Israel’s Dirty Arms Deals with Myanmar
Reports of the events in Myanmar have not kept the Israeli government from cooperating with those suspected of war crimes.
29 Aug 2018 – A United Nations report issued this week found that the Myanmar military committed genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape, torture, enslavement, violence against children and the destruction of entire villages, against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. The crimes were conducted as part of a series of military operations that began in November 2016 and reached their peak in August 2017, when 725,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh out of fear.
The report, written by an independent fact-finding mission and based on the testimony of hundreds of survivors, calls for prosecuting Myanmar’s army commander and other top generals in the International Criminal Court or an international tribunal. The panel cited “the level of organization indicating a plan for destruction; and the extreme scale and brutality of the violence” in arguing for prosecution.
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s army, was explicitly mentioned as being responsible for carrying out the actions and as a partner in formulating the ideological foundation for the genocide.
Reports of the events in Myanmar have not kept the Israeli government from cooperating with those suspected of war crimes. In September 2015, Min Aung Hlaing visited Israel. He met with senior defense officials and with President Reuven Rivlin and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem as well as military bases and manufacturers. Afterward, he announced the purchase of Israeli weapons in a deal estimated at tens of millions of dollars.
In summer 2016, the head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate paid a reciprocal visit to Myanmar. All of this was reported on the Facebook page of Min Aung Hlaing, who was banned from the site Monday after being accused of using it to promote hate and misinformation.
Official Israel does not allow the publication of reports on the arming of Myanmar. In a hearing on petitions to the High Court of Justice filed in the last year and a half by human rights activists and attorney Eitay Mack against Israel’s weapons sales to Myanmar, the Defense Ministry argued that the court had no authority to rule on defense exports. Israeli spokesmen justified the supplying of weapons with the claim that “both sides committed war crimes,” claims that were rejected in the UN report. The court’s ruling on the petition is classified, but according to testimony from Myanmar the weapons sales are continuing, even in the midst of the crimes.
Israel has a long history of arming dark regimes, from Latin America through the Balkans and Africa, to Asia. The findings of the UN panel’s report require an examination of this method, whose economic benefits cannot serve as a counterweight to the atrocities. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit must order an investigation to determine whether the individuals who approved the arms sales to Myanmar were complicit in genocide in accordance with Israel’s 1950 Law for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In addition, he must see to it that the findings are made public.
- Myanmar generals must face genocide charges over Rohingya killings, UN says
- Top diplomat’s Cheshire cat smile symbolizes Israel’s disgraceful sympathy for Myanmar
The above article is Haaretz’s lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Join the discussion!
We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
ASIA & THE PACIFIC:
- Myanmar Sentences Two Reuters Reporters to Seven Years in Prison for Possessing 'Official Secrets'
- Israel's Dirty Arms Deals with Myanmar
- Philippines' Duterte Shops for Arms on Controversial Israel Trip
ASIA-UPDATES ON MYANMAR ROHINGYA GENOCIDE:
- Myanmar, the Country Where Facebook Posts Whipped Up Hate
- UN Report Documents Genocide against Rohingya: What Now?
- Judges Rule ICC Has Jurisdiction over Rohingya Deportations
MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA:
- Fascism and Islamic Fundamentalism (Part 2)
- IAEA Says Iran Continues to Meet Nuclear Obligations
- Libya in Chaos Seven Years after NATO's 'Liberation', but Who Cares?
PALESTINE - ISRAEL:
- Economy and Living Standards of Gaza ‘Eviscerated’ by Crippling Blockade – UN Trade and Development Report
- Sabra and Shatila: New Revelations
- The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords