As both chambers of Congress consider legislation that would send supplemental assistance to Israel, Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on legislators to ensure that these bills reflect US values and existing laws by providing vital humanitarian assistance to address the growing crisis in Gaza. Congress must also ensure that all recipients of US foreign assistance adhere to established US and international human rights laws.
Israel faces a war on two fronts, and the foreign military assistance outlined in the President’s supplemental funding request would continue to provide resources during this volatile time.
However, there is a pressing need for accountability regarding Israel's use of US-provided equipment. Adherence to both US and international laws, as well as the protection of civilians, must be a guiding principle of US assistance to all aid recipients. We call on Congress to implement key guardrails on US security assistance to Israel, ensuring that military operations supported by US tax dollars comply with American and international humanitarian law, with measures to minimize civilian casualties.
At the same time, the people of Gaza are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The humanitarian assistance detailed in the President’s funding request is more crucial than ever. Our foreign policy must continue to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of their background or nationality.
The cynical House Republican aid resolution fails to meet either of these standards. Instead, Speaker Johnson has chosen to play partisan politics at the expense of Israeli and Palestinian lives.
Conversely, APN welcomes the inclusion of humanitarian assistance to the West Bank, Gaza and Israel in the comprehensive funding package to be introduced in the Senate. These funds are lifesaving and reflect the US commitment to humanitarian assistance. Rightfully, these funds include certification requirements to ensure that aid would reach its intended recipients. Oversight, transparency, and accountability are essential.
However, it is in that same vein we are dismayed that the Senate base text does not include similar guardrails or accountability for Israel’s use of US military assistance to ensure its usage aligns with existing US and international law.
We urge the Senate to adopt additional language outlined in the Van Hollen amendment mandating that countries receiving weapons comply with US law, international humanitarian law, and the law of armed conflict when using US-supplied weapons.
We also commend the Senate for its inclusion of a provision requiring the Secretary of State to brief Congress on the status and wellbeing of hostages being held in Gaza.
APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “The US-Israel relationship is grounded in America’s commitment to Israel’s security and future as a democracy. I urge Congress to put forward legislation that reflects US values and addresses the full scope of the crisis.”