Rep. Dennis Kucinich went on the House floor on January 7, 2009 and made a statement concerning the fighting in Gaza.
“We cannot truly celebrate a New Year, a new Congress and a new administration if all we see is the same old destruction in the Middle East with US weapons being illegally used to kill children.
“I oppose Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. The rocket attacks, even to try to end the blockade, have no moral justification, are illegal and must stop.
“But how can Israel claim self defense when it bombs Gaza which has no army, no air force, no navy and has been under a constant blockade?
“How can Israel claim self defense when its bombs destroy UN schools, killing children?
“The children of Palestinians and the children of Israel both deserve life. But the lives of the children of Gaza are cynically discounted as “human shields”. Massacres are being rationalized. Israel’s “moral high ground” in Gaza, a growing pile of small bones in a graveyard.
“The Administration knows Israel is using US weapons, paid for by US taxpayers, with disproportionate force creating a collective punishment of Gazans, assuring an escalation of conflict, clear violations of the Arms Export Control Act.
“Israel was given U.S. weapons on condition they would not be used for aggression or escalation. The outgoing Administration must finally stand for the rule of law, not the rule of force.”
Congressman Kucinich has made several statements over the last week concerning the fighting in Gaza.
From Kucinich’s website:
Kucinich Speaks Against Israel Resolution
“We Must Take a New Direction in the Middle East”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today spoke out against a resolution affirming U.S. support for Israel’s military action in Gaza. While a firm supporter of the people of Israel and a critic of rocket attacks by Hamas militants, Congressman Kucinich led opposition against the incomplete resolution.
H.Res. 34, “Supporting Israel in Its Battle with Terrorist Hamas,” is incomplete because it does not address the humanitarian crisis of Palestinians in Gaza, fails to insist on an immediate ceasefire, and neglects Israel’s potential violation of the Arms Export and Control Act which governs U.S. arms exports to foreign countries.
The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) requires that each nation that receives a shipment of arms from the United States must certify that the weapons are used for internal security and legitimate self-defense, and that their use does not lead to an escalation of conflict. Congressman Kucinich informed the administration of Israel’s possible violation of AECA through Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on January 6, 2009. Kucinich has yet to receive a response.
The full text of Congressman Kucinich’s statement follows:
January 9, 2009
“In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about forty. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing thirty people.
“Emergency workers have been blocked by the Israeli army from reaching hundreds of injured persons. Today’s Washington Post: 100 survivors rescued in Gaza from roads blocked from Israelis. Relief agencies fear more are trapped, days after neighborhood was shelled. Today, the U.S. Congress is going to be asked to pass a resolution supporting Israel’s actions in Gaza. I’m hopeful that we don’t support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. The U.S. abstained from a UN call for a ceasefire. We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza.
Congressman Kucinich has spoken out over the last several days. Here are his previous statements from his website.
January 8, 2009 – Kucinich: Bush Administration Ignores Humanitarian Crisis
January 7, 2009 – Kucinich: Bush Administration Must Enforce Arms Export Control Act (video covers this)
January 6, 2009 – Israel May Be in Violation of Arms Export Control Act
December 29, 2008 –Kucinich Calls For Independent United Nations Inquiry On Gaza
“The attacks on civilians represent collective punishment, which is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention… Israel is leveling Gaza to strike at Hamas, just as they pulverized south Lebanon to strike at Hezbollah. Yet in both cases civilian populations were attacked, countless innocents killed or injured, infrastructure targeted and destroyed, and civil law enforcement negated. All this was, and is, disproportionate, indiscriminate mass violence in violation of international law… The attack aggravated a humanitarian crisis wrought by the Israeli-imposed blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies.”