U.S. policy on Palestine and Israel should…
1. Review the use of U.S. military aid to Israel.
Long-term security will never be reached through greater military weaponry, but through systems of justice and equality. The U.S. should examine the ways in which its military assistance to Israel is furthering the illegal military occupation of Palestinian areas. At a minimum, military assistance should be cut off to military units that have committed human rights violations–the same standard that is enforced for U.S. military aid to all other countries.
2. Uphold a consistent commitment to human rights and international law.
The U.S. should call for respect of human rights, and an end to the use of violence and violations of international law by all parties in Palestine and Israel. This includes calling for enforcement of the International Court of Justice decision that the separation wall is illegal and must be dismantled, as well as an end to the confiscation and distribution of land and water resources.
3. Respect the right of nonviolent protest.
Many in Congress want to cut off assistance to the Palestinian Authority because they have joined a number of U.N. treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At the time of this writing, legislation is also moving in Congress to pressure the European Union and others to cease the use of economic measures against illegal Israeli settlements. Rather than punishing nonviolent strategies–such as U.N. mechanisms or economic measures–the U.S. should work with Israel to end the injustices that these measures seek to address.
4. Call for an end to the blockade of Gaza.
The U.S. should support negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to reach a long-term ceasefire for Gaza that addresses the need for sustainable reconstruction, tackles the root causes of the conflict and can deliver long-lasting security for both Israelis and Palestinians. As part of these discussions, the U.S. and others in the international community should propose a time-bound plan to end the blockade of Gaza, which can be implemented and monitored through relevant U.N. mechanisms.
Resources for learning more:
MCC Palestine blog
Stories and reflection by MCC Palestine staff
Stop the Wall
Palestinian grassroots movement working against the Israeli separation wall
Israeli organization documenting human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian areas