The U.K. Committees on Arms Export Controls took a somewhat quixotic swipe at Israel “following confirmation by the UK Government that Israeli weapons systems, used in the Gaza conflict, almost certainly contained British-built components.” Israel is defending herself against terrorists and the Labor Party keeps using export control law to make value judgments about what the only stable democracy in the region can and cannot do to defend itself. This is not the first time that Labor has taken to picking on Israel to make a point.
The statement also made note of extending the extra-territorial reach of U.K. export control laws. The Labor Party Chairman of the Committees said: ” …the Government must now work with NGOs and industry to bring forward draft proposals on extending the extra-territorial provisions of export control legislation.” If only they had such an open mind when it comes to the extra-territorial reach of U.S. sanctions and export controls on state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba and Iran. The complete Committee statement is available, here.
Israel purchases weapon systems to defend from terrorists and other threats. Rather than bully Israel, Labor should seek to streamline reform and review efforts to make the export control systems more responsive to modern day realities. For example, track down countries that may be modifying their technology (See the Sunday New York Times article on allegations that Pakistan may have illegally modified U.S.-made missiles to expand its ability to hit land-based targets).