+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12,866

    Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid
    By Laila El-Haddad in Gaza

    Tuesday 03 January 2006

    A prominent US human rights organisation has called on the Bush administration to cut back its direct foreign aid to Israel until the latter complies with calls to stop settlement expansion and work on the separation wall.

    In a letter addressed to George Bush, the US president, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) requested that the US administration deduct direct aid to Israel the amount equal to what Israel spends on its the settlements and on the construction and maintenance of the separation wall inside the West Bank.

    The HRW letter cites figures from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics that in the first half of 2005, there was a 28% increase in settlement housing starts compared to the same period in 2004.

    According to the Israeli settlement watchdog group Peace Now, there are 121 official settlements in Israel and 101 unofficial outposts.

    The settlement areas occupy more than 40% of the West Bank. There are 240,000 settlers residing in the settlements amid some 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

    "We urge you to use US diplomatic and financial influence to stop this trend in 2006," read the letter, signed by Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of HRW's Middle East North Africa Division.

    "Israel's continuing settlement activity is a violation of international humanitarian law, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and Israel's own commitments under the US-sponsored road map of April 2003," it continued.

    Largest aid recipient

    Israel has been the largest annual recipient of US foreign assistance since 1976, and the largest cumulative recipient since World War II, according to a report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in Washington DC.

    US direct aid to Israel was nearly $2.6 billion in 2005, with an additional $3 billion provided by way of loan guarantees.

    It is now known exactly what amount of that money is spent on settlements and their expansion or on constructing and maintaining the wall.

    Unlike other recipients of US aid, Israel is not required to report on how it spends any of the money it receives from the US, nor is it required to pay back the loans, according to the CRS report.



    The Israeli newspaper Haaretz found in an investigative report they conducted last month that Israel spends about $550 million alone for the non-military aspects of settlement maintenance and expansion.



    The Israeli Knesset, meanwhile, estimates that Israel will spend about $3.4 billion on the separation wall, 80% of which is to run inside the occupied West Bank.



    Israeli denial



    The Israeli Foreign Ministry denies the money spent on settlements comes from US financial aid, a practice that would be in contravention of US stipulations.

    Lior Ben Dor, a spokesperson for the ministry, said: "We know how to run our budget. The construction of a new apartment or housing in these existing settlements does not necessarily mean that the money for it is taken from this foreign aid.

    "Sometimes it comes from private enterprises. But in any case it doesn't have to do directly or necessarily with foreign aid.

    "Israel is not building any new settlements. Any expansion is taking place according to the natural growth of the population and within building plans for these settlements.

    "So therefore we see no need to cut American aid," Ben Dor told Aljazeera.net, adding that Israel was "ready to dismantle" a number of West Bank settlements based on "progress" in the road map.

    Circumvention

    Under the US sponsored road map peace plan, Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activity, including "natural growth", and to dismantle all settlement outposts created since March 2001, according to Human Rights Watch.

    Groups such as Peace Now believe the Israeli administration circumvents its promise not to build new settlements by expanding existing ones beyond their natural growth, by annexing Palestinian land, and by creating a system of contiguous illegal outposts.

    It is the first time a major human-rights group has asked for an actual cut in direct aid to Israel, as opposed to a reduction in loan guarantees or other grants, according to Lucy Mair, head of HRW's Jerusalem office.

    Washington has previously halted loan guarantees to Israel -most recently in 2003 - but never direct foreign aid.

    Stopping loan guarantees means that Israel has to pay slightly higher interest on money it may or may not borrow. Cutting aid would have more severe implications.

    "The US has reiterated many times its position that Israel should freeze all settlement building, including natural growth, but it needs to put its money where its mouth is because Israel is clearly thumbing its nose at US requests," Mair told Aljazeera.net.

    Stepping out

    Human-rights organisations often shy away from openly calling for a cut in foreign aid to Israel, for fear it may jeopardise their standing with donors.

    Stephen Zunes, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco in California, explains: "It is an important step in that it underscores the need for the US government to do something concrete to back up its stated commitment to the provisions of the road map.

    "Having a mainstream and reputable human-rights organisation directly address the sensitive topic of US aid to Israel helps move the settlements issue away from divisive ideological debates and places it squarely on the human-rights agenda where it belongs.

    "It will force American politicians to choose between defending the human rights community and backing a right-wing expansionist government in its blatant violations of international law," Zunes said.

    Attempts to get a response from US officials in Israel and at the State Department were unsuccessful.

