US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
President Obama is expected to address a joint session of Congress and deliver a “blueprint” for his FY2010 budget.
According to the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the United States and Israel in 2007 and made public by the US Campaign, the President is expected to request $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in FY2010.
However, there are growing indications that the Obama Administration is considering sanctioning Israel. According to a senior Israeli security official in a Feb. 17 article in Ma’ariv, Israel fears that Special Envoy George Mitchell will convince the White House to cut military aid as a response to Israel’s ongoing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank. A Feb. 15 Ha’aretz article speculated that amounts available for U.S. loan guarantees to Israel would be cut for the same reason.
Meanwhile, last Thursday, Sen. John Kerry and Reps. Keith Ellison and Brian Baird visited the occupied Gaza Strip to assess the damage from Israel’s recent war and ongoing siege. This was the first time any U.S. government official visited Gaza in more than three years. After their visit, Ellison and Baird released a strong press release, stating:
“If this had happened in our own country, there would be national outrage and an appeal for urgent assistance. We are glad that the Obama administration acted quickly to send much needed funding for this effort but the arbitrary and unreasonable Israeli limitations on food and repair essentials is unacceptable and indefensible. People, innocent children, women and non-combatants, are going without water, food and sanitation, while the things they so desperately need are sitting in trucks at the border, being denied permission to go in.” Continue reading