TEL AVIV — Israel still maintains “warm ties” with Myanmar and is downplaying human rights concerns, a new report by the Times of Israel has uncovered on Wednesday. Despite allegations of genocide of Rohingya Muslims, the Zionist state continues to claim that it’s “first friend” in Asia is safe to trade with and has continued to sell arms to Myanmar’s military while ethnic cleansing and genocide were taking place in Rakhine State.
Confirming its well-earned reputation for assisting some of the most brutal regimes in the world, Israel has been selling arms to Myanmar long after most Western countries banned such sales over concerns that weapons sold to the country were likely being used to carry out genocide.
The United Nations has described the plight of Rohingya Muslims as a “textbook” example of genocide. Its conclusion was repeated recently by the chair of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar who described the latest situation as “an ongoing genocide.”
In December the US House of Representatives effectively rebuked the Trump administration and overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring that Myanmar’s military has carried out genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
A key committee of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has said that it also found “compelling evidence” of genocide by Myanmar’s military against the Muslim minority Rohingya. Describing the situation, the chairman of the museum’s Committee on Conscience, Lee Feinstein was quoted by the Times of Israel saying: “The Burmese military’s campaign against the Rohingya, especially the attacks of August 2017, has been deliberate, systematic, and widespread.”
Their position was backed by the Centre for the Prevention of Genocide. “We want to help set the historical record for the future and for the Rohingya who continue to be at risk of genocide today,” the centres deputy director was reported saying.
In one of the latest reports compiled by the US State Department, which tallied atrocities in the Buddhist-majority country’s northern Rakhine State, it was found that violence against Rohingya Muslims was “extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seems geared toward both terrorising the population and driving out the Rohingya residents.” Some 1.1 million Rohingya have fled Myanmar.
Despite the widespread condemnation, however, Israel remains on friendly terms with Myanmar and has remained relatively silent, said the Times of Israel. While admitting that they couldn’t confirm if Israel was providing training, intelligence and surveillance technology, the report found that Tel Aviv had allowed its arms companies to sell weapons to Myanmar’s military in autumn 2017, long after most Western countries had banned such sales. The Israeli firms are said to have refused to answer questions about their current sales.
David Tal, an Israeli historian who chairs the University of Sussex’s Modern Israel Studies programme, explained the Zionist state’s continued friendship with Myanmar saying: “A general trend of Israel’s foreign policy is to give priority to interests over values. Having good relations with Myanmar … I would assume is worth any moral price Israel accrues.”
The report traced Israel’s trend of assisting racist regimes to the country’s historical cooperation with apartheid South Africa and recent friendly relations with Viktor Orban’s Hungary and Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines.
As with Israel’s assistance to the White South African government – which installed an apartheid regime to control majority black South Africans – its ties with Myanmar has been a source of controversy and embarrassment. The Israeli government has repeatedly resisted full details of arms sales to Myanmar coming out into the public.