    Mair said HRW does not expect to receive a response, but are "confident" that the administration individuals concerned are reading their interventions.

    "As the largest bilateral donor to Israel, the US has a special responsibility to make sure that its aid is not directly or indirectly used to support violations of international humanitarian law such as settlement building or the construction of the wall inside the occupied Palestinian territories," she said.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exer...2BBACC422C.htm

    .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    622

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid
    By Laila El-Haddad in Gaza

    Tuesday 03 January 2006

    A prominent US human rights organisation has called on the Bush administration to cut back its direct foreign aid to Israel until the latter complies with calls to stop settlement expansion and work on the separation wall.

    In a letter addressed to George Bush, the US president, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) requested that the US administration deduct direct aid to Israel the amount equal to what Israel spends on its the settlements and on the construction and maintenance of the separation wall inside the West Bank.

    The HRW letter cites figures from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics that in the first half of 2005, there was a 28% increase in settlement housing starts compared to the same period in 2004.

    According to the Israeli settlement watchdog group Peace Now, there are 121 official settlements in Israel and 101 unofficial outposts.

    The settlement areas occupy more than 40% of the West Bank. There are 240,000 settlers residing in the settlements amid some 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.

    "We urge you to use US diplomatic and financial influence to stop this trend in 2006," read the letter, signed by Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of HRW's Middle East North Africa Division.

    "Israel's continuing settlement activity is a violation of international humanitarian law, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and Israel's own commitments under the US-sponsored road map of April 2003," it continued.

    Largest aid recipient

    Israel has been the largest annual recipient of US foreign assistance since 1976, and the largest cumulative recipient since World War II, according to a report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in Washington DC.

    US direct aid to Israel was nearly $2.6 billion in 2005, with an additional $3 billion provided by way of loan guarantees.

    It is now known exactly what amount of that money is spent on settlements and their expansion or on constructing and maintaining the wall.

    Unlike other recipients of US aid, Israel is not required to report on how it spends any of the money it receives from the US, nor is it required to pay back the loans, according to the CRS report.



    The Israeli newspaper Haaretz found in an investigative report they conducted last month that Israel spends about $550 million alone for the non-military aspects of settlement maintenance and expansion.



    The Israeli Knesset, meanwhile, estimates that Israel will spend about $3.4 billion on the separation wall, 80% of which is to run inside the occupied West Bank.



    Israeli denial



    The Israeli Foreign Ministry denies the money spent on settlements comes from US financial aid, a practice that would be in contravention of US stipulations.

    Lior Ben Dor, a spokesperson for the ministry, said: "We know how to run our budget. The construction of a new apartment or housing in these existing settlements does not necessarily mean that the money for it is taken from this foreign aid.

    "Sometimes it comes from private enterprises. But in any case it doesn't have to do directly or necessarily with foreign aid.

    "Israel is not building any new settlements. Any expansion is taking place according to the natural growth of the population and within building plans for these settlements.

    "So therefore we see no need to cut American aid," Ben Dor told Aljazeera.net, adding that Israel was "ready to dismantle" a number of West Bank settlements based on "progress" in the road map.

    Circumvention

    Under the US sponsored road map peace plan, Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activity, including "natural growth", and to dismantle all settlement outposts created since March 2001, according to Human Rights Watch.

    Groups such as Peace Now believe the Israeli administration circumvents its promise not to build new settlements by expanding existing ones beyond their natural growth, by annexing Palestinian land, and by creating a system of contiguous illegal outposts.

    It is the first time a major human-rights group has asked for an actual cut in direct aid to Israel, as opposed to a reduction in loan guarantees or other grants, according to Lucy Mair, head of HRW's Jerusalem office.

    Washington has previously halted loan guarantees to Israel -most recently in 2003 - but never direct foreign aid.

    Stopping loan guarantees means that Israel has to pay slightly higher interest on money it may or may not borrow. Cutting aid would have more severe implications.

    "The US has reiterated many times its position that Israel should freeze all settlement building, including natural growth, but it needs to put its money where its mouth is because Israel is clearly thumbing its nose at US requests," Mair told Aljazeera.net.

    Stepping out

    Human-rights organisations often shy away from openly calling for a cut in foreign aid to Israel, for fear it may jeopardise their standing with donors.

    Stephen Zunes, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco in California, explains: "It is an important step in that it underscores the need for the US government to do something concrete to back up its stated commitment to the provisions of the road map.

