The occupation of Palestine is the most funded and resourced state project in Israel’s history. On the surface, the occupation has been sold as a temporary defensive measure necessary for Israel’s survival. However, it satisfies many other needs. Given the biblical connection to the West Bank, the occupation provides a religious veneer to the project of secular Zionism. Control over holy cities with deep meaning in Jewish religious history rallies Jews worldwide to support Israel and its government.
More importantly, Israel’s military control over an entire population has facilitated the creation of a lucrative weapons industry. In his new book, “The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World,” Australian journalist Antony Loewenstein has documented the intricate connection between the occupation of Palestine and the development of the modern weapons industry. Controlling millions of people requires more than a strong military. Israel has dominated virtually all aspects of Palestinian life with remarkable efficiency through a matrix of checkpoints, physical barriers, and advanced surveillance technologies.