Monday, June 27, 2016

Trading in Death

In April this year, a Tel Aviv court rejected a petition from an Israeli lawyer to release documentation of arms exports to the Hutu government in Rwanda in the 1990s.

Over 100 days in 1994, members of the Hutu majority acting with the Rwandan government killed hundreds of thousands of the Tutsi minority. The killing was carried out with machetes and light weapons. Israeli-made 5.56mm bullets, grenades and rifles were involved, according to human rights groups and Israeli arms dealers.

In 2014, lawyer Eitay Mack filed a freedom of information request with the Israeli defence ministry for details of exports to Rwanda. The request eventually found its way to the Israeli high court, which has just rejected the petition citing risks to national security and Tel Aviv’s foreign relations.

According to the newspaper Haaretz, the motive of Israeli arms dealers in Rwanda was “pure greed" and some arms dealers have even argued that supplying light weapons to Hutu murderers was a good deed because it meant that the victims would die more quickly from a bullet wound than from being hacked apart with a machete.

Given the deep connection between the Israeli defence ministry and the defence industry, it would be nearly impossible that senior members of the Israeli government weren’t aware of the arms deals with Rwanda.

Israel’s relationship with Africa, whereby the country profits from the continent’s conflicts and refuses to accept asylum seekers, demonstrates that there is no morality in statecraft.

No comments: