Amir Sagie, Israel’s deputy consul general in New York has admitted Israel’s arms sales to Myanmar amid growing international concern over the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Muslim minority.
Amir Sagie, Israel’s deputy consul general in New York, claimed that "The two sides in the conflict are conducting war crimes" in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, in an attempt to justify Israel’s arms sales to the Southeast Asian country amid growing international concern over the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Muslim minority.
Haaretz Hebrew newspaper reported that Sagie had met with six American rabbis who voiced concern about reports of Israeli arms sales to Myanmar.
“The rabbis were worried that Israeli businesses could be contributing to what the UN has termed ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, Myanmar’s Muslim minority, but Amir Sagie, Israel’s deputy consul general in New York, told the rabbis that to the best of Israel's knowledge, the current crisis began after the Muslims attacked the Myanmar army.”
Sagie charged that the current situation "started after Muslims attacked government positions in Myanmar" and that both sides in the conflict are "conducting war crimes."
His position is considered consistent with that of the Foreign Ministry regarding reports in the media regarding Israel's ties with Myanmar.
Sagie stated, "we deny totally any kind of relations or any connection to Israel with this tragedy. There is no direct or indirect connection with what is going on with the Rohingya people."
He added that Israel "applies a policy of non-intervention in Myanmar's domestic issues."
Sagie refused to give details about Israel’s arms trade with Myanmar, saying Israel "does not discuss publicly with our friends or our foes Israel's military or defense relationships." But he stressed that all weapons exports are "done with due diligence," and exports take "into consideration human rights violations, including existing sanctions from the UN or international organizations."
He also noted that the Israeli High Court of Justice had rejected a petition against the arms deals, but that verdict remains classified.
The meeting came amid growing violence in the Rakhine state where more than a quarter of a million Rohingya refugees have flooded into Bangladesh in just two weeks fleeing genocide.
The UN also estimates 1,000 people have died in the past 2 weeks, but this is likely to be an under estimate.