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PostNot Just the US, But Western Europe is Arming Netanyahu (Massoud Malek, USA, 11/19/23 6:03 am)
While all states have a right to defend themselves under the UN Charter, this does not provide legal cover to wage war against an occupied territory, as the International Court of Justice pointed out in an advisory opinion on Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine.
Applying the same flawed logic to the Ukraine war would give Russia a right to self-defense in territories that it has illegally invaded and occupied. No such right exists under international law, yet European leaders, with few exceptions, have repeatedly defended what is legally and morally indefensible.
With his prime-time vow to send more weapons to both Ukraine and Israel, President Biden sought to make clear that the United States was not prioritizing one war over the other. But hours earlier, a Defense Department official said that tens of thousands of 155-millimeter artillery shells promised to Ukraine would be diverted to Israel.
The Pentagon has quietly ramped up military aid to Israel, delivering on requests that include more laser-guided missiles for its Apache gunship fleet, as well as 155mm shells, night-vision devices, bunker-buster munitions and new army vehicles, according to an internal Defense Department list.
For decades, EU member states have provided military wares to Israel's occupation forces, with almost 30 percent of their major conventional weaponry originating in Germany (23.9 percent) and Italy (5.9 percent).
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has emerged as Europe's most hawkish advocate of Israel. As of November 2, the German government has approved the export of close to 303 million euros' ($323 million) worth of defense equipment to Israel. By comparison, 32 million euros' worth of defense exports were approved in all of 2022.
Since 7 October, the German government has approved the delivery of components for F-35 fighter jets, which are currently being used to strike Gaza repeatedly. Although lawyers at the foreign ministry advised against these transfers, citing serious violations of the laws of war, the German government chose to prioritize relations with Israel and the US over Palestinian lives. The government allowed exports worth almost $323 million to Israel up to Nov. 2--almost 10 times as much for whole of 2022.
The approvals include primarily components for air defense and communications equipment. More material and military support may be in the pipeline. Germany will meet Israel's requests as they are made.
The Netherlands has continued to deliver parts for Israeli F-35 fighter jets since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas, despite warnings that it may violate humanitarian laws. While government officials cautioned that this could potentially breach the laws of war, the delivery proceeded due to political considerations.
Although the UK's arms export system is based on the principle of avoiding a clear risk of British weapons being used to commit serious violations of international law, the UK has "no plans" to stop arms sales to Israel despite civilian deaths.
According to Al-Jazeera, nearly 3,000 Palestinians remain missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble while another 27,490 Palestinians have reportedly been injured, the Health Ministry of Gaza said on FridaY November 17th.
According to Haaretz email, on Friday November 17th, Israel's war cabinet said it would comply with a US request to allow the daily entry of two fuel trucks into Gaza for UN use, including the operation of desalination plants and sewage facilities. The decision triggered intense opposition among both far-right and Likud members of the Netanyahu government.
Somehow, I understand why the West provides military wares to Israel's occupation forces to make Gaza a graveyard of Palestinian children. But why the Western leaders blindly defend the fascist government of Netenyahu?
JE comments: Is "fascist" the best adjective to describe Netanyahu? I know our friend Eugenio Battaglia will protest. Waiting to hear from you, Eugenio...
But let's return to the topic of Massoud Malek's post. My first question: what tactical use has Israel for 155-mm artillery shells, especially when they are desperately needed for the type of war Ukraine is fighting? And doesn't Israel claim to be careful about civilian casualties? There is no "dumber" weapon than heavy artillery.
Another question raised by Massoud: is it morally consistent to support both Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars? The Gazans, like the Ukrainians, are defending their territory. The one essential difference, which I'm sure several colleagues will point out, is that Ukraine carried out no attack on Russian territory akin to the Hamas operation of October 7th.