Global Ministries among 25 organizations raising concerns about small arms exports to Israel in letter to Secs. Blinken and Raimondo
Twenty-five faith-based, human rights, and gun violence prevention organizations – including Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ – have written to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to voice concern about the massive numbers of small arms that the U.S. is exporting to Israel, the lack of end use controls on these exports, and the violence and human rights violations that have occurred and will continue as a result.
The full letter explains these concerns, including background on the issue, data on U.S. arms exports to Israel, and an explanation of how, in light of war crimes and other violence occurring in the West Bank and Gaza, such arms transfers violate U.S. policy.
In the letter, the groups encourage the Department of State and Department of Commerce to suspend all licenses and shipments of firearm exports to Israel until criteria are met that will prevent further war crimes and ensure end use monitoring of transferred munitions. They advocate that an overall policy of restraint be adopted for the export of firearms, and that arms export policy exceptions for Israel are removed.
The signatories further encouraged the Departments of State and Commerce to establish criteria for the exclusion of end users where there is a meaningful risk that such users are involved in human rights abuses or other crimes, and to require U.S. firearms manufacturers to submit license applications and end user certificates for all proposed exports.
Complete details of these policy asks can be found in the full letter.