Itamar Shachar is a member of “Intal – Globalize Solidarity” (www.intal.be), a Belgian organization that founded the coalition for a military embargo on Israel. He is also a board member of “Een Andere Joodse Stem/Another Jewish Voice” (www.eajs.be), a Jewish organization active in Flanders and Brussels that strives to promote equality and resist racism and oppression in Israel/Palestine and in Europe. He is a junior researcher and a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at Ghent University.
The Belgian campaign for a military embargo on Israel
Surveillance technologies developed by Israeli security companies to control the Palestinians are also imported to Belgian cities neighbourhoods. This trend exacerbated since the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. Furthermore, some Belgian universities have joint research projects with Israeli armed industries. There are also some Belgian companies that export or transfer weapons to Israel, making their share of profits from the on-going occupation.
The Belgian campaign for a military embargo on Israel aims to raise public awareness in Belgium to these militarized exchanges and to put pressure on public authorities, universities and private companies to stop them. The campaign is supported by a wide coalition of civil society organizations, trade unions and political groups. Perhaps this campaign can serve as an inspiration to Dutch activists and civil society groups.
Benjamin Baars is an activist with Stop Wapenhandel (http://stopwapenhandel.org/ ) in the Netherlands.
Activism against Military Relations between the Netherlands and Israel
Israel and its weapons industry profits from the knowledge and experience that is gained through the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza — an occupation and blockade that are tied with human rights abuses and violations of international law. With the export of high value military and “security” products, the Israeli weapons industry reaps benefits from this knowledge and experience. Countries that buy products from the Israeli weapons industry or that work together with this industry, such as the Netherlands, thereby in fact benefit from the knowledge gained from the abuses of human rights and the violations of international law.