Home > Notable Peace News > AOC Moves to Block a $735 Million Arms Sale to Israel | Business Insider

AOC Moves to Block a $735 Million Arms Sale to Israel | Business Insider

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday led other progressive Democrats in the introduction of resolution to block a $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel.

The Biden administration approved the sale before the recent fighting in the Middle East began, and officially notified Congress of the deal on May 5. Lawmakers are running out of time to stop the sale, with a 15-day review period ending on May 20.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who chaired the South African Truth and Reconcilation Commission, said: “There are few truths more critical to face than a nuclear weapons arsenal in the hands of an apartheid government.”

In a statement on the joint resolution, Ocasio-Cortez said that the US has been selling billions of dollars in weaponry to Israel for decades “without ever requiring them to respect basic Palestinian rights.” In doing so, she said, the US has contributed directly to “the death, displacement and disenfranchisement of millions.”

Source: AOC Moves to Block a $735 Million Arms Sale to Israel


Francis Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law.
He said: “The Biden administration has repeatedly prevented the United Nations Security Council — which under Article 24 of the United Nations Charter — has ‘primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security’ from addressing the Israeli assault on Gaza.” During the 2014 war, the UN Security Council called for a ceasefire, which the Biden administration has been preventing.
  “Biden has repeatedly stated that Israel has the ‘right to defend itself’ — effectively a green light for bombing — rather than demanding an immediate ceasefire and allowing the Security Council to do its job. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has correctly understood Biden’s statements and dismissed Biden’s rhetorical call for ‘de-escallation.’

“The Biden administration is thus now aiding and abetting war crimes.

  “There is now rocket fire between Israel and Lebanon. The actions of the Biden administration — a green light to Israel — are now threatening global security.
  “Biden has knowingly let U.S. weapons to be used by Israel to commit war crimes in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the U.S. Arms Control Export Act and the Arms Supply Agreement between the U.S. and Israel.

“Moreover, Biden is moving to ship more weapons to Israel as we speak. These efforts by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others may be worthwhile, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi and company will likely push them aside. The efforts by Sanders and other senators, while a welcome departure from the usual rhetoric from Capitol Hill … are unlikely to jar the Biden administration.

  “During the impeachment of Trump earlier this year — which I supported — Democrat after Democrat stated that the issue was not disliking Trump, it was his pernicious violation of the law that was the issue. Well, President Biden is now violating laws. He is aiding and abetting a foreign power in conducting war crimes in violation of both international law and domestic law.
  “The remedy for this situation is for one sitting member of Congress to live up to their responsibilities under our Constitution which they have pledged to uphold and introduce articles of impeachment. We are supposed to be a nation of laws and not men. Impeachment is effectively a check given to each and every member of Congress against a president who is violating the law.”

Boyle was legal adviser to Rep. Henry B. González and wrote the first draft of the González Impeachment Resolution in 1991. George H. W. Bush would later write in his memoirs about his fear of impeachment — that if the Gulf War “drags out, not only will I take the blame, but I will probably have impeachment proceedings filed against me.”

In 2017, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, and foreign policy speechwriter, told Politico that President Obama feared impeachment if he targeted the Syrian government.

While many regard Rep. Rashida Tlaib and other members of “The Squad” as unique in their stance on Israel, that is not accurate. For example, Rep. Paul Findley — the author of the War Powers Resolution and a longtime associate of Boyle’s — addressed the issue in a manner that resulted in his political defeat at the hands of political operatives including Rahm Emanuel.

Also see: “War in Palestine: a timeline.”

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