American Friends Service Committee said it seeks to highlight how U.S. taxpayer dollars “are misused to fund war and militarism instead of life-sustaining programs.”

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

With the April 15 U.S. federal income tax filing deadline just around the corner, the American Friends Service Committee on Thursday announced a Tax Day campaign to demand members of Congress stop funding Israel’s genocidal war on Palestinians in Gaza.

AFSC—a Quaker group that has been active in Gaza since the Nakba, or Israeli ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Palestine in 1948—said it seeks to highlight how U.S. taxpayer dollars “are misused to fund war and militarism instead of life-sustaining programs.”

This year, the group’s focus is on U.S. military aid to Israel amid the ongoing Gaza genocide, in which at least 109,500 Palestinians have been killed or wounded by Israeli forces, often using weapons supplied by Washington—including 2,000-pound bombs that can level entire city blocks. The majority of Palestinians killed during the war have been women and children, including more than 13,000 minors.

According to AFSC:

Over the last six months, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed using weapons provided by the United States. Humanitarian aid workers delivering vital assistance continue to be attacked and killed at unprecedented rates. The blockade and killing of humanitarian aid workers are causing widespread famine and starvation in Gaza.

“This scale of devastation is only possible because of financial, political, and military support from the United States,” Jennifer Bing, who heads the AFSC’s Palestine Activism Program, said in a statement. “We need our members of Congress to listen to their constituents and their conscience and say no to any additional military funding for Israel and yes to a cease-fire and humanitarian access.”

AFSC general secretary Joyce Ajlouny said: “The U.S. government is deeply complicit in the deaths of thousands of Palestinian children and families. Our tax dollars are buying the bombs dropping on their loved ones and the tanks that are destroying their cities.”

“As a Quaker and a Palestinian I know that this violence will never bring peace,” Ajlouny added. “We need an immediate cease-fire, an end to military funding from the U.S., and a political process that will end the apartheid system and bring true peace and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The U.S., which already gave Israel around $4 billion in annual military aid before the October 7 attacks, has approved more than 100 arms shipments to the key Middle Eastern ally over the past six months. President Joe Biden—who since October 7 has repeatedly circumvented Congress in order to expedite weapons transfers to Israel—is seeking an additional $14.3 billion in armed assistance to the country.

This, despite multiple domestic laws and the Biden administration’s own rules barring arms transfers to countries that violate human rights.

Israel imports nearly 70% of its arms from the United States. Common Dreams reported earlier this month that the Biden administration is pushing Congress to approve the sale of $18 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets to Israel.

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams, where this article first appeared; licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely. Photo: CC-BY 2.0

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