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Cancel the Elbit contract!

Written by: Nick G. on 28 February 2024


Above - the Hanwha Redback   PHOTO Andrew Green via Australian Ministry of Defence

Israel’s Elbit Systems announced yesterday that it had been awarded a US$600 million - A$917  million -  contract by the Australian Department of Defence for the supply of systems to South Korean company Hanwha. 

Hanwha is to produce 129 Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) for the DoD at Geelong. 

Hanwha and Elbit last year signed an agreement to cooperate on the manufacture of the IFVs which already include the Redback Turret, which is based on the latest generation of Elbit’s 30 mm manned turret with the COAPS gunner sight, additional electro-optic systems, Iron Fist active protection system, Elbit's Iron-Vision advanced situational awareness head mounted display system, and Elbit's ELAWS laser warning system.

The contract for the IFVs is worth $7 billion AUD ($4.6 billion USD), of which will go to Elbit, in addition to the additional $917 million. 

All of this was negotiated by the DoD last year after the Zionist army attacked Gaza, and is a totally unwarranted reward for Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people.

The significance of the contract was omitted from today’s online Australian Defence Magazine’s announcement, but was prominent in yesterday’s US online Breaking Defense report.

The US report said that the contract ‘expands Elbit’s role in Australia. It is also the largest contract announced by the Israeli firm since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.’

The Australian report did not say why we needed the IFVs, but the US report was less coy, quoting the DoD as saying that ‘The acquisition of these infantry fighting vehicles is part of the Government’s drive to modernise the Australian Army to ensure it can respond to the most demanding land challenges in our region.’

What ‘land challenges’ there might be ‘in our region’ were not specified, although it strongly suggests preparation on the part of the DoD for military action in other people’s countries in the South Pacific.

This contract must be cancelled. There should be no purchases of military equipment from the genocidal Zionists, nor should there be any arms sales to them.
By way of a postscript, the Wikipedia page on Elbit documents other countries that have taken a moral stand against dealing with the company.

Ethical concerns and divestment

A number of financial and investment organizations have divested their interests in Elbit.

On September 3, 2009, the Government Pension Fund of Norway's ethical council decided to sell the fund's stocks in Elbit due to the company's supply of surveillance systems for the Israeli West Bank barrier. At a press conference to announce the decision, Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen said "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law". The Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, Hans Jacob Biørn Lian, was called to a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry where the decision was protested.

In January 2010, Danske Bank added Elbit to the list of companies that fail its Socially Responsible Investment policy. A bank spokesman noted that it was acting in the interests of its customers by not "placing their money in companies that violate international standards". The Danish financial watchdog DanWatch placed Elbit on its ethical blacklist in 2011. In 2014, one of Denmark's largest pension fund administrators PKA Ltd announced it will no longer consider investing in Elbit, stating "The ICJ stated that the barrier only serves military purposes and violates Palestinian human rights. Therefore we have looked at whether companies produce custom-designed products to the wall and thus has a particular involvement in repressive activities."

In March 2010, a Swedish pension fund, not wanting to be associated with companies violating international treaties, boycotted Elbit Systems for its involvement in the construction of Israel's West Bank barrier wall.

In December 2018, HSBC divested from Elbit following Elbit's acquisition of IMI Systems. HSBC cited IMI's manufacturing of cluster bombs, which violated the bank's ethics policy of not investing in companies linked to the manufacturing or marketing of cluster munition.

In 2019, Axa partially disinvested from Elbit Systems following pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The move followed several years of campaigning by NGOs, including an April 2018 petition launched by SumOfUs that received 140,000 signatures. Axa "quietly reduce" its investments in Elbit and Israeli banks. Axa remains indirectly invested in Elbit and Israeli banks through a non-controlling interest in its former subsidiary Alliance Bernstein.



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