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Letters to Attorney General Suthers

May 17, 2009

Dear Mr. Suthers:

I have just read the March 30 letter to Hillary Clinton which you signed along with some other state attorneys jeneral. It is gradually making it around the internet. In it you attempt to give legal cover for what Israel did in Gaza.

Fortunately, other courts of law in this world are less influenced by politics and more willing to look at the facts — investigating the war crimes which Israel committed both in initiating (yes!) and in pursuing their “action” (a fine euphamism for the slaughter of innocents).

I will not go into argument with you since I assume it would be pointless. I simply note that I am not an anti-Semite nor in the long run anti-Israel. I am a Catholic who, as a longtime professor of religion (and former chair) at Regis University, has been very involved in Christian-Jewish Dialogue over the years. I say “in the long run” not anti-Israel, because I believe in peace for Israel and Palestine and at present the only way to work for real peace is to work against the policies of recent governments in Israel and recent government policy in the US which supports Israeli policies which prefer (yes!) a state of war to peace since it allows the continual land grab from Palestine.

John F. Kane
Professor of Religion
Regis University
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Bob Kinsey’s Letter:

9 May 2009
Mr. Suthers:

Your letter along with only 10 members of the National Association of Attorney’s General, attempting to provide legal justification for the Israeli atrocities in the Gaza came to my attention.

I am shocked at the distortions and omissions of fact upon which your “legal advise” is predicated. Most lawyers and judges in the United States are ruefully ignorant of international law never having taken a course in such during any of their training. It is regrettable that they therefore exclude any treaty obligations the United States and its citizens have according to Article VI of the US Constitution. In addition, all law is based upon determining the facts of the case and you and the other nine AG’s who colluded in this letter seem to have precious little regard for those facts. Too bad you didn’t allow the Palestinians to testify in your Star Chamber court you and your AG buddies informally held on my dime. You just took the Zionist tour dressed in the garb of American Israeli Friendship.

Just to mention a few egregious omissions of fact:

Hamas did not carry out a coup d’etat in Gaza but was elected to office by a large majority of its citizens in an election judged to be fair by international observers.

Israel immediately began a blockade on Gaza (An act of war in itself according to international law perhaps more parallel to Pearl Harbor than any rocket attacks)–a blockade that interrupted Gaza’s capacity to carry out commerce and essentially turned Gaza into a hungry ghetto.

Israel was ordered to leave Gaza and the West Bank by the United Nation (Res 242) two decades ago and did not. (Acquisition of land by Warfare is against international law). Instead it proceeded to build settlements and to confiscate precious water access from peaceful Palestinian farmers and villagers who resisted the same by non-violent means all that time. It is a distortion of reality to discuss Gaza outside the context of the West Bank and to suggest that Gaza should be grateful Israel abandoned settlements there when it continued building more illegal settlements, a wall, and terrorizing West Bank Palestinians in clear violation of their stated intentions of participating in good faith in a “peace process”. Barak’s “generous offer” in the early 1990’s was in violation of the UN designation of land sovereignty to Palestinians in both the 1948 recognition of Israel and in 1967. Thus it was ludicrous for Israel (Barak) to make what it called a “generous” offer to bargain about land that was illegally occupied in the first place. It was beyond generous of the UN in the first place to grant Israel a right to exist following the terror it carried out to occupy land that had been inhabited by a diversity of religious and ethnic groups for at least 1700 years. For Palestinians to attempt to defend their land, retrieve it or at least hang on to the last vestiges of that land is what could be considered self defense rather than Israel’s outrageous actions in Gaza.

It frightens me that Colorado Law is being administered by someone who has so little respect for fact, for international law and thus the rule of law in general. If nothing else it reveals that ten Attorneys General in these United States are gravely ill-informed and willing to spend their time advocating about an issue outside both their jurisdiction and their competence.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Kinsey
Green Party of Colorado
303-949-4073
601 West 11th Avenue #1108
Denver Colorado 80204
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Arnie Voight’s Letter

Attorney General John Suthers
State of Colorado

Dear Mr. Suthers:
This is a response to your March 30, 2009 letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which you signed along with nine other Attorneys General supporting Israel in its Operation Cast Lead.
Your letter begins with an appeal to a United Nations charter provision by reminding Secretary Clinton that a member nation of the United Nations has the right to defend itself. Have the Attorneys General addressed Israel concerning other UN charter and resolution issues, such as UN Security Council Resolution 242 which requires the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the occupied territories? The same international law which protects the rights of Israel and gives it the right to defend itself against hostile attacks, also states that Israel’s presence in East Jerusalem, the West Bank is illegal.

The United Nations charter provides that an occupied people have a right to self-defense and armed resistence [The Palestinians in Gaza basically used home-made rockets against what is described as the fourth strongest army on the planet, an army which the United States backs up with $15,000,000 each day].

International law forbids an occupying power from colonizing an occupied territory [Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 49]. Israel pays Jewish citizens and businesses to move onto Palestinian land, offering tax breaks and financial incentives, paid in part by US dollars. Have the Attorneys General addressed this issue?

About 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons – ten percent can be held without charge or trail indefinitely. Have the Attorneys General addressed the rights of prisoners with their Israeli counterparts?

Israel’s Operation Cast Lead killed 1440 Palestinians, 431 children and 114 women. 5380 were injured, among them 1872 children and 800 women, and 100 persons are reported mission. It is estimated that half of the injured Palestinians may suffer life-long impairment because of the inability to provide timely medical procedures (ochaopt.org). [On the Israeli side, three Israelis were killed and 182 injured by rocket fire and mortar fire from Palestinians militants in the Gaza Strip. Eleven Israeli soldiers were killed and 340 wounded.] In Gaza 219 factories were destroyed, 15 hospitals and 41 primary health clinics were partially damaged and two destroyed; 29 ambulances were partially damage or destroyed; 24 mosques were shelled. Although the location of all UN facilities was communicated to the Israeli authorities and known to the Israeli army, UN buildings suffered extensive damage; ten schools were severely damaged; 107 partially damaged. Israel used white phosperous bombs in civilian areas. The only pharmaceutical warehouse in Gaza was bombarded. Israeli jets even bombed the Gaza zoo! Have the Attorneys General addressed this with their Israeli counterparts in light of Geneva Convention Article 53, which states that “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited …”?

The letter opines that Palestinians have descended into terrorism instead of “establishing a flourishing independent Palestinian state…” When Israel withdrew 8000 settlers from Gaza in 2005 —while at the same time settling 14,000 more in the Occupied Territories – the Israeli press said “Look what great humanitarians we are!” What is not said is that Gaza requires 600 to 700 truck loads of produce each day to maintain sustainable levels of life, while Israel tightens the borders and allows only 60 to 70 in and out each day. Have the Attorneys General addressed with their Israeli counterparts Article 55 of the Geneva Convention, which states that “To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other article if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate”? The 35,000 Gazan fishermen need to go out 15 to 20 miles to the fishing schools; Israeli patrol boats begin shooting at ten miles; Israel destroyed Gaza’s sewage plant, and now raw sewage is pumped directly into the Mediterranean Sea, polluting and thus destroying additional fishing waters. Have the Attorneys General addressed these issues with their Israeli counterparts?

One could go on. The letter simply suggests that you and the other Attorneys General have crawled into bed with propagandists and closed your eyes. Hopefully Colorado would be better served by an Attorney General with open eyes.

Arnie Voigt
Littleton, Colorado

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