Israel’s worldwide role in repression

Israel/Palestine
Soldiers
Israeli soldiers fire their weapons (Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)

[Researched, written, and edited by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, this twenty-eight-page exposé focuses on the role of Israel’s government, military, and related corporations and organizations in a global industry of violence and repression. The states most involved with this industry profit from perpetual war and occupation across the globe while maintaining vastly unequal societies of their own. Click here to learn more about this booklet and an associated project to build global testimony towards popular tribunals.]

Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression

Introduction

This pamphlet focuses on the role of Israel’s government, its military, and related corporations and organizations in a global industry of violence and repression. The states most involved with this industry profit from perpetual war and occupation across the globe while maintaining vastly unequal societies of their own.

Israel exports weapons, technologies, training, and techniques of violence for use by governments and corporations against populations around the world. The expertise on which it relies has been developed through its occupation of Palestine and parts of Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt, as well as its repression of and military aggression against the people living there.

The colonization of Palestine was once part of the British and French assault on the movement for Arab unity and independence that threatened European control of the region’s resources. The state of Israel is now a junior partner in the US-allied strategy for the same control of the region’s resources.

For Israel, this partnership has enabled the imposition and maintenance of a settler colonial state in Palestine. For its Western partners, Israel has ensured control of what F.D.R.’s administration once described as “the greatest prize in human history” – Arab oil.

The importance of Israel to the United States is a reflection of the growing significance of both oil and the arms trade to the world economy. The United States, the main arbiter of power worldwide, is Israel’s largest funder. The majority of US aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance. The US government gives Israel approximately three billion US dollars per year in financial aid and several billion more per year in military assistance and contracts. The United States provides eighteen percent, or nearly a fifth, of Israel’s military budget. From 1949 until 2011, the estimated cumulative total in US direct aid to Israel is between 115 and 123 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2009, Israel’s military spending accounted for an additional 15.1% of the country’s overall budget. It was the biggest defense spender as a percentage of GDP. It also spent the greatest amount of its overall budget on the military out of all developed countries.

Israel uses US aid to fund its ongoing occupation of Palestine and Syria and its military campaigns, which in turn serve as an laboratory to develop weapons, surveillance technology, and tactics of population control that are then marketed across the globe.

Israel’s Worldwide Role

Israel’s unique skills in crowd control, forced displacement, surveillance, and military occupation have resulted in placing it at the forefront of a global industry of repression: it develops, manufactures, and markets technologies that are used by armies and police around the world for purposes of repression.

Israel’s role in this industry began with the Israeli military, which first used its weapons of war against Palestinian people in historic Palestine, and against neighboring countries. In recent years, as interest in surveillance and policing technologies and techniques has grown among governments around the world, an Israeli “homeland security” private service industry built on these field-tested instruments has emerged to exploit and export this interest.

This industry includes government agencies, the Israeli military, and a network of private corporations that grossed over 2.7 billion US dollars in 2008. This industry accounts for approximately seven percent of the Israeli economy. The Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor says on its website:

Israel has more than 300 Homeland Security (HLS) companies exporting a range of products, systems and services… These solutions have been born by the necessity of Israel’s survival and matured by the reality of the continual terrorist threat to the country… No other country has such a large pool of experienced former security, military, and police personnel and no other country has been able to field test its systems and solutions in real-time situations.

In addition to the Israeli government, military, and corporations, a network of Zionist organizations provides political and economic support to the state of Israel. For example, in the United States, these organizations participate in surveillance and facilitate exchanges between the Israeli military and US police forces, federal agents, and armed forces.

This network of state bodies, corporations, and non-profits shares intelligence information, coordinates strategies for surveillance and repression, and collaborates for profit. The precise function of each varies according to their role.

Israel has provided arms, trained militia, and military and civilian police, developed and provided surveillance technology and repression strategies, and supplied the means for a broad array of other control techniques, from ”non-lethal” weapons to border technology. Israel has played a role in arming and training the apartheid regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia, colonial regimes in the Middle East and North Africa (otherwise known as Southwest Asia and North Africa, or SWANA), and dictators in Central and South America and Asia.

The Israeli government has assumed a major, worldwide role in enforcing limitations on the freedom of movement, policing of communities, and undermining peoples’ struggles for justice. Though well documented, this fact is rarely if ever mentioned or discussed, and even more rarely challenged.

Our movements – those in solidarity with the Palestinian people, against war, poverty, and an unjust globalized economy – need to take into account the very real ways the state of Israel contributes to violence and repression around the world.

Israel sells its weapons, technologies, training, and techniques of violence to those it considers allies and even to those whom it considers enemies. Israel sells or has sold to Islamist, communist, capitalist, dictatorial, and social democratic states. The driving force behind Israeli arms exports, in addition to the profit motive, is the need for a close and strong alliance with major imperialist powers that provide it with continuous military and diplomatic support, economic markets and access to power. Therefore, Israel has prioritized selling weapons to the allies and agents of these powers.

