The Israeli Knesset voted 45 to 29 Wednesday against a bill that would have required the government to impose tougher defense export licensing restrictions on countries or end users deemed in serious violation of human rights.

The bill, sponsored by lawmakers from the left-wing Meretz Party, sought to confer a larger role on the Israeli Foreign Ministry in vetting marketing and export license requests to the Defense Ministry’s Export Licensing Bureau.

Under a law passed in 2007 – in large part due to US government pressure to break the Defense Ministry’s decades-old monopoly on export licensing matters – the nation’s diplomats have a seat at the table as well as effective veto power over decisions made by MoD experts. […]