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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

August, 2006

 

MAS Freedom Foundation Accuses Israel Of Violating The Arms Export Control Act

As the civilian casualties in Lebanon and the Gaza strip mount, Israel continues to use American fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and artillery to devastate the lives of both the Palestinian and Lebanese populations. More than 300 Lebanese and at least 100 Palestinian civilians have been killed since Israel launched its attack on Gaza on June 27. However, the United States Arms Export Control Act prohibits nations who receive American military materiel from using weapons to attack and wage war against civilian populations.
The Act states that the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency will assess "whether the export of an article would contribute to an arms race, aid in the development of weapons of mass destruction, support international terrorism, increase the possibility of outbreak or escalation of conflict." Weapons used by Israel against the civilian populations in the Middle East certainly meet the standards of these latter criteria, as they have been used to escalate the conflict to a point from which it will be difficult to return to an atmosphere of peace and stability.

MAS Freedom is currently talking to attorneys concerning pursuing action against the government and we are asking Congress to investigate violations of the Arms Export Control Act. MAS Freedom has had discussions with Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich concerning this issue. Many legal experts agree that Israel has violated both international law and the Arms Export Control Act by using American weapons to attack Lebanon and Gaza's civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Section 4 of the AECA states that military items transferred to foreign governments by the United States be used solely for internal security and legitimate self-defense. Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco commented, "Since Israeli attacks against Lebanon's civilian infrastructure and population centers clearly go beyond legitimate self-defense, the United States is legally obliged to suspend arms transfers to Israel."

In addition to Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, we believe that some Americans have also been harmed. There were approximately 25,000 American citizens in Lebanon at the time Israel began its offensive. Many of these American citizens, both Christian and Muslim, also have relatives in Lebanon.

If you or your mosque needs additional information about this important issue, please contact the MAS Freedom office at 202-496-1288 or visit our website at www.masnet.org

The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at www.masnet.org. Support our work at MAS Freedom Foundation by mailing a check or money order payable to "MAS Freedom Foundation" at the address below.

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