Netanyahu and Sen. Leahy tangle over Israel’s killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18

US Politics
on 33 Comments

Update: The Benjamin Netanyahu government has responded angrily to the congressional letter, and Sen. Patrick Leahy has defended it. See below.

The horrifying killing of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun at an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Hebron last September has at last become a public issue in the U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called on the State Department to determine whether the killing, and several other Israeli “extrajudicial killings,” violated the Leahy law against military assistance to gross human rights violators. The letter to John Kerry cites Egypt along with Israel, and is signed by ten members of Congress along with Leahy. They include Raul Grijalva, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Chellie Pingree, Eddie Beatrice Johnson, Sam Farr, Jim McGovern, Jim McDermott, and Andre Carson.

Politico has published the letter. It includes these crucial passages:

There have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and Egypt — incidents that may have involved recipients, or potential recipients, of U.S. military assistance. We urge you to determine if these reports are credible and inform us of your findings:

Israel: Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have reported what may be extrajudicial killings by the Israeli military and police of Fadi Alloun, Saad Al-Atrash, Hadeel Hashlamoun, and Mutaz Ewisa. There are also reports of the use of torture in the cases of Wasim Marouf and Ahmed Manasra.

Hadeel Hashlamoun’s killing was of course the most dramatic and appalling Israeli killing last year because it was so amply documented and the pictures were so graphic, and it took place on September 22 before the so-called intifada of knives had begun in earnest.

Here is a report on the Fadi Alloun killing by police, near Damascus Gate last October, as Alloun was being chased by a mob, after allegedly stabbing a settler in East Jerusalem.

Here is a report from EI on the killing of Saad Atrash, 19, in Hebron last October.

I would note that many of the signatories, including Hank Johnson, Andre Carson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Raul Grijalva, are people of color; this is relevant because as Tamara Cofman Wittes said at Columbia Monday night, Israel support is slowly becoming politicized in the U.S. as the Democratic base becomes more heavily black and Latino, groups that have sympathy for the Palestinian cause. And all the signatories to this letter are Democrats.

Politico states that Jewish Voice for Peace advised Leahy on the letter. Nahal Toosi writes:

The letter’s real impact may be political: Israel’s unusual, if not unprecedented inclusion with Egypt on such an inquiry is likely to rile Israel’s allies in Washington, who bristle at the notion that the Middle East’s only established democracy could be lumped in with a notorious human rights abuser like Egypt.

Though it was sent to Kerry well beforehand, the timing of the letter’s release comes just days after an Israeli soldier was filmed executing a Palestinian prisoner at close range – setting off fury in the Arab world and launching a military disciplinary process that has many on the Israeli right fuming.

Update. The Netanyahu government is enraged by the letter.

And Leahy has responded strongly:

“The Prime Minister of Israel knows – and it should go without saying – that the United States does not provide weapons or other aid to Hamas or any other terrorist group, and that no nation more strongly condemns and works to eradicate terrorism worldwide than does the United States.  There are multiple laws prohibiting such aid to Hamas and other such groups, and one reason Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid is to help defend against terrorist attacks.

“The congressional letter cites allegations of possible serious abuses, identified by respected international human rights organizations, by the military and police forces of Egypt and Israel.  Under the Leahy Law it is the responsibility of the State Department to evaluate the credibility of such allegations.  The Leahy Law, which has existed for nearly 20 years, applies uniformly, worldwide – no country is exempt – and it applies to specific military personnel and units, not to general security forces, when U.S. aid is involved.  It has led to the suspension of U.S. aid to military personnel and units found to have committed abuses in many countries when governments fail to punish those responsible, and only when those governments themselves have failed to act.  This is only fair to U.S. taxpayers, and it is necessary in upholding the rule of law that our country stands for.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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33 Responses

  1. HarryLaw
    March 30, 2016, 2:25 pm

    The Israeli Judge in video of medic shooting the incapacitated Palestinian ‘Inconclusive’, he insists ‘complexity of events’ provides reasonable doubts.http://news.antiwar.com/2016/03/29/israeli-judge-video-of-medic-shooting-palestinian-inconclusive/ Did anyone expect anything else?

