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Meeting with Hunter Kelly, Deputy State Director for Sen. Hawley

Charles E. Whittaker Courthouse, home of Kansas City office of Sen. Hawley
Charles E. Whittaker US Courthouse, home of Kansas City office of Senator Josh Hawley; no cell phones allowed to protect Senator Hawley and others from the mass murderers they've armed.

by Spencer Graves

On May 30, Jeff Humfeld, Jim Hannah and I visited Hunter Kelly, Deputy State Director for Senator Hawley. Jeff gave Mr. Kelly a copy of a 2024-02-13 Vets for Peace “Veterans demand termination of weapons to Israel“, insisting that such arms transfers violate five different US laws and one of President Biden’s national security memoranda: 

  • The Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids the provision of assistance to a government which “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
  • Arms Export Control Act, which says countries that receive US military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security.
  • The U.S. War Crimes Act, which forbids grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, etc. 
  • The Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights.
  • The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which was enacted to implement U.S. obligations under the Genocide Convention, provides for criminal penalties for individuals who commit or incite others to commit genocide.

Jeff said that President Biden is violating these laws and his own policies. If Senator Hawley supports these actions by President Biden, then Senator Hawley is complicit in those crimes. 

Jim emphasized my observation that President Biden could station US Navy hospital ships off Gaza and provide medical care to the Palestinians most in need. 

 Mr. Kelly listened politely. When asked to comment, he said that his role was to listen and report to the Senator. 

A Modest Proposal 

for ending the cycle of violence in Israel-Palestine


  • A survey of American Jews found that 58% self-identified as Zionists, but only 10% believed in privileging Jews over non-Jews in Israel and 69% opposed such discrimination

This survey suggests an opportunity for actions by the US government that could break the cycle of violence that has plagued the Middle East since at least 1948 WITHOUT asking for a ceasefire that could allow Hamas to rearm and attack Israel again. 

Other observations:  

  • We are all prisoners of the media we find credible, except for leaders, who are prisoners of the media their followers find credible. 
  • In perhaps all armed conflicts, few supporters of any party understand what motivates their opposition, including how their previous actions may have contributed to the threats they see. In Israel-Palestine, this includes the following: 
  • Average annual income (GDP per capita) in 2021 was almost 15 times higher in Israel than in Palestine
  • Most of this difference in income is due to gross mistreatment of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, unreported or underreported in the media most supporters of Israel find credible. This includes a blockade of Gaza since 2007, arbitrary detention of many Palestinians (including children) without charges, and destruction and confiscation of Palestinian property and even murders of Palestinians by Israeli military and settlers. 

This analysis suggests 4 things the US can do without ceasefire: 

I. We ask President Biden to order the US Navy station US Navy hospital ships off Gaza to provide emergency health assistance to anyone in Gaza who needs it. 

II. We ask members of the US Congress to support legislation to do the following:

  • Support equal protection of the laws for Palestinians by allowing them to file suit in US federal courts for denial of equal protection of the laws by Israel. [Since only 10% of American Jews oppose equal protection of the laws, it would be hard for supporters of Israel to oppose a measure like this, especially if it showed a promise of breaking the cycle of violence there.]  
  • Fund citizen-directed subsidies for local news nonprofits at 0.15% of the economies (Gross Domestic Product, GDPs) of Palestine and Israel to counter elite control of the major media. [0.15% of GDP is less than what the US spent on citizen-directed subsidies for newspapers in the 1840s under the US Postal Service Act of 1792. Lt. General McMaster, former President Trump’s second National Security Advisor, and others have expressed concern about the increasing polarization of the body politic within and between countries driven by increasing consolidation of ownership and control of the media, including social media. It is in our best interests to help supporters of our bitterest opponents get information they want, because doing so will reduce the risk of them and us being stampeded into counterproductive actions on questionable grounds.] 
  • Support training in nonviolence. [It is currently a crime to teach nonviolence to anyone designated as a terrorist by the US State Department — “providing material support to terrorism” — under the USA Patriot Act. If the US had supported rather than criminalized such training, Palestinians might have been able to get a redress of grievances without resorting to violence, and the Hamas attacks last fall might not have happened.]

Spencer Graves, PhD

Secretary, PeaceWorks Kansas City 

4550 Warwick Blvd 508

Kansas City, MO 64111

m: 408-655-4567 

DISCLAIMER: This is my personal opinion, not an official position of PeaceWorks Kansas City. 

Copyright 2024 Spencer Graves, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 international license

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