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Wild Flowers

Opinion and Analysis
by Carol Goiburn
June 1, 2024

We see you. Yes, we do! We see you on your college campuses risking your lives to protest the atrocities in Gaza, the genocide of the Palestinian people, and the outrageous and unjust U.S. support to Israel funding the genocide in our names. As we all age by the day, evil never does, and you are standing up to that side of human nature determined to send us all to an early grave. It can’t be easy doing what you’re doing. Many activists here in the Central Valley recall their days of engaging in similar actions, and they know what you’re going through, what you’re thinking and why you’re putting your lives on the line for others living so far away. Why does it matter? Seriously, why should it matter? We know why it matters. We know that when college students like you across this nation refuse to be part of this government’s destructive policies, it matters for everyone, not only Americans, because evil is backed down and that causes changes, changes for the better, and those changes build a more just and peaceful society. That is until evil rises to challenge us again as it seemingly does repeatedly, and here it is—again—in the most heinous of ways, but you have chosen to stand up to it, back it down, get in its face and do whatever it takes to send that monster back to the bowels from whence it came. Sixty years ago, on the Berkeley campus, the free speech movement was born. My hope is that college activists today on campuses currently exercising their constitutional rights to assemble and free speech have heard of Mario Savio et al. because, like them, you are putting your bodies on the gears of the machine that has become too odious and has made you so sick at heart that you can no longer passively allow the genocide to continue and that you are now putting your bodies on the line, on the gears, the wheels, the levers, all the apparatus itself to make it stop. You are willing to risk it all like the college students in the 1960s did because your government, much like the one in power 50 years ago, is not listening to the people, is not engaging in fair and just policymaking, is not valuing human life over profit. The price up to this point is steep: tens of thousands of innocent lives brutally ended, starved to death, destroyed, traumatized, forced from their homeland, shaken to the very core of their existence. No law made by man, no cop, no amount of pepper spray, handcuffs, batons, no jail cell, nothing exists more compelling than what lives in your hearts, and that is the commitment to stop the genocide in the Palestinian territories with your own bodies, and we see you. Some 2,500 years ago, another prominent figure referred to himself as a gadfly. He is known by all who have studied ancient Greek philosophy, literature and history. Like Socrates, who died for his beliefs, you are the modern-day gadfly, irritating the powers that be, constantly being that nuisance and nothing will stop you now. As of April 27, at least 57 protests nationwide had been recorded on college campuses; 15 of those saw police interactions and among those 600 students and fellow protestors were arrested. The birthplace this time was Columbia University, whose president testified before Congress aligning herself and the institution whose care is under her control with legislators irritated by you, legislators supporting the genocide. On April 18, she had the New York Police Department come to your campus to take down your encampment. Since then, encampments like yours have popped up at colleges from coast to coast, and we see you. On May 1, two weeks after the Columbia encampment began, in my hometown of Fresno, students held a sit-in on their university campus in solidarity with you and all those promoting a ceasefire, committed to ending the genocide, and demanding the United States stop further military aid to Israel. On May 12, UC Merced students set up an encampment in preparation for a three-day UC Regents meeting. Their demands echo many of yours: An immediate call for a ceasefire Financial divestment of all UC investments systemwide and campus-specific investments that directly support the genocide in Gaza Academic boycott ending all university ties with Israel including study-abroad programs Amnesty for all student protesters Reinvestment in direct financial support to support students needs and investing in aid to Palestine A colleague referenced JFK at the end of his presidency in a recent e-mail to the Veterans for Peace no nukes working group, “His assassination began a return to might is right, to war ideology, trust and to the military industrial complex taking full charge…highlighted at the time with full Vietnam involvement and death of innocents…international laws to be trashed. “Don’t see a leader like him, but then again, the system is [that] such a leader would not be allowed, but the ‘aging population’ may recall that giving to the whole spirit…it was in us.” Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, the times were promising and uplifting, and that’s because of people like you taking a stand, risking your lives for that, giving to the whole spirit. In Chris Hedges’ “Revolt in the Universities,” he ends by saying that “there are many shameful periods in American history. The genocide we carried out against indigenous peoples. Slavery. The violent suppression of the labor movement that saw hundreds of workers killed. Lynching. Jim and Jane Crow. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. “The genocide in Gaza, which we fund and support, is of such monstrous proportions that it will achieve a prominent place in this pantheon of crimes. History will not be kind to most of us. But it will bless and revere these students.” As one of many members of that aging population, along with Peace Fresno (a Fresno-based organization), we see you, we bless you, we revere you.

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American Friends Service Committee REPORT

