COVID-19 shows devastating impacts of racist policies, public service cuts and growing military spending. Israel is a key beneficiary of global militarization
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the devastating impacts of repressive governments’ racially discriminatory policies, cuts to public services, and excessive military and security spending.
- People of colour are dying at disproportionately high rates due to #CoronaRacism.
- Millions with inadequate housing and income cannot practice social distancing and face hunger under lockdown.
- Frontline workers are paid unfair wages and receive inadequate personal protective equipment.
Israel’s decades-long military occupation has devastated healthcare for Palestinians. After 13 years of Israel’s siege, Gaza’s two million Palestinians face the ticking bomb of COVID-19 with only 63 ventilators and 78 ICU beds.
Israel is a key beneficiary of global militarization. It has supplied arms and training to dictatorial and genocidal regimes, from apartheid South Africa, Rwanda, and Chile under Pinochet, to Myanmar and South Sudan. It is a leading supplier of military and spy technologies to governments worldwide.
Governments with major military and security trade with Israel that help to enable its oppression of Palestinians include:
- India: which spends over twice as much on its military as on public health, including buying $1 billion in Israeli arms annually. India is wasting $1.6 million on Israeli rifles, just as COVID-19 spreads. India has just 2.3 ICU beds per 100,000 people, and less than one doctor per 1,000 people.
- The US: world leader in military spending, also leads the world in coronavirus deaths. The US gives Israel $3.8 billion annually for weapons, money that could instead fund 76,000 ventilators or 760 million N-95 mask.
- Brazil: with its rising military spending. Brazil’s President Bolsonaro is downplaying the coronavirus threat, though the country’s ICUs are full. Brazil’s growing military ties with Israel include $100 million of remote-controlled weapons.
- The EU: now with 1 million coronavirus cases, spent $69 million since 2018 on Israeli military and surveillance technologies, field-tested on Palestinians, in order to further militarize Europe’s borders.
- The UAE: which in 2017 had military expenditures twenty times its spending on health. Its ruthless regime has paid $6 billion for Israeli security infrastructure and $846 million for Israeli surveillance planes.
Defund militarization, fund proper healthcare for all, and stop supporting oppressive regimes, including Israeli apartheid.