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April 3, 2019

United States-Israel Directed Energy Cooperation Act

To: Honorable Congressman Ted Lieu

Re: Request to Withdraw H.R. 1795: “United States-Israel Directed Energy Cooperation Act.”

From 33rd CD Constituents: Michael Adler (Calabasas); Jane Affonso (Redondo Beach); Linda Piera-Avila (SM); Julie Alley (SM); Valerie Belt (PP); Doug Bender (Redondo Beach); Judy Branfman (SM); Karen Brodkin (Venice); David Busch (LA);Antonie K. Churg (Torrance); Maureen Cruise (PP); Julie Dad; (SM); Ed Ellis (Topanga); Jodie Evans (Venice); Susan Fabrican (Venice); Loree Fahy (PP); Erika Feresten (LA); John Fortier (Redondo Beach); Donna Galvin (PP), Lila Garrett (LA); Rick Garvey (Venice); Victor Gilinsky (SM), Ira Gottlieb (SM); Stephen Gottlieb (SM); Cris Gutierrez (SM); Kathleen Doe Hernandez (Topanga); Arlene Hopkins (SM); Marie Kennedy (Venice); Katherine King (Venice), Gail Kligman (Venice); Maria Leonor Jacquard (LA); Julie Levine (Topanga); Andrew Lieberman (SM); Michael Lindley (Venice); Alice Lynn (PP); Mario Macera (SM); Andrea Makshanoff (Topanga); Catherine McClenahan (Topanga); Barbara Milliken(Venice); Susan Millman (Venice); Norm Neofotist (PP);Cindy Newman (SM);Tom Newman (Torrance); Patricia Osman (BH); Marvin Osman (BH); Karin Pally (SM); Jim Pickrell (SM); Karen Pomer (LA); Jack I Pritchett (Venice);Myla Reson (SM); Lisa Sandbank (SM); Jack Sanders (PP); Lauren Steiner (BH); Sarah Sakuma (Venice); Alice Stek (Venice); Ann Maggio Thanawalla (SM); Chris Tilly (Venice); David Troy (Topanga); Sandra Sunshine Williams (PP); Steve Varalay (Torrance); Mary-Jane Wagle (Venice); Ulis Williams (PP); Marcy Winograd (SM), Anne Zimmerman (Venice).

Dear Honorable Congressman Lieu:

As your constituents in California's 33rd congressional district, we respectfully ask you to withdraw your proposed legislation H.R. 1795, “United States-Israel Directed Energy Cooperation Act.”

This bill would authorize joint U.S-Israel research, development and testing of directed energy weapons, such as laser, particle beam and microwave weapons.

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We understand these high energy weapons could be used for missile defense, as well as for anti-personnel crowd control to temporarily blind, paralyze or heat the skin of demonstrators at home, in Israel/Palestine and beyond.

The text of H.R. 1795 conflates the national interests of the United States with those of Israel and undermines efforts to reach lasting non-military solutions to political conflicts.

While some might argue these weapons are merely defensive, even amateur students of military strategy and arms control recognize that development of missile defense escalates the arms race to more advanced technology, while also making it more likely a country with better "defensive" weapons will use its offensive weapons without fear of retaliation.

The text of H.R. 1795 conflates the national interests of the United States with those of Israel and undermines efforts to reach lasting non-military solutions to political conflicts.

In addition, development of high tech weapons is controversial enough without legislating collaboration with a foreign country--Israel, whose government passed a nation state law promoting settlements as a national value.

While we appreciate your support of single-payer health care and the Green New Deal, we cannot endorse your H.R. 1795. Additionally, we will ask the Democratic Party presidential candidates to oppose your bill on the grounds that it could jeopardize our own national security, engendering ill will toward the United States throughout the Middle East.

Again, we ask that you kindly withdraw your proposed legislation from House consideration.

Copies of this letter will be sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, members of the House committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs, as well as the major Democratic Presidential Candidates.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.