From Palestine to the US/Mexico border

A regular theme in my book, The Palestine Laboratory, is how Israel’s repressive border tech and policies influence other nations including the United States.

US journalist Todd Miller regularly writes about the US/Mexico border and in a recent piece explains how Israel’s Elbit surveillance towers, situated along the US/Mexico border, are directly connected to the situation in Palestine:

According to Antony Loewenstein in his new book The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation around the World, Israel has become a proving ground for new technologies that then proliferate all around the world. The Elbit towers were first “proven” on the West Bank (“10 + years securing the world’s most challenging border,” according to the company’s promotional video), before arriving to where we were just north of Nogales. In the distance, on another hill, we could see another IFT also staring in the direction of Mexico, much as these same towers had done in the West Bank, where people complained of a constant buzzing sound and the feeling of always being watched. There were seven more in the immediate vicinity around Nogales, and 50 throughout southern Arizona.

And as Loewenstein shows in The Palestine Laboratory, Israeli surveillance technology is shipped to countries all over the world, a profitable endeavor more and more focused on border control. He writes,

“The Israel Palestine laboratory thrives on global disruption and violence. The worsening climate crisis will benefit Israel’s defense sector in a future where nation-states do not respond with active measures to reduce the impacts of surging temperatures but instead ghettoize themselves, Israel-style. What this means in practice is higher walls and tighter borders, greater surveillance of refugees, facial recognition, drones, smart fences, and biometric databases.”

Companies like Elbit, he concludes, will be the beneficiaries.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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