16. November 2015 - Middle East Monitor, Asa Winstanley:
The crisis in Israel's arms industry
Last month the heads of four major Israeli arms firms warned their government of a "major crisis" in the country's arms industry. The value of arms exports is falling at the rate of at least $1 billion per year, the CEOs wrote.
In their letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu they warned that "military exports have dropped from $7.5 billion in 2012, to $6.5 billion in 2013, and further to $5.5 billion in 2014. This year we are expecting exports to total $4-4.5 billion.”
That means that by the end of this year, the three-year fall in exports could amount to as much as $3.5 billion. What accounts for this dramatic situation?
The CEOs themselves put it down to a bad economy and a generalised global downturn in defence spending on non-domestic industries: "defence markets are cutting back. Countries are buying fewer weapons, and the countries still buying are requesting to relocate production and development facilities to within their borders; we are facing serious dilemmas because of this."
But Michael Deas of the BDS National Committee (the coalition of Palestinian civil society groups which leads and promotes the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement) wrote recently arguing that part of the reason for the decline in export sales can be attributed to Palestine solidarity campaigners who have long pushed for an end to military exports to Israel in their respective countries.
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