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U.S. Veterans Demand State Department Stop Sending All Weapons to Israel

Inspector-General of the US State Department must investigate the flagrantly illegal shipments of Illegal arm to Israel. State Dept. photo, Lisa Baxter

The Veterans For Peace (VFP) announced today that they have filed a formal request on Feb. 11 with the Inspector-General of the U.S. State Department to investigate the flagrantly illegal shipments of weapons to Israel and the alleged criminal acts by senior Biden administration officials in violation of U.S. law, including ratified treaties, which are the supreme law of the land. Further, the Veterans For Peace letter calls for the State Department to suspend all weapons shipments to Israel.

VFP’s announcement, posted on Feb. 13 on, among other sites reads, in part:

“Josh Paul, former State Department senior official who resigned over weapons shipments to Israel said, ‘The Secretary and all relevant officials under his purview should take this letter from Veterans For Peace with the utmost seriousness. It is a stark reminder of the importance of abiding by the laws and policies that relate to arms transfers.'

“Mike Ferner, VFP National Director, said, ‘Just as any good soldier can recognize when they are given an unlawful order, we believe some State Department staff are horrified at the orders they’re given and will decide to uphold the law, find the courage to speak out and demand an end to the carnage. VFP enthusiastically supports Josh Paul for what he did and we believe the public does, too. The IDF has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and is utterly destroying Gaza. These actions amount to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and VFP wants them investigated.'

“‘Unless no one in the entire U.S. State Department has seen the news in the last four months, they have to be aware of Israel’s illegal activity. But just in case, our letter to the Inspector General spells it out in chapter and verse. We believe the State Department—from the Secretary down to every staff person working on arms transfers to Israel—is in criminal violation of U.S. statutes regarding how U.S. weaponry can be used. There’s no ‘Israel exception’ that makes it okay for U.S. weapons to be used in genocide even if it’s labeled self-defense,’ Ferner concluded. [emphasis in original]

“The letter from Veterans For Peace alleges violations by the U.S. government and its officials of:

“• The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, which prohibits U.S. weapons transfers when it’s likely they will be used by Israel to commit genocide; crimes against humanity; and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including attacks intentionally directed against civilian objects or civilians protected or other serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, including serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against children. Dozens of authoritative complaints and referrals made by hospital administrators in Gaza, as well as by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Palestine Authority, South Africa, Turkey, Medicins san Frontieres, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Food Programme, have confirmed that there is an ongoing human rights and humanitarian disaster due to Israel’s cutoff of water and electricity, deliberate destruction of sewage infrastructure and delaying of aid shipments by Israeli forces.

“• The Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids the provision of assistance to a government which ‘engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.'

“• Arms Export Control Act, which says countries that receive U.S. military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza goes way beyond self-defense and internal security.

“• The U.S. War Crimes Act, which forbids grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and unlawful deportation or transfer, perpetrated by the Israeli Occupying Forces.

“• The Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights.

“• The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which was enacted to implement U.S. obligations under the Genocide Convention, provides for criminal penalties for individuals who commit or incite others to commit genocide.

“Human rights attorney, Terry Lodge, who drafted the VFP letter, pointed out what he called ‘The State Department’s double standard to determine war criminality,’ citing a December 6, 2023, determination by Secretary Blinken, ‘that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of Sudan had “committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.” As horrible as the crimes of the RSF may be, they pale compared to what Israel is doing in Gaza.’”