The Companies Profiting from Israel’s 2023-2024
Attacks on Gaza

The companies listed here have provided Israel with weapons and other military equipment used in its attacks on Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria between October 2023 and January 2024. AFSC Action Center for Corporate Accountability Since October, 2023, Israel has waged unprecedented aerial and ground attacks on Gaza after Hamas-led attacks on Israel. Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have been killed at a historic pace, mostly unarmed civilians, and most of the Gaza population has been displaced. These attacks may amount to a genocide, according to a preliminary ruling by the International Court of Justice, a U.S. federal court, as well as dozens of U.N. experts and legal scholars. Israel's attacks in Gaza have been accompanied by a surge of Israeli violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, clashes between the Israeli military and militant groups in Lebanon, and Israeli aerial strikes in Syria. Shortly after Oct. 7, the U.S. government started transferring massive amounts of weapons to Israel. By Dec. 25, Israel received more than 10,000 tons of weapons in 244 cargo planes and 20 ships from the U.S. These transfers included more than 15,000 bombs and 50,000 artillery shells within just the first month and a half. These transfers have been deliberately shrouded in secrecy to avoid public scrutiny and prevent Congress from exercising any meaningful oversight. A list of known U.S. arms transfers is maintained by the Forum on the Arms Trade. Some of these weapons were purchased using U.S. taxpayers’ money through the Foreign Military Sales program, while others were direct commercial sales purchased through Israel’s own budget. An undisclosed amount of weapons was also transferred from U.S. military stockpiles already stored in Israel, known as War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I). The use of WRSA-I to provide Israel with weapons serves to further obfuscate the full picture of U.S. arms transfers, as there is no public record of these stockpiles' inventory. The scale of destruction and war crimes in Gaza would not be possible without this continued flow of weapons from the U.S. Despite massive public protests, the Biden administration has been working to give Israel over $14 billion to buy more weapons. This is on top of the $3.8 billion the U.S. already gives to the Israeli military annually. Israel is required to use this money to buy U.S.-made weapons. This is a form of corporate welfare not only for the largest weapons manufacturers, like Lockheed Martin, RTX, Boeing, and General Dynamics, which have seen their stock prices skyrocket, but also for companies that are not typically seen as part of the weapons industry, such as Caterpillar, Ford, and Toyota (see below). As a Quaker organization with a long history of work in Palestine and Israel, including in Gaza, AFSC supports a full arms embargo to both Israeli and Palestinian militant groups. This list focuses on weapons used by Israel because all Palestinian militant groups are already sanctioned and receive no support from Western governments or corporations. This research relies on media sources, social media, and other open sources. Information was also contributed by Who Profits and the Database of Israeli Military and Security Export. a project of the Israeli organization New Profile. If you have information that you think we should add, or if you are a researcher or journalist who needs access to the raw data, please contact us. For a more comprehensive list of publicly traded companies that are involved in the Israeli occupation, accompanied by our divestment recommendations, please refer to our Investigate database. Companies AeroVironment A military drone manufacturer headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Around Oct. 30, Israel requested to purchase 200 AeroVironment Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drones, an advanced direct fire loitering missile system that acts as a “suicide drone.” For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Agilite A private Israeli manufacturer of tactical gear and body armor that, since Oct. 7, has repeatedly advertised the use of its equipment by the Israeli military in its ground invasion of Gaza. On Dec. 6, for example, the company posted a photo of Israeli soldiers outfitted in Agilite tactical gear with the caption "Search and destroy #swordsofiron." The company's equipment is sold by at least 34 retailers in the U.S. and can be purchased through U.S. contracting procurement vehicles. AM General A manufacturer of military vehicles based in South Bend, Indiana. The company's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee) has been used by the Israeli military in Gaza. The armor for these vehicles is made by Plasan (see below). On Nov. 5, the Israeli military reportedly used Humvees, accompanied by tanks and other armored vehicles, to lead a "supply convoy" into Gaza. Humvees were again used by the Israeli military on Nov. 8 to transport Israeli media correspondents into Gaza. On Dec. 6, a U.S. cargo plane delivered additional Humvees to Israel. In addition to Oshkosh (see below), AM General also makes the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. BAE Systems The world’s seventh largest weapons manufacturer, UK company BAE Systems manufactures the M109 howitzer, a 155mm mobile artillery system that the Israeli military has been using extensively, firing tens of thousands of 155mm shells into the Gaza Strip. Some of these shells are white phosphorus bombs, the use of which is forbidden in densely populated civilian areas and potentially amounts to a war crime. BAE also manufactures electronic missile launching kits and other components for Israel’s F-15, F-16, and F-35 fighter jets, which the Israeli Air Force has used extensively in all of its attacks on Gaza, including in 2023. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments) see our company profile on the Investigate database. The Boeing Company The world's fifth largest weapons manufacturer, Boeing manufactures F-15 fighter jets and Apache AH-64 attack helicopters, which the Israeli Air Force has used extensively in all of its attacks on Gaza and Lebanon, including in 2023. Boeing also manufactures multiple types of unguided small diameter bombs (SDBs) and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits, which convert these bombs into precision-guided munitions. Israel has been using these bombs extensively, including in a Nov. 1 bombing of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp, which killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians and could amount to a war crime, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. On Oct. 10 and 22, the Israeli military used bombs equipped with Boeing JDAM kits to carry out what Amnesty International calls "unlawful air strikes on homes full of civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip." The attacks, which could amount to a war crime, killed 24 people of the al-Najjar family and 19 people of the Abu Mu'eileq family. Immediately after Oct. 7, Boeing expedited delivery of 1,000 smart bombs, and another 1,800 JDAM kits, to Israel. Both deliveries were part of a 2021 order that Israel made during its previous large-scale attack on Gaza. Headquartered in Chicago, the company has important production facilities outside of Los Angeles, Seattle, and St. Louis. For more locations, see this map. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Caterpillar For decades, Caterpillar has been supplying Israel with the D9 armored bulldozer, which the Israeli military routinely uses to demolish Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure in the occupied West Bank and to enforce the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Armored D9 bulldozers have been crucial for Israel's ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, accompanying combat troops and paving their way by clearing roads and demolishing buildings. D9 bulldozers were also used in raids of Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank, including Jenin and Tulkarem, where a bulldozer was used to destroy a memorial to former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat. Deliberate destruction of cultural heritage sites during an armed conflict can constitute a war crime. On Dec. 16, Israeli bulldozers were reportedly "running over and crushing displaced people inside their tents in Beit Lahia’s Kamal Adwan Hospital courtyard," killing several people in the process. In February, Caterpillar bulldozers and other heavy machinery participated in building a new road that runs across the Gaza Strip from east to west, designed to facilitate Israeli long-term "logistical and military control in the region." Israel placed an urgent order for dozens of additional D9 armored bulldozers after Oct. 7. Some of Israel's D9T bulldozers have been converted into remote-controlled or semi-autonomous vehicles so that they can operate without a driver in "complex," "high-risk areas." In November, Israel Aerospace Industries, the company that converts the bulldozers, modified more units for the Israeli military for its operations in Gaza. