The US government is being sued for authorizing massive weapons deliveries to Israel.
A new lawsuit notes that the State Department approved the export of more than 47 million rounds of ammunition to Israel between 2007 and 2009. That was enough to “injure or kill every Palestinian living under occupation 10 times over,” according to the lawsuit.
Filed in a district court in Washington, DC, the complaint argues that by sending military aid and approving weapons sales to Israel, the US is violating its own legislation.
Under the Foreign Assistance Act, the US government is required to halt aid to countries that violate human rights with impunity or have used US military equipment for anything but self-defense.
“I’m not asking the court to resolve a longstanding debate,” Martin McMahon, the main attorney involved in the lawsuit, told The Electronic Intifada. “I’m asking the court to enforce the current laws.”
The lawsuit follows the Obama administration’s recent approval of a military aid program to Israel worth $38 billion over a 10-year period.
“No daylight between America and Israel”
Claiming that US citizens have a “strong desire for a relationship with no daylight between America and Israel,” the platform pledges to “ensure that Israel has a qualitative military edge over any and all adversaries.”
The lawsuit plaintiffs include around 30 Americans, some of whom are originally Palestinian or have Israeli citizenship.
One of the lawsuit’s objectives is to uphold the so-called Leahy law, an amendment to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act. That law – dating from 1997 – prohibits US military aid to governments which systematically violate human rights.
Abuse perpetrated by recipients of US aid
In April this year, Patrick Leahy, the Vermont senator after whom the law is named, wrote to John Kerry, the secretary of state, urging an investigation into “possible gross human rights violations by security forces in Israel and Egypt.” Some of the abuses may have been perpetrated by recipients of US military aid, Leahy noted.
The new case is part of a series of lawsuits focused on US support for Israel which Martin McMahon is taking.
In January this year, he filed a lawsuit against the US Treasury. That lawsuit – also filed in a Washington district court – urges that the Treasury be compelled to investigate why US-based organizations that raise funds for the Israeli military and for Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank enjoy charitable status.
Although the Treasury has sought to have that case dismissed, the judge handling the lawsuit has not yet decided if it should go forward.