    • eljay
      March 30, 2016, 2:36 pm

      || HarryLaw: The Israeli Judge in video of medic shooting the incapacitated Palestinian ‘Inconclusive’, he insists ‘complexity of events’ provides reasonable doubts. … Did anyone expect anything else? ||

      Not really, no. Two fundamental principles of Zio-supremacism are:
      – acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews justify acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews; and
      – Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      So:
      – occupation and colonization by Zio-supremacist Jews = good
      – attacking an Occupation Forces soldier or Zio-supremacist Jewish colonist = bad
      – summarily executing a seriously-wounded and incapacitated non-Jewish attacker = deliciously good

    • JWalters
      March 30, 2016, 7:45 pm

      And we can’t overlook the possibilities of personal threats and bribes of various sorts to bring key people into line. The Israelis are as vicious as anybody. Prominent people have been “flipped” from their criticism of Israel.

      Let’s hope these members of Congress can withstand the attacks. This crack in the wall of tyranny could start letting in the light, and reveal to the American people the war monster behind Israel’s archaic, barbaric version of religion.

  2. hophmi
    March 30, 2016, 2:38 pm

    Sounds about right. 10/535 = 1.87% of the House.

    • kalithea
      March 31, 2016, 12:20 pm

      So what!! The rule of law isn’t beholden to statistical pander and Zionist bias. Eat that!

      Get used to more deserved condemnation; and shove your effing Zionist hubris!

  3. Talkback
    March 30, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Until the Israelis end this culture of hate, there will be no chance for a truly effective, permanent peace. In Israeli schools Jewish childrens are taught that all of the land solely belongs to the Jews. In religious schools first greaders learn that Non Jews are not human. When they grow up they are mentally prepared to participate in the oppression, dehumanization and even summary execution of Palestinians. Instead of teaching this children to put down their guns, they attack journalists, witnesses and everybody who protests against these crimes. These war criminals and their leaders must be held accountable. How could anybody make peace with them? What would Israelis do, if they were treated this way?

    • echinococcus
      March 31, 2016, 12:55 am

      Until the Israelis end this culture of hate, there will be no chance for a truly effective, permanent peace.

      Correct.
      And the odds of Herrenvolk “Israelis” ending said culture of “hate” are… ?Keep in my mind ideology and many generations of propaganda; Massada and Jonestown.
      My personal guess: infinitesimally approaching zilch.
      Enough force to drag them to it, kicking and screaming, is needed.
      Logically the first step is for Palestinian resistance to gather strength and acquire allies.
      The main obstacle is the Zionist puppet administration calling itself the PA, even PLO, and even “Palestinian State”.

      • kalithea
        March 31, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Agree. However, Zionism will never conform to the rule of law or democratic principles even <kicking and screaming therefore will require that it be outlawed just as the term Jewish state promotes racist, bigoted and illegal policy.

        The rule of law should be imposed through sanctions, and if necessary, a neutral military force on the ground to protect the non-Jewish vulnerable population from repressive backlash and forcible. retaliation .

      • echinococcus
        March 31, 2016, 3:43 pm

        Kalithea,

        Zionists will never agree to having “a neutral military force on the ground” or to any other significant compromise. They are not like the South Africans: they are brainwashed and suicidal in their ideology. When I say “kicking and screaming” I mean any aggressions of any imaginable level of violence being unleashed by the Zionists –unless we manage to turn around US policy.

    • Marnie
      March 31, 2016, 7:53 am

      How could anybody make peace with them? What would Israelis do, if they were treated this way?

      It’s like trying to get a spoiled, selfish little monster to share. It will end in tears, but the spoiled, selfish little monster will thank whoever stopped him or her from being so bad and it is the responsibility of all to stop this.

      What would israelis do? Demand that the world intervene to help them, if all they had were kitchen utensils to fight off an army.

