The Joint List’s electoral platform in the recent campaign called for the banning of the sale of Israeli arms to regimes that are known to commit atrocities and otherwise abuse human rights.
In recent years, Israeli companies have sold weapon systems, arms and ammunition to four countries, among their other customers, that are particularly problematic: Myanmar, where the regime has ethnically cleansed its Rohingya Muslim minority; South Sudan, which is engaged in a bloody civil war; Cameroon, which has committed atrocities in separatist regions; and the Philippines, which has engaged in extrajudicial killings and heavy-handed tactics in its brutal crackdown on guerrilla fighters and social movements.
Communist Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) told The Jerusalem Post in an interview published on Monday, September 16, that he has submitted legislation to the Knesset which would ban any such weapons sales to regimes with poor human rights records. The legislation would also ban the sale of intelligence gathering software to such states, as well as the signing of agreements to train their armies. Cassif told his interviewer that all four parties forming the Joint List (Hadash, Ta’al, Ra’am and Balad) support his proposed legislation.
Avidan Freedman, a rabbi and leading activist in the campaign to end Israel’s sale of weapons to repressive regimes, welcomed the inclusion of this call in the platforms of the Joint List, the Democratic Union and the Labor party, but said he was disappointed that Blue and White has not made similar commitments.
“We’re very glad that Labor, the Democratic Union and the Joint List have all publicly committed to advancing legislation to stop Israeli weapons sales to murderous regimes in response to our #passthetest campaign,” said Freedman.
“Where is Blue and White’s commitment? Numerous prominent rabbis in the religious Zionist movement have expressed the urgency of this issue. Where is Yamina’s commitment?” Freedman stressed.