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29 Sep, 2017

Israeli newspaper of courage calls on its military to stop arming criminals in Myanmar

Tel Aviv — Lawmakers from across the spectrum should come together to put an immediate stop to Israel’s weapons sales to Myanmar, where crimes against humanity are being committed, according to the lead editorial published on Sep 27 in Israel’s newspaper of courage, Ha’aretz.

In its second editorial this month on the same subject, the newspaper said that last Monday, the Israeli High Court of Justice heard a petition by human rights activists against the continued sale of weapons to Myanmar. In the hearing, the state reiterated the initial response it gave in March: The court has no authority to discuss arms sales because it is a “purely diplomatic” matter.

Click on the image to read the editorial in full.

Said the report, “In the part of the hearing held behind closed doors, the state’s representatives explained Israel’s relations with Myanmar to the justices. It is unclear why the state is concealing information from its citizens about the factors it uses to conduct trade. Even in the open part of the hearing, the state refused to say that Israel would stop selling weapons to Myanmar.”

It noted that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in response to a question from the floor by lawmaker Tamar Zandberg of Meretz about arms exports to Myanmar, said: “Generally speaking we subordinate ourselves to the entire enlightened world.”

But, asserted the Ha’aretz editorial “Lieberman is lying. This is not the first time that Israel has taken such a course of action. It lied when it supported war crimes in Argentina, ignoring the American embargo, and it lied when it armed the Bosnian forces that perpetrated massacres, ignoring a UN embargo. It armed the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina and the Contras in Nicaragua, and it is arming the forces of evil in South Sudan.

“Since the middle of the 20th century, in large parts of the world, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in which Israeli arms, training and know-how have been involved,” attorney Eitay Mack, who is representing the petitioners, told the court on Monday. “We hope the High Court justices will not let Israeli history repeat itself in Myanmar,” he added.

Opined the newspaper, “Not only the High Court justices, but members of Knesset and the government from the right, the center and the left should come together to put an immediate stop to this disgrace, in which the State of Israel is arming groups that are committing crimes against humanity.”