U.S. authorizes the transfer to Israel of bombs and fighter jets made by companies financed by the Royal Bank of Canada

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: An Israeli F-35I with four GBU-31 bombs in the foreground. The Boeing-developed Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance tail kit converts an unguided MK-84 bomb into a “smart” guided bomb unit (GBU).

Today, on the 176th day of the Israeli assault on Gaza in which 82 people were killed over the last 24 hours, and in which an attack on Rafah continues to appear imminent, news is breaking of new weapons transfers to Israel.

The Washington Post reports: “The Biden administration in recent days quietly authorized the transfer of billions of dollars in bombs and fighter jets to Israel despite Washington’s concerns about an anticipated military offensive in southern Gaza that could threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians.”

It then explains: “The new arms packages include more than 1,800 MK84 2,000-pound bombs and 500 MK82 500-pound bombs, according to Pentagon and State Department officials familiar with the matter. [And] last week, the State Department authorized the transfer of 25 F-35A fighter jets and engines worth roughly $2.5 billion, U.S. officials said. The case was approved by Congress in 2008, so the department was not required to provide a new notification to lawmakers.”

The MK84 and MK82 bombs are manufactured by General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS), while the F-35 fighter jets are built by Lockheed Martin. General Dynamics also produces the F-16 fighter jet for the Israeli air force. Both the F-35 and F-16 are capable of carrying the MK84 and MK82 bombs.

Photo: An Israeli F-16 armed with GBU-31 bombs (2,000 pound MK84 equipped with a JDAM guidance system).


Among the top Canadian shareholders in General Dynamics (as of December 31, 2023) are the Royal Bank of Canada ($808,850,000.), Bank of Montreal ($370,538,000.), and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ($38,747,000.)

Defense World has also noted: “Royal Bank of Canada reissued an ‘outperform’ rating and set a $300.00 price target on shares of General Dynamics in a research report on Thursday, January 25th.” General Dynamics has posted that RBC Capital Markets analyst following them is Ken Herbert at (415) 633-8583.

Defense World has also reported: “[General Dynamics] recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 12th will be paid a dividend of $1.42 per share.”

Fintel notes that RBC owns 3,114,908 shares in General Dynamics.

Along with the $809M that the Royal Bank of Canada holds in General Dynamics, it also holds $934M ($933,605,000) in Lockheed Martin.


Project Ploughshares has highlighted: “The United States is not only the largest provider of military aid to Israel but is also typically the largest consumer of Canadian-made military goods in any given year. Project Ploughshares conservatively estimates that the value of annual Canadian military exports to the United States is well over C$1-billion. Some Canadian-made components transferred to the United States, including components integrated in the F-35 aircraft, are eventually supplied to the IDF.”

“Canadian suppliers have manufactured segments of the F-35’s airframe and a host of internal components, including engine monitoring sensors, printed circuit boards, segments of the landing gear, inserts of the weapons bay door, and the horizontal tail of the aircraft.”

They add: “Critical aspects of the aircraft apparently unaltered on the [Israeli Air Force] F-35I variant include the F135 engine, elements of the landing gear, and parts of the fuselage, all of which contain Canadian components.”

Oil exports from Canada

The Guardian has also reported: “Israeli jets and tanks bombarding Palestinians are being fueled by some of the world’s most profitable fossil fuel companies [according to research by Data Desk commissioned by Oil Change International]. Israel relies on crude oil and refined products from overseas to run its large fleet of fighter jets, tanks and other military vehicles.”

The article notes that one ship with JP8 jet fuel left the US for Israel on December 6, 2023, and another departed on February 9, 2024.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) adds: “Canada is now the largest single source of U.S. total petroleum and crude oil imports. …Some of the crude oil that the U.S. imports is refined by U.S. refineries into petroleum products—such as gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, and jet fuel—that the U.S. later exports.”

It is not known how much of the 4.36 million barrels of crude oil per day that Canada exports to the U.S. could be then shipped by the U.S. to Israel to fuel its fighter jets, tanks and other military equipment.

In April 2023, CBC reported: “A report from a coalition of environmental groups shows that Royal Bank of Canada was the biggest fossil fuel financier in the world last year after providing over $42 billion US in funding.”

ICJ ruling

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled this past January 26th that “there is a real and imminent risk that irreparable prejudice” will be caused to the rights of Palestinians in Gaza under the Genocide Convention (paragraph 74) and that “at least some” of South Africa’s claims that Palestinian rights needing protection under the Genocide Convention were “plausible” (paragraph 54).

Toronto-based law professors Heidi Matthews (Osgoode Hall Law School), Faisal A. Bhabha (York University) and Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto) have commented: “The Export and Import Permits Act forbids arms permits to be issued if there’s a ‘substantial risk’ that the goods could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law. Because the ICJ found a serious risk of genocide in Gaza, continuing to export arms to Israel would be illegal. It would also be flagrantly inconsistent with Canada’s obligation to prevent genocide, and could expose Canada and Canadian officials to liability for participation in genocide.”

UN Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 2011, cautions: “The responsibility to respect human rights is a global standard of expected conduct for all business enterprises wherever they operate. It exists independently of States’ abilities and/or willingness to fulfil their own human rights obligations, and does not diminish those obligations. And it exists over and above compliance with national laws and regulations protecting human rights.”

This responsibility extends to companies that build fighter jets and bombs, those that provide the components, those that fuel these machines, and to those that finance them.

Actions challenging RBC, April 6

RBC will hold its annual meeting in Toronto on April 11. Just prior to that there will be 25+ actions in multiple cities on April 6. The action taking place in Ottawa is noted here.

Shut down CANSEC, May 29-30

A mobilization is also being planned during the CANSEC arms show in Ottawa where General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and multiple other transnational weapons companies, including Elbit Systems, will be present.

We continue to follow this.

Peace Brigades International calls on the international community to “show its strong support for such important institutions for global justice as the International Court of Justice and to “suspend the supply of arms to Israel”.

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