Roger L. Simon

No More Israeli Drones for China

From Haaretz’s Ze’ev Schiff:

Israel has decided to comply with all of Washington’s demands in a bid to end the crisis with the United States over arms exports.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz last week agreed to comply with the Americans’ demands regarding the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) deal with China and changes in the supervision of Israel’s arms exports.

On Friday, Sharon instructed an Israeli delegation leaving Sunday for Washington to agree to American demands. The delegation is expected to draft a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on weapons exports with the United States.

For some time now the US has been pressuring Israel to restrict sale of high-technology weaponry to China, a controversial policy within Israel itself. It seems these transfers are about to come to an end. Could recent peculiar harrassment of people associated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee by the FBI have had something do with this? I’m not sure. But it’s clear this branch of the arms trade must be cut off, not that China won’t be able to make its own UAVs in short order. The irony is, via the Israelis, we would have a good idea of how they work. Now we won’t.