This book ‘The Palestine Laboratory’ is a sharp exposé of how Israel’s suppression of Palestine has translated into lucrative security systems that the Israeli government exports globally.
In the introduction, Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein, an “atheist Jew” writes about growing up “in a liberal Zionist home in Melbourne…where support for Israel was not a required religion but certainly expected.”
However, as the Israeli domination of the Palestinian narrative became increasingly apparent, the author grew disillusioned, not unlike many young people in the West. In this meticulous study, he asserts that “Israel’s claim to be a thriving democracy in the heart of the Middle East is challenged by the facts”—namely, that the nation has been exporting sophisticated, state-of-the-art weaponry and surveillance technology around the world, largely to unsavory dictators who are trying to crush rebellious minorities, much like the Israelis with the Palestinians.
The author lays out the methods the Israelis have used to control the Palestinians, including high-tech defense equipment, checkpoint security, and cyber-surveillance, all of which have been tested and modified for effectiveness in order to export globally. As the author shows, the Israelis have sent weapons and technology to Pinochet’s Chile in the 1970s as well as to disreputable regimes in Burma, Sri Lanka, Rhodesia, and Rwanda, among others.
Israel’s vaunted Uzi gun, designed in the late 1940s, has been sold to more than 90 countries since then. “Militarism became the country’s guiding principle,” writes the author, especially since 9/11, when the rest of the world got a taste of the terrorism Israel has battled for decades.
In his diligent narrative, the author devotes chapters to the now-ubiquitous Pegasus system, a phone-hacking tool sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, and the recent activities of social media companies that have “routinely blocked content that was critical of Israel or showed the Palestinian point of view.” The book is an eye-opening study of the real situation.