[News] Open Letter on the Need to Impose a Comprehensive Two-Way Arms Embargo on Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 1 21:58:48 EDT 2021

addameer.org <https://www.addameer.org/news/4483> Open Letter to the States
Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty on the Need to Impose a Comprehensive
Two-Way Arms Embargo on Israel
August 31, 2021

We, the undersigned global coalition of leaders –from civil society to
academia, art, media, business, politics, indigenous and faith communities,
and people of conscience around the world– call upon the States Parties to
the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to act decisively to put an end to Israel’s
notorious use of arms and military equipment for the commission of serious
violations of international humanitarian law and human rights against
Palestinian civilians by immediately imposing a comprehensive two-way arms
embargo on Israel.

In the spring of 2021, the world once again watched in horror as Israeli
occupying forces attacked defenseless Palestinian civilians in the Gaza
Strip, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and inside Israel.
Palestinian civilians peacefully protesting against colonization of their
land were assaulted with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound
bombs, tear gas, and skunk water. Israel’s deadly military aggression
against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip was the
fourth in a decade. Over 11 days, 248 Palestinians were killed, including
66 children. Thousands were wounded, and the reverberating effects of the
use of explosive weapons on hospitals, schools, food security, water,
electricity, and shelter continue to affect millions.

This systematic brutality, perpetrated throughout the past seven decades of
Israel’s colonialism, apartheid, pro-longed illegal belligerent occupation,
persecution, and closure, is only possible because of the complicity of
some governments and corporations around the world.

Symbolic statements of condemnation alone will not put an end to this
suffering. In accordance with the relevant rules of the ATT, States Parties
have legal obligations to put an end to irresponsible and often complicit
trade of conventional arms that undermines international peace and
security, facilitates commission of egregious crimes, and threatens the
international legal order.

Under Article 6(3) of the ATT, States Parties undertook not to authorise
any transfer of conventional arms if they have knowledge at the time of
authorization that arms or items would be used in the commission of
genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva conventions
of 1949, attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians protected
as such, or other war crimes as defined by international agreements to
which they are a Party.

Under Articles 7 and 11, they undertook not to authorise any export of
conventional arms, munitions, parts, and components that would, *inter alia*,
undermine peace and security or be used to commit serious violations of
international humanitarian law and human rights law.

It is clear that arms exports to Israel are inconsistent with these
obligations. Invariably, Israel has shown that it uses arms to commit war
crimes and crimes against humanity, as documented by countless United
Nations bodies and civil society organizations worldwide. Military exports
to Israel also clearly enabled, facilitated, and maintained Israel’s
decades-long settler-colonial and apartheid regime imposed over the
Palestinian people as a whole.

Similarly, arms imports from Israel are wholly inconsistent with
obligations under the ATT. Israeli military and industry sources openly
boast that their weapons and technologies are “combat-proven” – in other
words, field-tested on Palestinian civilians “human test subjects”. When
States import Israeli arms, they are encouraging it to keep bombing
Palestinian civilians and persist in its unlawful practices. No one
–neither Israel nor arms manufacturers in ATT States parties– should be
allowed to profit from the killing or maiming of Palestinian civilians.

It is thus abundantly clear that imposing a two-way arms embargo on Israel
is both a legal and a moral obligation. ATT States Parties must immediately
terminate any current, and prohibit any future transfers of conventional
arms, munitions, parts and components referred to in Article 2(1), Article
3 or Article 4 of the ATT to Israel, until it ends its illegal belligerent
occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory and complies fully with
its obligations under international law. Pending such an embargo, all
States must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment,
assistance, and munitions to Israel.

A failure to take these actions entails a heavy responsibility for the
grave suffering of civilians – more deaths, more suffering, as thousands of
Palestinian men, women, and children continue to bear the brutality of a
colonial belligerent occupying force– which would result in discrediting
the ATT itself. It also renders States parties complicit in internationally
wrongful acts through the aiding or abetting of international crimes.  A
failure in taking action could also result in invoking the individual
criminal responsibility of individuals of these States for aiding and
abetting the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in
accordance with Article 25(3)(c) of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court.

Justice will remain elusive so long as Israel’s unlawful occupation,
settler-colonialism, apartheid regime, and persecution and
institutionalized oppression of the Palestinian people are allowed to
continue, and so long as States continue to be complicit in the occupying
Power’s crimes by trading weapons with it.

