Elbit Systems barred from Chilean FIDAE arms show, scheduled to be at CANSEC in Ottawa, May 29-30

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Photo: The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 drone at FIDAE.

The Chilean government has barred Israeli weapons companies from the upcoming International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE). This prohibition includes Elbit Systems, the largest Israeli military manufacturer that produces 85% of its land-based equipment and 85% of the drones used by the Israeli Air Force.

The announcement notes: “By decision of the Government of Chile, the 2024 version of the International Air and Space Fair (FIDAE), to be held between 9 and 14 April, will not have the participation of Israeli companies.”

FIDAE has been described in media reports as “Latin America’s biggest aerospace fair” and “the most important aerospace and defense fair in Latin America”.

The weapons show takes place every two years. It is organized by the Chilean Air Force (FACh) and takes place in Santiago.

Boric denounces “massacre” in Gaza

Chilean President Gabriel Boric has condemned Israel’s assault on Gaza, recalled his envoy to Israel, says Israel’s actions are violating international law.

He has also described the ongoing Israeli attack as “a collective punishment to the civilian population in Gaza.”

And Boric has further commented: “Gaza is in a much worse condition than Berlin was in 1945. Almost all houses have been destroyed and 1.5 million people do not have any place to sleep, they are running out of food. Nearly 200 Palestinians lose their lives every day in Gaza. This massacre has to be stopped now.”

Israeli weapons companies

Jewish News Syndicate has previously reported that 16 Israeli companies were at FIDAE 2022 including Elbit Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, ImageSat and others.

Video: The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 drone was displayed at FIDAE in 2022.

The AFSC Action Center on Corporate Accountability has highlighted: “Elbit Systems’ killer Hermes 450 and 900 drones have been used extensively in attacks on and surveillance missions in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and Lebanon.”

Zona Militar has also reported that “Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Elbit Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, ImageSat, IMCO Industries, TechMer, UVision Air, Bet Shemesh Engines, Niron Systems & Projects, Cellebrite, Plasan, Cognyte, and the SK group including Meprolight, Camero Tech, and Uni-scope” have attended FIDAE.

Photo: IWI at FIDAE in 2014.

Now, MercoPress reports: “Israeli products have traditionally been a main attraction at FIDAE, which will now not include companies such as Elbit, Rafael IAI, Elta, Meprolight, and Israel Shipyards, among others, which have partnered with Chilean associates in the past.”

The decision was announced on Tuesday March 5 and by Thursday March 7 nine Israeli weapons companies had filed a court appeal.

Court challenge fails

DUNA FM notes: “Camero, CTI-INT Solutions, Dagan-Optics, Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries IAI, Israel Weapons Industries IWI, Meprolight, MER-Group and Rafael, claimed before the national justice system an alleged ‘arbitrary discrimination’ by the Executive.”

They claimed arbitrary discrimination and “exclusion on the basis of their origin or nationality”.

On Friday March 8, the Santiago Court of Appeals stated: “The appeal for protection is declared inadmissible.”

The CANSEC weapons show in Ottawa, May 29-30

Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd. (Booth 1421/M10) and “Israel Representatives” (Booth M7) are still on the List of Exhibitors for the CANSEC arms show that will take place at the EY Centre in Ottawa this coming May 29-30.

Image: CANSEC 2024 floorplan.

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), the body that organizes the annual CANSEC arms show, has received $450,352.00 from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) over the past two years.

BAE Systems, Bell Textron, Boeing, Colt, Elbit Systems, General Dynamics, L3 Harris, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Rheinmetall will also be exhibiting at CANSEC this year. The AFSC Action Center has noted that these same companies are profiting from Israel’s 2023-2024 attacks on Gaza.

The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) has repeatedly promised at recent mobilizations in Ottawa, including at a protest at CADSI on February 13, to “shut down CANSEC”.

Video: Protest at CADSI.

For information on the mobilization against CANSEC this year, please see this World Beyond War Canada webpage.

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