I write a weekly column for the local rag. This week I shared a story from my recent trip to Israel that is worth a few minutes of your attention, particularly in the context of President Obama reaffirming our unconditional support of the state of Israel.
As if the situation of these refugees wasn’t dire enough, Aida Camp is under constant siege by the IDF. When the separation barrier went up it cut Aida Camp off from agricultural land that had been sustaining the residents. A checkpoint in the barrier near the camp has become the site of daily clashes between the IDF and Palestinian youth. Tear gas canisters litter the ground throughout the camp. Every one of them has “Made in the USA” printed on the side. You can smell yesterday’s tear gas in the air as you walk through the alleys. Less than an hour after I left Aida camp I looked back over the separation wall to see plumes of tear gas rising from the camp again…
Every year the United States gives billions of dollars in aid to Israel, but nearly 95% of that aid is earmarked for military use. That is the highest percentage of any country we give aid to. This means essentially that we hand Israel a bunch of gift certificates to Lockheed Martin and say “go crazy kids”. The checkpoints in the separation wall sometimes have big signs saying “paid for by USAID”. They are stocked with biometric scanners made by HP. Surveillance is done with cameras made by Motorola. The entire operation is bought and paid for with your tax dollars. The occupation of Palestine would end tomorrow if the United States pulled that aid.
Support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.