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Colt's Manufacturing Company Colt’s Manufacturing Company makes firearms, including the M16, which was the standard-issue assault rifle used by the Israeli military from the 1990s to the early 2010s. Many older M16 rifles are still in use by the Israeli military and police. Israel requested to purchase from Colt about 18,000 M4 and MK18 assault rifles, out of 24,000 total assault rifles from U.S. companies. Israel designates these firearms for newly-formed civilian “security squads” in dozens of cities and towns, including illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. U.S. State Department officials, who have to approve the sale of automatic rifles, expressed concerns that these weapons will be used to expel Palestinian civilians from their land in the occupied West Bank. While Israel guaranteed that the rifles will only be used by government agencies, the U.S. has reportedly delayed a shipment of 4,500 rifles from the same order. Colt is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, and is owned by Czech firearms manufacturer Colt CZ Group (CZP). For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Day & Zimmermann A privately owned munitions manufacturer headquartered in Philadelphia. It operates the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAP), which has been the source of much of the artillery munitions used by the Israeli military, including 155mm rounds, fired by Israel's M109 howitzer guns, and 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) rounds, fired by Israel's Merkava battle tanks. The factory has been operated by Mason & Hanger since 1951. Between 1998-2007, it was operated by American Ordnance, a joint venture of Mason & Hanger and General Dynamics. Day & Zimmermann acquired Mason & Hanger in 1999, and in 2007 acquired General Dynamics' stake in American Ordnance. In November, Israeli tanks fired M830A1 rounds as part of their attack on a U.N. school in Gaza. The serial number on one of the rounds suggests that it was made at IAAP by Mason & Hanger in December 1990. On January 29, Israeli tanks fired M830A1 rounds as part of their attack that killed 6-year-old Hind Rajab, her six family members, and the medics that attempted to rescue her, in the Gaza neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa. The serial number on an exploded round found inside the ambulance suggests that it was made at IAAP by Mason & Hanger in November 1996. In December, the U.S. government used emergency measures to approve sending Israel an estimated number of 14,000 M830A1 tank rounds, without congressional review. The transfer, from the existing inventory of the U.S. Army, is worth $106.5 million, funded by U.S. taxpayer's money. Day & Zimmermann's factory in Texarkana, Texas, is the current supplier of M830A1 rounds for the U.S. Army. Between 2017-2021, the U.S. Army's supplier of these munitions was a Northrop Grumman factory in Plymouth, Minnesota. DJI A privately owned Chinese commercial drone manufacturer. The Israeli military has been using its drones for multiple purposes, including most recently as small "assassin drones" in Gaza. Elbit Systems Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems is one of the primary suppliers of weapons and surveillance systems to the Israeli military, including Skylark and Hermes military UAV drones, which form the majority of Israel’s fleet of large drones and have been used extensively in Gaza. Elbit-made MPR 500 multi-purpose bombs are being used by Israel in its attacks on the Gaza Strip. Designed for use in "densely populated urban warfare," these bombs contain 26,000 controlled fragments for "high kill probability." Elbit says that these 500-pound bombs are as powerful as U.S.-made 2,000-pound MK-84 bombs. They can be converted into guided bombs using kits such as the Boeing (see above) Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Elbit Systems’ killer Hermes 450 and 900 drones have been used extensively in attacks on and surveillance missions in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and Lebanon. Elbit's Head-Mounted Display helmet technology is integrated into the Israeli Air Force's fighter jets and helicopters as well as the military's Merkava 5 (Barak) battle tank. The company is also a subcontractor of Lockheed Martin; it integrates its helmet technology into F-35 fighter jets worldwide. It also supplies the Israeli military with 155mm artillery shells and many other weapons systems and technologies. Elbit Systems spearheaded the technological aspects of the “smart” border wall surrounding the Gaza Strip, which failed on Oct. 7. It is also a prime contractor for the militarization of the U.S.– Mexico border. On Oct. 13, the Israeli military fired 120mm tank rounds at journalists in south Lebanon, killing Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injuring six others in what could amount to a war crime. The munitions used were most likely M339 rounds made by Elbit Systems, according to Amnesty International. The company, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, has a large U.S. presence, with facilities in Alabama (Talladega), Florida (Boca Raton and De Leon Springs), Massachusetts (Cambridge), New Hampshire (Merrimack), Pennsylvania (Birdsboro), South Carolina (Ladson), Virginia (Reston and Roanoke), and Texas (San Antonio). For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Emtan Karmiel A privately-held Israeli firearm manufacturer that, within a week of Oct. 7, delivered some 12,000 rifles to the Israeli military and other security forces. Many of these rifles, if not all of them, are MZ4P assault rifles that have been acquired by the Israeli Ministry of National Security to arm new civilian “security squads” in dozens of cities and towns, including illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. News of these security squads reportedly caused the U.S. to halt shipments of thousands of additional assault rifles to Israel (see above on Colt). Flyer Defense A private Los Angeles–based manufacturer of military tactical vehicles. In October, the company provided Israel with units of its Flyer 72 patrol vehicle, which it developed in partnership with General Dynamics (see below). The vehicle uses a General Motors (see below) engine. Israel was reportedly testing these vehicles because it wants to purchase tactical utility vehicles using U.S. taxpayers' money and not rely solely on its other supplier of similar vehicles, Israeli company IAI (see below). In January, it was reported that Israel ordered 60 additional Flyer 72 tactical vehicles, funded by U.S. taxpayers' money. Ford Motor Company A U.S. automaker whose commercial pickup trucks are armored and retrofitted for the Israeli military by AM General (see above), Oshkosh (see below), and Plasan (see below). The Ford Super Duty F-350 XL pickup truck, for example, serves as the basis of Plasan's SandCat light armored vehicle. On Dec. 6, a U.S. cargo plane delivered SandCat vehicles to Israel. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. General Dynamics The world's sixth largest weapons manufacturer, General Dynamics, supplies Israel with artillery ammunition and bombs for attack jets used in Israel’s assault on Gaza. The company developed the F-16 fighter jet, although it has been manufactured by Lockheed Martin since 1993. General Dynamics is the only company in the U.S. that makes the metal bodies of the MK-80 bomb series, the primary weapon type Israel uses to bomb Gaza. The bodies of the bombs are filled with explosives by the U.S. military, and then can be made into a guided bomb using Boeing's JDAM kits. It is also the only company in the U.S. that makes 155mm caliber artillery shells, which have been used extensively to attack Gaza. One source reported that, by Nov. 25, one Israeli brigade fired some 10,000 such shells using BAE’s M109 howitzer. 155mm shells have been part of the U.S.’s recent weapons shipments to Israel. The U.S. is planning to send “tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells that had been destined for Ukraine” to Israel. Their use by Israel, according to Oxfam, is “virtually assured to be indiscriminate, unlawful, and devastating to civilians in Gaza.” On Nov. 13, more than 30 organizations issued a letter opposing the transfer. General Dynamics also partnered with Flyer Defense (see above) to develop an armored patrol vehicle that Israel is testing. On an Oct. 25 call with investors, General Dynamics CFO, Jason Aiken, said, “I think if you look at the incremental demand potential coming out of [the attacks on Gaza], the biggest one to highlight and that really sticks out is probably on the artillery side.” General Dynamics is based outside of Washington, D.C., in Fairfax, Virginia. For more locations, see this map. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. General Electric The world's 25th largest weapons manufacturer, General Electric manufactures T700 Turboshaft engines for Boeing’s Apache helicopters. GE is headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. General Motors Provides engines and transmission units for multiple vehicles used by the Israeli military, including the Flyer 72 (see above) and all-terrain vehicles of the Z-series, made by IAI (see below). Israel buys GM parts using U.S. taxpayers' money, even for vehicles made in Israel. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (Hyundai) The world's largest shipbuilding company and a major heavy equipment manufacturer, Hyundai makes track excavators and other machinery that have been used to demolish Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank. On Jan. 3, for example, a Hyundai excavator was used to demolish a Palestinian family's home in Jabel Mukaber, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. InfiniDome A private Israeli manufacturer of GPS protection and navigation systems for drones. According to the company, it has been "'working day and night, especially since October 7,'" to provide its technology to the Israeli military for use in Gaza. The company has pitched its technology to the U.S. Department of Transportation, boasting that it has been used since 2018 to "protect the navigation systems of the Israeli Defense Force drones that patrol the border with Gaza." Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) A large Israeli state-owned weapons manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries makes multiple weapons systems specifically for the Israeli military, including the Heron TP killer drone. On a Nov. 22 call with investors, IAI CEO, Boaz Levy, said that Heron drones have “played a pivotal role” in Israel’s attacks on Gaza, including in strike operations. In early October, Germany approved a request by Israel to use two Heron TP drones, manufactured by IAI, in its attacks on Gaza. IAI also provides the Israeli military with the Zibar tactical utility vehicle. In 2022, the Israeli military ordered about $27 million worth of two models, the ZD and larger Z-MAG, designated for its elite units. This was in addition to several other Zibar vehicles already in use in patrolling Israel's border with Egypt. Some of the vehicles' components, including its General Motors engine, are made in the U.S. and bought using U.S. taxpayers' money. