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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Amnesty International Calls for Review of U.S. Arm Sales to Israel
17 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Amnesty International Calls for Review of U.S. Arm Sales to Israel

Interview with Curt Goering, Amnesty International USA, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

In late December of last year, a ship loaded with weapons departed the U.S. bound for Israel, while George W. Bush was still president. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that it arrived in Israel on March 22, after Barack Obama took office. The spokesperson said that the shipment was destined for a U.S. pre-positioned ammunition stockpile in Israel. Under a U.S.-Israeli agreement, munitions from this stockpile may be transferred for Israel to use if necessary.

This weaponry is part of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel, most of it for military assistance. Amnesty International USA followed this shipment and contacted both the former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and the incoming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to express concern that Israel was using U.S.-supplied weapons against Palestinians in ways that violated a number of U.S. laws. The latest instance was Israel's three-week-long air and ground assault on Gaza that began on Dec. 27, which killed an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, including 300 children and hundreds of other civilians.

An Obama State Department official told Amnesty International that Israel's use of U.S. weapons during the Gaza conflict is under review to determine if Israel complied with U.S. law, but no conclusion has yet been reached. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Curt Goering, senior deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA, who talks about the U.S.-Israel military agreement and what steps concerned Americans could take to raise the issue with their elected officials.

Contact Amnesty International USA. at (212) 807-8400 or visit their website at



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
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