End Israeli Exceptionalism Under U.S. Law

Today’s ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it is “plausible” that Israel has engaged in acts of genocide in Gaza underscores the need to review current U.S. policy on shipping arms to that nation that are being used in attacks on the territory.  This should mean abandoning the practice of giving Israel special treatment when it comes to enforcement of existing U.S. human rights laws regarding arms transfers. But will it?

“Israeli exceptionalism” in U.S. military assistance has long been an open secret. For decades, violations of human rights standards and U.S. laws by Israel have not been called out, in part due to a sense that the annual “Camp David” aid allotment to Israel — now at $3.3 billion a year — was inviolable. 

That may be about to change in light of the ICJ decision. 

The war has killed 25,000 people and displaced a majority of Gazans while depriving them of basic necessities like food and access to medical care, all in the three months since the attack by Hamas. Israel has used U.S.-supplied aircraft, missiles, bombs and artillery to carry out much of the slaughter and destruction.