"... when they go to arms trade shows and show their equipment, they say this has already been tested by the Israeli army on actual people. You can only have that because of the occupation. So every new weapon is first sold to the Israeli army, shot at Palestinians. Then you can sell it."Fast forward to two articles from today's Haaretz :
For Israeli arms makers, Gaza is a cash cow
Protective Edge’s marketing edge
“Battle-tested” is the best marketing slogan for defense industries the world over, so for Israeli military manufactures Operation Protective Edge has yielded a major competitive edge.
"What has proven itself in battle is much easier to sell. Immediately after the operation, and perhaps even during, all kinds of delegations arrive here from countries that appreciate Israel’s technological capabilities and are interested in testing the new products.”
Arms sales set to rocket after showcase during Gaza conflict
"Since 2000, when the second intifada broke out, Israel has had some form of military operation lasting a few weeks every few years: Defensive Shield (in the West Bank) in 2002; the Second Lebanon War in 2006; Cast Lead in 2008-09; and Pillar of Defense in 2012. In almost every case, new military technology or weapons were used – which had a positive effect on overseas sales.
The numbers show that, after the initial period of criticism against Israel after the various operations quiet down, sales pick up. And there has been continuous growth in defense exports in recent years. In 2002, such exports were worth $2 billion, grew to $3.4 billion in 2006, and were $6 billion in 2012."
"After the initial period of criticism against Israel after the various operations quiet down, sales pick up."
The article explains the close ties between the IDF, the Defence Ministry, and Israel's three main arms makers - Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems - and how "many of the senior executives in the defense industries still hold senior positions in the reserves" :
One of the systems that was used in Protective Edge was developed by one of the defense companies as a result of a need raised by a reserve officer who participated in Operation Cast Lead. The officer convinced people in his company to invest in developing the system, and the product went operational during Protective Edge."
It also notes that by exporting 80% of Israel’s defense production, the remainder can be sold more cheaply to the IDF. So which countries are buying that "battle-tested" 80% ?
"$3.83 billion-worth of deals were signed in 2012 with Asian countries; $1.73 billion with European nations; $1.1 billion with Canada and the United States; $604 million with Latin America; and $107 million in Africa. Haaretz has found there were deals with at least 33 more countries, including many in the Third World."
On the "stars" of arms used against Gaza :
"The Tamuz missile – from Rafael’s “Spike” family of missiles – is equipped with a video camera and can hone in on a target, moving or static, at distances of up to 20 to 25 kilometers. Reports say the IDF has used Tamuz some 200 times during Protective Edge."
A reporter embedded with an IDF unit reported it was a Tamuz missile that killed 15 displaced Palestinians and wounded 150-200 others sheltering in an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun on July 24 after UNRWA asked for time to evacuate civilians which was not given.
Results like that must really cut down on printing costs for trade show brochures.
The Haaretz article Arms sales set to rocket after showcase during Gaza conflict is behind a paywall but the same article is publicly available under the alternative header How Israel's arms manufacturers won the Gaza war