The Spanish Ministry of Defense plans to sign contracts for €300 million with the Israeli company Rafael to produce the Spike LR2 missile. A delegation from the Congress of Deputies visited the company’s facilities on January 13.
A delegation from Spain’s Congress of Deputies, made up of PSOE, PP and Vox, visited the Israeli arms factories Rafael Advanced Defense, Elbit Systems, and Israel Aerospace Industries on January 13. Before scrutinizing the people who made up the delegation, it is necessary to touch on the interests which orchestrated the visit.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense wants to buy Israeli missiles
One of the reasons for this visit was the agreement that Spain’s Ministry of Defense is set to sign with the Israeli company Rafael, for €300 million, to produce the Spike LR2 missile. Other foreign and Spanish arms companies such as Expal, Fábrica de Municiones de Granada, Escribano, or Tecnobit are expected to participate in the agreement. With regard to Rafael, the person in charge of assembling the missiles will be its subsidiary in Spain, PAP Tecnos, whose factory in Spain is a replica of the manufacturing center in Israel for the Spike missiles. The project presented to the government of Spain will not only see the missiles destined for the Spanish army assembled in the Spanish subsidiary factory, but also missiles for international buyers, making Spain an export center for Israeli missiles.
The colonization of Palestine and the oppression of the natives is celebrated by this Hispanic subsidiary of Rafael. On its Spanish website, Rafael-PAP Tecnos, the company shows a large photograph of numerous soldiers looking at a replica of an Arab/Palestinian village like the ones built by the Israeli army to perfect their war against the Palestinian civilian population.
In addition to building these missiles, Rafael also produces the Popeye air-to-surface missiles, which during the 2014 Gaza massacre reached “a 100% accuracy level,” according to arms company spokespersons. This information can be assumed to have been provided to Rafael by the Israeli army. Therefore, that accuracy translates to the intentional murder of more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children and 300 women, plus the 11,000 wounded, the 18,000 destroyed houses, and the several demolished hospitals. It must be borne in mind that any war against the Palestinian ghettos, whether in the West Bank or Gaza, involves a war against Palestinian children, since 50% of the population in these ‘indigenous reserves’ is under 15 years of age.
In May 2021 and August 2022, we have seen new Israeli massacres in Gaza with Rafael missiles. With them, the “Dahiya” doctrine of intentionally eliminating entire families, destroying the house when the largest number of members is inside, has been applied. Those bombs dropped on the ghettoized Palestinian civilian population are subsequently exported by Israel with a “battle tested” stamp.
The parliamentary delegation will inform the Ministry of Defense about its visit to the combat-tested Israeli arms factories and will surely influence whether the contract with Rafael is signed or not signed. Therefore, it can be assumed that in the lobbying work carried out, the deputies will have received the best treatment from Israel and the best possible incentives, with €300 million at stake.
This parliamentary visit to Israel could explain Spain’s abstention at the UN a few weeks before the trip, in a vote that demanded a report on the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its effects on the population of the ghettos from the International Criminal Court. The Spanish representation at the UN depends on José Manuel Albares, minister of foreign affairs. When the vote was being held, the minister falsely proclaimed that the defense of human rights is a hallmark of the government. In addition to this abstention at the UN on Palestine, it is necessary to recall the change of position of Spain —against international law— on Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco, and other actions of the government which are incompatible with human rights.
The champions of human rights among the members of the delegation
Among this group of deputies were some who, for years, have loudly proclaimed their defense of human rights.
On behalf of the PSOE, the delegation included José Antonio Rodríguez Salas (vice president of the National Security Commission), Luc André Diouf, Elvira Ramón, and Pedro Casares.
The former mayor of Jun
José Antonio Rodréguez Salas was the mayor of Jun, Granada, and in that position he became famous on Facebook and Twitter after years of a personal media campaign defending human rights and uprisings against unjust laws. This position, appearing so committed to human rights, for a decade, as a PSOE official, gained him countless followers, although on Twitter it has been shown that he bought tens of thousands of bots, or fake followers. As the leader of the parliamentary visit to the Israeli arms factories which are used with impunity against the Palestinians, some of his tweets today are especially offensive.
The Israeli missile lobby, on Saturday, referred in this tweet to the intentional murder by the Israeli regime of four children on the Gaza beach by an air-to-surface missile such as the Popeye or Spike manufactured by Rafael. Rodríguez Salas himself has described the Israeli military as “murderers”. But in 2023 it seems that he can sleep peacefully just a few kilometers from the Gaza strip, feted by the “murderers,” and reporting on the effectiveness of the air-to-surface missiles that tore the Bakr children to pieces.
