Meet the Companies Profiting from Israel’s Gaza Genocide

WAR RACKET--CATASTROPHE CAPITALISM, 1 Jan 2024

Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams – TRANSCEND Media Service

Smoke rises as Israeli artillery units and howitzers stationed in the military zone launch attacks near the Gaza border in Nahal Oz, Israel on 10 Dec 2023.  Photo: Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images

“As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible.”

20 Dec 2023 – As of today, a U.S.-based Quaker group’s online database listed over two dozen companies profiting from the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces have spent the last 10 weeks waging what experts call a “genocidal” war that sent defense stocks soaring.

Backed by $3.8 billion in annual military aid from the United States, Israel declared war on October 7 in retaliation for a Hamas-led attack that killed over 1,100 people. Since then, Israeli forces have killed over 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza—sparking massive protests demanding a cease-fire around the world, including many led by Jewish people.

“War and attacks on civilians will never bring safety or peace to Israelis or Palestinians.”

The growing death toll, displacement, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and difficulties in delivering humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave have also increased scrutiny of a $14.3 billion package for the war that the Biden administration requested from Congress as well as criticism of the U.S. weapon-makers and billionaire donors who are arming and enabling the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“The scale of destruction and war crimes in Gaza would not be possible without massive weapon transfers from the U.S.,” said Noam Perry of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the group behind the tool, in a statement Wednesday. “As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible.”

As the AFSC webpage details:

Shortly after October 7, the U.S. government started transferring to Israel massive amounts of weapons. Among these weapons, Israel received more than 15,000 bombs and 50,000 artillery shells within just the first month-and-a-half. These transfers have been deliberately shrouded in secrecy to avoid public scrutiny and prevent Congress from exercising any meaningful oversight.

Some of these weapons were purchased using U.S. taxpayers’ money through the Foreign Military Sales program; some were direct commercial sales purchased through Israel’s own budget; and some were replenished U.S. military stockpiles in Israel, which the Israeli military may also use. A list of known U.S. arms transfers is maintained by the Forum on the Arms Trade.

The webpage notes that the list is based on reporting, social media, and other open sources, and “focuses on weapons used by Israel because all Palestinian militant groups are already sanctioned and receive no support from Western governments or corporations.”

For example, Boeing, the world’s fifth-largest weapon manufacturer, makes F-15 fighter jets and Apache AH-64 attack helicopters used by the Israeli forces, as well as “multiple types of unguided small diameter bombs (SDBs) and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kits” that have been used “extensively” during the war, including in a bombing of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp.

After decades of Israeli occupation forces using Caterpillar’s armored D9 bulldozers to “demolish Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure in the occupied West Bank and to enforce the blockade of the Gaza Strip,” the machineshave been crucial in the Israeli military’s ground invasion” of the enclave, according to AFSC.

While both of those war profiteers are based in the United States, the list isn’t limited to U.S. firms, also calling out the world’s seventh-largest weapon manufacturer, the U.K.’s BAE Systems, and Israel’s largest weapon manufacturer, Elbit Systems, “one of the primary suppliers of weapons and surveillance systems to the Israeli military.”

Other companies on the list include weapons giants such as General Dynamics, General Electric, L3Harris Technologies, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and RTX—formerly Raytheon—as well as vehicle companies AM General, Ford, Oshkosh, Toyota, and drone manufacturers AeroVironment, Skydio, and XTEND.

The list also targets U.S.-based Colt’s Manufacturing Company, which makes firearms including the M16, and Emtan Karmiel, an Israeli firm that “delivered some 12,000 rifles” to the country’s forces within a week of October 7. It also includes Israel Aerospace Industries, a state-owned manufacturer that “makes multiple weapons systems specifically for the Israeli military.”

Other Israeli firms listed include Plasan, which makes the SandCat light armored vehicle, and MDT Armor, which is owned by the Israeli company Shladot and makes the David Urban Light Armored Vehicle used by the military for patrols and reconnaissance.

The other foreign firms on the list are ThyssenKrupp, the German company that built four warships for Israel, and Nordic Ammunition Company, which makes the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition, a shoulder-fired “bunker-buster” rocket.

“As a Quaker organization with a long history of work in Palestine and Israel, including in Gaza, we support a full arms embargo to both Israeli and Palestinian militant groups,” Perry stressed Wednesday. “War and attacks on civilians will never bring safety or peace to Israelis or Palestinians. We need a permanent cease-fire and to work toward a just and lasting peace in the region.”

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Jessica Corbett is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams. Full Bio >

 

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