mega888 Stop Elbit Systems

Stop Elbit Systems

Stop Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company, produces a large range of arms and military and surveillance technology.

The campaign to stop contracts and cooperation with Elbit and its subsidiaries is a crucial part of the campaign for a military embargo against Israel and part of the wider BDS efforts, which seek to hold Israel and its supporters accountable by pressuring it on all fronts – politically, culturally, and economically.

Elbit Systems specializes in military electronics, surveillance systems, Unmanned Air Vehicles or “drones”, and security systems. In Palestine is provides Israel with equipment for its apartheid Wall in the West Bank and other weapons, particularly killer drones, used for war crimes in the attacks on Gaza and Lebanon.

Elbit sells its experience in ghettoizing and killing Palestinians as ‘field tested’ technology to repress other people. From the US-Mexico Wall and the militarization in Mexico to the repression of the Kashmiri people.

The campaign against Elbit Systems has been launched in 2007 by the Stop the Wall Campaign as part of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). In 2009, with the divestment of the Norwegian National Pension Fund from Elbit Systems, the campaign started to gain momentum.

Already in 2016, Elbit Systems’ CEO Bezhalel Machlis admitted: “I’m not saying it’s [the BDS movement] not a threat, but I think that altogether we can handle it.”

Because Elbit Systems participates in and aids Israeli war crimes and Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism, investors in and partners of the company are, by extension, accessories to Israel’s many violations of international law and human rights. Grassroots movements have campaigned for years to stop any ties with Elbit and several pension funds and financial institutions have pulled their investments from Elbit and some of Elbit’s deals have already collapsed.

Campaign highlights since 2008

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Stop Elbit’s support to the EU’s anti-migration policies

Since 2020, World without Walls – Europe campaigns against the EU’s use of Elbit Systems drones and Israeli weapons within the framework of its brutal closing off of borders and seashores in front of migrants. 

#BoycottAXA

The Stop AXA Assistance to Israeli Apartheid Campaign targets the French multinational insurance giant AXA demanding it fully divests from Elbit Systems and the Israeli banks that finance Israel’s settlements and apartheid.

Stop EU funds for Elbit

The EU runs one of the world’s largest research and development programs. An ongoing campaign asks the EU to exclude Elbit and other Israeli military companies from these funds.

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Elbit Systems loses key Brazil deal

The Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul has cancelled a major collaboration deal with Israeli military company Elbit Systems in the wake of protests over the firm’s role in oppression of Palestinians.

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‘Block the Factory’ in the UK

The Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul has cancelled a major collaboration deal with Israeli military company Elbit Systems in the wake of protests over the firm’s role in oppression of Palestinians.

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‘Block the Military Base’ in Switzerland

Activists, protesting against the purchase of war drones from the Israeli company Elbit Systems, have blocked the entrance to one of Switzerland’s biggest military bases, where Swiss MPs planned to watch the Hermes 900 drone.

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Protests at arms fairs

From Brazil to Colombia, the Netherlands, the UK, the Spanish State and France, activists have protested arms fairs and their support to exports by Elbit Systems and other Israeli military companies. See here one example from Paris

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Pension funds divest

Starting with the Norwegian Pension Fund in 2009, a whole wave of divestments from Elbit washed through Scandinavian pension funds. Read here about some examples. Later as we New Zealand’s Super Fund divested.

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About Elbit

Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest military company, is built on the expertise of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Research Institute and profits greatly from supplying the Israeli military with a variety of equipment used to sustain Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people. The Israeli Ministry of Defence is Elbit’s biggest single customer.

Elbit’s revenue in 2018 stood at $3.7 Billion with a net income of $470 Million.

Major shareholders of Elbit are: Federmann Enterprises Ltd. (45.8%), Heris Asktiengesellschaft (8.97%), all 26 executive directors (0.01%). Other major investors are Psagot Investment House, FMR, Invesco, Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co, Renaissance Technologies, Altshuler Shaham, Delek Group, Vanguard Group and Deutsche Bank. The Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada also hold shares.

Elbit Systems – the Wall Builder

Israel’s Apartheid Wall, which is crippling Palestinian communities by isolating them in walled-in ghettos in the West Bank, has provided a massive source of revenue for Elbit. Elbit Systems provides “intrusion detection systems” for the Wall, in particular around Jerusalem. Subsidiaries Elbit Electro-Optics (El-Op) and Elbit Security Systems supplied and incorporated LORROS surveillance cameras in the Ariel settlement section as well as around Ar Ram. One product made by Elbit Systems, “Torch”, is manufactured specifically for use on the Wall.

On June 9th 2004, the International Court of Justice ruling on the legal consequences of the Wall not only confirmed the illegality of the Wall under international law, but also insisted that all state parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are obligated “to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law” and thus “not render any aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by [the construction of the Wall]”. Thus, actors who aid Israel in the construction of the Wall are, by association, in breach of international law.

In 2013, Elbit installed its surveillance systems in the occupied Golan Heights to cut off the territory Israel holds occupied from the rest of Syria. The contract was worth more than $60 million. In 2015, Elbit started developing tunnel detection technology to be deployed around the Gaza Strip. Two years later, when Israel began building a new wall around Gaza, Elbit became the lead contractor for the “smart” components of this new wall, which includes a 130-feet-deep underground wall. Elbit Systems received the Israel Defense Award for the development of this system.

