BDS Australia condemns the Victorian state government’s announcement of a partnership with the major Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems and the Australian federal government’s ongoing contracts with Elbit.
STOP ELBIT – STOP CRIMES AGAINST PALESTINIANS
STOP ELBIT – STOP ISRAEL’S CRIMES
EMAIL DANIEL ANDREWS, VICTORIAN PREMIER – [email protected]
The Victorian Government has entered into a partnership with Elbit Systems of Australia in the establishment of an AI Centre of Excellence in Melbourne, which will work with universities, and other bodies to produce applications that can be used across the defense, homeland security, and emergency services sectors
Elbit produces numerous weapons, including drones, rocket launch and military aircraft systems and multiple surveillance systems, and is a key research and development partner to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Elbit surveillance technology and military equipment is used to maintain Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip. Elbit markets its weapons systems, including its drones, as “battle-proven”. This means that they have been deployed against Palestinians living under Israel’s deadly military occupation.
BDS Australia condemns the Australian state and federal government’s collaboration with Elbit Systems and Elbit Systems of Australia and calls on all Australians to oppose and take action to stop arms deals and any research and training agreements with Elbit.
BDS Australia calls on the Victorian state government and the Australian federal government to abandon any association with Elbit.
In partnering with Elbit, the Victorian Andrews government is showing its contempt for international law and human rights conventions. With this deal, the Victorian Labor government is collaborating with a company which is directly linked to the Israeli government which has been shown to be practicing apartheid and which has been continually condemned in the UN and internationally for its ongoing breaches of human rights and international law.
Australia’s Defence contracts with Elbit
Australia has entered into numerous contracts and agreements with Elbit Systems and Elbit Systems of Australia for military hardware and technology and defence training. Between 2008 and 2021, Elbit Systems and Elbit Systems of Australia were awarded huge contracts by the Department of Defence and the Australian Federal Police. You can see the extent and range of contracts that the Australian government has with Elbit here.
Elbit was awarded a series of contracts worth roughly $89m when Christopher Pyne was Defence Minister between August 2018 and May 2019. Elbit also won contracts in 2016-17 when Pyne was Defence Industry Minister including a $1.4b joint contract with Harris Communications.
The lobbying company, Pyne and Partners now has Elbit Systems of Australia as a major client.
There are direct links between the Australian military and Elbit beyond trade in arms and military technology. Some 80 Elbit employees are former Australian military veterans. Elbit has its headquarters in Canberra but has major offices and facilities in Brisbane and Melbourne, with training staff also located at Commonwealth facilities in Townsville and Canungra (Qld); Duntroon (ACT); Puckapunyal and Wondonga (Vic).
Australia as a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty of 2013, which includes the following at Article 6: 3: A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms covered under Article 2 (1) or of items covered under Article 3 or Article 4, if it has knowledge at the time of authorization that the arms or items would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians protected as such, or other war crimes as defined by international agreements to which it is a Party has an obligation to cease supplying any parts or technical expertise to Israel or to Israel’s major arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems.
We are building a national campaign to highlight these Australian state and federal government links with Elbit Systems and to call for the immediate cessation of all military trade and all technical or other partnerships with this Israeli weapons manufacturer.
We are not alone in opposing the proposed Victorian government partnership or the Australian Government’s ongoing contracts with Elbit and will be working with faith groups, peace organisations, tertiary institutions, unions and community groups to call for the withdrawal from this partnership and from all government contracts with Elbit.
Elbit is increasingly targeted by protesters worldwide as major companies and organisations divest and dissociate from it.
In 2018 both HSBC and AXA Investment Managers divested from Elbit due to its involvement in the production and commercialization of cluster munitions and white phosphorus shells. In 2020, the City of Liverpool in the UK cancelled the Elbit-sponsored Electronic Warfare Europe arms fair on ethical grounds after a campaign of 40,000 emails protesting at the city’s involvement. The 2021 arms fair in Seville, Spain, was cancelled by the Seville City Council, also on ethical grounds.
Australians don’t want to support a company which profits by selling technology and armaments that destroy civilian communities and directly supports the ongoing colonisation and dispossession of Palestinians.
BDS Australia condemns the development of an arms industry in collaboration with Elbit Systems Australia in Victoria and Australia’s arms trade with Elbit Systems and calls on all Australians to oppose and take action to end this trade.
- More Information: Elbit Systems – Who Profits
- Investigate – Elbit Systems Ltd – Research by the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker)
20210420 – Australian Army considers scrapping Elbit contracts – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-30/tension-israeli-company-lead-to-uncertainty-over-army-system/100105866