Antony Loewenstein’s new book, The Palestine Laboratory, looks at Israel’s military cyber industrial complex and its role as one of the world’s biggest arms dealers and seller of some of the most invasive software. He talked to Solidarity:
Throughout the book you use the term ethno-nationalism. What do you mean by that?
Israel, I would say, is the most “successful” ethno-nationalist state in the world.
It’s a proudly Jewish supremacist state. If you’re not Jewish—if you’re a Palestinian, Christian, Muslim—you’re not given the same rights both within Israel proper, but also obviously in the West Bank and Gaza. Ethno-nationalism essentially is the supremacy of one group or race over another.
Israel has become a model to a range of other countries and groups around the world.
India’s Prime Minister Modi, who’s been there since 2014, is creating a Hindu fundamentalist state. There’s roughly 200 million Muslims in India who are treated as second class citizens. There have been pogroms and an attempt to disenfranchise Muslims.
Among groups on the far right often you find Israeli flags, not because they like Jews, but because they admire what Israel is doing and want to create something similar. I quote Richard Spencer, a notorious alt right leader in the US, who says he’s a white Zionist. He wants to create a Christian ethno-nationalist state within the US.
Indian officials openly say that they admire what Israel is doing in the West Bank, bringing in Jewish settlers to Palestinian land, which is what India is trying to do in Kashmir, to bring Hindus to settle Muslim majority areas. India gets huge amounts of weapons from Israel to the point where I think there’s not just a defence agreement, but an ideological alignment.