The U.S. Department of Justice says a law passed by Congress forbidding “foreign aid” to nuclear-armed Israel can only be enforced by the president—and that no one else has jurisdiction over this matter.
The astonishing—and patently untrue—claim was made in the U.S. Government’s first official response to the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy’s (IRmep) urgent application to halt the $3.8 billion per year cash payout to Israel.
The Israeli Nuclear Research Center NEGEV, located in Dimona.
The court case has arisen from a suit launched by IRmep based on the Symington & Glenn Amendments which were designed to preclude U.S. taxpayer subsidization of nuclear states that refused to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT).
Israel, whose nuclear weapons are that country’s worst-guarded secret, and which has been the subject of official and unofficial admissions by the U.S. Government and its intelligence agencies, has never signed the NNPT.
All the billions in American taxpayer “aid” paid over to the Jewish ethnostate since the 1960s has therefore been in direct violation of the Congressional law.
The Jewish lobby’s power over the U.S.‘s Executive, Congress, and the media has been able to suppress the illegality of this “aid” up until now, when the Internet destroyed their ability to control the information available to the public.
As a result IRmep launched a formal legal challenge to halt the aid in a Washington D.C. Federal Court in August 2016, and followed this up with an urgent application in November.
Justice Department Trial Attorney Michell R. Bennett has now outlined the defendants’ legal argument for why U.S. citizens cannot challenge foreign assistance packages to Israel which violate the Symington & Glenn Amendments.
In a 52-page motion to dismiss the IRmep application, Justice Department Trial Attorney Michell R. Bennett does not dare refute the core issue at stake—namely that the taxpayer handouts to Israel are clearly illegal, or that Israel does have nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the NNPT, or that the aid violates Congressional law.
Instead, the Department of Justice’s sole defense is predicated on the basis that individual U.S. citizens cannot challenge foreign assistance packages to Israel.
As pointed out by IRmep director Grant Smith, the U.S. Department of Justice’s defense is that it is the U.S. president’s prerogative alone whether Israel’s nuclear weapons program triggers Arms Export Control Act laws governing U.S. aid to foreign nuclear weapons states.
“However, according to the Justice Department, whether a particular foreign country has a nuclear program or violated the law is not a matter to be determined by facts long in the public domain, leaked statements by officials, or the limited amount of damning government records that have dribbled out, some extracted by expensive lawsuits,” Smith said, going on to quote the relevant section in the Government’s motion to dismiss:
“The statute, therefore, makes the termination of US foreign assistance contingent, in the first instance, upon a determination by the President that a country has engaged in conduct specified in the statute…The statute permits but does not require that the President make such a determination. Moreover, the statute does not limit the President’s discretion to decide whether, how, and when to make such a determination.”
Smith said that as per official public figures, on an inflation-adjusted basis, the U.S. has provided more than a quarter-trillion dollars to Israel since the country was established, making the it the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
“The aid, which is largely the result of Israel lobbying rather than pursuit of any US national interest, is particularly costly in terms of US employment. It provides only 2,080 jobs per billion spent, vs 5,750 per billion in potential infrastructure-related jobs or simply not collecting taxes for unlawful ends, which would have a bigger overall impact on the economy.
“But citizens concerned about Israel’s development and proliferation of nuclear weapons technology, and other bloodier violations of US and international law, have no standing to sue because the amendments did not specifically allow for judicial review, according to the US Department of Justice,” Smith said.
“According to Bennett, federal judges should just stay out of the matter entirely because Congress, which passed but has not yet rescinded Symington & Glenn, and the President, who once told the late Helen Thomas he did not want to ‘speculate’ about whether Israel has nukes, keep passing and signing into law massive taxpayer-funded aid programs.”
Smith concluded that it “remains to be seen whether federal judge Tanya Chutkan, who has witnessed firsthand the great—and formerly inexplicable—lengths to which government agencies go to fight release of even aged, unclassified information about Israel’s expansive nuclear weapons program, will be impressed with such Justice Department arguments.”