In conclusion, we believe that the ATT can make a difference in the
Palestinian civilians' lives. It has the potential if implemented in good
faith, to spare countless protected persons from suffering. If our call to
stop leaving the Palestinian people behind when it comes to implementation
of the ATT is ignored, the *raison d'être* of the ATT will be shattered.

*Joining organizations:*

   1. Action Sécurité Ethique Républicaines
   2. Adalah Justice Project
   3. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
   4. AFPS 63
   5. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
   6. Aldameer Association for Human Rights
   7. Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
   8. Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society
   9. American Muslims for Palestine
   10. Anglican Pacifist Fellowship
   11. Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ)
   12. Arab Canadian Lawyers Association
   13. Arab Organization for Human Rights
   14. Argenteuil Solidarité Palestine
   15. Asociación Americana de Juristas
   16. Association Belgo-Palestinienne WB
   17. Association femmes plurielles
   18. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)
   19. AssoPacePalestina
   20. Australia Palestine Advocacy Network
   21. Australian Centre for International Justice
   22. Australians For Palestine
   23. Badayl
   24. BDS Australia
   25. Begian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
   26. Campagne BDS France
   27. Canadian BDS Coalition
   28. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
   29. Center for Constitutional Rights
   30. Center for International Policy
   31. Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Estratégicos para la Seguridad
   y el Desarrollo Social CIESED A.C.
   32. CNAPD - Coordination Nationale d'Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie
   33. Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine
   34. Collectif 69 de Soutien au Peuple Palestinien
   35. Collectif BDS 57
   36. Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
   37. Colombian Campaign to Ban Landmines
   38. Columban missionaries Britain
   39. Columbia Law Students for Palestine
   40. Combatants for Peace
   41. Comitato BDS Campania
   42. Comité de Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe
   43. Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient asbl
   44. Community Action Center - Al-Quds University
   45. Confederación Intersindical Gallega (CIG)
   46. Cultura è Libertà, una campagna per la Palestina
   47. Dagropass
   48. De Palestijnse gemeenschap in Nederland
   49. Defense for Children -Palestine (DCI-Palestine)
   50. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
   51. docP - BDS Netherlands
   52. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
   53. European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine
   54. European Legal Support Center
   55. Femmes Unies pour la Paix dans la région des Grands Lacs
   56. FILEF Sydney Federation of Italian Migrant Workers
   57. Finnish-Arab Friendship Society
   58. Friends of Palestine Tasmania Inc
   59. Gaza Action Ireland
   60. Gesellschaft Schweiz Palästina GSP/ASP
   61. Global Kairos Asia Pacific Solidarity For Palestine (GKAPS)
   62. Good Shepherd Collective
   63. Housing and Land Rights Network
   64. Human Rights and Democratic Participation Center “SHAMS”
   65. Human Rights Network Nigeria
   66. ICAHD Finland
   67. ICAHD UK
   68. Independent Jewish Voices Canada
   69. Indian Writers Forum
   70. Indo Palestine Solidarity Forum
   71. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of
   Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
   72. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific
   73. Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
   74. Jewish Voice For Peace
   75. Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
   76. Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
   77. Karapatan
   78. Kenya Human Rights Commission
   79. Labor for Palestine
   80. Manushya Foundation
   81. National Association of Democratic Lawyers (South Africa)
   82. National Justice & Peace Network (NJPN)
   83. National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Subcommittee
   84. Nederlands Palestina Komitee
   85. Newweapons research group
   86. Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel (NMJPI)
   87. North Notts Unite Community
   88. NOVACT
   89. Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
   90. Palestine Solidarity Network - Edmonton
   91. Palestinian and Jewish Unity
   92. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
   93. Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)
   94. Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)
   95. Pax Christi International
   96. Pax Christi, England and Wales
   97. Paz con Dignidad
   98. Platform of French NGOs for Palestine
   99. Salaam ragazzi dell'Olivo, comitato di Trieste
   100. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
   101. SODePAZ
   102. Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative
   103. The Civic Coalition for Palestinians Right in Jérusalem
   104. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
   105. The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)
   106. The National Association of Human Rights Defenders
   107. The Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
   108. The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC)
   109. The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and
   110. UJFP French Jewish union for peace
   111. Union syndicale Solidaires
   112. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
   113. US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
   114. Visualizing Palestine
   115. Vrede vzw
   116. Vredesactie
   117. War on Want
   118. Women for Palestine
   119. Women in Black Vienna
   120. Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling

