How Do Israeli Arms Companies Influence Israel to Go to War?

Dan Williams, writing in Reuters Alertnet,  hinted at one of the possible reasons why Israel is prepared to attack its adversaries with such force.

(Israel is one of the top ten arms companies in the world by sales. Arms sales are extremely important to Israel’s balance of payments and provides employment to thousands of Israelis. Furthermore the Israeli political elite, top soldiers and arms company traders and executives are in a revolving door relationship–ed)

In 2006, Israel sold $4 billion in arms, accounting for 10% of arms sales in the world, and in fourth place behind the US, Russia, and France.

The sale of weapons depends very strongly on the perception that these weapons are effective.

“Defense News quoted Israeli security experts as attributing many of the new contracts to Israel’s perceived successes in battling Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip” Quoting Rachel Naidek Ashkenazi, spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Defense,  from the Defense News article:  “We expect the pattern of increased sales to continue, unaffected by the recent campaign in Lebanon. Clients are prudent. They know they can trust battle-proven experience, and they go to the trouble of finding out the facts.”

So, are arms companies in Israel, and their friends in government and the IDF, cynically attacking Palestinians in order to bolster their international arms sales? Is it part of the equation? Clearly the spokes person for the Israeli Ministry of Defense thinks so.

It was predicted that Israeli arms sales would go down after its attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza strip, but in fact arms sales have remained steady or increased, showing that many governments cynically claim to abhor the human rights abuses of the Israeli government while standing in line to buy their battle proven armaments.

  1. #1 by Rona on August 20, 2009 - 19:54

    This reminds me of the title Campaign Against Arms Trade gave a their campaign against the UK arms fair: “fanning the flames”. The fair (isn’t this an odd descriptor of an international arms trade convention?) is on again this September in London Docklands.

    Good blog! I like all the cross referencing.

    I learned a new word “ramping down”.

    Keep up the good work.

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