From: Minnesota Independent

Yesterday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arguing that Israel is in violation of the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 (AECA), which says U.S. military exports may not be used to escalate violence. In a statement on his Web site, Kucinich says, the “disproportionate and collective punishment nature of the attacks on Gaza assure an escalation of conflict in violation of the AECA.”

The Ohio Democrat took up the issue again in a floor speech this morning….

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, floor speech on Gaza conflict, Jan. 7, 2009, 1:52[youtube=]

Text of Kucinich floor speech:

“We cannot truly celebrate a New Year, a new Congress and a new administration if all we see is the same old destruction in the Middle East with U.S. weapons being illegally used to kill children.

I oppose Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. The rocket attacks, even to try to end the blockade, have no moral justification, are illegal and must stop.

But how can Israel claim self-defense when it bombs Gaza which has no army, no air force, no navy and has been under a constant blockade? How can Israel claim self-defense when its bombs destroy UN schools, killing children?

The children of Palestinians and the children of Israel both deserve life. But the lives of the children of Gaza are cynically discounted as “human shields.” Massacres are being rationalized. Israel’s “moral high ground” in Gaza, a growing pile of small bones in a graveyard.

The Administration knows Israel is using U.S. weapons, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, with disproportionate force creating a collective punishment of Gazans, assuring an escalation of conflict, clear violations of the Arms Export Control Act.

Israel was given U.S. weapons on condition they would not be used for aggression or escalation. The outgoing Administration must finally stand for the rule of law, not the rule of force.”