*Joining individuals:*

   1. Ahmed Ben
   2. Ahmed Reda Tolba
   3. Alaa Shalaby
   4. Alaaeddine Tatak
   5. Aline Shaban
   6. Amin Abbas
   7. Andrea Balduzzi
   8. Angie Mindel
   9. Ann McNicholas
   10. Anne Peacey
   11. Ashley Tellis
   12. Atamjit Singh
   13. Audrey J Bomse
   14. Badee M.T. Aldwaik
   15. Baruti Likoyi
   16. Bernadette McPhee
   17. Chirag Shah
   18. Claudia Karas
   19. Claudia Schiavelli
   20. Denise Peillon
   21. Denotter JJ
   22. Devaki Khanna
   23. Dr. Ibrahim Lada’a
   24. Dr. Nerina Cecchin
   25. Egbert Harmsen
   26. Marc Fayard
   27. Firoz Ahmad
   28. Flavia Lepre
   29. Françoise Abadie
   30. Frstot Marie-Paule
   31. Gabriel Mondragón Toledo
   32. Geeta Kapur
   33. Geeta Kapur
   34. Georges Franco
   35. Gillard Francois
   36. Gina Cardosi
   37. Githa Hariharan
   38. Gregory Kotoy
   39. Gyan Prakash
   40. Haidi Ali Muhammad Eltayeb
   41. Hélène Le Cacheux
   42. Herman De Ley
   43. Huwaida Arraf
   44. Ian Ampleford
   45. Ian Mc Cabe
   46. Indu Chandrasekhar
   47. Jake Javanshir
   48. James Dickins
   49. James Lafferty
   50. John King
   51. Joop Hoekstra
   52. Julia Auf Dem Brinke
   53. Julie Hart
   54. Kalyani Chaudhuri
   55. Karel Arnaut
   56. Karin Brothers
   57. Karin Verelst
   58. Kathryn Kelly
   59. Kellie Tranter
   60. Lauren Speiser
   61. Laurent De Wangen
   62. Lee Rhiannon
   63. Luisa Morgantini
   64. M.N. Harakeh
   65. Madeline Lutjeharms
   66. Maha Abdallah
   67. Maha Alami
   68. Malini Bhattacharya
   69. Mani Shankar Aiyar
   70. Marcy Newman
   71. Maria Bartolacci
   72. Marjorie Cohn
   73. Martin Mavenjina
   74. Massimiliano Masini
   75. Maxime Florentin
   76. Maya Devi
   77. Michael Letwin
   78. Michel Gevers
   79. Mohamad Arouki
   80. Mohamed Aboelazm
   81. Mohammad Al Nabulsi
   82. Mohan Rao
   83. Monique Vincent
   84. Muralidharan K
   85. Nalini Nayak
   86. Nandini Sundar
   87. Naresh Dadhich
   88. Nasir Tyabji
   89. Navdeep Mathur
   90. Nick Deane
   91. Nozomi Takahashi
   92. Oishik Sircar
   93. P A Azeez
   94. Pamela Blakelock
   95. Pamela Philipose
   96. Paola Manduca
   97. Patrick Lechopier
   98. Persis Ginwalla
   99. Pierre Bordone
   100. Pushpa Achanta
   101. Pushpamala N
   102. Raffaele Spiga
   103. Rajni Palriwala
   104. Rev Joseph Ryan
   105. Rey Asis
   106. Rudolf Knutti
   107. S. Raghunandana
   108. Salim Yusufji
   109. Sellin Jean-Christophe
   110. Shafey Kidwai
   111. Sharib Aqleem Ali
   112. Sigour Brigitte
   113. Sonia Fayman
   114. Stephen Flaherty
   115. Sue Ingham
   116. Sumanta Banerjee
   117. Terri Ginsberg
   118. Valter Mutt
   119. Vinay Bharadwaj
   120. Vincent Basabé
   121. Winfried Belz
   122. Yousuf Saeed
   123. YVes Goaer
   124. Yves Jardin
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