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited (JCB) JCB heavy machinery has been used for years to demolish Palestinian homes, farmland, and infrastructure and to construct illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. On Jan. 1, a JCB bulldozer was used to uproot olive trees and destroy land belonging to a Palestinian family in Beit Safafa, a Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. L3Harris Technologies The world's ninth largest weapons manufacturer, L3Harris manufactures components that are integrated into multiple weapons systems used by the Israeli military in Gaza, including Boeing's JDAM kits (see above), Lockheed Martin’s F-35 warplane (see below), Northrop Grumman's Sa’ar 5 warships (see below), ThyssenKrupp's Sa’ar 6 warships (see below), and Israel's Merkava battle tanks. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Leonardo Italy's largest weapons manufacturer, Leonardo makes the Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid 76mm naval guns installed on the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar warships. Israel's newest warship, the Sa'ar 6, was used operationally for the first time on Oct. 16, 2023, firing at targets in Gaza using Leonardo's gun. On Dec. 27, Leonardo subsidiary DRS Sustainment Systems, based in St. Louis, was awarded a $15.4 million contract for manufacturing heavy-duty tank trailers for Israel. The contract is funded by U.S. taxpayers' money and is estimated to be completed in December 2026. For more information on this company, see our company profile on the Investigate database. Leupold & Stevens A Oregon-based maker of scopes, sights, and binoculars. Its telescopic rifle scopes are widely used by Israeli military sniper units. Lockheed Martin The world’s largest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin supplies Israel with F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, which Israel has been using extensively to bomb Gaza. Israel also uses the company’s C-130 Hercules transport planes to support the ground invasion of Gaza. Lockheed Martin manufactures AGM-114 Hellfire missiles for Israel’s Apache helicopters. One of the main weapon types used in aerial attacks on Gaza, these missiles have been used extensively in 2023. Some 2,000 Hellfire missiles were delivered to Israel sometime between Oct. 7 and Nov. 14. Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky manufactures the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter, used to transport Israeli soldiers into and out of Gaza. On Jan. 8, Sikorsky was awarded $18.3 million from U.S. taxpayers' money for continued work on the CH-53K aircraft it has provided to Israel. On Dec. 28, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $10.5 million contract for continued support for Israel's fleet of F-35 warplanes. On Dec. 11, the Israeli Air Force used a Lockheed Martin C-130-J Super Hercules aircraft to drop approximately seven tons of equipment to Israeli soldiers engaging in ground attacks in Khan Younis, located in the southern Gaza Strip. This was the "first operational airdrop" that Israel has carried out since the 2006 Lebanon War. On Nov. 9, an Israeli missile hit journalists sitting near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The missile was reportedly a Lockheed Martin–made Hellfire R9X missile, a version of the Hellfire that was developed by the CIA for carrying out assassinations. Instead of exploding, the missile shreds its target using blades, allowing for a direct hit without collateral damage. The target in this case was not a military one. The Israeli military also uses Lockheed Martin’s M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). Used to fire Elbit Systems’ high-precision AccuLAR-122, the weapon was used by Israel for the first time, since the 2006 war in Lebanon, on Oct. 6, according to the Israeli military. On an Oct. 17 call with investors, Lockheed Martin CEO, Jim Taiclet, “highlighted the Israel and Ukraine conflicts as potential drivers for increased revenue in the coming years.” Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and has key production sites in Denver, Houston, New Orleans, and San Diego. For more locations, see this map. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. MDT Armor (Shladot) MDT Armor, owned by Israeli company Shladot, makes the David Urban Light Armored Vehicle, the standard patrol and reconnaissance vehicle used by the Israeli military and routinely used in human rights violations in the occupied West Bank. On Nov. 14, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) posted evidence of the Israeli military using two David armored vehicles to block an ambulance carrying a wounded Palestinian in the Tulkarm Refugee Camp. The same day, the Israeli military used a David vehicle to attack Palestinian youth at the Zaatara military checkpoint near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. A shipment of David vehicles was rushed to Israel in Oct. 2023. The David is built on the basis of Toyota’s Hilux and Land Cruiser pickup trucks and is retrofitted for the needs of the Israeli military at MDT’s factory in Auburn, Alabama. For more information, see our company profile on the Investigate database. Mercedes-Benz Group AG A German automaker that, in November, expedited the delivery of 112 Arocs trucks to the Israeli military, which uses them to transport its Merkava tanks as well as other heavy armored vehicles and bulldozers. The Israeli military chose Mercedes as its main supplier of tank transporters in 2022 and ordered a total of 460 trucks, customized for its needs. NextVision An Israeli startup that manufactures cameras for weapons systems. Its cameras are installed, for example, on drones manufactured by major weapons companies like Elbit Systems (see above), Israel Aerospace Industries (see above), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (see below) and used in Israel's attacks on Gaza. The company has experienced increased sales during Israel's attacks on Gaza and decided to prioritize Israeli orders even though most of its clients are not in Israel. The company's CEO has stated that "wars are good for business." Nordic Ammunition Company (Nammo) The maker of the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition, a shoulder-fired "bunker-buster" rocket used by the Israeli military in Gaza. As of the end of October, the U.S. has delivered 1,800 out of a requested 3,000 M141 shoulder-fired rocket launchers to Israel. These rockets are made in the U.S., at the Nammo Talley factory in Mesa, Arizona. However, Nammo Talley's parent company, Nammo, is headquartered in Norway and co-owned by the Norwegian government and Finnish company Patria Oyj. The latter is co-owned by the government of Finland (50.1%) and Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (49.9%), which is part of Kongsberg Gruppen (FRA: KOZ). Northrop Grumman The world's sixth largest weapons manufacturer, Northrop Grumman supplies the Israeli Air Force with the Longbow missile delivery system for its Apache attack helicopters and laser weapon delivery systems for its fighter jets. It has also supplied the Israeli Navy with Sa'ar 5 warships, which have participated in the assault on Gaza. On Dec. 15, Northrop Grumman was awarded an $8.9 million contract for 30mm MK44 Stretch cannons for the Israeli military, funded by U.S. taxpayers' money. The weapons will be manufactured in Mesa, Arizona, with an expected completion date of March 2025. Israel uses these guns on its Namer Armored Personnel Carrier, which has been used extensively in Gaza. Northrop Grumman is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, and its most important production sites are located in and around Baltimore, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Diego. For more locations, see this map. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Oshkosh A specialty truck manufacturer headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Oshkosh manufactures the hulls for the Eitan, Israel’s newest armored personnel carrier, which was used operationally for the first time in the ground invasion of Gaza. Oshkosh also makes the trucks that Israel converts into the Panther, an armored personnel carrier used extensively in the occupied West Bank. On Dec. 7, the Israeli military captured dozens of Palestinians in Gaza and transported them to Israel for interrogation. Individuals were stripped down to their underwear and publicly humiliated for hours, potentially in violation of international humanitarian law. At least some were transported in Oshkosh Medium Tactical Vehicles. While Israeli media claimed that these individuals were all members of Hamas, the Israeli military later admitted that the vast majority were civilians. In addition, Israel acquired 75 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles in November, to be delivered until Sept. 2025. The initial $208 million order was funded by U.S. taxpayers' money. A subsequent modification to the original contract was partially funded by U.S. taxpayers' money, while the rest was funded through Israel's own budget. This order by Israel will keep Oshkosh's JLTVs in production until 2025, longer than the company had originally planned. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Palantir Technologies A Denver-based high-tech mass surveillance company that has been providing its AI-powered tools to the Israeli security forces as well as the U.S. military, immigration authorities, and police departments. Since Oct. 7, it has been "seeing high demand from Israel for new tools," and has been providing Israel with more products than before. In January, it entered a "strategic partnership" with Israel's Ministry of Defense to "help the country's war effort." Palantir CEO Alex Karp said in November, "I am proud that we are supporting Israel in every way we can." For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Plasan A private Israeli military vehicle manufacturer that makes the SandCat light armored vehicle for the Israeli military. At least some of these vehicles are manufactured at the company's factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since Oct. 7, Plasan has delivered dozens of SandCat Tigris armored vehicles to the Israeli military and has produced "hundreds of ballistic plates every day" for its use. The company also makes the armor for Oshkosh's Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) (see above) and AM General's Humvees and JLTVs (see above). The Israeli military has used all of these vehicles in its 2023 attacks on Gaza. On Dec. 6, a U.S. cargo plane delivered Plasan-armored Humvees to Israel. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems A large Israeli state-owned weapons manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems makes missiles, drones, and other weapons systems for the Israeli military. The Israeli military has used Rafael Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles extensively to target, from the ground, people inside buildings in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has also used the Matador (RGW 90) portable shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket in Gaza, specifically by infantry soldiers to destroy buildings from the ground. The rockets are made by German company Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND), a subsidiary of Rafael, and co-developed with the Singaporean government. In 2023, the German government approved the export of some $27 million worth of weapons to Israel, including 3,000 portable anti-tank weapons—presumably the Matador. Rafael's Trophy Active Protection System for armored vehicles enables Israeli battle tanks to go into Gaza and avoid being damaged by anti-tank weapons. The company markets the system as one that "increases the lethality of combat forces." Rafael collaborated with the Israeli military to develop the Spark, a new unmanned drone used to carry out intelligence missions, escort ground forces, and direct strikes. After first being received by the Israeli Air Force in September, Spark drones have reportedly been assisting Israeli combat teams in Gaza and acting as a "force multiplier on the battlefield." Renk Group A German manufacturer of transmissions, engines, and vehicle suspension systems. It developed the transmission units for Israel's Merkava 4 and 5 (Barak) battle tanks as well as the Namer Armored Personnel Carrier. For years, these transmission units are made under license by Israeli company Ashot Ashkelon. A Renk factory in Michigan also manufactures the Merkava and Namer engines, which were developed by MTU, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce (see below). Rheinmetall AG Germany's largest weapons manufacturer, which is providing Israel with 10,000 rounds of 120mm precision tank ammunition. Israel made the request in November, and Germany reportedly considered speeding up delivery of the ammunition by providing it from its own military's existing stockpiles while ordering more from Rheinmetall. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc Rolls-Royce Holdings is the world's 25th largest weapons manufacturer. It is no longer associated with Rolls-Royce cars, which have been manufactured by BMW since 1998. The company's German subsidiary MTU developed the engines for Israel's Merkava 4 and 5 (Barak) battle tanks. Israel has used these tanks extensively in the Gaza Strip, including in its November attacks on the Shifa Hospital and the Indonesian Hospital. MTU's engines also power Israel's Namer Armored Personnel Carrier, which is based on the Merkava tank, and the newer and lighter Eitan Armored Fighting Vehicle, both of which have also been used extensively in Gaza. Israel's 2023 ground invasion of Gaza marked the first operational use of the Merkava 5 (Barak) tank and the Eitan AFV. MTU also makes most of the engines for the Israeli Navy's ships. While MTU is headquartered in Germany, the engines that it provides to the Israeli military are made in Michigan using U.S. taxpayers' money by German company Renk (see above). RTX (formerly Raytheon) The world's second largest weapons manufacturer and largest producer of guided missiles, RTX supplies the Israeli Air Force with guided air-to-surface missiles for its F-16 fighter jets, as well as cluster bombs and bunker busters, which have consistently been used against Gaza's civilian population and infrastructure. RTX subsidiary Pratt & Whitney manufactures engines for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. As part of a joint venture with Israeli state-owned weapons manufacturer Rafael, RTX makes interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, which have been part of the U.S.’s recent weapons shipments to Israel. On an Oct. 24 call with investors, RTX CEO, Greg Hayes, said, “I think really across the entire Raytheon portfolio, you're going to see a benefit of this restocking.” RTX moved is headquarters from Waltham, Massachusetts to Arlington, Virginia in 2022. For more locations, see this map. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. Shield AI A drone manufacturer headquartered in San Diego, California, that claims "US and Israeli forces" have named its autonomous Nova 2 drone as the world's "Most Mission Capable Indoor Drone." Israel has been using the Nova 2 drone "close-quarters indoor combat" in Gaza. SK Group A private Israeli company that owns: Israel Weapon Industries (IWI): a firearms manufacturer that makes the Tavor assault rifle and Negev machine gun, both of which are standard issue weapons in the Israeli military. Since mid-October, IWI has reportedly been producing "hundreds of Tavor rifles each day" for the Israeli military as well as the domestic commercial market. Meprolight: a manufacturer of 'see-through-the-wall' radar technology used to identify targets concealed behind walls and barriers. The technology was used by the Israeli military for the first time in its 2014 attacks on Gaza. Israel Shipyards: a shipbuilding company that designs and manufactures missile boats, gunboats, and patrol boats for the Israeli Navy and Israel Border Police. On Dec. 5, the company announced the launch of its first Shaldag MK V patrol boat, a ship "equipped with highly advanced weapons," for the Israeli Navy. Other subsidiaries include Greek company Elvo, Israeli real estate developer Oshira, and Uni-Scope, which makes optical systems for armored vehicles. Skydio A drone manufacturer headquartered in San Mateo, California, that has sent more than 100 short-range reconnaissance drones to the Israeli military, “with more to come.” These autonomous drones are used to navigate and produce 3D scans of buildings in “complex urban environments." SMARTSHOOTER An Israeli company that developed the SMASH 2000L (3000) system, marketed as a 'smart sight' for tracking moving targets and used by the Israeli military in its 2023 attacks on Gaza. For example, in November, the Maglan special forces unit of the Israeli military used the system to target homes and infrastructure near a school in the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza. SpearUAV An Israeli drone startup that developed the Viper "suicide drone," which can be "easily launched from a capsule by infantry soldiers or from an armored vehicle, to locate, track, and attack targets by crashing into them and self-destructing." The company has stated that Israel's 2023 attacks on Gaza accelerated its development of specific products required by the Israeli military. Textron A US-based military contractor known for its Bell, Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker aircraft brands. The Israeli Air Force 100 Squadron, which has supported Israel's military ground troops in Gaza, uses multiple Textron aircraft, including the Beechcraft King Air, Queen Air, RC12-D Guardrail, and Bonanza A-36. At least some of these aircraft were given to Israel using U.S. taxpayers' money. For more information on this company (not including these latest developments), see our company profile on the Investigate database. ThyssenKrupp A German engineering company that built the Israeli Navy's four Sa'ar 6 warships, which were used for the first time on Oct. 16 against targets in Gaza. Toyota A Japanese auto maker that manufactures the pickup trucks used by the Israeli military as the basis for the David Urban Light Armored Vehicle (see MDT Armor above). Woodward A Colorado-based manufacturer of control systems for engines, turbines, and industrial equipment. A picture posted on Oct. 23, of "the aftermath caused by a missile" that was allegedly fired on Gaza, shows a component with Woodward's name and logo. Woodward makes fin control actuation systems for multiple missiles and guided bombs that Israel uses, including JDAM kits, Small Diameter Bombs, and AIM-9X Sidewinder. XTEND A privately held Israeli company that manufactures drones, including the Wolverine combat drone that requires "no training." Operated via virtual reality goggles and a one-handed joystick, the Wolverine is being used by the Israeli military in Gaza to search and gather intelligence on buildings and infrastructure. Equipped with a robotic arm, the drones can also be used for "tactical operations." Airlines and Logistics Companies The bulk of weapons transfers to Israel since October have been carried out by U.S. Air Force cargo planes, most prominently the Boeing C-17 Globemaster. However, some commercial cargo airlines have been repeatedly documented at the Israeli Nevatim Air Force base, having arrived from the Dover, McGuire, and Tinker Airbases in the U.S., Al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar, and Sigonella Naval Air Station in Italy. These airlines include: Atlas Air of Purchase, New York, owned by Apollo Asset Management (NYSE: APO), J.F. Lehman & Company, and Hill City Capital CAL Cargo Airlines, of Shoham, Israel, owned by Challenge Airlines Kalitta Air of Ypsilanti, Michigan National Airlines of Orlando, Florida Western Global Airlines of Estero, Florida These transfers are coordinated by the DoD Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which had contracted at least two companies to support its arms transfers to Israeli: Hoplite Group, of Destin, Florida - recruited employees to work for the DoD "Tiger Team," which was assembled after Oct. 7 to "expedite weapons exports to Israel." Sigmatech Inc, of Huntsville, Alabama - recruited employees to work for the Israel Significant Initiatives Group, which was established after Oct. 7 by the U.S. Army Office of Defense Exports and Cooperation to facilitate arms transfers to Israel.

