Greed, privatisation and the tech Palestinian laboratory

The thesis of my book, The Palestine Laboratory, continues to resonate around the world.

In Spain, journalist Marta Peirano writes in the leading newspaper, El Pais, about the significance of Israeli arms and repressive tech in the hands of autocrats and dictatorships.

Here’s the English translation (via Google translate):

The most militarized country in the world is unaware of a plot capable of breaking through its wall with thousands of rockets and armed militiamen, killing and kidnapping hundreds of people. They miss a plan that will destroy part of the multi-million dollar infrastructure of 65 kilometers, on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. I would almost say that the Government of Israel is so focused on the surveillance business that it has fallen prey to the same forces that destroy Madrid’s healthcare: greed and privatization.

The United States, Russia, France, China and Germany sell 76% of the world’s weapons, but Israel is the commercial leader in control and surveillance technologies on a global level and uses the occupied territories as a testing laboratory and as a pilot flat for its promotion. At the same time, it has privatized the logistics operations of all its borders.

The Ministry of Defense no longer places Jewish soldiers at the checkpoints in Gaza, where Hamas militias have entered. Now they are civil security posts for immigrants and impoverished Israelis, a business that receives government contracts worth $200 million annually. The new far-right Government has moved much of its military resources towards the annexation of the occupied territory of the West Bank, which it claims as the ancestral land of the Jewish people and a territory strategically vital for its self-defense. All their other resources are busy monetizing the occupation.

Israel’s positioning in the international war market is not a secret. The use of the occupation as a permanent fair for its products is the thesis of Jewish journalist Antony Loewenstein in The Palestine Laboratory, recently published by Verso Books. Silicon Wadi—the Jewish valley—sells its technologies to 130 nations around the world: drones, anti-aircraft, smart fences, biometric recognition and platforms like Pegasus. They advertise their products as “combat tested.” The material is especially successful in States that, like Israel itself, want to cleanse their lands of “undesirables” and/or permanently control at least a percentage of their population.

Its first clients were the Shah of Iran in the seventies and the military junta of Guatemala in 1982. Now the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco account for 24% of its catalog, followed by the United States (11%), Africa and Latin America. (3%). Israeli technology helps Narendra Modi spy on Muslims in Kashmir and the Mexican government monitor journalists, indigenous leaders and human rights lawyers. It also helps Frontex, our border agency, keep migrants away from the borders and shores of EU states.

Last year, it exported 12,556 million dollars of defense products, 50% more than the previous three years and double the previous decade. The logic of the occupation spreads like a meme, silently infecting governments everywhere. This Saturday his show flat exploded in his face, calling into question the competence of his brilliant technological shell. The answer will not be provided. The punishment for harming your business will be enormous.

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

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