The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | Israel’s military doesn’t deserve American taxpayer dollars

Israel’s relentless brutality against the citizens of Gaza must not be funded or supported by the U.S. in any way
Shaely Odean
Pro-Palestine protesters hold up signs to passing cars on the Pentacrest in Iowa City on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. The Israel-Hamas War started on Oct. 7.

The U.S. must take an uncompromised stance against genocide and oppression.

Recently, Hamas launched an abominable surprise assault on Israel, killing at least 1,400 Israelis. However, Israel’s subsequent response has been horrifying and brutal. In addition to killing over 3,000 Palestinians, as of Oct. 22, almost half of which are children, some reports say they bombed al-Ahil hospital in Gaza, killing over 500 doctors and patients.

It doesn’t stop at bombings. Israel demanded over a million civilians move to the south of the territory, an order that was condemned by the United Nations, then proceeded to bomb the border post that they encouraged Palestinians to use. They also cut off food, water, and access to fuel for civilians and children in Gaza.

While Israel has historically been an ally of the U.S., it is time to demand a ceasefire and publicly condone Israel’s actions by ending our financial and weapons support for their military. We cannot allow them to use our weapons and resources to commit genocide.

This is not to say that Hamas is a noble organization or worthy of celebration in any way. Their antisemitic intentions and the targeting, kidnapping, and killing of innocent civilians must be condemned by those who support Palestinian liberation.

In condemning Israel’s actions, a crucial distinction must be made: Their actions have nothing to do with their Jewish foundations and culture. Imperialism and war crimes committed by anyone of any faith must be condemned.

With our defense of Palestinians and Muslims, we must also acknowledge that Jewish people around the world, including the U.S., are at an increased risk of becoming the victims of prejudice and hate crimes. Jewish people must be protected by the law and by their fellow citizens, and those who support the Palestinian cause must denounce any antisemitism stemming from this issue.

A major question amid the chaos is how the U.S. will respond to one of the biggest crises in the recent history of the region. Some action has already been taken, including 2,000 U.S. troops told to be ready to deploy in response to the war, and a visit from President Joe Biden to Israel.

Military action is the last thing the U.S. needs to be taking. In any case, but especially now, we must prioritize de-escalation through diplomacy. The world’s most prominent military superpower should not be risking intensifying the tension and violence by sending troops.

Furthermore, the U.S. gives billions of dollars to Israel annually. Almost all of this aid has been military-based as opposed to economic aid. U.S. aid makes up 16 percent of Israel’s military budget, not including the $10 billion we have given to their missile defense systems. Additionally, President Joe Biden just announced a $100 million aid package to Palestine.

If you are a taxpayer, you have a stake in this as well, no matter how much attention you’ve given this issue. Your dollars are being spent on missiles that are hitting hospitals and slaughtering hundreds of children. You must ask yourself: Are you okay with that?

Domestically, both U.S. military involvement on the side of Israel and support of Israel’s actions from the media and government has and will continue to put Palestinian-Americans and Muslims in danger. There have already been domestic deaths as a result of reactions to the war. A 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy was murdered and his mother was injured in a knife attack by a neighbor in Chicago. Prosecutors say the attacker was influenced by conservative talk radio.

While the $100 million humanitarian aid package the U.S. is giving to Gaza and the West Bank is a plus, it is not enough. Biden must join the many nations of the world who have called for a ceasefire and condemn Israel’s actions. The fact that he has not only failed to do so is a stain on his legacy and an embarrassment to the nation.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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About the Contributors
Evan Weidl
Evan Weidl, Opinions Editor
Evan Weidl is a senior majoring in political science. He previously worked in the opinions section as a columnist.
Shaely Odean
Shaely Odean, Photojournalist
Shaely Odean is a transfer student at the University of Iowa, currently in her third year. She is pursuing double majors in Journalism and Strategic Communications, as well as Sustainability Sciences. Shaely works as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan, and her passion lies in environmental issues. Before joining the University of Iowa, she attended Kirkwood Community College, where she served as the photo editor for the Kirkwood Communique.