Several hundred employees of the Israeli aircraft Industries demonstrated today (Mond Mar 7) outside the United States' Embassy in Tel Aviv for the right to sell the KFIR fighter plane abroad.
Several hundred employees of the Israeli aircraft Industries demonstrated today (Mond Mar 7) outside the United States' Embassy in Tel Aviv for the right to sell the KFIR fighter plane abroad. The US has vetoed the sales of the Kfir to Ecuador, for instance, because the warplane has an American engine and Washington regards such a sale as against its own arms policy for the area. The workers staged a peaceful demonstration, with singing, chanting and dancing, and speeches by their representatives. A delegation was allowed into the Embassy to put their case. There was quite a strong force of police and Border police on duty at the Embassy, but at no time did the protect look as if it would get out of control. After about an hour, the workers split up quietly and went back to work.
The Kfir is Israel's own warplane, designed and built by the IAI. It is one of the most modern and sophisticated 'planes of its type and won the Ecuadorian order --later unfilled because of Washington's veto -- against strong opposition from France, Britain and Sweden.
The IAI argues that foreign sales of the Kfir are necessary to keep production cost down for the Israel Air Force, which will take several hundred of the blames. Obviously, foreign sales would be a lucrative foreign currency earner, too.