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The Friends Committee on National Legislation today joined Churches for Middle East Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, and Defense of Children International – Palestine in sending a letter urging President Biden to block the delivery of $735 million in weapons to Israel. The letter was signed by more than 100 national organizations, including Justice Democrats, MoveOn, Working Families Party, Indivisible, Sunrise Movement, DAWN, and American Muslims for Palestine.

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations focused variously on human rights, peacebuilding, and the protection of civilians, write in opposition to the United States government’s plans to sell $735 million in advanced weapons systems and munitions to Israel. The planned arms sales to Israel would send a signal of support for Israel’s recent conduct in occupied Gaza and East Jerusalem, which includes likely violations of international humanitarian law.

Over the past several weeks, Americans have watched in horror as the Israeli government used U.S.-manufactured weapons in a devastating assault on civilians in Gaza, killing over 220 Palestinians, including at least 67 children, while Hamas and other Palestinian groups in Gaza launched thousands of rockets against Israeli population centers. While most of the rockets from Gaza either missed their targets or were intercepted by Israel’s missile-defense system, Iron Dome, Israeli airstrikes destroyed schools, refugee camps, international media outlets, hospitals, and Gaza’s only COVID-19 testing lab. Over 52,000 Palestinians have been displaced, which has exacerbated an already desperate humanitarian situation for Palestinians on the Gaza Strip, during a pandemic.

We welcome the recent ceasefire and appreciate your administration’s support for it, but we are concerned that the situation remains extremely fragile. Even since the ceasefire has been in effect, there has been escalating violence in Al-Aqsa mosque, with Israeli police forces firing teargas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades at worshippers. Moreover, the forced expulsions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, which precipitated the latest outbreak of conflict, has also not been settled, but merely delayed by Israeli courts.

Blocking this weapons sale will not change the reality of daily life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Those living in Gaza will continue to suffer from severe shortages of life-saving medicines, food, electricity, and clean water, because of Israel’s illegal military blockade, which makes life unsafe and unbearable. But halting delivery of the weapons would send a clear message that your administration is unwilling to fuel further attacks on civilians in Gaza.

Given the likely continuing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the Israeli government, delivery of these weapons would greatly undermine your administration’s goal of pursuing a foreign policy centered on human rights. Moving forward with this sale would also hurt the U.S. ability to play a constructive role in the peace process, which could have lasting implications for the likelihood of resolving the conflict.

We believe moving ahead with these sales would undermine U.S. moral values, national security interests, and support likely violations of international humanitarian law by sending a green light for Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. We call upon you to immediately halt these sales, provide robust humanitarian and reconstruction assistance for Gaza and engage in the sustained and impartial diplomacy needed to achieve a just, peaceful and lasting solution for both Israelis and Palestinians.

18 Million Rising
About Face: Veterans Against the War
ActionAid USA
Adalah Justice Project
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Al Dameer Association For Human Rights
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
American Baptist Churches, USA
American Friends Service Committee
American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA)
American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)
American Muslims for Palestine
Arab American Institute (AAI)
Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Arab-American Civil Rights League
Arms Control Association
BPFNA-Bautistas por la Paz
Campaign Against Arms Trade
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for International Policy
Center on Conscience & War
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Churches for Middle East Peace
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Council on American-Islamic Relations, California (CAIR-CA)
Defense for Children International - Palestine
Demand Progress Education Fund
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
Disciples Palestine Israel Network
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Episcopal Church of the Incarnation
Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Palestine Israel Network
Equality Labs
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA)
Feminists for Justice in/for Palestine, National Women’s Studies Association
For All
Freedom Forward
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Historians for Peace and Democracy
ICNA Council for Social Justice
International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
Investor Advocates for Social Justice
Islamic Medical Association at UNC School of Medicine
Islamophobia Studies Center
Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, USA
Jetpac Resource Center
Jewish Voice for Peace Action
Just Foreign Policy
Justice Democrats
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
MENA Rights Group
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
Meta Peace Team
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Migrant Roots Media
Muslim Delegates and Allies
Muslim Forum of the Pacific Northwest
Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
Muslim Women For
Muslims For Progress
National Lawyers Guild - Palestine Subcommittee
National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
National Writers Union
National Council of Churches
NGP Action
On Earth Peace
Our Revolution
Palestine Legal
Palestinian Christian Alliance for peace
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action
Peace Direct
Poligon Education Fund
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America -  Middle East Alliances
Project Blueprint
Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
Red Letter Christians
Reformed Church in America
Rethinking Foreign Policy
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Stand with Kashmir
Sunrise Movement
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society Tree of Life Education Fund
Tunisian United Network
U.S. Palestinian Council
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United for Peace and Justice
US Council of Muslim Organizations
US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)
Win Without War
Women for Weapons Trade Transparency
Women’s Action for New Directions
Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality
Working Families Party
World BEYOND War
Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation
Yemeni Alliance Committee
YUCCA Action