[News] Israel is the Most Egregious Violator of Every US Arms Export Provision .

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Mar 18 18:04:08 EDT 2012

Israel is the Most Egregious Violator of Every US Arms Export Provision
How Many Violations of US Arms Laws are Too Many?

It depends whether the miscreant enjoys “We will 
always have your back regardless”
. status

Franklin Lamb, Beirut

On March 6, 2012, the US Congressional Research 
Service released a report to the US Congress 
concerning Restrictions on the use of American 
weapons by recipient countries. For those who 
have followed the subject there was not a whole 
lot new in the CRS study, yet it is instructive 
in identifying Israel once again as far and away 
the most egregious violator of virtually every 
provision of every US law which purports to 
regulate how American weapons are used.

According to one CRS researcher, requesting 
anonymity  during a Skype conversation and subsequent memo:

  “An intern and I decided, almost for amusement, 
to count violations of US Arms Export Control 
laws by Israel between the date of ACEA 
enactment, 1976, through  last month and we 
estimated more than 2.5 million violations if we 
applied the law given the legislative history and 
intent of Congress at the time of its 
passage.  We based that figure on our estimation 
of each individual violation of the act as well 
as of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act.  It could 
be firing a US 155 mm artillery shell, various 
missiles, bombs, rockets and of course cluster 
munitions. For example, were Israel brought 
before a Court, the prosecutors would surely 
argue that each cluster booklet dropped on 
Lebanon in 2006 was a separate violation plus the 
two million estimated dropped during the 1982 
invasion of Lebanon and during the 1978, 1993 and 
1996 invasions.  Add to this figure Israel’s 
records of violating US Arms export laws in Gaza, 
the West Bank and Syria and the true number is 
surely several million violations.  Essentially all committed with impunity.”

In accordance with U.S. law, the U.S. Government 
is mandated to enforce strict conditions on the 
use against civilians, of weapons it transfers to 
foreign recipients. Violations of these 
conditions can lead to the suspension of 
deliveries or termination of contracts for such 
defense items, and even the cutting off of all aid to the violating country.

Section 3(a) of the 1976 US Arms Export Control 
Act (AECA) sets the standards for countries to be 
eligible to receive American arms and it also 
sets express conditions on the uses to which 
these arms may be put. Section 4 of the AECA 
states that U.S. weapons shall be sold to 
friendly countries “solely” for use in 
“legitimate self-defense, for use in “internal 
security,”  and to enable the recipient country 
to participate in “collective measures requested 
by the United  Nations for the purpose of 
maintaining or restoring international peace and security.”

Should the President or Congress determine 
pursuant to section 3(c)(3)(A) of the Arms Export 
Control Act that a “substantial violation” by a 
foreign country of an applicable agreement 
governing an arms sale or grant has occurred, 
then that country is automatically ineligible for 
further U.S. military hardware. This action would 
also terminate provision of credits, loan 
guarantees, cash sales, and deliveries pursuant 
to previous sales or grants. Other options 
include suspension of deliveries of defense items 
already ordered and refusal to allow new arms orders.

The United States has only once used such an option against Israel.

Questions raised by researchers in Beirut during 
the summer of 1982 and by Washington Post 
journalist Jonathan Randal regarding the use of 
U.S.-supplied military equipment by Israel in 
Lebanon in June and July 1982, led the Reagan 
Administration to determine on July 15, 1982, 
that Israel “may” have violated its July 23, 
1952, Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with 
the United States (TIAS 2675) and the AECA.

The pertinent language of the 1952 agreement 
between Israel and the United States states: “The 
Government of Israel assures the United States 
Government that such equipment, materials, or 
services as may be acquired from the United 
 are required for and will be used solely 
to maintain its internal security, its legitimate 
self-defense, or to permit it to participate in 
the defense of the area of which it is a part, or 
in United Nations collective security 
arrangements and measures, and that it will not 
undertake any act of aggression against any other state.”

