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      Defense Ministry Prefers U.S. over Israeli Boots

      Israeli shoe factory set to close after the Defense Ministry decided to stop purchasing its military boots and go with U.S. products.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 1/23/2012, 3:15 AM

      IDF soldiers
      IDF soldiers
      IDF website

      The Israeli shoe factory Brill will soon be closed and its 200 employees will be sent home, after the Defense Ministry decided to stop purchasing military boots from the factory and begin purchasing them from manufacturers based in the United States.

      Brill currently provides the Ministry of Defense with standard military boots, light boots for combat soldiers and boots for female soldiers.

      In July of 2011, a law was passed which requires the Defense Ministry to buy Israeli products and also to give a significant preference to Israeli products, even if the costs of those products are higher by up to 50% than prices of foreign manufacturers.

      The Defense Ministry responded to the decision and said in a statement that it is “committed to encouraging and strengthening the industry with an emphasis on communities within confrontation lines and in the periphery, and makes purchases of four billion shekels per year to encourage growth in small and medium businesses.”

      “However,” the Ministry added, “due to a hardship in budgetary resources, we are committed to an efficiency and savings process, and in this spirit we are in dialogue with the heads of the Brill company.”

      “In addition to the above, it should be noted that the company did not meet the new demands, to develop a new shoe as requested by the defense system in 2010, and this affected the inability to communicate with the company,” the Ministry’s statement added.