  4. JLewisDickerson
    March 30, 2016, 5:25 pm

    RE: “Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called on the State Department to determine whether the killing [of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun at an Israeli checkpoint] , and several other Israeli ‘extrajudicial killings’, violated the Leahy law against military assistance to gross human rights violators.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: “Netanyahu pans US senator’s call to probe ‘extrajudicial killings’” | by Times of Israel staff | March 30, 2016
    Patrick Leahy, 10 other lawmakers questioned military aid to Israel, Egypt given allegations of human rights abuses by their security forces

    [EXCERPT] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back Wednesday at a demand from a US senator that the Obama administration investigate alleged Israeli human rights abuses and determine whether they are reason enough to cut military aid.

    “The IDF and security forces are not murderers,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “IDF soldiers and Israel Police officers protect with their bodies, in a moral manner, themselves and innocent civilians from bloodthirsty terrorists set on killing them.”

    He was responding to the letter sent by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and co-signed by 10 House members to US Secretary of State John Kerry, asking that the president to look into claims of “gross violations of human rights” by Israel and Egypt, citing examples of alleged extrajudicial killings by both countries.

    The request was made on February 17 and which was published Wednesday by Politico.

    Netanyahu slammed the criticism, suggesting a double standard that ignored terror attacks against Israelis.

    “Where is the concern for the infringement of the human rights of so many Israelis who were murdered and wounded by criminal murderers?” he asked.

    Netanyahu concluded that the letter “should have been directed at those who incite children to cruel acts of terrorism.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-pans-us-senators-call-to-probe-extrajudicial-killings/

    • JLewisDickerson
      March 30, 2016, 5:43 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Netanyahu responds to Leahy with a strange string of lies” | By Dahlia Scheindlin | 972mag.com | March 30, 2016
      The prime minister shoots off a sharply worded letter to a senior American senator who dared question Israel’s human rights record. That Netanyahu thinks anyone reading it will do anything but howl is worrying sign about his judgement.

      [EXCERPT] . . . Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to Senator Leahy, and posted this excerpt of his letter on Twitter:
      ■ Posted on PM Netanyahu’s official Twitter account

      Reading it, I think Netanyahu must know deep in his heart that he is lying his face off, lying obscenely, to the point of absurdity — surrealism. Does it mean that he has, as Solzhenitsyn said, no other means of justifying our violence? That there are no other accurate arguments that effectively justify what happens here?

      Reading it more closely, I realized that every single line in the graphic rendition of his letter contains a bald-faced lie, or at best an egregious omission. For those who think I am exaggerating, here is the annotated version . . .

      CONTINUED AT – http://972mag.com/netanyahu-responds-to-leahy-with-a-strange-string-of-lies/118268/

      • just
        March 30, 2016, 9:37 pm

        “Senator Patrick Leahy Responds To Prime Minister Netanyahu About The Worldwide Application Of The ‘Leahy Law’

        “The Prime Minister of Israel knows – and it should go without saying – that the United States does not provide weapons or other aid to Hamas or any other terrorist group, and that no nation more strongly condemns and works to eradicate terrorism worldwide than does the United States. There are multiple laws prohibiting such aid to Hamas and other such groups, and one reason Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid is to help defend against terrorist attacks.

        “The congressional letter cites allegations of possible serious abuses, identified by respected international human rights organizations, by the military and police forces of Egypt and Israel. Under the Leahy Law it is the responsibility of the State Department to evaluate the credibility of such allegations. The Leahy Law, which has existed for nearly 20 years, applies uniformly, worldwide – no country is exempt – and it applies to specific military personnel and units, not to general security forces, when U.S. aid is involved. It has led to the suspension of U.S. aid to military personnel and units found to have committed abuses in many countries when governments fail to punish those responsible, and only when those governments themselves have failed to act. This is only fair to U.S. taxpayers, and it is necessary in upholding the rule of law that our country stands for.””

        http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/senator-patrick-leahy-responds-to-prime-minister-netanyahu-about-the-worldwide-application-of-the-leahy-law

        http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/senator-patrick-leahy-responds-to-prime-minister-netanyahu-about-the-worldwide-application-of-the-leahy-law

    • Kay24
      March 30, 2016, 10:12 pm

      To be expected:

      Act 1: Sen. Leahy and 10 Congress people call for investigations into ‘extrajudicial killings’ by
      Israeli and Egyptian security forces.

