The untold billions of dollars of aid provided by the United States to Israel is in violation of a 40-year-old American law, a new lawsuit claims.
In 1976, the United States government enacted the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act. Among other things, the law states that the government cannot authorize financial aid for nuclear countries that are not party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A lawsuit filed by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy on Monday claims that Washington’s financial support for the Israeli government flouts this law – to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Since the year that the Arms Export Control Act went into effect, the United States has provided resources worth an estimated $234 billion to Israel, despite the fact that the Middle Eastern nation is well known to be in possession of nuclear weapons, while not being a signatory to the nonproliferation treaty.
Sections 101 and 102 of the US’s Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA) contains the specific provisions, and Israel has refused to sign the NPF despite being in possession of around eighty nuclear weapons.
The law banning aid to any nuclear-armed country which is not a signatory to the NPF came about in 1976, when the so-called “Symington Amendment” was passed by Congress.
Originally introduced by Stuart Symington, a Democratic senator from Missouri, to strengthen the US position on nuclear non-proliferation, the amendment was made to the then Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, under section 669.
It banned US economic and military assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive, acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not comply with IAEA regulations and inspections. This provision, as amended, is now contained in Section 101 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), and reads as follows:
(a) PROHIBITIONS; SAFEGUARDS AND MANAGEMENT. —Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no funds made available to carry out the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or this Act may be used for the purpose of providing economic assistance (including assistance under chapter 4 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961), providing military assistance or grant military education and training, providing assistance under chapter 6 of part II of that Act, or extending military credits or making guarantees, to any country which the President determines delivers nuclear enrichment equipment, materials, or technology to any other country on or after August 4, 1977, or receives such equipment, materials, or technology from any other country on or after August 4, 1977, unless before such delivery— (1) the supplying country and receiving country have reached agreement to place all such equipment, materials, or technology, upon delivery, under multilateral auspices and management when available; and (2) the recipient country has entered into an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to place all such equipment, materials, technology, and all nuclear fuel and facilities in such country under the safeguards system of such Agency.
Part (b) of that amendment does provide for the provision of aid to nations which have not signed the NPF, if, and only if, two conditions have been fulfilled, namely that the President informs Congress in writing that US interests will be adversely affected, or a report in writing that the nation in question will stop its nuclear weapons program:
(b) CERTIFICATION BY PRESIDENT OF NECESSITY OF CONTINUED ASSISTANCE; DISAPPROVAL BY CONGRESS.— (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the President may furnish assistance which would otherwise be prohibited under such subsection if he determines and certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate that— (A) the termination of such assistance would have a serious adverse effect on vital United States interests; and (B) he has received reliable assurances that the country in question will not acquire or develop nuclear weapons or assist other nations in doing so. Such certification shall set forth the reasons supporting such determination in each particular case.
As no such written certification has ever been issued by any US president allowing Israel to receive aid—and all senior US government officials, from the President down have always known Israel has nuclear weapons—it is therefore clear that all aid to Israel since 1976 has been illegal.