1,000 Israeli companies engaged in arms manufacturing and dealing across the world are selling weapons to countries like Cameroon, Myanmar and Rwanda. But they do have rules. The private weapons companies cannot sell to enemies of Israel.
Countries engaged in civil war, totalitarian governments, genocides and extra-governmental military factions more often than not do not apply to this rule.
The scene that stretched across the news outlets a few weeks ago showed a woman who was killed with a baby on her back. They were shot by soldiers of the Central African Army of Cameroon, a group that uses Israeli weapons in their fight for power in the region.
Israeli weapons, according to one source, “find a way to promote power in almost every country on the planet, including those ruled by dictatorial regimes or those that are systematically violating human rights.
Just last April, the Myanmar National Navy bought six Israeli Dvora Patrol Ships in addition to eavesdropping surveillance systems, and an electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft. All this for a country that the United Nations has accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Muslim Rohingya minority.
During Rwanda’s horrifying genocide and civil war, Israeli Arms were being sent through Ben-Gurion airport to the Hutu groups committing the atrocities.
“If countries want the best arms, then they probably go to the US and Europe. But when no one else will sell to you, then you turn to Israel,” said investigative journalist John Brown, who works under a pseudonym.
The private arms manufacturers still refuse to provide details of their transactions. This privileged status for arms manufacturers has been protected repeatedly through Israeli Supreme Court appearances despite hundreds of petitions.
One writer said that there are only three ways to actually know who is receiving Israeli-made weapons. The first is through the countries that import weapons from Israel. The second is through human rights organizations covering the area finding evidence of Israeli-made weapons. And the third is by leaks directly in the Israeli manufacturing industry.
Israel exports to all the countries around the world except those that are hostile to them and those that the UN has imposed a ban on weapons imports. Now, Israel is standing in front of 130 countries with weapons that they made, including those that human rights conditions have seriously deteriorated.
Countries that are permanent customers for Israel: Rwanda, South Sudan, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Myanmar, they are all witnessing internal civil strife and serious crimes against humanity.
2% of arms deals happen in Europe, 35% in Latin America, 63% in Asia and Africa, including countries where the United States and Europe have ceased their arms trade.
Arms manufacturing is a nine billion dollar annual industry. In addition, one of the most common avenues for ex-senior officers from the Israeli Army is to train militias in third world countries, given their experience working in special units.