Protesters picket Rakon offices and demand NZ halt Israel-bound sales

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Protesters outside the offices of the electronics manufacturer Rakon
Protesters outside the offices of the electronics manufacturer Rakon in Auckland today. Image: PSNA

Asia Pacific Report

Pro-Palestine protesters picketed the offices of Auckland-based electronics manufacturer Rakon today, accusing it of exporting military-capable products for Israel, which is under investigation by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide against the 2 million people of Gaza.

The ICJ, the world’s highest lawcourt, last Friday ordered Israel to stop its military assault on Rafah in the southern half of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Legal commentators have argued that any country assisting Israel could potentially be prosecuted for complicity in Israel’s alleged war crimes.

Former Shortland Street actor Will Alexander — who is in his 10th day of a hunger strike in protest over Israel’s war on Gaza war — also spoke at the Rakon rally.

A statement by Rakon claimed it was “not aware” of any of its products being used in weapons that were supplied to Israel.

“Rakon does not design or manufacture weapons. We do not supply products to Israel for weapons, and we are not aware of our products being incorporated into weapons which are provided to Israel,” the statement said.

However, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) has written to the government asking it to suspend military-capable exports from Rakon pending an independent investigation into their use in Israel’s “genocidal attacks on Gaza”.

Rakon makes crystal oscillators used in the guidance systems of smart bombs, PSNA national chair John Minto said in a statement published today by The Daily Blog.

Company’s ‘military objective’
“Their 2005 business plan says the company’s objective was to dominate ‘the lucrative and expanding guided munitions and military positioning market’ within five years,” he said.

“Rakon sends these ‘smart bomb’ parts to US arms manufacturers which build the bombs which inevitably end up in Israel’s genocidal attacks on Gaza.

“Already the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution calling for a halt to all arms sales to Israel and last Friday the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its attacks on Rafah because of Israel’s indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinians.”

Minto added that the New Zealand government had been “muddying the water” by saying New Zealand did not export arms to Israel.

“Exporting parts for guided munitions and JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) bombs which end up in the killing fields of Gaza means we are actively supporting Israel’s genocide”, Minto said.

An Amnesty International investigation has highlighted two incidents involving JDAM bombs which appear to be war crimes.

“It is highly likely the bombs used in these mass killing events (43 civilians killed — 19 children, 14 women and 10 men) have parts manufactured in Rakon’s Mt Wellington factory,” Minto said.

The UN Genocide Convention requires all 153 signatory countries, including New Zealand, to take action to prevent genocide.

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