11 March, 2009
Since their occupation of Palestine in 1948 to establish illegal Israel in the heart of the Arab World until the present, Zionist Israelis had initiated seven wars against their Arab neighbors. Six of those were waged after 1967 to maintain their occupation of the rest of Palestine, Lebanese Sheb’a Farms, and Syrian Golan Heights; formally recognized by the international community as an occupation.
Israel had maintained its occupation of the land for the last sixty years. The question that poses itself, here, is how a small state like Israel, 7 million Zionist Jews in an area of 8 thousand square miles (excluding the 1967 occupied territories), could maintain such an occupation against hundreds of millions of Arabs and against the disapproval of the civic (not political) international community? Bullying with extreme brutal force is the answer. Israel is a military society with every Zionist Israeli citizen, from childhood to old age, being militaristic in one form or another. Israel possesses all kinds of weapons including weapons of mass destruction (WMD) such as nuclear and chemical weapons.
Israel did not become the fourth largest army in the world by its own merit, but by the Western countries supplying it with all kinds of weapons. In its February 23rd report Foreign Arms Supplies To Israel/Gaza Fueling Conflict amnestyusa.org named 18 EU member states, which authorized 1,018 arms export licenses to Israel worth a little less than 200 million Euros. All these arms exports are in violation of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports under Criterion 2, which states that member states are supposed to “deny an export license if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression or be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law”. Israel had committed such violations throughout its entire existence.
France, Germany, and Romania were the top three arms suppliers to Israel worth of 126 million Euros, 28 million Euros, and 17 million Euros respectively. Other significant arms suppliers to Israel since 2001 also include alphabetically Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Columbia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, and UK.
The report also indicated the well-known fact that “Since 2001, the USA has been by far the major supplier of conventional arms to Israel” It also stated the logical conclusion that “Put simply, Israel’s military intervention in the Gaza Strip has been equipped to a large extent by US-supplied weapons, munitions and military equipment paid for with US taxpayers’ money” What the report failed to indicate is that Israel had violated all the US laws governing arms transfers.
Examining the American military aid to Israel we find that since the end of WWII Israel had been the largest recipient of US aid (Armed & Dangerous Report). From 1949-2007 Israel had received more than $101 billion in total US economic and military aid. A previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries started phasing out the economic aid and increasing the military aid, and in 2008 all US aid to Israel turned into military aid only. The current MOU, singed by Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns in August 2007, has increased military aid to Israel by 25% a year for the next ten years FY2009-2018, totaling to $30 billion.
During the Bush administration 2001-2007 American military aid to Israel came under three primary programs; Foreign Military Sales (FMS) ran through the Pentagon totaled $25.2 billion in arms sales and contracts, Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) ran through the States Department totaled $6.16 billion in weapons and equipment, and Excess Defense Articles (EDA) also ran through the Pentagon totaled $36 million in used weapons and equipment. The total comes to a little more than $31.4 billion.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) provided Israel with air, missile & munitions, naval, design, vehicles, and miscellaneous military aid. Israel received $19.81 billion for their air forces that included F-35 joint strike fighters, C-130J-30 aircrafts, JP-8 aviation jet fuel, and T-6A Texan aircrafts. In missiles and munitions Israel received $2.73 billion worth of GBU-28 & 39 small diameter bombs, TOW, Hellfire, bunker buster munitions, AMRAAM, Harpoon, Sidewinder, JDAM’s, and MK-80 series. US gave Israel $1.9 billion worth of the new series (Littoral) naval combat ships, $164 million worth of troop carrier armored vehicles and trucks, and $253 million worth of miscellaneous in the form of Patriot Missiles upgrade and M72A7 Light Anti-Armor weapons. Also included in this FMS package were $350 million worth of design and construction of two infantry bases.
The Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) program contained about three hundred different categories of weapons transfer to Israel. The main top ten categories for FY2001-2006 were $557,896 million in aircraft spare parts, $449 million in missile spare parts, $439 million in engine jet F-100 spare parts, $254 million in engine jet F-100 series (F-15 & F-16), $210 million in ship components and spare parts, $186 million in aircraft fighter F-15 spare parts, $163 million in electronics components and spare parts, $128 million in ammunition raw materials, and $120 million in training equipment.
The Excess Defense Articles (EDC) program shipped to Israel $36 million worth of used Cobra Helicopters, personnel carriers, carrier command posts, and miscellaneous articles.
The most outrageous American military aid to Israel is the billions of Dollars worth of refined fuel to the Israeli army. Israel’s own oil refineries in Haifa and Ashdod, which could supply Israeli military with all its fuel needs, are instead producing and selling its refined products on the open market. The Israeli army gets all its military fuel from the USA through the FMS program. The US Defense Department uses American tax money to buy oil crude from Arab Gulf States, ship it to American refineries to refine it, and then ship it to Israel.
According to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, from 2004 to 2008 the Bush administration had granted the Israeli army 500 million gallons of oil products worth $1.1 billion. During this period the American tax payers were faced with energy crises and had to pay $4 per gallon of gas at the pump while Israel was getting free gas from the Bush administration. Somebody has to pay for this gas, and it wasn’t the Israelis.