      Act 2: Bluster and outrage by zionist master, and the slamming of any criticism, in a
      desperate attempt to stifle an American investigation.

      Act 3: Personal attacks and insults thrown at said congresspeople, by zionist agents, including
      the media, and accusations of anti-semitism.

      Act 4: The rest of the Congress who have accepted zionist donations, will squash this
      attempt to halt any efforts to hold the criminals responsible, and face any consequences
      for breaking international laws and perpetrating crimes against those under their
      occupation.

      Case closed. The king of the zionists has saved the motherland from investigations and accountability yet again by throwing a massive tantrum. Americans are always so easy to “move”.

  5. John Douglas
    March 30, 2016, 8:00 pm

    Eleven members of Congress today, fifteen tomorrow, and then? Congratulations to the eleven.

  6. ckg
    March 30, 2016, 8:42 pm

    QUESTION: Go to the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

    MR KIRBY: Sure.

    QUESTION: I wonder if you could share with us any information pertaining to the letter that Senator Patrick Leahy and 10 other members of Congress sent to Secretary Kerry regarding investigating Israel for extrajudicial executions.

    MR KIRBY: I’m not familiar with a particular letter from – you’re talking about —

    QUESTION: Yes, there was a letter that was sent by Senator Leahy —

    MR KIRBY: Okay, yeah.

    QUESTION: — to the Secretary of State on the 17th of February —

    MR KIRBY: Yeah, yeah, okay.

    QUESTION: — requesting investigating Israel and Egypt for abuses of human rights, including extrajudicial executions of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, and to see if that can reflect on what we supply them with weapons.

    MR KIRBY: I’m sorry, I was getting it confused.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MR KIRBY: We have received that letter by Senator Leahy and we are responding to it. I would tell you that our assistance to Egypt and to Israel is and will remain in full compliance of the law. We absolutely take that fundamental obligation seriously, and that’s not going to change. And we’re going to continue to work with Congress to deal with issues where we believe any of that aid and assistance needs to change in keeping with the Leahy Law.

    QUESTION: Do you believe that Israel is complying with the Leahy law? Do you believe that the law that was passed in 1997 —

    MR KIRBY: It’s not – it’s not a law that Israel has to comply with. It’s a U.S. law we have to comply with, Said.

    QUESTION: I understand. Okay, let me rephrase —

    MR KIRBY: And so we do. And so we do.

    QUESTION: Okay. So let me rephrase this. Do you think that Israel is conducting itself in a way where it is not violating human rights, rights of the Palestinians, or committing human rights abuses of the Palestinians?

    MR KIRBY: So again, let me put this in two different buckets. We obey the law.

    QUESTION: Right.

    MR KIRBY: And we don’t provide assistance to any security forces anywhere where we have credible information that they’ve committed a gross violation of human rights. That’s the law and we follow the law. Your second – the second part there, you’re basically asking me do I think Israel has never violated the law or not – or never committed human rights violations, and in this particular case I think you’re referring to recent stuff. And I’m – we’re – I’m not able to make a judgment on that right now, but we’ve —

    QUESTION: In fact, the —

    MR KIRBY: — but we scrupulously follow the law.

    QUESTION: John?

    QUESTION: In fact – no, I’m so sorry, just can I just stay on this for a minute? In fact, the letter talks about four Palestinians that were killed execution style back then, but although since you mentioned some recent stuff, I mean, it happened again last Thursday in plain sight of the whole world. I mean, you probably got – you probably got to see that where a wounded man was laying on the ground, not moving, and then he was executed with a bullet to the head.

    MR KIRBY: And Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken to this, as have senior leaders of the IDF. And they’re investigating it. And they made – they said very clearly that actions such as those portrayed in that video – again, this was based on just the information of looking at the video – do not comport with their own core values as a military.

