In a surprisingly radical statement from a politician not known for his pacifism, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari expressed severe criticism of Israel’s weapon trade, claiming it promotes killing.
“It is inconceivable that a Jewish state should export murder, it cannot be,” said Ben Ari in an English-subtitled video uploaded to YouTube at the end of May.
Ben Ari, who is known for his far-right views and was one of the organizers of the recent anti-migrant protest in Tel Aviv, added, “Were I the prime minister, I would completely ban the export of all weapons from Israel. I would not give out a single bullet, rifle or a tank — neither for peacekeeping purposes nor for war.”
Ben Ari cited past cases, in African civil wars and in the Iran-Iraq war, when Israeli weapons ended up being used in massacres, “all because of our greed.”
The Knesset member slammed Israeli leaders for what he described as the hypocrisy of talking about peace while exporting weaponry. “The weapons industry is one of the most heavily subsidized in the country. I would shut it down and produce weapons only for our own defense purposes, not to feed our greed,” he said.
Ben Ari said that “as a Jewish state we should enlighten the world and instruct it how to end all violence and murder.”