Several American Politicians Believe That Sending Arms to Israel is Illegal

Several United States Democratic elected officials cautioned President Joe Biden about sending weapons to Israel. These politicians noted that such a move is illegal under current American law due to how Israel is withholding US humanitarian aid from Gaza during a time when a famine is breaking out. 

On March 24, 2024, Israeli media outlet Haaretz published a report about several leading elected officials sending a letter to President Biden declaring that “so long as Israel continues to restrict the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the continued provision of US security assistance to Israel would constitute a violation of existing US law and must be restricted.”

The letter continued, “Given the catastrophic and devolving humanitarian situation in Gaza, we urge you to enforce the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act.”

The 1994 law highlighted that the US government cannot send military aid to any country “when it is made known to the President that the government of such country prohibits or otherwise restricts, directly or indirectly, the transport or delivery of United States humanitarian assistance.” That said, the president has the power to issue a waiver to let weapons shipments continue to flow.

On top of that, the letter declared that Israel’s restriction on the delivery of humanitarian aid has made Israel “ineligible to receive continued US weapons under Section 620I.”

The law was passed as a response to Turkey’s blocking of US humanitarian aid to Armenia in the 1990s.

According to a report by The Cradle, this law does not ban the deployment of weapons that are perceived to be defensive in nature, for example, interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome system. However, this law makes it illegal to deploy offensive arms such as hundreds of the US-provisioned 2,000 pounds bombs Israel has used to pound Gaza into oblivion.

“Thirty years ago, a bipartisan majority in Congress came together to pass the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act and prohibit US foreign assistance from going to countries that block US humanitarian aid. As the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, Congress and the White House need to make clear to Israel that we will enforce US law to protect Palestinian children from starvation in Gaza,” one of the letter’s signers, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, said to Haaretz.

As bad as Democrats are, on this issue, they are in the right. Hopefully, sensible Republicans with realist foreign policy tendencies begin to team up with anti-war Democrats to defund Israel and have the US completely exit from the Middle East. 

With so many bad things kicking off on the US’s domestic front, the last thing the US government should embark on is another quixotic military venture.

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