DearColleague.us

Letter

Ro Khanna

From the office of:

Ro Khanna

Sending Office: Honorable Ro Khanna
Sent By:
Kate.Gould@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Join Letter to Secretary of State Pompeo Opposing Home Demolitions in the West Bank

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Thurs Jan 9th at NOON

Supported by: J Street, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and Win Without War

Current Signers (36): Khanna, Eshoo, Cohen, Beyer, Blumenauer, Brownley, Chu, Danny Davis, DeFazio, Dingell, Doggett, Evans, Garamendi, “Chuy” García, Grijalva, Haaland, Huffman, Jayapal, “Hank” Johnson, Kuster, Barbara Lee, Lowenthal, McCollum,
McGovern, Pingree, Pocan, Price, Raskin, Rush, Schakowsky, Speier, Mike Thompson, Tlaib, Watson Coleman, Welch, Yarmuth

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join our letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing concerns over the ongoing home demolitions in the West Bank, including the recent home demolitions in Wadi al-Hummus and other communities in East Jerusalem. 

The United States should work to prevent unlawful home demolitions and the forcible transfer of civilians everywhere in the world and prevent the use of U.S.-origin equipment in this destructive practice. The faithful implementation of the Arms Export Control
Act (AECA) is one important oversight tool for ensuring that U.S.-origin defense articles and other items recipient countries purchase with foreign military financing are not used for such purposes outside the scope of “legitimate self-defense.”

As supporters of the U.S.-Israel special relationship, we request an examination of Israeli compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA) as amended [22 U.S.C. 2751, et. seq.] and a determination as to whether a report to Congress
on this issue is required by section 3(c)(2) of the AECA, as well as other information necessary for proper oversight of the use of U.S.-defense articles and other items purchased by foreign military financing in the West Bank.

Please join us in this letter urging Secretary Pompeo to work with the Israeli government to prevent more families from having their homes destroyed.

To join this letter, please use this
sign up form
.

If you have further questions, please contact Kate Gould with Rep. Ro Khanna at
kate.gould@mail.house.gov
, Matthew McMurray with Rep. Anna Eshoo at
matthew.mccmurray@mail.house.gov
, or Betsy Dudley with Rep. Steve Cohen at
betsy.dudley@mail.house.gov
.

Sincerely,

Ro Khanna                                 Anna Eshoo                                  Steve Cohen 
Member of Congress                 Member of Congress                    Member of Congress

—January XX, 2020—

Dear Mr. Secretary,

We write with concerns over the ongoing home demolitions and forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including the recent demolitions in Wadi al-Hummus and other communities in East Jerusalem. We urge you to press the Israeli government
to prevent more families from being forcibly transferred and having their homes destroyed.  

The Israeli government recently accelerated the rate of home demolitions. In the West Bank, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recorded a 40% increase in the demolitions of homes and other civilian structures
in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018[1].

As supporters of the U.S.-Israel special relationship and in light of the long-standing use of U.S.-origin and supplied equipment by Israeli security forces, we specifically request an examination of Israeli compliance with the provisions of the Arms Export
Control Act of 1976 (AECA) as amended [22 U.S.C. 2751, et. seq.].  We also request a determination as to whether a report to Congress on this issue is required by section 3(c)(2) of AECA [22 U.S.C. 2753].

The United States should work to prevent unlawful home demolitions and the forcible transfer of civilians everywhere in the world and prevent the use of U.S.-origin equipment in this destructive practice. The faithful implementation of the AECA is one important
oversight tool for ensuring that U.S.-origin defense articles and other items recipient countries purchase with foreign military financing are not used for such purposes outside the scope of “legitimate self-defense.”

The AECA narrowly conditions the use of transferred U.S.-origin defense articles and other items purchased with foreign military financing “solely” for the following purposes: internal security, “legitimate self-defense,” and other narrow circumstances.

Under section 3(c)(2) of the AECA, the President must report to Congress “promptly upon the receipt of information” that a recipient of U.S.-origin defense articles may have used such articles for purposes not authorized by section 4 of the AECA if a substantial
violation of such an agreement may have occurred.

Given the information above, we request answers to the following inquiries:

1. Is the demolition of civilian homes an authorized purpose for the use of U.S.-origin and supplied defense articles or other items purchased by the Israeli government with foreign military financing?

2. Have any U.S.-origin defense articles or other items purchased by the Israeli government with foreign military financing subject to the AECA or any other U.S. law or regulation been used by Israel to conduct home demolitions?

3. Are there any restrictions on U.S.–origin defense articles or other items purchased by the Israeli government with foreign military financing that would prohibit their use in home demolitions?

4. Under what, if any, circumstances would the administration provide a notification to Congress, under section 3(c)(2) of the AECA, of the use of U.S.-origin defense articles or any other items purchased with foreign military financing in home demolitions?  

5. What criteria does the administration use in evaluating claims regarding self-defense made by recipients of U.S.-origin defense articles or other items purchased with foreign military financing?

6. According to news reports[4], the Israeli military used a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in the Wadi al-Hummus demolitions. Was this and/or similar bulldozers or tractors purchased using FMF?  If so, were these items subject to end User Agreements?  If so,
what is the full scope of restrictions on their use which is included in such End User Agreements, Letters of Offer, or other forms of documentation accompanying these transfers?

7. What steps has the United States taken, if any, to communicate its concerns about the legal, political, and human implications of Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Hummus and other communities throughout the West
Bank?

We look forward to your response to these questions by February 29, 2020, and also urge you to take immediate action to press the Israeli government to prevent more home demolitions, and request that you provide Congress with the information necessary for
proper oversight of the use of U.S.-defense articles and other items purchased with foreign military financing for use in the West Bank.

Sincerely,
 


[1] United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Protection of Civilians Report | 17 – 30 September 2019. https://www.ochaopt.org/poc/17-30-september-2019

[2] United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (United Nations Human Rights), “Forced Evictions.” https://www.ohchr.org/en/Issues/Housing/Pages/ForcedEvictions.aspx

[3] United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, “Destruction of Property.” https://www.ochaopt.org/theme/destruction-of-property

[4] Getty Images, “Israeli forces start to demolish buildings in East Jerusalem,” July 22, 2019.

 https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/building-is-being-demolished-with-bulldozers-under-israeli-news-photo/1157183458?adppopup=true

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Foreign Affairs

Related Deadline Information

Deadline Title: Jan 9 at NOON
Deadline Start: 12/19/2019 12:00:00 PM
Deadline End: 1/9/2020 12:00:00 PM

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
 
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.