  7. just
    March 30, 2016, 9:15 pm

    Perhaps Kirby et al should read some Gideon Levy, Amira Hass and Kate. I am so sick of US and “Western” and others’ deliberate obtuseness/willful and feigned ignorance with regard to Israel’s horrific evils!

    “Never Have So Many Cheered Such Vile Murderer …

    The rabble demonstrating and writing in support of the soldier-executioner in Hebron sees him as a hero. Not just a victim, like the convicted murderer Roman Zadorov, for example, but a hero. E.A. — his full name remains under a gag order — is a folk hero because he murdered a dying Palestinian. Because, not despite.

    This must be stated clearly. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the state, an abhorrent murder whose only obvious justification seems to be a hatred of Arabs and contempt for their lives, has become a heroic act. A murder that required no courage, a cowardly act of the highest order, has become heroic in the eyes of the masses, simply because it ended with a dead Palestinian bleeding on the road to the sound of their rejoicing.

    Never have so many cheered such a vile murderer. In the history of the Israel Defense Forces there have been quite a few obscene acts disguised as heroism — the reprisal raids of the 1950s, the Gaza Strip activities of the Sayeret Rimon special operations unit, operations Cast Lead Protective Edge — but never was an obscure murderer lauded as a hero. Shimon Bar Kochba, Meir Har-Zion, Yoni Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and … E.A. Who can retell the mighty feats of Israel?

    Israeli racism has reached a new peak. The murder in Tel Rumeida and the ensuing response are no less than seminal events. Israeli racism had previously been based on the arrogance of the Chosen People, to which everything is permitted, which is the very best and knows better than anyone else; on manipulating the perception of endless victimhood and persecution; on demonizing the Arabs, who only want to destroy us; on dehumanizing them, as if their lives are worth nothing; on incitement, denial, repression and lies and on Israel’s formidable military might. On these foundations we built a racist society, probably the most racist in the world today.

    Now all this has been taken up a notch, or perhaps down. To all the above we can now openly add bloodlust — unadulterated, uninhibited and undisguised.

    This combination of racism and thirst for blood is not only repulsive, it’s also volatile and dangerous. There is racism in many societies, generally hidden and marginal. In Israel it has become standard, perhaps the height of contemporary political correctness, and fighting it is seen as treason.

    Moreover, it’s doubtful there’s another Western society whose racism is accompanied by such bloodlust. Whites hate blacks in the United States and South Africa, Europeans hate refugees, Christians hate Muslims, but not with such bloodlust and murderousness. The cry “Death to the Arabs” has taken on shocking practical significance. E.A. is its executor. That’s why he’s being applauded.

    These are deep currents that are difficult to stop. They have settled deep in people’s hearts, the result of decades of incitement and brainwashing. Neither a severe punishment for E.A., which he deserves, nor the chief of staff’s letter to soldiers reminding them of the army’s ethics can suffice.

    Few have dared to confront these currents; most of our systems support or have capitulated to them. It’s enough to see the military prosecution grovel before the mobs outside, dropping the allegations from murder to negligent homicide, and even that is in doubt. The media outlets, which know what their audiences want, have of course joined in spreading the incitement. It sells well. Suddenly what happened is “unclear,” “not definitive.” The video incriminates as much as a thousand witnesses and myriads of evidence, and the picture is still “unclear.” What’s not clear?

    And the politicians, who as usual support the masses, are either silent or paralyzed with fear. The thuggish Avigdor Lieberman, with Sharon Gal tagging along, and the mobs at the military court in Kastina are the most Israeli things there are now. There’s nothing to stop them. It’s doubtful if it even pays to try.

    But they won’t stop at Kastina. After the Arabs will come the leftists, the journalists, the judges and who knows who else. Prepare for the next Israeli hero; he’s already polishing his gun.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.711888?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    The 95% that supported the massacres in Gaza rises again…

  8. chris o
    March 31, 2016, 12:24 am

    Vermont is a different kind of place. In such a good way.

