iron Dome will embolden Israel to tighten its siege and escalate its attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip by providing its citizens with additional protection against retaliatory fire.
US funding of Iron Dome is but one example of many of how US weapons transfers to Israel enhance Israeli military dominance over Palestinian freedom and create perverse economic disincentives for Israel to defy US policy goals, such as halting Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land, ending its collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and negotiating in good faith a lasting peace agreement.
Josh Ruebner is National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change US policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law and equality. He is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service.