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For immediate release March 5, 2024


Mike Ferner 314-940-2316

Jack Gilroy 607-239-9605



Numerous Federal Criminal Statute Violations Cited, No response From State Department Inspector-General

In sixteen U.S. cities, March 5-7, members of Veterans For Peace will hand deliver an exhaustively researched letter to U.S. State Department offices that has gotten no response from the department’s Inspector-General since February 11. The cities are Buffalo, New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portsmouth, NH, Greensboro, NC, Boston, San Diego, Tucson, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Bridgeport, CT, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. Josh Paul, former State Department senior official who resigned over weapons shipments to Israel said, “The Secretary and all relevant officials under his purview should take this letter from Veterans For Peace with the utmost seriousness. It is a stark reminder of the importance of abiding by the laws and policies that relate to arms transfers.” The letter from Veterans For Peace alleges violations by U.S. government officials of: · The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, which prohibits U.S. weapons transfers when it’s likely they will be used by Israel to commit genocide; crimes against humanity; and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including attacks intentionally directed against civilian objects or civilians or other serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, including serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against children. Dozens of authoritative complaints and referrals made by hospital administrators in Gaza, as well as by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Palestine Authority, South Africa, Turkey, Medicins san Frontieres, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Food Programme, have confirmed that there is an ongoing human rights and humanitarian disaster due to Israel’s cutoff of water and electricity, deliberate destruction of sewage infrastructure and delaying of aid shipments by Israeli forces. · The Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids the provision of assistance to a government which "engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” · Arms Export Control Act, which says countries that receive US military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza goes way beyond self-defense and internal security. · The U.S. War Crimes Act, which forbids grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and unlawful deportation or transfer, perpetrated by the Israeli Occupying Forces. · The Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights. · The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which was enacted to implement U.S. obligations under the Genocide Convention, provides for criminal penalties for individuals who commit or incite others to commit genocide. Mike Ferner, VFP National Director, said, “Just as any good soldier can recognize when they are given an unlawful order, we believe some State Department staff are horrified at the orders they’re given and will decide to uphold the law, find the courage to speak out and demand an end to the carnage. VFP enthusiastically supports Josh Paul for what he did and we believe the public does, too. The IDF has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and is utterly destroying Gaza. These actions amount to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and VFP wants them investigated.” Veterans For Peace has over 100 chapters in the U.S. and since 1985 has exposed the true costs of war and militarism. Its goal is to abolish war as an instrument of national policy. -end- Local press contacts: Buffalo: Tom Casey 716-491-9172 Russell Brown 716-570-5200 New York: Bob Keilbach 718-3588568 Jules Orkin 718-358-8568 Minneapolis: Barry Riesch 651-757-8012 Dave Logsdon 612-203-9768 Craig Wood 612-245-1627 St. Louis: Robert Suberi 314-371-8622 Portsmouth, NH: Will Hopkins 603-254-4727 Will Thomas 603-321-8838 Greensboro, NC: Kim Carlyle 336-346-4588 Boston: Doug Stuart 617-967-0751 Richard Wood 617 872-0654 San Diego: Dave Patterson, 760-207-9139 Tucson: Cara Bissell 718-721-5527 Chicago: Thomas Leonard, Jr. 773-595-6912 Philadelphia: Frank Corcoran 484-844-2604 Atlanta: Geoff Sumner 404-502-2015 Bridgeport, CT: John Miksad 917-658-2655 Jim Brasile 860-508-3685 Los Angeles: Fernando Islas 323-392-7109 Dallas: Ron Unger (972) 742-9985; Leslie Harris (214) 437-6047 Houston: Joe Marcinkowski 832-971-6796

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On Feb. 21 and 22, the UK High Court will hear                                                                              an appeal on behalf of Julian Assange, to prevent the British government's                                                                               plan to extradite Julian Assange to the U.S.  The U.S. will almost certainly imprison                                                                            him.  Just as Daniel Ellsberg  was a hero to us for decades, so Julian Assange                                                                                     should be honored as a journalist who exposed the crimes of Empire,                                                                                                not imprisoned.


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After 14 years of persecution, Julian Assange will go free. We must honor the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who made this happen.  Thank you for your efforts!

click here to tell Congress to pass HR934, to drop all charges against Julian Assange and cease attempts to have him extradited.

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Seven national unions and over two hundred local unions today announce the formation of the National Labor Network for Ceasefire (NLNC) to “end the death and devastation” in the Middle East, and to expand support for the ceasefire among unions nationally. Together, unions calling for a ceasefire represent over 9 million union members – more than half the labor movement in the United States. The NLNC launch comes on the heels of a statement calling for a ceasefire released by the AFL-CIO last week - the largest federation of unions in the United States. Among the national unions announcing the NLNC are the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), the National Education Association (NEA), National Nurses United (NNU), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the United Electrical Workers (UE), joined by two hundred local unions and labor organizations. (A full list of locals can be viewed on the website). The war between Israel and Hamas has continued unabated since Hamas brutally attacked Israel on October 7th, killing 1,163 people, and taking 253 hostages. Israel responded with an onslaught that has killed over 28,000 Palestinians and left over 67,000 others injured. 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced, and humanitarian aid remains mostly blocked from those in need. The NLNC is launching their website ( with a call for unions and union members to sign the ceasefire letter to continue expanding labor’s ceasefire movement. The NLNC supports: An immediate ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Restoration of basic human rights. Immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas. Unimpeded full access for humanitarian aid. Our president calling for a permanent ceasefire. The Network consists of unions who have already signed the network letter calling for a ceasefire, combined with unions who have made their own ceasefire statements, and they represent over 9 million union members. This continuing groundswell of labor support for a permanent ceasefire connected to US foreign policy is unprecedented since the founding of the American Federation of Labor in 1886. Some of the network unions have released their own statements, some have signed the NLNC letter, and some have done both. What all the unions have in common is a passionate commitment to peace. “The support for a ceasefire is overwhelming. We can’t stand by in the face of this suffering. We cannot bomb our way to peace. We express our solidarity with all workers and our common desire for peace in Palestine and Israel,” says UE President Carl Rosen. Network member and United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain, says, “The UAW has a long tradition of calling for peace and justice for working class people across the globe, and we live that tradition today. In that spirit, we call for an immediate end to the U.S. government’s funding and support of this brutal assault on Gaza.” The National Education Association (NEA) expressed deep concern for the many women and children being harmed in the war. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, more than 70% of deaths in Gaza involve women and children. And according to reporting by the BBC, at least 94 of the 253 hostages taken were women or children. “As educators, we believe strongly in our professional and moral responsibility to teach and model inclusion and respect for differences, and we must speak out against injustices and violence towards innocent people, especially children. Many educators feel a deep connection to the children in Israel and Palestine. We know that our children are watching, hurting, and in need of a lasting peace.” says Rebecca Pringle, National Education Association President. “As a union that stands for equality, social justice, human and labor rights, we unite with unions and people of goodwill around the world in calls for a ceasefire, for justice and peace,” says APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The cries of humanity call for nothing less.” Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United (NNU), says, “Nurses cannot allow our patients and our colleagues to continue suffering from the traumas of war. We vow to protect and heal all people, and it’s our duty to speak up for every human being’s right to a life free of violence. We’re calling for a ceasefire now before one more life is lost, before one more family faces injuries or illnesses.” Association of Flight Attendants’ (AFA-CWA) President Sara Nelson, a consistent social justice supporter, noted, “Aviation’s first responders bring people together around the world. Saving lives comes first. Nothing else is possible without the security of peace, and the necessary attention to basic human needs. Ceasefire now.” “Working people have a duty to stand up. We know that neither bombs nor bullets can fix a conflict of this magnitude,” says James Williams Jr., President of the International Union of Painters, and Allied Trades (IUPAT). For more information, contact Stephen DeMatteo at (202) 549-6748; or