Alarm centered on whether or not Israel had used 
U.S.-supplied antipersonnel cluster bombs against 
civilian targets during its carpet bombing West 
Beirut during the nearly three month siege.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings 
on this issue in July and August 1982. On July 
19, 1982, the Reagan Administration announced 
that it would prohibit new exports of cluster 
bombs to Israel. This prohibition was lifted by 
the Reagan Administration in November 1988 under 
US Israel lobby pressure on the White House 
designed to assist the Presidential campaign of 
George H. W. Bush against Senator Walter Mondale.

The facts of this case which mainly centered on 
events in Lebanon are instructive.  During the 
1973 Ramadan war, Israeli Prime Minister Golda 
Meir, watching Arab forces advance on Israel 
troops following the October 6 Egyptian and 
Syrian offensive, and being advised by the 
Israeli Defense Ministry of a pending disaster, 
threatened President Nixon with Israel using 
nuclear weapons unless the US rescued Israel. 
Nixon’s immediate response was to order a massive 
air lift to Israel of US arms stockpiled for use 
in Vietnam at Clark air force base near Subic 
Bay, Philippines. The base commander at Clark 
immediately resigned because being on the 
defensive in Vietnam, he advised Washington US 
troops needed those weapons.  Included were eight 
types of US cluster bombs including the M-42, 
M-46,CBU-58 A/B, APAM (BLU) 77/B, MK 20 
“Rockeye”, MK 118 and he M-43 “Birdie” as the 
U.S. Marines in Beirut referred to the M-43 it in late 1982 and 1983.

During a late June 1982 meeting with Israeli 
Prime Minister Begin, Reagan was handed a note 
from George Shultz. Based on the information he 
had in hand, Reagan directly told Begin that the 
US had reliable information than Israel was using 
American weapons against civilians in Lebanon. At 
this point according to Reagan, Begin became very 
agitated.  He lowered his glasses and while 
glaring at Reagan and shaking his index finger 
said, “Mr. President, Israel has never and would 
never use American weapons against civilians and 
to claim otherwise is a blood libel against every 
Jew, everywhere.”  Following their meeting Reagan 
told Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, as 
reported by Weinberger and by various biographers 
of Reagan that “I did not know what the term 
“blood libel” meant, but I know that the man 
looked me straight in the eyes and lied to me.”

The original Secretary of State George Schultz 
suggestion to Reagan of Israel using two types 
(the M-42 and the CBU-58) of American cluster 
bombs was soon changed to the charge that Israel 
in fact used all eight types of American cluster 
bombs Nixon had sent to Meir during October 1973.

Proof of the use of the eight types of US cluster 
bombs was delivered to an assembly of US Pentagon 
and other officials in late July 1982 at the 
Indian Head Ordnance facility on the Potomac 
River in Southern Maryland on instructions from 
the late American Journalist Janet Lee Stevens to 
this observer.  Substantive and still preserved 
demonstrative and physical evidence, including 
photographs and US cluster bombs, some of which 
still were filled with the high explosive minol, 
that were carried in my suitcase,  that had been 
gathered from around West Beirut by Janet and her 
research team that included Palestinian fighters 
delegated by Yassir Arafat and Khalil al Wazir 
(Abu Jihad) some Marabatoun fighters, as well 
several Amal milita as well as this observer  to aid with the task.

The US / Israel lobby accurately considers 
American arms control laws as meaningless. The 
prohibitions against Israel’s use of American 
weapons against civilians have not, are not and 
in all likelihood will never be enforced against 
Israel given the regime’s continuing occupation of much of the US government.

The once cherished American value of building a 
nation based on humane laws and the American 
national security interest of achieving  a 
foreign policy that deals on the basis of 
equality with other nations have been 
sacrificed  so as to delay the 
inevitable  collapse of the apartheid colonial 
enterprise implanted on Palestine.

The Obama “we’ve got your back regardless” 
genuflection endangers America as surely as it 
threatens with US weapons, every country in the 
Middle East and beyond that may even contemplate 
challenging Zionism’s regional hegemony.

It’s high time for true American patriots to take 
back their country and rejoin the community of 
nations on the basis of equality and mutual 
respect for all, entangling and corrupting alliances with none.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and is 
reachable c/o <mailto:fplamb at gmail.com>fplamb at gmail.com

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