Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Congressional Members Want Israel Investigated for Human Rights Abuses?

Congressional Members Want Israel Investigated for Human Rights Abuses?

by Stephen Lendman

A Politico report reads like an April Fools Day stunt, the story published three days in advance on March 29.

It said Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) and 10 House members want the State Department to “investigate claims that the Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed ‘gross violations of human rights’ - allegations (sic) that if proven true could affect US military aid to the countries.”

A February 17 letter to John Kerry “inquir(ed) about specific allegations (sic) of gross human rights violations by the security forces of both countries.”

It highlighted “alleged” Israeli extrajudicial executions and Egypt’s 2013 Rab’aa Square massacre, killing around 1,000 peaceful protesters, along with numerous reports of forced disappearances.

The letter cited the 2001 law bearing Senator Leahy’s name. It prohibits funding foreign security forces involved in committing human rights abuses.

The 1961 Foreign Assistance Act prohibits providing aid to governments engaging in a “consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country.”

No investigation is needed to determine if Israel and Egypt committed human rights abuses. Volumes of credible documentation exists.

Leahy Law and Foreign Assistance Act provisions never apply to US allies guilty of high crimes.

Israel and Egypt commit horrendous ones daily, including institutionalized state terror, mass murder, forced disappearances, imprisonments solely for political reasons, torture and other forms of abuse.

What Leahy and 10 House members intended by their letter, they’ll have to explain - knowing neither country was investigated earlier for criminal offenses nor will they be now.

They’re free to commit them with impunity - with full US support and encouragement. 

Both countries get billions of dollars in annual US military aid - used to commit human rights abuses and other high crimes, not for defense.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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