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The US may be flouting its own laws by sending unrestricted aid to Israel (VOX)


The US may be flouting its own laws by sending unrestricted aid to Israel – By Nicole Narea (VOX) / Dec 22, 2023

US law limits aid to countries that violate human rights. Here’s why it isn’t applied to Israel.

The recent high-profile killings of three Israeli hostages, two women in a Gaza church, and 11 unarmed Palestinian men in front of their family members have raised new global alarm at Israel’s targeting of civilians amid its war in Gaza. The deaths came as part of its ground assault, and as it continues a bombing campaign that even staunch Israel ally President Joe Biden has called “indiscriminate.” Yet, he continues to push for additional, essentially unconditional aid to Israel — despite the fact that some foreign affairs experts say existing US laws meant to safeguard human rights should have long restricted the flow of such assistance.

“We always treat Israel with kid gloves when it comes to potential human rights violations of any kind,” said Josh Paul, who has become a prominent critic of the Biden administration’s Israel policy since resigning from his post as the director of congressional and public affairs at the State Department bureau overseeing American arms sales over concerns about the Israeli response to the October 7 attack by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group designated as a terrorist organization by many countries. “When it comes to suspending or curtailing lethal military assistance, there’s no sign of anyone willing to take any actual steps.”

The US provides more aid to Israel than to any other country, about $3.8 billion annually in recognition of the two states’ “special relationship” that dates back decades. Now, Biden wants Congress to approve an additional $14.3 billion in aid to Israel as part of a broader package that also includes aid for Ukraine and that has been held up over immigration policy negotiations. He also recently circumvented Congress to sell Israel $106 million worth of tank ammunition.

Biden administration officials told CNN that they are not currently considering placing conditions on aid beyond those that already exist in federal law, saying that the US expects Israel to abide by international humanitarian law and that the Israel Defense Forces conducts internal legal reviews of its strikes beforehand.

CONTINUE > https://www.vox.com/world-politics/24011316/us-aid-israel-biden-human-rights-leahy-law


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