Israeli arms companies forced to pull out of major aerospace convention in France

Campaigners protest the presence of Israeli arms manufacturers at Aeromart Toulouse 2012.

BDS Sud-Ouest

Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), two Israeli arms companies that assist Israel with the construction of its apartheid wall and supply drones to the Israeli military, have pulled out of a major international aerospace industry convention in Toulouse, in southern France, following a campaign led by BDS Sud-Ouest.

The two military companies participated in the 2010 Aeromart Business Convention and had been listed as participant’s in this year’s convention, which started on 4 December. But in the wake of a 60-strong demonstration outside the convention center on its opening morning, event organizers announced that Elbit Systems and IAI had “at the last moment decided not to participate in the event.” The companies were worried about the damage to their reputation and further demonstrations taking place during the convention, according to information recieved by campaigners

The campaign against the appearance of Israeli companies at the convention began in February, originally targetting local government bodies involved in the convention, and recieved radio and TV coverage. 

In its report Precisely Wrong, Human Rights Watch detailed the use of drones provided by Elbit Systems and IAI in the killing of civilians during the 2008-09 Gaza massacre. Armaments provided by the two companies were surely used during Israel’s latest assault on Gaza. In its promotional materials, Elbit Systems boasts that its drones are “field tested,” by which it means that their deadly power has been demonstrated on Palestinian civilians. 

Several European financial institutions including the Norwegian state pension fund, Danske Bank and ABP have divested from Elbit Systems. Slowly but surely, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is showing that there is a price to pay for being part of Israel’s military machine. 

52 public figures including Nobel prize winners, artists, writers and academics issued a call for a military embargo on Israel in the wake of the attack on Gaza last month (full text here). The Palestinian BDS National Committee launched a campaign for a military embargo on Israel on 9 July 2011.




The tide is at last turning, maybe the settlers should think about settling back home in their own countries


In the Netherlands too, I have the impression that public opinion is changing in favor of the Palestinian cause. At last. It took more than 65 years.
Maybe this:

was a nice help

In Ivriet and with Dutch undertitling, but worth to ssee anyway.

Michael Deas

Michael Deas's picture

Michael Deas is a Palestine solidarity organiser based in the UK.

He was formerly a campaigns officer with the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the Palestinian civil society coalition that acts as the Palestinian reference of the movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. 

You can get regular BDS updates from the BNC by following @BDSmovement. Michael Tweets from @michaeldeas