January 5, 2009
The Honorable Condoleezza RiceSecretary of StateU.S. Department of State
Dear Dr. Rice:
I am writing concerning Israel’s military offensive against Gaza, which began on December 27th. I support Israel’s security and its right to exist in peace, without the fear of rocket attacks from Hamas. Moreover, I abhor the violence being visited upon the citizens of our firm ally.
So before anything else, we can conclude that no, Kucinich is indeed not anti-semitic.
However, no nation is immune from the legal conditions placed on the receipt of U.S. military assistance. I believe that with the current escalation of violence in Gaza, a legal threshold has been reached, warranting a Presidential examination and report to Congress. I hereby request an examination of Israel’s compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA).
The Arms Export Control Act states that any country using chemical or biological weapons to harm its “own nationals” is violating the AECA, or any country that has ever had a history of supporting a terrorist group–is violating the AECA.
So “nationals” is never defined, but we can assume that in this case with Israel, that if white phosphorus bombs are used on the Israelis by the government then they’re in clear violating. However, considering that Israel controls maritime, the border, airspace and trade is not out of line to say that the Palestinians are “nationals” of Israel? Considering that Israel was on what was once Palestine for thousands of years, and since the Palestinians are defined as “People of Palestine”, would they not be considered “Native Israelis” as we call the Native Indians, “Native Americans”? Bottom line: Palestinians should be considered nationals. So last year in December and January Israel invaded Gaza, killed 1200 non-combatent Palestinians, many with the use of phosphorus bombs provided by America. Their reason for bombing Gaza: Hamas launching Qassam rockets into Southern Israel. Hamas does launch rockets into Israel. A lot of the rockets they launch actually go into the West Bank–In the illegal Israeli settlements there however. Of course, Israel considers these lands “Israeli” and count those rockets as going into Israel. (Another reason for Palestinians to be considered ‘nationals’.) Let’s go back in history. Back during the PLO days, peace was actually seeming feasable. Could the Palestinians actually self-govern themselves, and come closer for global support for two seperate states? It sure seemed so. Israel took a logical tactic, one used in the Civil War in America: Divide, and conquer. Israel was reported giving money to Hamas in 2007. Israel and the U.S. have labelled Hamas as a terrorist organization, so technically, Israel does have a history with “terrorism”.
While neither the AECA nor the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) define “internal security” and “legitimate self-defense,” I believe that Israel’s most recent
attacks neither further internal security nor do they constitute “legitimate” acts of self-defense. They do, however, “increase the possibility of an outbreak or escalation of conflict,” because they are a vastly disproportionate response to the provocation, and because the Palestinian population is suffering from those military attacks in numbers far exceeding Israeli losses in life and property.
Israel’s current military campaign in Gaza has inflicted a significant toll on Palestinian civilians and society. Israel’s recent aerial and ground offensive against Gaza has killed nearly 600 and injured over 2,500.
Take note that this letter was written before the end of the war between Gaza and Israel, and the numbers are now significantly higher. 1455 Gazans killed. 5350 Gazans injured. The number of children killed as said below is also significantly higher.
The Associated Press reported: “children are paying the price. . . . The United Nations has said the death toll includes 34 children. . . . But the broad range of Israel’s targets–police compounds, fire stations, homes of militants, Hamas-run mosques and university buildings–means most shelling is occurring in residential areas.”
Hamas is a social organization. Not everyone in Hamas is launching rockets at Israel. Not even close to a majority. Killing all of Hamas members is equivolent to killing all government officials in America, (considering that we’ve killed over 600,000 Iraqis thus far) which include those DMV people, passport people…etc…
The extensive destruction of such civilian institutions violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the wanton destruction of property and collective punishment of a civilian population. There have also been reports of bombings of United Nations (UN) schools, despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces were allegedly given coordinates of the facilities prior to the current escalation in violence. The blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza since 2006 has further exacerbated the extent of collateral damage, as hospitals and morgues have been unable to cope with the magnitude of deaths and injuries as a result of the current escalation in violence and hospitals lack proper supplies needed to treat the injured.
I believe that Israel’s use of defense articles provided by the U.S in the current Gaza military attacks may constitute a violation of the AECA. At a minimum, the conflict is sufficient to warrant an immediate report to Congress as required by 22 U.S.C. §2753. Please contact my office by close of business on January 7, 2009 with the date the report will be submitted.
Dennis J. KucinichMember of Congress
So, what was Condolezza Rice’s responce? Well, she said the majority of the blame is on Hamas.
Here’s a video on phosphorus bombs on Gaza.