Uh Oh...

One of the early indicators of impending turmoil in certain unstable Middle Eastern countries is the street price of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, also known as the AK-47. This is most readily apparent in Lebanon, as pointed out by Ya Libnan:

The price of Kalashnikov in Lebanon is like an index of stability . The higher the price the higher is the instability and fear index … After the Hezbollah led political crisis sparked deadly Beirut street clashes last month between its supporters and those backing the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, “everyone is looking for guns,” said an arms trade businessman.

In the wake of growing instability and the fear that Hizballah will train their weapons on Lebanese civilians, the price of AK-47s has gone up from $100 to a stratospheric $700-$750. A cartridge clip that used to sell for a mere $2 is now going for $20. People are smuggling the weapons in from Iraq via Syria by hiding them anywhere they can – under trucks, in car doors, in vats of tahini, you name it.

As always, instability begets instability. The more weapons are out there, the more likely they will be used and the more likely Lebanon will sink into further chaos and civil war. No one with any sense wants that. Perhaps the Lebanese people ought to follow the example of General Mikhail Kalashnikov who designed the AK-47 in 1947. In 2004 he quit designing guns and started a company where he designed Kalashnikov Vodka. Uh… I’d buy Hizballah Humus if it meant they got out of the shit disturbing business. Or Amal Arak… or whatever. Anyhow, lets hope things calm down over there. In the meantime, I’ll be checking the prices over at Akhbar’s House of AK-47s.

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Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Kalashnikov did not design the thing but made an improved version of the German StG 44 like the RPG 7 is a development of the Panzerfaust.
    You were asleep during history class?

  • No I wasn’t.

    How much Kalashnikov borrowed from the StG44 or MP44 is up for debate. Kalashnikov denies that the AK-47 was based on the German rifle – which itself was preceded by Italian Cei-Rigotti and Russian Fedorov Avtomat designs. In fact, the AK-47 owes more to the M1 Garand Rifle and the Remington Model 8 rifle than any German design.

    Uh… “made an improved version of” is somewhat of an oversimplification.

  • Best not to ask too many questions Michael.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that the M1 was designed by Browning. That and the Model 8 are both American rifles, duh.

  • All besides the damn point guys. An AK is worth about $100. You can hand make it for about that or less, and on the PAK border areas they do just that. AK’s selling for $700? Just fantastic. It indicates many things.

    1.) The market is yet not saturated, and there is still a heavy demand. (Hence the ‘instability’ index is ‘high’).

    2.) Some people are indeed quite desperate for a middling quality basic piece of equipment just because, ‘They don’t know about the future, and remain insecure’.

    3.) The price of a ticket to the EU or nearby countries where you can get smuggled into the EU is quickly approaching the cost of equipping one family member for war.

    4.) Ergo, there will continue to be a massive exodus of war refugees From Lebanon to ‘other places’, emptying the country of it’s talented young & educated, exactly at the time when they had just returned from the turmoil of the Last civil war.

    5.) This is a cost of war no nation can long afford to endure, over 2 generations now. The PA & now Hamas are ‘propped’ up in their quixotic quest to ‘push Israel into the sea’ by massive infusions of cash from the Saudi’s & the Iranians. That situation can not last forever, and they can little afford to have yet another ‘failed state’ to baby sit. This broke the Soviets, it will break many of these worthless Arab despots as well.

    6.) If Israel plays it’s cards right, and actually seeks diplomatic approaches that are favorable to them, it can and should be able to not only survive, but thrive. They are the only democratic unified state in region. This is not their weakness, but their strength. They may not be able to impose solutions to or for surrounding failed states, but they can and will be able to outlast them & their troubles. Just one man’s opinions. Cheers, ‘VJ’

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