At the recent annual gathering of Veterans for Peace, we chartered a new chapter in Tijuana, Mexico, that provides refuge for deported Latino veterans. Although our government had offered these servicemen a fast track to U.S. citizenship for serving in our military, it then deported them to avoid responsibility for providing the veterans’ benefits they earned.
At the same time, our government sends $10 million in military aid to Israel every day. After the 1967 war, in which the Israeli Defense Force captured Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the entire Sinai Peninsula, Israeli Gen. Matti Peled counseled Americans not to provide unending military aid to Israel, because that would eliminate any incentive for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians and withdraw from the occupied territories.
As a Vietnam-era veteran, I am grateful to organizations like Veterans for Peace and Combatants for Peace (former IDF and Palestinian fighters) for exposing these misguided policies. How do we justify sending $10 million every day to Israel and $2 billion every day to the Pentagon when we cannot (or do not) serve our own veterans? It’s time to reorder our priorities.