In anticipation of this deal to produce missile systems, Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had entered into a joint venture with its in Indian partner. (Representative Image: Reuters)
Yesterday, mediaÂ reportedÂ that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had beenÂ celebratedÂ in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic SystemsÂ openedÂ a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.
The deal was cancelled after Indiaâs state-run Defense Research Development OrganisationÂ assertedÂ that India should not import this Israeli technology.
Jamal Jumaâ, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:
Indiaâs decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israelâs military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.
It is also a major setback for Israelâs propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for Indiaâs development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.
Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for itâs own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.
India is by far the globeâs biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.
Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. Indiaâs 16 million-strong farmerâs unionÂ AIKSÂ has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) âin order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.â
Members of Telenganaâs state assembly last weekÂ denouncedÂ state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as âa wastage of money.â
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of Â the BNC said:
We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israelâs egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence, Â to growing local knowledge and to respecting other peopleâs struggles for self-determination.
Israelâs regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination and freedom. Israel exports to India what it knows best â technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.
Last week it wasÂ announcedÂ that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversiesÂ linkedto territorial disputes in such fields. Â In August, Indiaâs Adventz group signed aMemorandum of UnderstandingÂ to develop IsraelâsÂ Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israelâs settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem in violation of international law.
Omar Barghouti said:
As large multinationals increasingly abandon their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political problems. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israelâs human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights.Â