March 05, 2024

In sixteen U.S. cities, March 5-7, members of Veterans For Peace will hand  deliver an exhaustively researched letter to U.S. State Department offices that has gotten no response from the department’s Inspector-General  since February 11. 

The cities are Buffalo, New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portsmouth, NH,  Greensboro, NC, Boston, San Diego, Tucson, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta,  Bridgeport, CT, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. 

Josh Paul, former State Department senior official who resigned over  weapons shipments to Israel said, “The Secretary and all relevant officials  under his purview should take this letter from Veterans For Peace with the  utmost seriousness. It is a stark reminder of the importance of abiding by  the laws and policies that relate to arms transfers.” 

The letter from Veterans For Peace alleges violations by U.S. government  officials of: 

The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, which prohibits U.S.  weapons transfers when it’s likely they will be used by Israel to  commit genocide; crimes against humanity; and grave breaches of  the Geneva Conventions, including attacks intentionally directed against civilian objects or civilians or other serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, including serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against children. Dozens of authoritative complaints and referrals made by hospital administrators in Gaza, as well as by Amnesty   International, Human Rights Watch, Palestine Authority, South Africa, Turkey, Medicins san Frontieres, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Food Programme, have confirmed that there is an ongoing human rights and humanitarian disaster due to Israel’s cutoff of water and electricity, deliberate destruction of sewage infrastructure and delaying of aid shipments by Israeli forces. 

The Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids the provision of assistance to a government which "engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of  internationally recognized human rights.” 

Arms Export Control Act, which says countries that receive US military aid can only  use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza goes way beyond self-defense and internal security. 

The U.S. War Crimes Act, which forbids grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions,  including willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and unlawful deportation or transfer, perpetrated by the Israeli Occupying Forces. 

The Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance  to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights. 

The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which was enacted to implement  U.S. obligations under the Genocide Convention, provides for criminal penalties for individuals who commit or incite others to commit genocide.  

Mike Ferner, VFP National Director, said, “Just as any good soldier can recognize when they  are given an unlawful order, we believe some State Department staff are horrified at the  orders they’re given and will decide to uphold the law, find the courage to speak out and  demand an end to the carnage. VFP enthusiastically supports Josh Paul for what he did and  we believe the public does, too. The IDF has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and is utterly  destroying Gaza. These actions amount to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and VFP wants them investigated.” 

Veterans For Peace has over 100 chapters in the U.S. and since 1985 has exposed the true  costs of war and militarism. Its goal is to abolish war as an instrument of national policy. -end 


Local press contacts follow

Buffalo: Tom Casey 716-491-9172 

Russell Brown 716-570-5200 

New York: Bob Keilbach 718-3588568 

Jules Orkin 718-358-8568 

Minneapolis: Barry Riesch 651-757-8012  

Dave Logsdon 612-203-9768 Craig Wood 612-245-1627  

St. Louis: Robert Suberi 314-371-8622 

Portsmouth, NH: Will Hopkins 603-254-4727 

Will Thomas 603-321-8838 

Greensboro, NC: Kim Carlyle 336-346-4588 

Boston: Doug Stuart 617-967-0751 

Richard Wood 617 872-0654 

San Diego: Dave Patterson, 760-207-9139 

Tucson: Cara Bissell 718-721-5527 

Chicago: Thomas Leonard, Jr. 773-595-6912 

Philadelphia: Frank Corcoran 484-844-2604 

Atlanta: Geoff Sumner 404-502-2015 

Bridgeport, CT: John Miksad 917-658-2655  

Jim Brasile 860-508-3685 

Los Angeles: Fernando Islas 323-392-7109 

Dallas: Ron Unger (972) 742-9985; Leslie Harris (214) 437-6047 

Houston: Joe Marcinkowski 832-971-6796


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