    Signed,
    The Rest of America

  9. Citizen
    March 31, 2016, 5:50 am

    What has Egypt said about this allegation? Naturally, we won’t hear about Leahy’s letter on US mainstream cable TV news shows. They can focus continually on a Trump fan’s momentary conduct, show video of it continually, but not this. US masses will remain ignorant and subject to endless glib romancing of Israel.

  10. RockyMissouri
    March 31, 2016, 10:26 am

    So…suspend aid to Israel, or we will never, ever be done with this horror.

  11. jaspeace2day
    March 31, 2016, 10:27 am

    Great bit of concrete reporting by aljazeera today regarding the extrajudicial killing of young Fattah…. It closes with a completely unexpected but much applauded statement with regard to Sen. Leahy…finally a crack in the israeli occupying, terrorist & apartheid regime!

    Meanwhile, according to a Wednesday report by the US-based Politico magazine, Senator Patrick Leahy and 10 House members have sent a letter to John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, demanding investigations towards “gross violations of human rights” by Israel and Egypt’s security forces.

    Here’s the link to the full story:
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/outrage-israeli-army-execution-palestinian-160330142638573.html

  12. HStrumm
    March 31, 2016, 11:06 am

    I’d love to see a satirical play that begins with one Presidential candidate–trying to best all others in proving his love for Israel–who says he/she will ensure Israel’s eternal security by making it the 51st state. Before Israel and AIPAC can mobilize to strangle the idea in infancy, it takes on a life of its own. Legislation is introduced, Congressmen rush to pledge their states to ratification, and Governors pile onto the bandwagon. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Likud figures and Neo-cons are frantic, squawking among themselves about all kinds of dire consequences such as civil rights laws, paying U.S. taxes with no certainty of breaking even, let alone showing a $3-billion annual profit, and—most of all—the impossibility of maintaining its “state laws” of ethnic privilege with the U.S. Constitution looming large overhead. “How can we plead victimhood when we’re part of a Superpower?” asks one. “Will the Pentagon mow the grass for us?” moans another. But the train rolls on with both parties, Christian Zionists, and the media pitching in.

    • brent
      March 31, 2016, 3:05 pm

      Absolutely brilliant Strumm.

      As to the current situation. This article is about a play unfolding today and directed by long time Senator Leahy. While we fret about our critique, lets not lose sight of this unique and special opportunity. These politicians are going out a limb. Tell them if you appreciate. Stand up and appreciate them in public. As Sanders and Clinton if they respect Leahy’s work?

      Independence or equality in Palestine.

      • Boomer
        March 31, 2016, 3:21 pm

        “These politicians are going out a limb.”

        Indeed. Respect is due.

  13. amigo
    March 31, 2016, 1:11 pm

    Israel has finally made it into that select group of hellholes . “The coalition of the killing”.

    It,s not as if they haven,t worked their zionist butt,s off to gain entry.Yahweh love,s a trier and helps those , “who help themselves”. The zionists misinterpret this to mean coveting as much of your neighbours property as you can get away with.

  14. amigo
    March 31, 2016, 1:43 pm

    The repatriation of this killer is under way.

    “Charges Against IDF Soldier Who Shot Subdued Palestinian Downgraded to Manslaughter

    What,s odd about this Haaretz article is that the headline is followed by an argument by the prosecutor that the soldier committed a cold blooded killing.So how come the charges were downgraded.Doesn,t the Prosecutor decide the charges ??. Very confusing article.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.712018

  15. Sycamores
    March 31, 2016, 2:04 pm

    Daily Press Briefing from the US Department of State March 30, 2016, spokeperson John Kirby

    snippets from the TRANSCRIPT in relation to the letter sent by Senator Leahy, and the Ambassador Dan Shapiro at the anti-BDS conference that took place in Jerusalem

    QUESTION: So just to put a fine point on it: Currently, and even before this letter was sent, every single country that gets military assistance from the United States – including Israel – has been and will continue to be vetted for compliance with the provisions of the law, the Leahy law?

    MR KIRBY: Yes, sir. Yeah.

    QUESTION: And to your knowledge, has this review, when it comes to Israel, ever determined that they are or have been in violation?