    "Having a mainstream and reputable human-rights organisation directly address the sensitive topic of US aid to Israel helps move the settlements issue away from divisive ideological debates and places it squarely on the human-rights agenda where it belongs.

    "It will force American politicians to choose between defending the human rights community and backing a right-wing expansionist government in its blatant violations of international law," Zunes said.

    Attempts to get a response from US officials in Israel and at the State Department were unsuccessful.

    Mair said HRW does not expect to receive a response, but are "confident" that the administration individuals concerned are reading their interventions.

    "As the largest bilateral donor to Israel, the US has a special responsibility to make sure that its aid is not directly or indirectly used to support violations of international humanitarian law such as settlement building or the construction of the wall inside the occupied Palestinian territories," she said.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exer...2BBACC422C.htm

    .

    Maybe they should appeal directly to America's leadership working at our nation's capital...in Tel Aviv.
    Last edited by dante; 01-04-2006 at 03:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,578

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    US Aid should be halted to any country that willingly tortures its own and foreign nationals, kills civilians as collateral damage, bulldozers protestors and denies an entire nation the possibility of work and a functional economy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,099

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    It's actually illegal for the U.S. to provide aid to nations which regularly violate international law and engage in human rights abuses. But that doesn't stop the U.S. from giving more than $3 billion in financial and military aid, not to mention diplomatic aid, to Israel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    633

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    It's actually illegal for the U.S. to provide aid to nations which regularly violate international law and engage in human rights abuses. But that doesn't stop the U.S. from giving more than $3 billion in financial and military aid, not to mention diplomatic aid, to Israel.
    Or any other country that does the same for that matter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,099

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE
    Or any other country that does the same for that matter.
    Quite right.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    633

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Bet is we lived under this ruling, we couls save a boat load of money ;)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,099

    Re: Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE
    Bet is we lived under this ruling, we couls save a boat load of money ;)
    I'm not a fan of welfare. It's Robin Hood socialism.

    But I never say much about that because we spend so much money on corporate welfare or financial aid to foreign countries that it makes whining about our domestic welfare system seem completely and totally ridiculous.

    Stop welfare for corporations. Stop welfare for foreign nations. If we're going to have welfare, I'd rather see it going to Americans.

    Not that I'm greedy. And I'm not talking about aid to third world countries. I'm not talking about forgiving loans to impoverished nations or ceasing aid to countries whose people struggle for survival. But that's not generally where Americans' tax dollars go.

Similar Threads

  1. Obama urges review of Ariz. law!
    By SnappyDan in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-29-2010, 09:45 AM
  2. UN urges Canada: Stop Discrimination!
    By pwrone in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-15-2010, 01:31 PM
  3. UN Human Rights Commission Condems Israel
    By KishmeernTuches in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-28-2007, 04:00 AM
  4. US Urges Scientists To Block Out Sun
    By Solve et Coagula in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 02-05-2007, 04:03 PM
  5. Human Rights Group Accuses Israel of War Crimes
    By sojustask in forum Political Scams
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-24-2006, 08:39 PM

Tags for this Thread

Add / Edit Tags
000, 2001, administration, africa, age, agreed, aid, america, american, annual, apartment, appeal, april, assistance, based, ben, bet, billion, blatant, building, bureau, called, calling, calls, capital, case, central, cer, choose, community, completely, concerned, congressional, cons, corporate, corporations, countries, country, damage, debates, defending, department, diploma, diplomatic, direct, director, division, doesn, donors, early, east, english, entire, expanding, fear, figures, financial, foreign, fra, george, giving, grants, group, growth, halted, head, helps, hey, higher, his, housing, huma, human, human rights, humanitarian, illegal, important, individuals, influence, inter, interest, international, international law, investigative, ion, israel, issue, jerusalem, kills, land, last, law, letter, lived, loan, loans, lucy, main, mainstream, maintenance, matter, mea, men, mention, military, million, ministry, money, month, more, move, nations, need, net, newspaper, north, nose, number, office, official, officials, organisation, palestinians, pay, peace, place, plans, pos, position, posts, presiden, private, progress, published, quote, read, ready, reduction, research, residing, response, responsibility, ridiculous, rights, robin, run, san, sarah, security, seem, sensitive, service, set, settlement, severe, signed, socialism, sometimes, son, special, spend, spends, spent, star, starts, state department, stated, stop, stream, successful, support, system, taken, talking, the wall, they, told, tor, totally, u.s., uni, united, university, url, viola, wall, watch, welfare, west, west bank, wing, work, working, world, york

View Tag Cloud

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •