In an op-ed piece in the Jewish press Yair Shamir, head of Israeli Aircraft Industries, suggests that Benjamin Netanyahu should not succumb to US pressure to extend the freeze on new settlement contruction in the West Bank, nor that he need to. Shamir is the son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. IAI is the supplier of the Heron drone used by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
In an 2004 interview in Sem40 Shamir was asked whether he believed that Israel should refuse to ‘give up even one inch of land’ to the Arabs. He replied:
Absolutely! But on the other hand, in life sometimes you have to compromise. You have to judge the situation well. Neither my father nor I am extremists. There is a dream and there is reality. There is a vision and real life. Sometimes you have to compromise. It is not a simple yes or no question. A person does not have to give up his dream and vision of a Greater Eretz Yisrael but sometimes you have to face reality and act accordingly.
Greater Eretz Yisrael is the vision that the ‘Jewish’ state of Israel will encompass the now illegally occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank.
A pragmatic sounding reply, but it doesn’t disguise his his position that Israel should occupy land in the West Bank as part of a dream for Greater Israel, and to give it up only when compromise is forced on Israel. It is a call for continued terrritorial expansion by force.
When Canada, the UK, or the other NATO allies do business with IAI, they are dealing with a company whose powerful chairman believes that Israel should continue to colonise through settlement the land that it occupies illegally in the West Bank and Gaza.