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Hold Israel Accountable for its use of U.S.-Supplied Tear Gas

March 1, 2012

The Obama administration is asking for $3.1 billion in military aid for Israel in the 2013 foreign appropriations bill. This continues to make Israel the largest annual recipient of US military aid over the past 3 decades.

The military aid that the US provides Israel is used for a variety of purposes and weapons systems, fighter planes, tanks and military intelligence equipment. The $31 billion is also used to provide the Israeli military with tear gas.

The End the Occupation Campaign is calling on people of this country to pressure the US Congress to stop providing tear gas because of how it is being used. Here is a statement from the End the Occupation Campaign with some action ideas:

Three years ago this week, a colleague and I were shot at and nearly killed by the Israeli military with a U.S.-supplied high-velocity tear-gas projectile.   Had the canister been fired a few inches to the left, it would have done to one of us what it has done to so many Palestinian, Egyptian, Bahraini and U.S. civilians: cause severe, often permanently debilitating injuries, or death.

Two weeks after we were targeted in the West Bank village of Ni’lin, Tristan Anderson, a 37-year-old from California was shot with a high-velocity tear gas canister while filming a Palestinian protest against Israel’s land expropriation.  Tristan spent the next fifteen months in the hospital before being transferred back to the United States.  He remains paralyzed on the left side and blind in his right eye. 

In December of last year, Mustafa Tamimi, a 28-year-old from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh was shot and killed by the Israeli military  at close range with a U.S.-supplied tear gas canister.

Two siblings from the West Bank village of Bil’in, Jawaher and her brother Bassem, were both killed by tear gas during  demonstrations against land theft and resource confiscation by Israel’s illegal settlement complex.

Israel has shown a clear pattern of misusing U.S.-supplied tear gas against Palestinian and U.S. civilians, so far, with total impunity.  As U.S. taxpayers, we have the means and moral obligation to demand accountability, especially when these weapons are being used against people demonstrating for freedom, equality, and basic human rights.

 In the recently passed 2012 budget, the Secretary of State is required to certify within 90 days that Middle Eastern countries are not misusing U.S. supplied tear gas against civilians and nonviolent demonstrators.

With your help, we can ensure that Members of Congress and the Secretary of State hold Israel accountable for the lethal and ongoing misuse of U.S.-supplied high-velocity tear-gas projectiles.

Send this letter to your Members of Congress to ensure that Israel, along with Egypt and Bahrain, are held accountable for grave violations of U.S. laws and fundamental human rights committed with these deadly high-velocity tear gas canisters. 

Before you send the letter, please consider also quickly calling your Members of Congress (their numbers will be displayed right next to the letter) to let them know how important this issue is to you with the suggested talking points provided here.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Corinne Carey permalink
    March 3, 2012 7:13 pm

    Our very exemplary public official, Senator Debbie Stabenow, stands firmly for the common good and each of us individual citizens. I/We support her strong stand on small farmer needs and her position on the 1021 Farm Bill hearings.
    Also our groups and families are very personally concerned that the prison systems and legal systems are urgently in need of humanizing and improvement for the common good and for the too-many poverty-victimized people of America, especially the minorities.
    We see rising concern of treatment of non-violent events being increasingly violently treated by a militarized police force.
    As a mother, grandmother and teacher, the rising uncivility we see both demonstrated by public officials and among society is alarming !
    Our democracy, well-being and “pursuit of happiness” CAN be constitutionally developed as an urgent function of government, in collaboration with our best inter-religions standards !

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