Two American Writers: "Israeli Exceptionalism" in American Politics Must End

By Gamal Khattab January 28, 2024 124


The International Court of Justice's ruling

An article on the American Hale website recently talked about the International Court of Justice's ruling on Israel's actions in Gaza. The court stated that it was reasonable to believe that Israel had engaged in genocide in Gaza. This ruling has sparked a discussion about the current American policy of providing weapons to Israel.

Abandoning "Israeli exceptionalism"

The writers of the article, Laura Lumby and William de Hartung, believe that the court's ruling should lead to a change in how the US treats Israel when it comes to arms transfers. They argue that Israel has always received special treatment, even when it violates human rights standards and American laws. This special treatment is partly due to the large amount of annual aid given to Israel, which cannot be canceled under any circumstances.

A potential change in policy

Lumby and de Hartung suggest that the court's decision might bring about a change in how the US deals with Israel. They point out that the US Senate has recently requested further scrutiny of the military aid given to Israel. They believe that Israel should be held to the same standards as other countries receiving American weapons.

The need for adherence to laws

The writers argue that the US Departments of State and Defense have repeatedly violated laws passed by Congress to ensure that American taxpayers are not involved in human rights violations by recipient countries. They mention the Leahy Laws, which require the US to halt military aid to any foreign unit that has committed gross violations of human rights. However, Israel seems to have an exemption from these laws.

Crimes and exemptions

The article highlights the alleged murders committed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, including the killing of a Palestinian-American journalist. Despite these crimes, the US government has never found a flagrant violation of the law. The article also mentions that the US State Department has established a special operation for Israel to bypass the Leahy Law, unlike other countries.

The problem with Israel's legal system

The leading Israeli human rights organization BTselem has raised concerns about Israel's use of its military law enforcement system to prevent criticism of its policies and actions in the West Bank. The organization claims that the conviction rate for soldiers involved in serious violations is close to zero.

A call for action

The writers call on the US Senate to openly discuss Israel's use of US weapons in Gaza and the possibility of enforcing relevant US laws. They believe that failing to do so would make Congress and the State Department irrelevant to foreign policy and undermine American democracy.

Source: Hill