04 March 2009

Is Pasta a Weapon? Ask Secretary of State Clinton.

Lately, the State Department has been…um…fumbling for the right words to describe Israel's illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip. Just look at the ludicrous exchange between a reporter and State Department spokesperson Robert Wood at a press briefing last week here.

Discussing whether pasta is a dual-use weapon might be funny were it not for the fact that Israel's illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip is barely keeping 1.5 million people at survival levels.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $900 million in U.S. aid at the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza.

At first glance, this pledge seems fair given that U.S. military aid to Israel was responsible for the destruction of an estimated $2 billion in Palestinian civilian infrastructure.
But, look closer at the pledge, and you'll find that not one dollar is devoted to the reconstruction of the occupied Gaza Strip.

Instead, the money, if approved by Congress, will go towards humanitarian aid ($300 million), budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority ($200 million), and economic and institutional reforms in the West Bank ($400 million).

For details on the pledge package, please click here.
Worse yet, in her speech to the donor's conference, Clinton made no mention of ending Israel's illegal military occupation of the Gaza Strip or lifting Israel's illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip. For the text of her remarks, please click here.


1. Contact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by text or email by clicking here.

While traveling in the Middle East and Europe through Saturday, Clinton will be taking questions from the public. Ask your question by clicking here.

Here are some suggested questions for the Secretary of State, or write your own:

* UN Security Council Resolution 1860 "Calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment." What are you doing to ensure that Israel complies with this resolution?

* President Obama stated that "
Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce." What are you doing to end Israel's illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip?

* Rep. Dennis Kucinich has requested that the State Department investigate Israel's possible violations of the Arms Export Control Act during its recent war on Gaza. Could you please state what your department is doing to ensure that this investigation is conducted in an accurate and transparent manner?

* State Department spokesperson Robert Wood was unclear if the United States considers pasta a dual-use weapon. Could you state your opinion on whether Israel should be allowed to control what types of food Palestinians in the Gaza Strip eat?


Thanks for all you do!
your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a DIFFERENCE!

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