Imagine your cousin shot in the eye, dead at the age of 22. Picture your parents, huddling in the pitch-dark house, fearful of gunshots outside. For those whose families and relatives live under Israeli occupation, like Nasri Elwawi and Jad Humeidan of Central Ohio, such nightmarish visions have become traumatic everyday realities. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 636 Palestinians have been killed and 15,543 injured since September 29, 2000 (figures reported at midnight on September 8, 2001). Roughly a third of those killed are children 18 or under. Numbers alone are horrendous, but remember, also, that behind each death and injury there is the invisible anguish of countless Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories, and diaspora — yes in Columbus, Ohio as well.

Many Americans — unaware that the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem) has doubled in the past decade during the so-called “peace process” — are surprised by the intensity of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. However, despite a tremendous compromise made by the Palestinian leadership who agreed to cede 78 percent of the historic Palestine and recognize Israel’s pre-1967 borders, Israel has refused to keep up its end of the bargain, continuing to create material conditions that can only make for scattered Palestinian ghettoes and bantustans, making a mockery of Palestinian aspirations to sovereignty: “63 non-contiguous cantons, completely encircled and besieged by Israeli troops, punctuated by 140 settlements...with their own road network banned to ‘non-Jews,’” as noted by Edward Said. This is not a foundation for peace — rather, it is an Apartheid, Israeli-style.

Even well-meaning Americans who abhor violence and deplore human rights violations are encouraged by the corporate media to think that this is a problem of “religious conflicts,” for which both Israelis and Palestinians are equally responsible. The U.S. government has portrayed itself as if it were an “honest and neutral broker.” The Israeli Apartheid under which Palestinians suffer, however, has been made possible by American tax dollars, with many weapons made by American corporations. The National Lawyers Guild Delegation to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel reports (at

Since 1976, Israel has been the leading recipient of foreign assistance from the United States. From 1949 through fiscal year 2000, the United States has given Israel over 81 billion dollars in foreign aid, making Israel the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. It is important to note, however, that $81 billion is a conservative number for U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. The figure, $81 billion, does not include Department of Defense allocations for joint defense projects such as, for example, the $200 million allocated in past years for Israel’s development of the Merkava tank. Moreover, the figure does not reflect imputed interest Israel receives from early disbursement of U.S. foreign assistance. U.S. foreign assistance to Israel is unique because repayment on loans to Israel is waived and the United States has pledged in the Cranston Amendment to provide Israel with economic assistance not less than the amount Israel owes the United States for previous loans. A more accurate total of cumulative U.S. foreign assistance to Israel may be closer to $91 billion.

In return for the aid, the American elite have received Israeli cooperation in policing the Middle East and beyond, making the world safe for multinational investment, protected from any challenge from people (like Nasser, Arbenz, and others) who sought to put the lives of peasants and workers before profits (see, for instance, Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, Chapter 4). The Israeli Apartheid is, in short, “made in the USA.” We, the OSU Committee for Justice in Palestine, therefore believe that the responsibility to end the Apartheid lies in the hands of people in the USA. We call on all people of conscience to join us in a campaign to end U.S. aid to Israel and divest from corporations (such as arms manufacturers) which profit from its perpetuation.

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