— by Sharon Bender
B’nai B’rith International is deeply concerned by a letter sent to Congress by 15 leaders of various Christian denominations calling for an investigation of Israel’s use of U.S. aid. In the letter they claim “widespread Israeli human rights violations” which would result in breaches of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.
These acts both prohibit aid to countries that display a consistent pattern of human rights violations. B’nai B’rith takes exception to the accusations of human rights violations as they are unfounded, inflammatory and one-sided.
More after the jump.
“B’nai B’rith is highly critical of this attempt to undermine the relationship between the United States and Israel,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “U.S. aid is extremely important in protecting the people of Israel… Suggesting that aid is used to violate human rights only serves the purpose of demonizing the Jewish state.”
The letter puts some blame on the Palestinians, but never holds the Palestinian Authority accountable for refusing to re-enter direct negotiations with Israel, the only true path to peace.
“This letter is a thinly veiled attempt to try to harm Israel, and U.S.-Israel relations,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “It unfairly singles Israel out despite the fact it is the only country in the region that embraces our shared values of democracy and freedom of religion. It also ignores the mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries that is widely supported in the United States.”
B’nai B’rith firmly believes that by calling for an investigation of Israel’s use of U.S. aid, these leaders have embraced an approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that does not promote peace and reconciliation, but rather the heightening of tensions between all parties.