Home WORLD As Gaza mourns, establish support to limit US aid to Israel | Israel and Palestine conflict news

As Gaza mourns, establish support to limit US aid to Israel | Israel and Palestine conflict news

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Los Angeles, California, U.S. — For 66-year-old Mariam Sbeitan Ali, the recent escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine has awakened traumatic memories.

When the Arab-Israeli War broke out in 1967, Ali was only 12 years old and lived in East Jerusalem. She remembered washing dishes in her yard after the bomb started to fall.

A few days later, Israeli forces occupied East Jerusalem and later annexed East Jerusalem in ignorance of international law.

The soldiers told us from door to door that we should leave. They told us that they will pay the bus fare to Jordan,” she told Al Jazeera.

Ali’s family-including her mother and five siblings-fled to the Jordanian border town of Al-Karameh. However, after becoming a hot spot in the “war of attrition,” no safe place was found.

Ali vividly remembered her mother throwing her into an empty bucket and covering it with her body to protect her.

In this photo, seven-year-old Mariam Ali and her family lived in Beit Iksa, a small village a few miles from Jerusalem.When Ali was 12, his family was forced to flee to Jordan [Courtesy: Mariam Ali]

Ali is 66 years old and the mother of two daughters. He is engaged in midwifery services in California. But the pain of forced displacement she suffered in her childhood is still primitive, so primitive that she has been relieving her feelings of fear and helplessness, as she has seen Palestinians face deportation from their homes in Jerusalem and Israel in recent weeks. The 11-day bombing of Gaza killed 248 people.

“She was crying every night,” her daughter Noora Ali told Al Jazeera. To this day, the trauma still affects her. She still remembered bombs exploding around her. “

But Ali did not lose hope. That’s because the latest round of brutal violence has also planted the seeds of the huge changes that American public opinion may have on Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Ultimately, this may set the conditions for the US$3.8 billion in aid provided to Israel each year by the United States.

Attitude change

On May 15, Ali and his daughter marched on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, surrounded by Palestinian flags and signs, calling for the cessation of military assistance to Israel.

Family members say they have participated in such events for many years, but they have never seen so much support from outside the Palestinian community.

“I’m very touched. There are blisters on my feet, but I walked and walked. I didn’t notice them at all,” Ali said.

Organizers said that on May 15th, 20,000 people participated in the Palestinian rights march in Los Angeles, California. [Credit: Brian Osgood/Al Jazeera]

Among the parades organized throughout the United States, it is estimated that more than 20,000 people participated in the parade propaganda groups in Los Angeles.

Pro-Israel organizations are a powerful force in the United States, donating millions of dollars to U.S. federal political candidates each year.During the 2020 election, pro-Israel groups Donated 30.95 million US dollarsAccording to data from the non-profit organization OpenSecrets.org, 63% of them are allocated to Democrats and 36% to Republicans.

However, although the leadership of the Democratic Party is still anti-pro-Israel, the attitude of the party’s voters is changing.

A poll conducted by Gallup in 2021 found that even though two-thirds of Democratic voters still favor Israel, two-thirds also favor the establishment of a Palestinian state. Democratic voters’ support for the United States increased the pressure on Israelis by 53% to promote peace.

Now, Palestinian rights groups and their allies in the progressive movement are seeking to transform public opinion into real legislative changes in the United States, first of all Provide conditions for billions of dollars in aid The United States sends Israel every year.

“We see that until the United States ends its support for Israeli apartheid, we are still facing an uphill struggle politically,” said Luna Hamad, the organizer of the Yala Indisidiq, the organization that organized the march. Al Jazeera.

She said: “But starting a dialogue now and strengthening the scrutiny of the relationship between the United States and Israel was impossible a few years ago.”

Call for incremental change

US President Biden continued to express support for Israel throughout the current conflict and proposed to sell US$735 million in US weapons to his military.

“Not only did Biden not exert pressure to end the fight, he also [President Benjamin] The Netanyahu government has issued a clear green light,” Khaled Elgindy, head of the Palestine project at the Middle East Institute, told Al Jazeera.

However, despite the belief that US military assistance to Israel is politically inaccessible for many years, Palestinian advocacy groups and progressive US legislators are increasingly vocal in challenging this consensus.

On Wednesday, representatives of Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin The representative said that they will Preventing $735 million in arms sales Israel.

Although this is unlikely, it represents that progressives are increasingly willing to put pressure on the establishment of the Democratic Party.

Omar Ghraieb, a Palestinian writer living in Gaza, told Al Jazeera via e-mail: “Having members of Congress call for an end to US military assistance and a ceasefire shows that we have a voice, and that voice is being amplified. .”

Social media also explained to witnesses the violence and displacement experienced by people every day. Organizers said this factor played a key role in changing the narrative of conflict.

“The world can no longer act like they did not see what is happening in Palestine; they will eventually face pressure to hold Israel accountable.” Greeb said.

There are other developments too. Representative of Minnesota, Betty McCollum (Betty McCollum) Introduced legislation Calls for stricter scrutiny of U.S. military assistance to ensure that it is not used for activities such as detention of Palestinian children, demolished houses, or theft of Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

For some time, people have felt that progress is possible, except when it comes to Palestinian rights. I think this is over. Palestine is part of the racial justice and freedom movement.

Ahmad Abuznaid, American Movement for Palestinian Rights

The bill currently has 22 co-sponsors McCollum’s communications director, Amanda Yanchury, said it has the support of more than 100 citizens and human rights organizations.

Yanchury told Al Jazeera via email: “Change will not happen overnight or just by passing a bill-when Americans are no longer willing to endure the taxes we use to support the systematic persecution of the Palestinian people, change will happen. .”

Advocates do not expect the legislative council to pass soon. However, they are encouraged by this because it is helping to promote an increasingly heated debate in the party about the relationship between the United States and Israel.

“We have seen a lot of people talking this week about the need to protect human rights in Palestine,” Beth Miller, who conducts political propaganda for the Progressive Jewish Peace Appeal, told Al Jazeera. “Anyone who cares about Palestinian rights should stumble upon themselves to support this bill.”

Meaningful support

For Palestinians living under Israeli rule, the issue of restricting military aid is not an abstract issue.

“The impact of this military aid on the Palestinians is obvious,” Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian writer and researcher living in the Occupied West Bank, told Al Jazeera. “This means the Israeli military and border police suppress the Palestinians. This means ethnic cleansing. This means the bombing of Gaza.”

The world can no longer act like they did not see what is happening in Palestine. They will eventually be required to hold Israel accountable.

Omar Ghraieb, a Palestinian writer living in Gaza

Although the Palestinians were quick to say that they are facing an arduous political struggle to change the deep-rooted status quo between Israel and the United States, they still feel a shift.

Ahmad Abuznaid, executive director of the Palestinian Rights Movement in the United States, told Al Jazeera: “For some time, people have felt that progress is possible, except when it comes to Palestinian rights.” “I think this is over. Yes. Palestine is part of the racial justice and freedom movement.”

As the disconnect between the foundation of the Democratic Party and the leadership intensifies, Abznaid said he hopes meaningful change is possible.

“Yes it is [Biden] The government has been disappointing. “He said. “However, mass movements will eventually bring about changes, and we are seeing changes on the ground, which we have never seen before.” “



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