Canada’s arms exports to Israel skyrocket

A notable portion of Canada's 2021 military exports to Israel are categorized as bombs, explosives and related equipment (Giles Campbell - ZUMA)

Nora Barrows-Friedman 

The Electronic Intifada  /  June 10, 2022

Canada’s weapons exports to Israel have risen markedly, despite such horrors as the May 2021 attack on Gaza.

The total value of arms and components sent from Canada to Israel in 2021 exceeded 26 million Canadian dollars ($20 million) in 2021. That was a 33 percent increase from the year before.

According to the Canadian government’s annual report on export controls, published in late May, Israel is named as tenth in a list of the top 12 non-US countries to which Canada exported military goods and technology.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition that has been waging a brutal war on Yemen, is listed as Canada’s number one non-US importer.

About one-quarter of Canada’s military exports to Israel are categorized as bombs, explosives and related accessories and components.

Another quarter are registered in a category that includes “fire control” and “countermeasure” equipment. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) says that category “may include weapon sights, bombing computers, or target acquisition components.”

The human rights group states that “this further raises the possibility that Canadian-made weapons or components could have been used in Israel’s military offensives in Gaza, including airstrikes on residential targets which may amount to war crimes.”

The new Canadian government document follows a CJPME report, “Arming Apartheid: Canada’s Arms Exports to Israel,” which details the recent acceleration of Canada’s exports of military goods to Israel up through the year 2020.

‘Brutal assault’

With this new data on the increase of arms exports in 2021, CJPME is demanding Canada “put an immediate halt to this worrying trend by immediately suspending all military trade with Israel.”

Michael Bueckert, vice president of CJPME, stated that “it is outrageous that Canada’s arms exports to Israel skyrocketed last year, even as Israeli forces were bombing residential buildings in Gaza, assaulting worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque [in Jerusalem] and shooting children in the West Bank.”

Canadian weapons manufacturers, he added, “should not be contributing to, nor profiting from, Israel’s brutal assault against the Palestinian people.”

Bueckert recently joined us on The Electronic Intifada Podcast to talk about CJPME’s “Arming Apartheid” report and Canada as an accomplice to Israel’s crimes.

Last December, Robin Wettlaufer, Canada’s envoy to the occupied West Bank and Gaza, claimed that “we neither fund nor arm Israel.”

Her statement was a response to The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah, who asserted – correctly – that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an accomplice in Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.

Wettlaufer has yet to tweet about the Canadian government’s own admission that arms exports to Israel are continuing to rise.

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014)