We Say No to Complicity with Israeli Apartheid!
From April 9 -12, in Rio de Janeiro, close to 30 Israeli companies, complicit in occupation and apartheid in Palestine, will be among the exhibitors at the LAAD Fair (The Latin American Aerospace and Defense Exhibition), referred to by social justice groups as the “Death Fair”. In recent years, Brazil has become one of the five largest importers of so-called Israeli security and defense technologies: a billion-dollar industry for the occupying power. The LAAD Fair is a major opportunity for the Israeli apartheid regime to further increase its profits and is an affront to human rights.Embraer (Brazilian Aircraft Manufacturer), LAAD’s official sponsor, maintains contracts with the Israeli company, Elbit Systems, one of the fair’s exhibitors. Elbit acts in the area of military technology, manufacturing VANTS (unmanned aerial vehicles/drones) which were used in recent attacks on Gaza. Elbit is one of the 12 companies involved in the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in Occupied Palestine. In October of 2012, during the UN General Assembly, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights, Richard Falk, called for the boycotting of Elbit Systems. Present in Brazil for the last 15 years, Elbitoperates through its subsidiaries AEL, Periscópio Equipamentos Optrônicos S/A (Periscope Optronics Equipment) and Ares Aeroespacial e Defesa (Ares Aerospace and Defense). Through Ares Aeroespacial, Elbit recently acquired two million-dollar contracts with the Brazilian Army. In hopes of facilitating business relations with Israeli companies, the Brazilian Armed Forces has maintained an office in Tel Aviv since 2003. Concerning Elbit, the government of Rio Grande doSul (southern Brazilian state) is planning on expanding its presence in Brazil, facilitating the denationalization of industry. Brazil’s complicity further increases with an aeropace outpost project housed within Elbit subsidiary, AEL, in Porto Alegre (city in Rio Grande do Sul.) With this project, the southern state capital could become Israel’s most important foreign military research outpost. Such a project, financed with public money, also provides benefits for business transactions which are linked to Israel’s crimes and human rights violations.
Another LAAD exhibitor and Brazilian Armed Forces supplier, Israel Aircraft Industries, produces equipment for the Israeli occupation forces, the Apartheid Wall and the illegal settlements. In Brazil, Grupo Sinergy and Israeli Aircraft Industries subsidiary, Bedek, formed a joint venture named “EAE Soluções Aeroespacias” (EAEAerospace Solutions). This joint venture utilizes TAP M&E Brasil’s production and maintenance centers in Rio De Janeiro and Porto Alegre. With sights set on contracts involving the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics (to be held in Brazil), delegation trips between the two countries have become a common occurrence. According to media reports, the Brazilian government plans to invest R$1,17 billion (one point one seven billion Brazilian Reals) in security contracts for the World Cup. Israel would like to acquire as many of these contracts as possible. The LAAD fair, one of the sector’s most important events in all of Latin America, actively faciliates such negotiations. Rio de Janeiro, the events host city, recently bought eight new armored vehicles (referred to as “caveirões” in Portuguese) to be employed by the Military Police in the overall repression of the state’s population of poor black youth.
Civil society organizations comprising Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino-SP (Front in Defense of the Palestinian People- São Paulo) and the BDS Brasilcampaign (Brazilian campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) denounce the “Death Fair” along with the presence in Brazil of companies complicit in apartheid and occupation imposed upon the Palestinian people. We demand an immediate end to military contracts and agreements with Israel, which are a violation of Brazil’s obligations under international law.
Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino-SP (Front in Defense of the Palestinian People – São Paulo)
Frente em Defesa do Povo Palestino-SP
Centro Cultural Árabe-Palestino do Rio Grande do Sul
Comitê Brasileiro de Defesa dos Direitos do Povo Palestino
Comitê Catarinense de Solidariedade ao Povo Palestino
Comitê de Solidariedade à Luta do Povo Palestino do Rio de Janeiro
Frente Palestina da USP (Universidade de São Paulo)
Anel – Assembleia Nacional dos Estudantes – Livre!
Apropuc-SP – Associação dos Professores da PUC-SP (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
CAS – Coletivo de Artistas Socialistas
Ciranda Internacional de Comunicação Compartilhada
Coletivo de Mulheres Ana Montenegro
Coletivo Periferia, Nossa Faixa de Gaza
Comitê Indígena Revolucionário
CSP-Conlutas – Central Sindical e Popular
CUT – Central Única dos Trabalhadores
DCE Livre da USP “Alexandre Vannucchi Leme”
Frente de Defesa aos Ameaçados de Morte
MML – Movimento Mulheres em Luta
MMM – Marcha Mundial das Mulheres
Mopat – Movimento Palestina para Tod@s
Movimento Mães de Maio
MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra
PCB – Partido Comunista Brasileiro
PSTU – Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado
Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São José dos Campos
Stop the Wall
Tribunal Popular da Terra
Tribunal Popular: o Estado brasileiro no banco dos réus
União da Juventude Pró-Palestina do Brasil
Clovis Pacheco F., jornalista, sociólogo e professor universitário, SP
Francisco Horus Moura de Almeida Pacheco – estudante, SP
Maria Beatriz Costa Abramides – professora de graduação e pós em Serviço Social da PUC-SP
Mauro Rodrigues Aguiar – bancário, Mogi das Cruzes