Based in Washington, D.C. and presiding over more than a dozen additional chapters throughout the United States, the group Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now (SUSTAIN) was established in late 2000. It describes itself as “a non-hierarchical, grassroots organization committed to supporting and sustaining the Palestinian movement for justice, human rights and self-determination.”
“We are committed to building a campaign against U.S. military and economic aid to Israel so that U.S. tax-dollars do not support the [Israeli] abuse of human rights,” SUSTAIN asserts. On federal Tax-Day, SUSTAIN criticizes America’s financial support (with its tax revenues) of Israel. The organization has also taken rhetorical and economic action against the Caterpillar bulldozer company (to protest the Israeli Defense Force’s use of that company’s equipment in the demolition of Palestinian terrorists’ homes); denounced the construction of Israel’s security fence; and promoted divestment from Israeli corporations and economic interests.
Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, SUSTAIN organized a “Global Justice Intifada” in Washington, D.C. to condemn “U.S. imperialism” and demand justice on behalf of “Palestinians resisting Israeli occupation” and “Iraqis fighting genocidal sanctions.”
Mark Lance, a professor at Georgetown University and a founding member of SUSTAIN, wrote an article in the spring of 2002 titled “Imperialism and Anti-authoritarian Resistance after 9-11: Some Crucial Questions,” in which he expressed his desire to organize “solidarity” groups within the Palestinian territories and Lebanon, while at the same time working with the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. These groups, wrote Lance, “must be understood in terms of the role [they play]. Hamas provides the majority of social services to the people of this oppressed and overpopulated strip of land. Brutalized by Israel, and neglected by the PNA [Palestinian National Authority], Hamas has been the only group to take up the slack. Thus, organizing that rejects them out of hand or in all respects is simply impossible. This applies even more to the role of Hezbollah in the south of Lebanon.”
SUSTAIN has endorsed the “Declaration Regarding Caterpillar Violations of Human Rights,” a document that impugns the U.S.-based Caterpillar Corporation for selling its machinery to the Israeli army for counter-terrorism operations, as noted above.
SUSTAIN is a member organization of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, which is led by Leslie Cagan, a longtime committed socialist who aligns her politics with those of Fidel Castro‘s Communist Cuba.