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Arms to Israel End Up Elsewhere

The following is excerpted from “U.S. Arms Sales to Israel End Up In China, Iraq” by Jonathan Reingold of the Arms Trade Resource Center – originally published on CommonDreams.org, 9 May 2002.  Comments in brackets have been added.

From the most sophisticated warplanes to tank engines, artillery systems and armored vehicles, the United States is Israel’s one-stop shopping center [payment courtesy of U.S. foreign aid]. ...
The real danger comes in Israel’s habit of reverse engineering U.S. technology and selling to nations hostile to U.S. interests. ...

Perhaps the most troubling ... is the Israeli/Chinese arms relationship. Israel is China’s second largest supplier of arms. [Russia is the first.]  ... [T]he newest addition to the Chinese air force, the F-10 multi-role fighter, is an almost identical version of the Lavi (Lion). The Lavi was a joint Israeli-American design based upon the F-16 for manufacture in Israel, but financed mostly with American aid. Plagued by cost overruns, it was canceled in 1987, but not before the U.S. spent $1.5 billion on the project.

Last April, when the Navy EP-3E surveillance plane was forced to land in China after a Chinese F-8 fighter flew into its propeller, photos show Israeli built Python 3 missiles under the fighter’s wings.

If Israeli weapons sales to China induce misgivings, including the most recent U.S. blocked sale of Israel’s Phalcon airborne radar, the beneficiaries of Chinese arms transfers of Israeli-American technology are even more disturbing. In 1996, as disclosed in the UN Register of Conventional Arms, China sold over 100 missiles and launchers to Iran, along with a handful of combat aircraft and warships. Even worse, in 1997 the New York Daily News reported that Iraq had deployed Israeli-developed, Chinese PL-8 missiles in the no-fly zones, endangering American pilots.

ARI says:  “Israel is our ally in the Middle East.”

This is our ally?