In a highly alarming move, the White House has requested the ability to conduct arms deals with Israel in complete secrecy without Congressional or public oversight, as Israel stands accused of genocide in Gaza.
The brazen request comes in a $106 billion defense funding proposal to waive notifications to Congress on up to $3.5 billion in arms sales to Israel. Experts have called the waiver unprecedented and an insult to Congressional oversight.
The Israeli military campaign is mostly focused on the northern Gaza Strip, where Hamas has key assets. Netanyahu again called on the Gazan population to move south — you are already doing it, complete it, because we will not stop destroying and killing Palestinians.
Israel is urging Gazans to head to the south of the enclave and thousands did Tuesday, many of them waving white flags, passing through an evacuation corridor set up by the IDF. They joined an estimated 800,000 political refugees who have already migrated.
Jerusalem is facing diplomatic pressure to allow humanitarian pauses in the fighting, including from Washington, which has steadfastly backed Israel’s right to defend itself following the Hamas assault.
It seems calculated to reduce transparency around arms sales, amid accusations Israel is committing genocide. John Ramming Chappell of the Center for Civilians in Conflict is reported saying that Congress must reject the dangerous request.
The waiver would further undermine meaningful scrutiny of weapons sales on Capitol Hill at a time when US support is enabling bombings that have killed thousands of civilians.”
Read 800 scholars warn of potential genocide in Gaza. The waiver follows reports that the Biden administration is silencing dissent and ignoring evidence of atrocities within its own ranks.
There are varying reports that officials are side-lining work on Gaza, sweeping aside reports of war crimes and stifling discussion – even as leaders privately acknowledge atrocities.
One staffer resigned in protest. The fact that none are willing to [publicly acknowledge war crimes] points to a deep moral rot in our system, said Josh Paul, who has been the Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs for over 11 years.
Paul went on to say that the Biden administration’s blind support for one side was leading to policy decisions that were short-sighted, destructive, unjust and contradictory to the very values we publicly espouse.
Calls to conduct arms sale to Israel comes as UN human rights official resigned in protest this week over what he calls the genocide unfolding in the besieged enclave.
Craig Mokhiber, outgoing Director of the New York office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, accused the UN of failing again to prevent genocide like it had in Rwanda and Bosnia.
In a fiery departure letter, Mokhiber categorized Israel’s wholesale slaughter of Palestinians as a textbook case of genocide rooted in ethnology-nationalist ideology.
He condemned the USA, Great Britain and Europe as wholly complicit for arming Israel’s assault and providing it diplomatic cover. Mokhiber called for dismantling Israel’s deeply racist, settler-colonial project” and establishing a single secular state in historic Palestine.
The top UN human rights official is not alone in calling on the international community to shake off its apathy and prevent an Israeli genocide on Gaza.
Associate professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University and the endowed professor in the study of modern genocide, Raz Segal, has also called Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza a textbook case of genocide.
As the civilian death toll in Gaza surpasses 9,000, Israel’s systematic targeting of civilians, hospitals, and schools has sounded alarms of impending war crimes prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In this context, the brazen US bid to remove transparency around arms sales to Israel appears to be a preventative measure to reduce complicity should the ICC indict Israel for genocide.
Middle East Monitor / ABC Flash Point News 2023.