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Imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to find out next week whether he has exhausted opportunities to avoid extradition to the United States, where he faces life in prison for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. A two-day hearing before the British High Court of Justice is scheduled to take place in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. He has been held in London’s infamous Belmarsh Prison since 2019 awaiting his possible extradition. Jennifer Robinson, an Australian human rights attorney and legal adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks, discusses public and governmental support for Assange in Australia, where an “unprecedented” parliamentary resolution was passed Wednesday calling for Assange’s release. Robinson calls the charges against Assange a “dangerous precedent for free speech” and says, “It’s time that the United States respects our special relationship and listens to the calls of the Australian people and our Parliament and our government and drops this case.”

Mass movement for Palestine wins ceasefire resolutions
By Otis Grotewohl posted on February 6, 2024

On Jan. 31, Chicago became the largest city to adopt a ceasefire resolution — a tactic to pressure Washington to stop its continuous funding of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. The city’s left-wing, African American mayor, Brandon Johnson, broke Chicago City Council’s tie, which resulted in a final 24-23 vote. Palestine supporters cheer after Chicago City Council passes ceasefire resolution, Jan. 31, 2024 Chicago is one of at least 47 cities to take such action. Richmond, California, became the first U.S. city to successfully pass an anti-genocide resolution on Oct. 25, 2023; Detroit and Atlanta passed similar statements Nov. 21, 2023. Other communities that have called for a ceasefire include Dearborn, Michigan; Akron, Ohio; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Carrboro, North Carolina. Every resolution has involved a struggle None of the ceasefire resolutions have been passed without a contentious fight, as indicated by Chicago Mayor Johnson having to break the tie in the City Council vote. The corporate press, along with bourgeois politicians of both capitalist parties, have routinely vilified supporters of the ceasefire demand following each city council victory. The media is not afraid to display anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia in its coverage of ceasefire proponents and protesters. U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, recently used the growing call for a ceasefire as an opportunity to once again attack Russia by stating: “I think some of these [pro-Palestinian] protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia.” (NPR, Jan. 28) There are many other cities where community members and even city officials have demanded an immediate ceasefire but have not had the same success. In the San Francisco Bay Area, while San Francisco and Oakland passed ceasefire resolutions, Berkeley activists were not as successful; the Berkeley City Council pulled its resolution in December 2023. Since then, community activists have been bombarding its meetings with protests. Charleston, West Virginia, and Cleveland are two other cities where demands for a ceasefire resolution were unfortunately defeated. Just like other city council actions, protests in Cleveland and Charleston were Arab- and Palestinian-led, and most of the participants wore keffiyehs. One week after the Charleston City Council and Mayor Amy Goodwin “tabled” the proposed resolution, activists followed up by showing up to the meeting with tape on their mouths. In St. Louis, the pro-worker Board of Alderman unanimously voted for a ceasefire resolution on Jan. 12 that includes a call for, “the unrestricted entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and the restoration of food, water, electricity, and medical supplies.” (St. Louis Public Radio, Jan. 12). The St. Louis County Council is much more conservative than the city’s Board of Alderman, but a group of activists went to the County Council to demand that it too pass a ceasefire resolution. In Congress, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and Cori Bush (D-Missouri) are pushing for a ceasefire resolution. Rep. Bush – an African American woman from St. Louis — is currently facing politically and racially motivated retaliation from both the bourgeois media and right-wing politicians. People attacking her claim there was a “misuse of funds” for “personal use of security.” (Jurist, Feb. 1). What those same critics fail to mention is that Rep. Bush has received many death threats for simply being a Black woman in Congress who tends to vote in the interest of her constituents more often than the majority of congressional representatives Most of them are white men who use money for personal use all of the time. The racist and sexist attacks currently being leveled against Reps. Bush and Tlaib – who was censured in a bipartisan vote in Congress – have a lot to do with their brave defense of the Palestinian people. Tlaib is the only Palestinian member of Congress. Labor and youth help lead the fight Increasingly, actions are being led by young people. As part of a week of action leading up to the City Council vote, students at several schools in the Chicago Public Schools system carried out walkouts demanding a ceasefire. Students have been conducting militant actions for Palestine in school districts across the country. Ann Arbor Public Schools, in Michigan, became the first public school district to pass a ceasefire resolution on Jan. 17. Also, as part of Chicago’s week of actions, area unions held a press conference demanding passage of the resolutions. Mayor Johnson was elected with labor support. The first U.S. unions to take up the ceasefire call were the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 3000 as early as October 2023. Several union locals signed on to the UE and UFCW Local 3000 statement. By December, the American Postal Workers Union and the United Auto Workers had signed on. Leaders of the Communication Workers, National Nurses United and National Education Association have also released statements calling for a ceasefire. The Texas AFL-CIO became the first state labor federation to demand an end to the ongoing genocide. Some unions which initially upheld a pro-Zionist position in October 2023 were later pressured by the rank and file to change their message and pass pro-peace resolutions. The American Federation of Teachers and the Service Employees Union are two unions where leadership was pushed by the membership to change their initial stances. In particular, AFT President Randi Weingarten has a long history of backing the Zionist state, politically and materially. While there are still many unions who are remaining silent or refusing to take a progressive position regarding Palestine, a majority of union members are now represented by a union that has passed a ceasefire resolution. Several of these unions are among the largest and represent both public and private sector workers. Additionally, a number of local unions have officially expressed sympathy with the Palestinian people, even if their national affiliates have not. (Payday Report, Jan. 30) People are mobilizing in various capacities to demand an end to genocide. Every action, regardless how small, is part of a much bigger movement of justified resistance.

