Israel Weapons Manufacturers Indicted for Selling Arms to China Without a Permit

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On December 20, 2021, three Israeli weapons manufacturers were indicted for selling arms to China without a permit. 

This represents an alarming trend taking place in Israel where companies in the defense and security industry act in an eye-brow raising fashion. 

These three manufacturers were accused of exporting cruise missiles to Beijing. 

The Economic Department of the office of Israel’s State Attorney notified the companies of the indictment on December 20.

They have been hit with charges of committing security offenses under the Defense Export Control Law and offenses under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, among other laws.

Ephraim Menashe, the owner of Solar Sky, helped push forward the deal, per a report by the Jerusalem Post. Zion Gazit and Uri Shachar, the owners of a security consultancy that handles consultation and mediation between foreign investors and Israeli tech enterprises, mediated this deal.

Menashe allegedly recruited other people to manufacture cruise missiles and their parts that would later be exported to China. According to the State Attorney, the suspects produced dozens of cruise missiles and conducted numerous tests with them in Israeli-controlled territory, putting further human life in danger.

The missiles were then sent to China in a concealed fashion and Menashe obtained millions of dollars in exchange.

According to Middle East Monitor, he disguised this money “as part of his connections with a foreign company.”

This discovery came a few months after the NSO scandal, in which the NSO Group, an Israeli technology firm, allegedly sold spyware technology to countries with dubious human rights records such as Azerbaijan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

In the wake of the international scandal that involved the hacking of roughly 50,000 phones using the NSO Group’s Pegasus technology, the U.S. put the Israeli spyware firm on its trade blacklist in November.

This incident has raised questions about Israel’s behavior with regards to America’s peer competitors like China. In the past, Israel has a track record of selling sensitive U.S. military information to China.

In fact, China’s growing technological influence in Israel prompted former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Israel in May 2020 to convince the Jewish state to not get too close to China. As a result of Pompeo’s visit, Israel opted to not use Huawei in its 5G network tender.

The Right will have to come to grips with the fact that Israel may not be the most reliable ally for the U.S. Israel will ultimately have interests that conflict with U.S. grand strategy.

The American Right would be wise to recognize this and consider an alternative that recalibrates US-Israeli relations in a more neutral direction. 

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