Israel is at the forefront of high-tech weapons development, such as its "Iron Dome" missile defence system [EPA]

Israel’s booming secretive arms trade

August 21, 2013

An amazing documentary was released this year, that investigated how Israel uses Palestinians as guinea pigs in military weapons experiments. Al Jazeera English wrote an insightful review:

A new documentary, called The Lab, has led the way in turning the spotlight on Israel’s arms industry. It claims that four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have become little more than guinea pigs in military experiments designed to enrich a new elite of arms dealers and former generals.

The film’s release this month in the United States follows news that Israeli sales of weapons and military systems hit a record high last year of $7.5bn, up from $5.8bn the previous year. A decade ago, Israeli exports were worth less than $2bn.

Israel is now ranked as one of the world’s largest arms exporters – a considerable achievement for a country smaller than New York.

Yotam Feldman, director of The Lab and a former journalist with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, says Israel has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for refining, testing and showcasing its weapons systems.

His argument is supported by other analysts who have examined Israel’s military industries.

Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University, said: “You only have to read the brochures published by the arms industry in Israel. It’s all in there. What they are selling is Israel’s ‘experience’ and expertise gained from the occupation and its conflicts with its neighbours.”

As we’ve covered in another post, Israel has many close links with the DSEI arms fair. In a few weeks, stand in solidarity with all communities resisting state repression and the arms trade, and reject the UK government’s complicity in it.

Occupy vs the arms fair

When: 8 September 2013, 12 noon
Where: Near the ExCeL Centre, which hosts the arms fair. The meeting point will be announced on Saturday 7 September at 12 noon in the following ways:

What to bring: Friends, banners, music, food, fun, water, costumes, drums…
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