Tuesday, March 22, 2005

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Does this apply to current Israeli policy?: A US law which forbids US Foreign Aid Recipients from using US- supplied law enforcement equipment to subjugate human rights and civil liberties

Tue, 22 Mar 2005 00:55:20 +0200

Israel Resource News Agency media@actcom.co.il

Does this apply to current Israeli policy?: A US law which forbids US Foreign Aid Recipients from using US- supplied law enforcement equipment to subjugate human rights and civil liberties

BY: DAVID BEDEIN, Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency

This week, at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, in southern Israel, the Israel Defence Forces will conduct an exercise to conduct a “dry run” to practice bringing dead and wounded Jewish Israeli residents to the hospital, following the summer plans of the Israeli government to forcibly remove all 8,000 Jewish men, women and children from their 21 farming communities in the Jewish communities of the Katif district in Gaza and another 2000 Jews from 4 communities in Northern Samaria.A senior official in Israeli intelligence estimates that at least 100 Jewish residents will be killed in the expulsion process, since these residents have no intention of leaving their homes and farms voluntarily, and since the IDF has every intention of using live ammunition to facilitate the expulsion of Jews from Katif and the Northern Samaria, while razing their houses, farms and synagogues.In late February, at the closing press conference of the annual Israel convention of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations from North America, a journalist asked Conference Chairman James Tisch how Jewish Americans will react if the Israel Defence Forces use American-supplied law enforcement equipment to kill Jewish Israelis. The journalist also asked Tisch if it was legal to use US made law enforcement equipment in that process.Here is the law in question:

The US Foreign Assistance Act , which is available on the net at: www.fas.org/asmp/campaigns/legislationindex.htmlClause (a)(1) of the Human Rights amendment to the US Foreign Assistance Act clearly states that “ a principal goal of the foreign policy of the United States shall be to promote the increased observance of internationally recognized human rights by all countries …no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights…Assistance may not be provided… to a country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”

The law goes on to state that “The President is directed to formulate and conduct international security assistance programs of the United States in a manner which will promote and advance human rights and avoid identification of the United States, through such programs, with governments which deny to their people internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international law or in contravention of the policy of the United States”.This law also mandates that “United States has taken to promote respect for and observance of human rights in that country and discourage any practices which are inimical to internationally recognized human rights, and publicly or privately call attention to, and disassociate United States and any security assistance provided for such country from, such practices”. This US law defines ''gross violations of internationally recognized human rights'' includes …flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons”Prof. Eliav Schochetman, Hebrew Professor of Law Emeritus and Dean of the Shaari Mishpat Law College, testified last month at the Israeli Knesset Parlimentary Law Committee that the decision of the state of Israel to demolish the homes and villages of 10,000 citizens, represents the kind of human rights infraction that is described in the human rights amendment to US Foreign Assistance Act would violate the constraints of Israel’s own “Basic Human Rights Law" which oversees Israeli democratic institutions in matters of human rights and civil liberties, in the same way that the US Bill of Rights ensures that the US government can never trample on the human rights and civil liberties of American citizens. In his testimony, Schochetman noted that this Israeli government decision represents a violation of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which all democratic governments are adherents. Schochetmen added that Israel’s decision to expel Jews from their homes, would represent a wanton violation of basic human rights and civil liberties that are protected under Israeli and international human rights law.Prof. Schochetman cited clause 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whichmandates that it is illegal for sovereign governments to expel their citizens and ethnic minorities from their homes, from their private properties or from their farms.Since the only group that Israel has slated for expulsion would be Jews, it may be recalled that the government of Serbia was recently held liable for international prosecution at the International High Court of Justice in the Hague, under the charge of "ethnic cleansing", after leaders of Serbia expelled an ethnic minority, solely because of their religion.Schochetman also mentioned the clauses in the San Remo Treaty that was ratified by the League of Nations and then by the United Nations which provide international protection for Jews to purchase and dwell in the "Jewish Homeland", defined as any land which lies anywhere east of the Jordan River.

Since the Israeli government intends to use US supplied law enforcement equipment in its proposed expulsion, the question remains: Will the US Congress and will the American people allow for the use of US supplied law enforcement equipment in such a process that violates human rights and civil liberties?This has now become an American issue.

1 comment:

Gila said...

I do not believe that the Army is planning on going in there with weapons blazing. I think that part of the problem is that there are settlers who are threatening to get violent/blow themselves up etc. My opinion--if there is a choice between killing one maniac with a bomb or letting him blow himself up and kill/wound others (just like the terrorist bombs do)...there is no question. Just as you would shoot down an Arab terrorist if it came down to it, you do the same to a Jewish one. (Think about it, if your child loses a leg in a bombing, does it make any real difference to his subsequent quality of life if the bomber was a Jew? Will that fact give him his leg back? The army has to be prepared for that. At the same time, you have to wonder how these 18 or 19 year old kids are going to react to people who have been heaping abuse on them all this time (even while these same soldiers put their lives on the line every day to protect them) and who are going to be heaping even more abuse in July. It is worrisome, and unfortunately, I would not be surprised if there is are problems.

Actually, the leadership in Gush Katif has voluntarily turned over the names of some of the more extremists over the army with requests that these people be moved out. I think they are worried about the same thing you are: the potential for violence.