I knew I didn’t agree with how all my tax dollars were being spent as a U.S. citizen, but only day two into this trip and I am realizing I will have to reclaim my silence with how my tax dollars are being spent in Israel. Israel receives $3.1 billion of U.S. Military aid and is by far the largest recipient of US aid.
With this U.S. aid money, 95% of the spending goes towards military expenses and 5% of this money goes towards other programs and expenses. Israel is the only country that has this great of an amount of US money spent on military expenditures. In this way, the U.S. is assisting to oppress the people of Palestine and violating their human rights. It is not extreme to say it is criminal to continue to use my (OUR) tax dollars in this way. These illegal settlements, the wall that is being completed, denial of human rights, and this form of apartheid are all against international law and we are paying for it monetarily as the Palestine people are paying for it with their freedom.
I have witnessed so much in just 48 hours of being a part of this delegation (I cannot wait to share more thoughts and details about this trip upon my return). Even in such a short time, I have already felt shame for the way that the American dollars are being spent here and the historical context of the conflict that we have played such a large role in.
The time is now to stop this irresponsible and immoral spending. There is currently a ten-year agreement between the United States and Israel for an additional $30 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel. This military aid package, amounting to $3 billion per year, represents a 25% increase over the current U.S. annual military aid appropriation.