Powered by WebAds

Friday, September 08, 2006

US Senate defeats attempt to curb Israeli use of cluster bombs

The US Senate today defeated an attempt to curb Israeli use of cluster bombs that was sponsored by Democrats Diane Feinstein of California and Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The vote was 70-30.
They attempted to attach a provision to the Pentagon budget, which would require the US, and the countries that it sells arms to, including Israel, to avoid using cluster bombs "in or near" civilian areas. According to the suggestion, the Pentagon would have to freeze all use or sale of cluster bombs until new rules are put in place regarding the use of these munitions in civilian areas.


Israel contends that the use of cluster bombs is in accordance with international law. A memorandum put out by the Israeli foreign ministry quotes a Human Rights Watch report stating that 56 countries have cluster bombs. Nine of them - including the US, Russia and Britain - have actually used them. The memorandum goes on to argue that while Hizbullah used civilian areas as launching sites against Israel, the IDF kept to the rule of not targeting civilians.

"The IDF does not deliberately attack civilians and takes steps to minimize any incidental collateral harm by warning them in advance of an action, even at the expense of losing the element of surprise," the memo reads.

"The IDF only uses weapons that are legal," The IDF Spokesperson's Office said in a statement. "All of the weapons and methods used by the IDF are permitted by international law."

"The IDF refrains from purposely attacking innocent civilians and works to minimize the harm inflicted on those not involved in terror activity," the statement read.
Last week, B'nai B'rith International sent a letter to United Nations Under-Secretary General Jan Egeland, protesting his biased and one-sided characterization of Israel's use of cluster munitions in Southern Lebanon as "immoral." The following is part of the text:
Dear Under-Secretary-General Egeland:

We write to express our concern and outrage at your comments on August 30 with regard to Israel's use of cluster munitions in Southern Lebanon.

We fully support the need to protect civilians in times of conflict. However, your one-sided, judgmental comments and allegations of Israel's excessive use of these munitions immediately before the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 without due consideration for Hezbollah's actions and its cynical manipulation of civilians to provoke attacks violates the principle of neutrality.
Read the whole thing.


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

It's votes like these that make me ashamed to be a Democrat.


Post a Comment

<< Home