    MR KIRBY: I don’t know —

    QUESTION: I mean, I presume no, since there’s a lot of money that goes to all —

    MR KIRBY: They still are getting assistance. I’m not aware of any specific incidents in the past.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/03/255341.htm

    QUESTION: Let me just follow up on a conference that took place in Jerusalem. It’s an anti-BDS conference – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – in which Ambassador Dan Shapiro was present, attended. And there was a statement by the minister – the Israeli minister of intelligence, Minister Katz, in which he called for targeting leaders of BDS for basically elimination – assassination. Are you aware of that? Does that —

    MR KIRBY: No. I’m not aware of that statement.

    QUESTION: Does that ring any alarm bells to you?

    MR KIRBY: Well, clearly if those comments are true, we wouldn’t associate ourselves with them. But I can’t vouch for the veracity of the reports. I just haven’t seen it

  16. Jasonius Maximus
    March 31, 2016, 4:55 pm

    Last year a group of Congressmen/women openly questioned the deal with Iran and the release of frozen funds to the Iranian Republic and it was wall-to-wall TV and newspaper coverage in the US, with interviews and statements from everyone from The Hill to the Whitehouse and beyond, for months on end.

    This year a group of Congressmen/women question the actions of Israel and request an investigation into the ever-increasing evidence of extrajudicial killings and potential war crimes and human rights violations by Israel and Egypt and how the US could be breaking the law by providing military and financial assistance to these nations and the silence is utterly deafening!

    When someone questions the US’s “Greatest Ally™” for “defending” herself the media goes into a feeding frenzy of propaganda and worn out catchphrases and diatribes. When someone suggests that the US’s “Greatest Ally™” might just be engaged in war crimes or human rights violations the sudden vacuum in press coverage could swallow the vast expanse of Space itself! That even the thought of asking such a question is almost too taboo to even contemplate in private.

    If the same request for investigation into similar allegations were made by a member of Congress of ANY other major US ally, like France, UK, Germany, Canada or South Korea, it would be around-the-clock headline news on every major US news outlet with everyone and their dog weighing in on the matter. Yet, now that the subject is our “Greatest Ally™” Israel, you’d swear all of Washington D.C. and New York was suddenly out to lunch, getting their hair cut, at a dentist appointment or on vacation… all at the same time.

    Fake outrage and irrational overreaction I can almost understand. This eerie silence, almost complete lack of coverage and gapping void in reporting is just downright frightening! Especially because it involves the US’s very own “Greatest Ally™”.

    • brent
      March 31, 2016, 9:18 pm

      Note that NPR and PBS are still giving almost daily coverage to Brussels, much as with San Bernadino. Other attacks by civilians by ISIS are a one day story.

      There is a pattern we have seen by profit media as well as public broadcasting for a very long time. Information germane to an understanding of the nuances of the Palestine Question is deliberately edited out. Frankly here lies a fundamental reason this conflict has not moved toward getting resolved. Public broadcasting is at the root of the problem. It is an organ for propaganda…. by omission. I don’t think it would take a lot to change this. Especially as they depend upon contributions which come in large part from peace and justice people.

      • Kay24
        March 31, 2016, 10:33 pm

        To your point this Huffpost article supports what you say. There is an obvious anti Muslim coverage by the media, when it comes to crimes committed by a Muslim and almost an air of disinterest when it comes to something terrible like a mass killing of people by a white, Christian man, in a theater or school. There are far more casualties after a terrible bombing by terrorists in Muslim nations, yet the killings in Paris and Brussels, got almost a non stop coverage by the US media. There is a huge inconsistency, and it is so obvious. The US media is doing Pamela Geller’s work for her.

  17. amigo
    March 31, 2016, 5:36 pm

    The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    WB Yeats had no idea he was describing Israel, all those decades ago.

    • straightline
      March 31, 2016, 7:15 pm

      One of my favourite verses of WBY. I worry that the “Mere anarchy” loosed upon the world will be the Samson Option.

      The last four lines seem to augur the current crop of presidential candidates.

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