Pro-Palestine movement wins City Council “ceasefire” resolution

Cambridge, Massachusetts

By Steve Gillis posted on February 3, 2024

Boston — Following a months-long campaign by a coalition of organizations outraged by U.S. support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza, on Jan. 29 the Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Council finally bent to mass community pressure. The council unanimously voted to resolve: “That the Cambridge City Council go on record expressing its support for an immediate, negotiated ceasefire by both Hamas and Netanyahu Administration, urging the release of all hostages, and calling for the urgent implementation of humanitarian aid.” Protest outside Cambridge, Massachusetts city hall. Jan. 29, 2024. In November 2023, the same nine-member council had voted a majority “no.” The revote was a resounding defeat for pro-Zionist forces after two more months of daily mass slaughter and televised war crimes. In neighboring Somerville, City Council passed a similar “ceasefire” resolution three days earlier. Cambridge city authorities did everything in their power to stop the vote. The day prior, they abruptly closed the City Council meeting to in-person attendance, moving hundreds who had signed up for public comment to Zoom. When a large crowd showed up in defiance, chanting with signs — organized by Palestine House of New England, Palestine Youth Movement, Muslim Justice League, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology students for Palestine, Mass Peace Action and many Cambridge residents — Cambridge police arrived in force, drawing their zip ties to intimidate people. Many regrouped at nearby Palestinian coffee shop Andala and testified for over three hours remotely. When force failed, Zionists on the council demanded and won onerous late-night amendments, including the false and racist assertion that Gaza’s democratically elected government is a “terrorist organization.” Cambridge, where a “Black Lives Matter” banner hangs above City Hall’s entrance, is where police were recently exonerated for pumping five bullets into the chest of 20-year-old Sayed Faisal during a medical emergency on Jan. 4, 2023. ( Cambridge is where dozens of Harvard and MIT students are currently on disciplinary trial for peacefully protesting genocide in Gaza, and where Claudine Gay, Harvard’s first Black woman president, was terminated from that position by the Harvard Corporation in early January for not being Zionist enough. ( Cambridge City Hall was also the site on Oct. 9 of Boston’s first mass rally and march against Israel’s genocidal bombing. That day, marchers targeted the North American headquarters of Israeli drone and missile maker Elbit Systems, one block from City Hall. Now, Cambridge police and U.S. Homeland Security guard Elbit with rooftop snipers and barricades after charging several brave Palestine Action U.S. activists with felonies for spray painting its façade. ( Palestinian leader testifies Ahmad Kawash, decades-long Cambridge resident, leader of Palestine House of New England and a founder of the Boston Coalition for Palestine, testified at the November City Council hearing. He put the struggle for a ceasefire resolution and its contradictions into perspective during an interview with Workers World newspaper: “After 75 years, we’re still protesting for human rights, for basic necessities, for freedom, the right to return and to stop the occupation, apartheid and genocide. “After 75 years, the media continues to be one sided, to be on the side of the oppressor, but there is something they cannot hide — the truth. The truth is being shared through various outlets on the ground in our beloved Palestine. It is our job to continue to expose the truth of what the state of Israel has done to the Palestinians. “We rise to let our voices be heard that what Palestinians have gone through now and every day for the past 75 years is a crime against humanity. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Gaza, and we won’t stop fighting until we are no longer oppressed. “The failure in November did not prevent us from continuing the struggle in the street and with the councilors, by phone or in person, until we achieved this modest victory. I congratulate everyone. True victory will be when the occupation is defeated and the siege on Gaza is lifted.”

Black Agenda Radio with Margaret Kimberley  February 2, 2024

Ray McGovern Analyzes U.S. Policy in the Middle East       

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years, from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. In January 2003, Ray co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose how intelligence was being falsified to “justify” war on Iraq. We discuss an attack on a U.S. base in Jordan where three service members were killed. The Biden administration claims that “Iran backed militias” are responsible but there are many questions. Ray McGovern joins us from Raleigh, North Carolina to discuss.

The International Court of Justice on Friday issued its interim ruling in the case of South Africa vs. Israel. South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza and asked the Court for provisional measure including ordering Israel to halt its military operation while Israel is put on trial for genocide. The Court found that there was a dispute between South Africa and Israel and had jurisdiction in the case. Israel had argued that no formal dispute between the parties exists. The Court also rejected Israel’s argument to dismiss the case, ruling that there is prima facie evidence that Israel is committing the crime of genocide in contravention of the Genocide Convention. That means Israel will indeed be put on trial for genocide, a momentous decision that few people ever thought would be possible. Based on that preliminary finding, the Court ordered the following provisional measures: Israel must immediately ensure that its military does not commit acts within the scope of GC.2 Direct and punish all members of the public who engage in the incitement of genocide against Palestinians Ensure provision of urgently needed basic services, humanitarian aid Prevent the destruction of and ensure the preservation of evidence to allegation of acts of GC.2 Israel will submit report as to how they’re adhering to these orders to the ICJ within 1 month From South Africa’s point of view and from those who want to see Israel’s genocidal massacres stopped, these were positive orders. However, it is a ruling that has engendered various interpretations in a sort of Rorschach test, some which might exaggerate what the court has actually ruled. For instance, the court did not order Israel to “stop genocidal acts” as many people are saying. It said it must “prevent” genocidal acts that the court hasn’t yet ruled are actually taking place. Calling on Israel to stop such acts would mean the court had already determined that genocide is occurring. The court requires Israel to follow its orders, including not to kill civilians, but only “within the scope of Article 2” of the Genocide Convention, allowing Israeli lawyers to argue that Palestinian civilian deaths are occurring outside that scope. An army can kill civilians, even in a war crime, without committing genocide. Is the court just telling Israel that when killing civilians please be careful not to violate Article 2 of the Genocide Convention because we are going to try you on a charge of violating it? If that is the case, then the Court’s ruling doesn’t seem radically different from what the United States has been telling Israel: be careful how you defend yourself. International humanitarian law on the obligations of an occupying power are complex on when it can use force in self-defense. Certainly on Israeli territory Israel has a right under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter to self-defense. But is it lawful to take offensive measures on a territory it occupies, on which it has an obligation under the Geneva Convention to care for the occupied people? Would the occupying Germans have had the right to defend themselves against attacks by the Resistance on French territory? The court never discussed that issue at all. Some argue that an order for a ceasefire would have prejudged the case on merits before the trial begins. But could the court not have ordered Israel to suspend its military operation while the trial proceeds to determine if genocide is taking place? This would rob Israel of arguing its killing of civilians is outside the scope of the Convention. There is a video of South Africans dancing in celebration of the court’s decision. But the people who count here are not the South Africans or anyone else, but the people of Gaza. And reporting from there indicates bitter disappointment by the people, who were reported to be crushed by the ruling. Only a suspension of Israel’s assault it seems would have served them. Perhaps the world had gotten so used to Israel’s ironclad impunity that a court saying Israel is plausibly committing genocide and should prevent their soldiers from doing so is such a shocking departure from the past that it is inviting celebration. Perhaps the most important question is whether the court’s order will alter Israel’s behavior to substantially reduce civilian casualties and substantially increase humanitarian services. We should know in one month when Israel is supposed to report back to the Court. Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @unjoe

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