German firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch recently let it be known that they would no longer sell their firearms in some of the worlds more questionable corners. As the UK’s Guardian reported . . .
The company has pledged no longer to sell arms into warzones or to countries that violate corruption and democracy standards, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, or any African countries.
Though never officially announced, the new strategy was included in Heckler & Koch’s latest yearly financial report, and confirmed at an annual general meeting in August. A spokesman said that the firm had “withdrawn from the crisis regions of this world”.
So imagine Israel’s surprise to learn that the Middle East’s only democracy had made it onto HK list of verboten nations.
Known as Germany’s deadliest weapons manufacturer, Heckler & Koch will no longer being selling guns to war zones or countries that are corrupt, including Israel, according to the company’s most recent report.
Founded in 1949 Heckler & Koch, a major producer of handguns, military rifles and sub-machine guns, quietly adopted a new policy to make it difficult to obtain export permits from the German government when dealing with a number of countries around the globe.
Countries in the company’s current ban include: Israel, Mexico, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia or any African countries.
With annual arms exports of over $8 billion, Germany exports a lot of firepower. And HK makes just about everything from handguns to grenade launchers. According to a “study” touted by the country’s Green Party and Social Democrats designed to shame arms exporters, HK’s products have contributed to the deaths of two million people…at least one of whom included Osama Bin Laden. So Bin Laden stands as the typical bad guy put down by H&K products, more is definitely better, right?
But the decision to end sales to the Jewish state effectively lumps Israel in with the globe’s most corrupt regimes and kleptocracies. Surely politics didn’t play a role in the company’s decision.
Israel won’t be hurting for firepower. The country has its own thriving arms industry — they exported $6.5 billion worth in 2016 — in addition to their ability to import weapons from the United States, among others. But the decision will leave them without the ability to take advantage of HK’s famous “No Compromise” reputation for accuracy and reliability.
Somehow we think Israel will learn to adapt.