Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Palestinians and anti-zionist Orthodox Jews protest against Israeli annexation plan on July 3, 2020 in North Bergen Township, New Jersey. (Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Over 200 National DNC Delegates Call for Withholding of US Military Aid to Israel if Further Annexation Goes Forward

"It is past time for the Party to reaffirm the position of Democratic voters and support human rights and self-determination for Palestinians."

Julia Conley

To truly represent Democratic voters and show support for internationally-recognized human rights, more than 200 delegates to the Democratic National Convention said Thursday, the party must support efforts to withdraw Israeli military aid if the further annexation of the West Bank moves forward.

The delegates submitted a statement to the DNC's platform committee, demanding that the Democratic Party back efforts by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and other progressive lawmakers to withhold $3.8 billion in military aid from Israel if it follows through with its annexation plan. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a similar call last year. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to seize control of 30% of the West Bank, including parts of the Jordan Valley, where about 65,000 Palestinian people live. The plan is in line with U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal for a so-called "peace plan," released in January.

The annexation proposal, which was set to go forward July 1 and faces delays, violates international law and has been vocally opposed by dozens of U.N. human rights officials and U.S. allies around the world.

"With potential annexation looming, it is past time for the party to reaffirm the position of Democratic voters and support human rights and self-determination for Palestinians," said Sam Hindi, a Palestinian American delegate from California, who organized the letter to the DNC. "Arab American voters have long demanded justice for Palestine, and it is heartening to see so many of our fellow Americans align with us on this defining human rights issue of our day."

The delegates noted in a press statement that 71% of Democratic voters oppose Israel's annexation plan, 70% support an independent Palestinian state, and 81% believe that Congress should question the U.S.-Israeli relationship. 

"We felt that some in the Democratic Party leadership have been out of step with Democratic voters on this issue for some time," Hindi said.

Nine of the top 20 recipients of campaign contributions from pro-Israel groups are Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics; presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been the top recipient from either party in 2020, receiving more than $900,000.

Aligning with Israeli interests as the country seeks to further oppress Palestinian people, the delegates said, puts the party leadership even more at odds with voters on the issue than it already is. 

"The Platform Committee should give this statement—and the support among Democratic voters that it represents—strong consideration as they craft the party's policy agenda moving forward," said Marcy Winograd, a California delegate and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. "Democrats increasingly want a foreign policy driven by the values of human rights and democracy. Continued unconditional aid to Israel would represent tacit support for the Israeli government's illegal and inhumane actions in the West Bank and Gaza, while ignoring the wishes of the majority of Democratic voters, including American Jews."

The delegates suggested that historic unemployment, the loss of employer-based health insurance for millions of Americans, and other ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic heighten the need for the U.S. to end its support for the Israeli military's actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

"The billions we give unconditionally to Israel could be spent on domestic priorities and social programs benefiting our most marginalized communities in the United States, which is especially important today as millions of Americans suffer without healthcare, jobs, education, and housing amidst a global pandemic," reads the statement.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

'A Day of Shame': Australia Lobbying Thwarts Push to List Great Barrier Reef as Endangered

Greenpeace Australia called Friday's World Heritage Committee vote "a victory for one of the most cynical lobbying efforts in recent history."

Jake Johnson ·

Revealing 'Extreme and Regressive Strategy,' Mississippi Asks SCOTUS to Overturn Roe

"This has always been the anti-choice movement's agenda behind closed doors—now they're operating in plain sight."

Andrea Germanos ·

'A Huge Outrage': Senate Panel Approves $25 Billion Pentagon Budget Increase

"Not so incidentally, the $25 billion spending increase approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee exactly matches the cost to scale up Covid-19 vaccine production to meet global demand."

Jake Johnson ·

Sanders, Lee, and Murphy Slam Biden Administration's First Drone Strike in Somalia

"It's time to do away with questionable legal justifications claimed by one administration after the next for acts of war like this."

Jake Johnson ·

Progressives Demand Probe After Revelations About FBI Investigation of Kavanaugh

"Survivors deserve justice, and the country deserves to know the full truth of this situation, as well as the lengths the Trump administration was willing to go to cover up the truth."

Jessica Corbett ·