Elbit Systems also developed Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) that act as border surveillance systems operating alongside the wall. In 2008, a joint venture of Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled the Guardium UGV – a semi-autonomous, armed border patrol robot. The Israeli military has deployed the Guardium along the borders around the Gaza Strip and in the occupied Golan Heights. More recently, Elbit developed the Segev UGV – a Ford F-350 truck converted into an armored and armed vehicle which can be driven remotely or operate completely autonomously. The Israeli military began deploying the Segev in 2016.

In 2002, Elbit also started providing borders and checkpoints with biometric surveillanc. Israel contracted Elbit to design and implement the Rotem System for borders crossings, and was later contracted to add the Reut System for use at Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza. The Rotem-Reut System includes methods for identifying people using biometric data and for querying all relevant databases, including those maintained by the Israeli police, prison service, and security services. This information is then used to determine whether to allow, deny, or arrest the person in question. The system was deployed in 2006 and has been operational ever since, with Elbit Systems serving as its main contractor.

Elbit Systems – Death from the Sky

Elbit is one of the world’s leading producer of drones, in particular so-called ‘killer drones’ that can carry bombs or can be armed with missiles. Elbit drones have been used in the wars and attacks against Gaza and Lebanon.

Elbit supplies 85% of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – drones – used by the Israeli army.

The Hermes drone can be armed with missiles, and Israel has used it extensively in its assassination program. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reports that Israeli drone strikes killed at least 1941 people in Gaza alone between 2006 and 2014.

In addition to using Elbit’s drones as weapons, Israel routinely uses the Hermes and Skylark drones for target acquisition, surveillance, and intelligence gathering and surveillance of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Notably, the Israeli Army publicly admitted using the Skylark in “Operation Brother’s Keeper” in 2014. The drones facilitated daily night raids throughout the West Bank over eleven days which resulted in the arrest of about 350 Palestinians.

Elbit Systems produces munitions and integral components for all Israeli attack aircraft, including Lockheed Martin’s F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, Boeing’s F-15 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, and Bell’s Cobra attack helicopters.

Elbit – Ammunition for Apartheid

In 2018 Elbit completed the acquisition of IMI Systems, now a subsidiary of Elbit. IMI is one of the leading Israeli producers of munitions. Among its developments are the Delilah cruise missile, the MSOV air-to-ground cluster bomb, and the 500lb MPR-500 bomb, an advanced warhead compatible with Boeing’s JDAM guiding system. The MPR-500 is described by the company as a “super-smart” bomb that minimizes collateral damage. It was used operationally for the first time during Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza (“Operation Protective Edge”) and killed at least 28 civilians, including 18 children.

Elbit Systems’ 2018 acquisition of IMI Systems from the Israeli government involves the company in the forced displacement of Bedouin communities in the Naqab (Negev). IMI Systems’ facility was until then located Ramat HaSharon, the bustling area between Tel Aviv and Netaniya and complaints it was polluting the soil and groundwater of the adjacent neighborhoods have been growing. As a part of its acquisition of IM Systems, Elbit agreed to relocate the main production facility to the Naqab.

The designated location of the new facility, including a large weapon testing site, is in an area populated by five Palestinian Bedouin villages. The plan will lead to the forced displacement of some 5,000 people. In addition, according to Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations Adalah and Bimkom, the new facility will expose the remaining area residents – Palestinian Bedouins who have Israeli citizenship – to health, safety, and environmental risks, and will also impose severe building and development restrictions on the villages. 

Elbit – Prohibited Weapons

Elbit manufactures several types of weapons that are banned or considered controversial under the laws of war because of their inability to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants – a core tenet of international humanitarian law. These include weaponized white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and flechette projectiles. 

For more, you can check out the research by Who Profits and InvestiGate.

Elbit – Exporting Repression and Apartheid Technology

Elbit Systems wouldn’t be able to continue to service Israeli apartheid if it wasn’t for international complicity. Only 20% of its production is sold to Israeli costumers. The company has military contracts with governments in the US, UK and Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. It manufactures most of its equipment in Israel, the US, Europe and Brazil.

Elbit’s technology of walls is being used by the US to build its wall against migrants. Its drones are being used by the US and Mexico to militarize the northern and southern border of Mexico and by the EU to militarize its anti-migrant policies. The Indian government uses Elbit’s technology to repress the people of Kashmir and Morocco has already bought drones to further its war against the Saharawi people. Elbit’s rifles and Israeli training are the backbone of Cameroon’s infamous “Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR)“, the main governmental source of human rights violations in the country.

See below a list of countries to which Israel exports its weapons and technology.

Australia
Azerbaijan
Belgium

Botswana
Brazil
Cameroon
Chile
Colombia
Croatia
Ethiopia

EU
France
Georgia
Germany
Iceland
India
Israel
Italy
Mexico
Philippines

Poland
Romania
Rwanda
Singapore
Switzerland
Thailand
Uganda
UK
USA
Zambia

For more see the Database of Israeli Military and Security Export (DIMSE).

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