arms firms exhibit at UK show
By Tom Newton Dunn,
17 July 2002
TWO Israeli arms companies have been invited to show their wares
at a popular British air show next week.
Rafael and Elbit Systems will be exhibiting their full range at
the Farnborough International Airshow.
It is the first time Israeli companies have been invited to Farnborough
since the Intifada uprising began in September 2000.
The show is run by the Society of British Aerospace Companies but
is supported by the British Government.
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt will attend on Monday.
But her Department yesterday declined to comment on the ethics
of the issue.
Labour MP Alice Mahon last night tabled a motion criticising the
She said: "The message we are sending to our Arab friends
is that we don't care what the Israeli government does."
Earlier this year, the Government refused export licences for Israel
if equipment could be used against the Palestinians.
But in a U-turn last week Foreign Secretary Jack Straw agreed to
export parts for US F16 fighters going to Israel.
And on Monday the Mirror revealed the MoD was to spend £200million
on 5,000 Rafael Spike missiles, which the Israelis have used to
target Palestinian militants.