PSL Editorial – Israel’s latest Gaza massacre shows why U.S. aid must end now

At least 44 Palestinians are dead following the latest campaign of terror waged by the Israeli military against the besieged population of Gaza. Israeli jets pounded residential buildings and other civilian areas for three days, leaving hundreds injured in addition to the dead.

Fifteen of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli bombardment were children, including one four-year-old and two five-year-olds. 

This massacre was made possible by the U.S. government. Israel receives nearly $4 billion every year in military aid from the United States. This horrific misuse of taxpayer money must end immediately.

Not only does the U.S. supply much of the bombs, missiles, jets and other instruments of destruction used to kill innocent Palestinians, it also provides political cover in an attempt to guarantee Israel impunity for its crimes. Joe Biden issued a statement yesterday shamefully attempting to cover up this act of aggression as simply a matter of self-defense: “Over these recent days, Israel has defended its people … I commend Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s steady leadership throughout the crisis.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. On August 1, Israeli forces arrested Bassem al-Saadi, a top leader of one of the resistance organizations in Palestine. Four days later, the Israeli military assassinated another leader of the same organization in an air strike in Gaza that also took the life of a five-year-old girl. Resistance fighters had no choice but to respond with rocket fire, and Israel expanded its bombing campaign. Many analysts have suggested that this reckless escalation was prompted by Israeli Prime Minister Lapid’s desire to “look tough” ahead of the election being held in the country next month. This had nothing to do with self-defense. 

The United States also provides political cover for the 17-year long blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel —with the help of the U.S. client government in Egypt. One of the key ways this siege causes suffering among Gazans is by creating chronic electricity shortages. During this latest massacre, Israel completely cut off the supply of fuel to the one power plant that exists in Gaza. As a result, the plant had to shut down amid the bombing campaign, leaving residents with only four hours of electricity a day. 

A ceasefire currently appears to be holding, but it is only a matter of time before another massacre is launched in a brutal cycle that has repeated itself throughout the duration of the siege of Gaza. Washington writes the checks, and Israel carries out the crimes. And along the way, executives at weapons manufacturers line their pockets since all U.S. military aid to Israel must be spent purchasing armaments from U.S.-based corporations. 

This must come to an end. Not another penny should go to underwriting the murder of Palestinians, especially children. All U.S. support for Israel — military, political, economic or otherwise — should forever end to this regime that is based on the violent suppression of the rights of the Palestinian people.

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