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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les armes qui poussent au crime

by Françoise Germain-Robin

Abettors to Israel’s Crimes

“Who arms Israel and Hamas? Armed Against Peace?”

Translated Tuesday 22 September 2009, by Isabelle Métral

Qui arme Israël et le Hamas? La paix pass(é)e par les armes?
by Patrick Bouveret et al, published by GRIP in Brussels (research and information centre on peace and security), the Lyon Observatory of Armaments, and Amnesty International.
134 pages, 9.90 euros.

Tel Aviv multiplied its purchase of US weapons by nine last year, especially its purchase of fighter planes: what new war lies ahead?

Reading this very conscientious study, no one will be surprised at the confirmation it brings of the very close relations between the US and Israel in the matter of defence. It is a well-known fact that military cooperation between the two countries is so close that it involves the joint development of sophisticated programs like missiles. Washington has long and by far been Israel’s first provider of arms (Israel being its second client after Saudi Arabia) and caps the sales with generous subsidies. Since 1998, on Benyamin Netanyahu’s request, who was already prime minister at the time, those subsidies have been earmarked for arms purchases and have gone up by 60 million dollars a year. In 2007 Bush went even so far as to push up the hike to 25% a year until 2018, so that the annual subsidy to Israel’s army shot up from 2.4 to 3.1 billion dollars a year.

The US aid is unconditional; it is given blindly, without any control of how those weapons are used, when among other uses, they massively contributed to the destructive operations against the Gaza strip last December and January. Some of them, like the DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive), a new weapon of extermination with terrifying effects [1], were tested on Palestinians who served as guinea pigs. A whole chapter in the book is devoted to war crimes committed during that aggression and to the investigations and testimony that establish them.

What is worrying about the revelations is the massive character and the nature of Israel’s last arms purchases in 2008. They were eightfold those made in 2007 and mainly concern John Strike fighter planes: firm orders for 25 of them, with 50 more planned. Their range makes it possible for Israel’s planes to fly nonstop and bomb Teheran, and they carry six hundred Bunker Buster bombs that can blast open the thickest underground bunkers. So this time, the Israeli air force is clearly not having Gaza’s contraband underground tunnels in its sights.

Also worrying is the fact that President Obama, who as senator always supported “Israel’s right to self-defence”, did not choose to reverse a policy that encourages Tel Aviv leaders’ historical warmongering. Europe and France are also blamed, for the study shows that their mercenary pragmatism is a far cry from their virtuous principles.

[1The explosive penetrates deep into the body and then continues to disperse in the tissues.

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