ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN, an independent journalist and filmmaker based in Australia, is author of the recently released book The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World.
He said today: “If current reports are true, and Elon Musk’s X is partnering with Israeli digital ID company AU10TIX to verify users, it’s a concerning development in the normalisation of Israeli surveillance tech in the West. My new book, The Palestine Laboratory, is a global investigation into Israel’s weapons and repression technology in the last 75 years. Palestinians in Palestine are guinea-pigs with Israeli spyware, drones, biometric tools and facial recognition companies testing their equipment on an occupied population.
“What happens in Palestine is being exported around the world to over 130 nations in the last decades. Israel is now the world’s 10th biggest arms dealer, selling some of the most sophisticated forms of surveillance to democracies and dictatorships. From India to Saudi Arabia and Rwanda to Greece, Israel’s occupation tools are ubiquitous in the modern state’s apparatus.
“For over 50 years, the occupation of Palestine, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, have provided Israel with the ultimate testing ground to develop and perfect the art of control. Many countries want to emulate Israel’s methods and learn how to get away with it. Israel has complete global impunity.
“The worldwide spread of surveillance tech, often built by veterans of the Israeli intelligence service who have spent years monitoring Palestinians under occupation, is a threat to democracy across the globe. In an age of rising ethno-nationalism, from India to Hungary to Israel, it’s vital to ask critical questions about the source and pedigree of any Israeli digital company.”