Moreover, the US provides loan guarantees to Israel so that Israel can take out loans in the international money market with lower interest rates, and if Israel happens to default on any of these loans the US will bail Israel out with American tax money similar to the latest $700 billion bailout for the American banks. There is a condition on these loan guarantees. It states that these loans can only be used to support the activities within the sovereign areas in Israel (pre-1967 war), and cannot be used in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is a facetiously misleading condition, since such loans can free other monies in the Israeli budget to be used in building illegal colonies (settlements) in the occupied territories.
The US has three laws that govern arms transfer to other countries. The first is the Arms Export Control Act (P.L.80-829). This law states that American weapons given or sold to any foreign country can be used only for legitimate self-defense or for internal security. They are not to be used in occupational operations.
The second is the Foreign Assistance Act (P.L.97-195), which states that any country is not illegible for any form of US aid if it engages in consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. The third is the Leahy Law (Foreign Ops Appropriations Act). This is an annual part of the Foreign Appropriations Act, and states that no aid will be given to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible evidence that such unit has committed gross violations of human rights. Expanding their occupation of the land the Israelis had violated numerous UN Resolutions, broke international laws as well as their own local laws, violated all human rights, committed grave war crimes, and perpetrated terrorism against Arabs in general and Palestinian Arabs in specific.
It has been, numerously, documented by Israeli, Palestinian, and international NGOs that Israel had consistently violated international laws and human rights since 1948. In all its seven wars Israel, contrary to the false Israeli/American propaganda, had initiated the conflict in one way or another. Israel had attacked all its neighbors, committed war crimes, and occupied parts of their land. The Israelis had evicted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of their country, completely wiped off many Palestinian towns and built Israeli colonies in their place, had stolen Palestinian farm land and forcefully controlled the economy. Israel had shoved thousands of Palestinian leaders and freedom fighters into prisons, and kept the rest of the Palestinian populations confined into open air virtual town-prisons within a separation wall.
Attacking Palestinian civilians, mainly defenseless children and women, has become the daily entertainment of Israeli government -backed and armed extreme Zionist colonizing terrorists (settlers?). Israeli soldiers developed the sport of hunting (shooting) Palestinian children on their way to schools or while playing in front of their homes. The Israeli army is using the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories and its Palestinian inhabitants as testing fields and subjects for theirs and for the American newly developed weapons as was exhibited in Israel’s latest 22-days onslaught and massacres in Gaza.
Successive Israeli governments had consistently sent their armies to massacre Palestinian civilians. Israeli army had used all types of American supplied weapons; including depleted uranium tipped bombs and missiles, DIME bombs, chemical weapons such as phosphorous bombs and conventional weapons, to specifically and deliberately target Palestinian children and women. We need only go back to the Israeli last two wars; July 2006 against Lebanon and December 2008 against Gaza, still fresh in memory, to witness clear evidence of Israel’s terrorism, war crimes, disrespect and contempt of international laws and human rights.
The driving force for the Zionist Israeli crimes and terrorism has been the extreme racist religious ideology of establishing a pure theocratic “Jewish” state for a prejudice- god’s chosen people “narcissist Zionist Jews” in the real-estate- brokering-god’s promised land of Greater Israel “Eretz Israel” extending from Nile to Euphrates. This theocratic dream necessitates a holy war (not the first one against the Middle East) to evict and remove the original inhabitants of the land to make living space for world Jewry to come and live in this Promised Land. This is how Israelis perceive their “final solution” to their “Palestinian problem”; destruction, massacres and mass evictions.
Although Israel has violated all EU and US arms transfer laws yet none had conducted any investigation to hold Israel accountable to these laws. The two rare incidents when under pressure the American State Department investigated Israeli violations where completely suppressed and quashed. The first was in 2002 when Israel dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment building in Gaza City in order to extra-judicially assassinate a Hamas leader, Salah Shehadeh, and killed 14 other civilians, women and children, in the process. This investigation was quashed by none other than John Bolton, the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security at the time. The investigation was never sent to the Congress in violation of US laws.
The second investigation was in 2006 when Israel dropped an estimated one million cluster bombs on the civilian areas of South Lebanon in the last 72 hours of the war, even after a seize-fire was agreed upon. This was made a top secret State Department investigation and was released to only a few senior members of the Cogress such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and “Zionist” Joe Biden, the present Vice President. Needless to say that this investigation had never came to light.
Israel is a terrorist entity without any specific borders. It is an expansionist colonizing regime. Its successive governments had disregarded all UN resolutions, broken international laws, violated all human rights, committed holocaustal-level genocides, and perpetrated war crimes against all its neighbors and against mother earth and against the environment.
Yet the Western political power elites justify Israeli terror as a self-defense, and keep transfering more devastating arms to this terrorist entity to wage more future wars and to wreck more havoc in the Arab World. They also distort facts and describe the victims of the Israeli terror, the Palestinians, as terrorists, deny them their legitimate right to bear arms for self-defense, and send their naval war machines and serveillance equipment to tighten the illegal Israeli blockade against Gaza Strip under the guise of preventing “arms smuggling”, while at the same time shedding some crockodile tears and call for humanitarian aid to Gaza’s Palestinians.
To the Arabs of the Middle East, Israel seems to be a military tool for the Western countries. Hatred towards these Western political regimes is the natural consequences of arming Israel. Should we keep asking “why do they hate us” any more?
* Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of Beit Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He lives now in the US, and publishes his articles on the web in both English and Arabic
Source: Palestine Think Tank