What a friend we have in Israel

From American Conservative (last year, but still relevant):

Who can control Israel’s arms dealers?

To question Israel is to invoke the wrath of true believers, the ones who will support Israeli policies no matter how atrocious, because to question those policies is always tantamount to suggesting they don’t have a right to exist. It’s the ultimate race card and conversation stopper. But why don’t we hear more news like this, news that might cause Americans left, right, and center, to rethink their lockstep approval of all things Israel because, well, Israel! What more reason do we need, after all?

Israel operates similarly, though the arms trade is a much larger part of its total economic activity. The country’s main export is weapons, ranking it as the sixth largest arms seller in the world by volume but number one as a percentage of its overall economy. As in Turkey and the U.S., the business is largely run by retired senior officers. Unlike Turkey and the U.S., there have been a number of scandals connected to Israeli weapons development and sales, including the arrests of Israeli weapons dealers in Latin America and Africa. There has also been illegal activity relating to the sale of restricted technology. The Israelis sold the F-16-derived avionics of the Lavi jet fighter that it was developing with U.S. funding to China, which then produced its own version, while the electronics of the U.S. Sidewinder air-to-air missile also went to Beijing, enabling it to produce a clone called the PL-8. The PL-8 was later sold by China to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Just because it’s old news doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. So why exactly do we have such unquestionable loyalty to a nation that has historically sold us out to the highest bidder? Granted, the article highlights other problematic alliances we have, but the one we have with Israel is the one we must not scrutinize too closely.


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