The human rights activist
Another member of that parliamentary delegation who has been a renowned human rights activist is Luc André Diouf, deputy of the PSOE for Las Palmas and co-founder of several associations of migrants and refugees. He is currently secretary of migration and refugee policies in the PSOE executive. Diouf himself was a migrant without rights, an “illegal” under the unfair Spanish legal system, suffering enormous difficulties.
It is incompatible with his career and with his position of protection of migrants and refugees, not only for him to normalize an institutional visit with the Israeli colonial system, but also, specifically, to verify the effectiveness of the weapons with which that regime massacres Palestinians. This person in charge of refugees in PSOE has normalized the visit to the largest refugee factory—the Israeli regime, which continues its project of ethnic cleansing.
The Palestinians, for decades, have been the largest and oldest refugee population on the planet, with more than eight million members, according to data from BADIL —a Palestinian observatory advisor to the UN—although UNRWA only has six million in its files. In recent years, the Syrian refugee and displaced population has surpassed the Palestinian population due to the ongoing war in Syria, but it is declining and the Palestinians will regain the podium.
The entire delegation is guilty of normalizing the Israeli regime that exercises colonialism and apartheid, a crime against humanity. However, this normalization is more inconceivable in someone originally from Senegal, like Deputy Diouf, a country that suffered from French colonialism. Being a Black racialized person has not been a moral impediment for him when it comes to normalizing institutionalized racism. It is not just about racism against the native Palestinians, nor is it just about racism in Israeli society against the Black African Jews that Israel attracted to colonize Palestine and increase the population of the settler society. It is also that Israel deports the few Black African migrants and refugees who manage to reach colonized Palestine, in another violation of international law that is less well known than that related to the Palestinians. Israel assumes that Black people, being non-Jews, are a demographic danger to its ethnoreligious supremacist society, and even fears that they might come to sympathize with the native Palestinians.
The photograph of the smiling delegation next to an Apache helicopter and the missiles of the Rafael company is the government of Spain’s version of the publicity that the Rafael company shows on its website encouraging buyers to “improve helicopters with Spike missiles.” The only one with a worried face in the photograph of Rafael’s factory is Diouf. It would be surprising if his frown was related to normalizing the Israeli military and ethnic cleansing machine, since these attributes of violation of international legality have been encyclopedically accredited since the creation of the colonial state in Palestine 75 years ago.
During the visit to the factories of Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, the parliamentary group surely had the opportunity to verify the efficiency of the drones. The drones of both companies are those that the EU buys to monitor the Mediterranean and to be able to intercept people seeking asylum, as Diouf did in the past.
En #Israel conociendo cómo gestionan la #SeguridadNacional .
He visto de primera mano:
-Industrias de la #Defensa
-Problemas fronterizos con el #Líbano y amenazas de #Irán.
–#Ciberseguridad en la @TelAvivUni .
@EmbEspIsrael @Isr_Amb_Esp @FDIonline pic.twitter.com/fiFwq9virO
— Juan Antonio Callejas (@jacallejascano) January 13, 2023
The rest of the participants
The PSOE deputy for Granada Elvira Ramón has also sought to stand out for years defending human rights and social policies. Her appearance in the Migration Commission of Congress in 2021 is delusional today.
Pedro Casares is a PSOE deputy for Cantabria and also has to his credit proclamations in favor of human rights, social policies and even meetings in favor of the Sahara occupied by Morocco. “Sharing the importance of defending human rights”, he wrote on social media. A few months ago he also enthusiastically shared part of a speech by Josep Borrell, referring to Ukraine, that denounced “equating the victim to the aggressor.” Today, both with the Sahara and with Palestine, he has surpassed that comparison, and has even inverted it by siding with the aggressor, as he demonstrates with a smile in a photograph hugging an Israeli soldier.
It is very remarkable that none of the four PSOE deputies have shared on their Twitter anything about the visit to the Israeli arms factories, nor about the trip to the Israeli regime. This reveals the silence they have agreed to and reflects how aware they are of the consequences of their hypocrisy in supporting the Zionist colony in Palestine. However, the deputy of PP, Juan Antonio Callejas, did publicize the trip, although the low number of his followers on his Twitter meant that his pro-Israel feverish publication had almost no repercussion, which surely calmed the PP deputies.
The last member of the parliamentary group and Vox deputy, Víctor González, does not have a Twitter account. In any case, being a partner of companies in tax havens, a component of the fascist Atlas Network that promotes coups in Latin America and a regular spreader of lies and hoaxes in the media, it seems obvious that the visit to Israel will have inflamed his already existing warmongering attitude and contempt for human rights.
(El Salto) by Daniel Lobato Bellido
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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