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Phyllis Bennis: Stop Military Aid to Israel

Phyllis Bennis' Letter to the Editor of the NYTimes:

To the Editor:

I believe the Israeli airstrikes are clear violations of international humanitarian law. While the Palestinian rocket fire against civilian targets in Israel may be illegal, that does not give Israel the right to violate the Geneva Conventions. The airstrikes represent:

  • Collective punishment (the civilian population is being punished for actions of a few militants).
  • Unlawful attack on civilians in a protected population (the strikes are targeting civilian areas, Gaza being one of the most densely populated areas in the Middle East).
  • Disproportionate military action (Israel has destroyed the entire security infrastructure of 1.5 million people).

In addition, earlier Israeli actions, like the closing of Gaza’s borders, have led to severe shortages of medicine and fuel, so ambulances can’t respond to the injured, hospitals can’t adequately receive or treat the wounded, and doctors are unable to provide sufficient medical care.

Israel is using F-16 fighter jets and weapons provided by the United States. We must stop military aid to Israel.

Phyllis Bennis
Washington, Dec. 29, 2008

The writer, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, is the author of a book about understanding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

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