Monday, November 13 at 1:30PM EST (virtual)
Listen to the recording on CMEP’s YouTube Page.
As the Israel-Gaza conflict continues to escalate, leading to devastating casualties,the U.S. Congress is considering the Biden administration’s $14 billion request for additional weapons for Israel. Leading human rights organizations are calling for a suspension of arms transfers to parties of the conflict, at times focused on specific weapons systems, and at least one U.S. official has resigned. Faith groups are also pressing for a change in the U.S. approach. This press briefing offered different perspectives on the conflict and U.S. arms transfers to Israel. Participants provided rationale for their own or their organization’s calls on the U.S. government and share other recent findings. This briefing was for media only.
- Josh Paul – former Director, State Department Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
- Sarah Yager – Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
- Amanda Klasing – National Director of Government Relations and Advocacy at Amnesty International USA
- Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
This event was on the record and an audio recording was made available afterwards. It was organized by the Forum on the Arms Trade, which provides a platform for expert views but does not itself take positions. Comments may be attributed to the speakers and, unless otherwise indicated, do not necessarily indicate endorsement of comments by other speakers. (Members of the media who speak on the recording in order to ask questions should not be quoted.)
During the briefing, the following resources were shared:
- Josh Paul, “Security Assistance and Arms Transfers: Human Rights Frameworks and Recommendations for Strengthening,” Institute for Middle East Understanding, November 10, 2023.
- Human Rights Watch – call for arms suspension to Israel and Palestine (November 6)
- Resources from Amnesty International USA
- Letter to President Biden, from Churches from Middle East Peace (CMEP) and thirty American Christian leaders called calling for support to an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and restraint by all involved (November 9)
- Forum on the Arms Trade resource page on U.S. arms transfers to Israel
- Oxfam America briefing on 155mm shell transfers (October 30)
- OCHA reporting indicating 11k+ deaths, including 4,506 children
- John Ramming Chappell, Annie Shiel, Seth Binder, Elias Yousif, Bill Monahan and Amanda Klasing, “Law and Policy Guide to US Arms Transfers to Israel,” Just Security, November 8, 2023.
- President Biden’s request letter for supplemental funding, including FMF waiver, see page 43: That any congressional notification requirement applicable to funds made available under this heading for Israel may be waived if a determination is made that extraordinary circumstances exist that impact the national security of the United States.
- November 1 letter to President Biden from four members of Congress
Listen to the recording – click here.