Israel Shahak’s 1982 book, Israel’s Global Role: Weapons for Repression, documents that “from Rhodesia to apartheid South Africa to the Gulf monarchies, Israel ties its interests not with the masses fighting for freedom, but with their jailers.”12 Despite competition and other conflicts between governments and regimes that rely on repression, those same governments and regimes have no trouble cooperating with one another against peoples’ movements.

[Click here to download the full report.]

16 Responses

  1. bob
    January 16, 2013, 9:24 am

    For Israel, this partnership has enabled the imposition and maintenance of a settler colonial state in Palestine. For its Western partners, Israel has ensured control of what F.D.R.’s administration once described as “the greatest prize in human history” – Arab oil.

    What do I listen to, this loose uncited piece of material or sources like this, where the US military leaders argued against supporting Israel because it would enrage sources of Arab oil (it did) by Truman for domestic US reasons .. such as voting and financing.

    link to mondoweiss.net

    link to mondoweiss.net

    link to mondoweiss.net

    link to mondoweiss.net

    link to mondoweiss.net

  2. Les
    January 16, 2013, 10:27 am

    M J Rosenberg has the definitive explanation on how AIPAC gets Congress to do its bidding.

    Jan 15 2013
    Praise The Lord: AIPAC Is Losing

    The news that Sen. Chuck Schumer will support the Hagel nomination means that Hagel will almost certainly be confirmed as Secretary of Defense. It does not mean that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is not opposing the appointment. It means that, at long last, it has been defeated.

    It is obvious why AIPAC is so insistent that it is not trying to prevent former senator Chuck Hagel from becoming the Secretary of Defense. As investigative journalist Max Blumenthal put it in a piece published yesterday:…………

    link to mjayrosenberg.com

  3. ivri
    January 16, 2013, 10:42 am

    You can turn the argument around and claim that the fact that the Arab world was not ready (or able psychologically) to accept the State of Israel in its midst created a sense of existential threat for Israelis, fortified by many violent conflicts, which pushed it to military paths and the development of an advanced arms industry. The export part was an inevitable part of it since a small country as Israel could not possibly sustain financially the cutting-edge position it felt it needs without that. This is a sad sequence of events but you can see where the real blame lies.

    • Mooser
      January 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

      “Arab world was not ready (or able psychologically) to accept the State of Israel in its midst”

      First of all, I didn’t know accepting Israel was their obligation. But wouldn’t it be much easier for the “Arab world” to accept Israel if they knew exactly what they were dealing with? So tell me, ivri, where are the borders of this Israel the Arab world should accept?
      Or do you think the Arab world should accept a regime which seems to have no borders, and no limits to it’s expansionist plans, and no limits to its discrimination?

      So listen, ivri, you tell the Arabs which Israel they have to accept, and get the Zionists to stick to it and maybe some accepting could get done. I surely, as a Jew, can’t ask the Arabs to accept what I would never accept, in fact, would fight against if it happened here. (So don’t you Canadians go making any settlement plans, hear?)

      So, what do you like, ivri? Original Partition Israel, Balfour “Homeland” Israel? New ’67 Israel? Green Line Israel? Greater Israel? One-State Israel? Two-State Israel, Three-Undeclared-Nuclear-Strikes-You’re-Out Israel? And I’m not even aware of half the choices, I’ll wager.

      • Mooser
        January 16, 2013, 4:16 pm

        It’s all so sad, now, ivri will come up with what he thinks is the dispositive evidence on Arab world non-acceptance, and then he’ll be torn into little rhetorical pieces by anti-Semantic’s. I’ll have to avert my eyes.

    • Inanna
      January 16, 2013, 7:01 pm

      What utter bullshit. Jews came to steal Palestinian land and kick out Palestinians and that equates to not being psychologically ready to accept the State of Israel? Tell you what, I’ll come and kick you out of your home, drive you out of your country and not let you return in your lifetime. Now tell me how psychologically ready you are for that.

    • Avi_G.
      January 16, 2013, 7:22 pm

      ivri says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:42 am

      You can turn the argument around and claim that the fact that the Arab world was not ready (or able psychologically) to accept the State of Israel in its midst created a sense of existential threat for Israelis, fortified by many violent conflicts

      You can certainly make that argument and it would be a valid argument if black were white and up were down and the sky was a hazy shade of teal.

      This is a sad sequence of events but you can see where the real blame lies.

      Yeah. Arabs are a convenient scape goat.

  4. American
    January 16, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I agree with the US Poppa Pig and Israel Baby Pig regarding the weapons industry and their culpability.

    But this is not accurate and see I it all too often included in this kind of critique:…

    “For its Western partners, Israel has ensured control of what F.D.R.’s administration once described as “the greatest prize in human history” – Arab oil.
    The importance of Israel to the United States is a reflection of the growing significance of both oil and the arms trade to the world economy”

    Israel does not ensure at all the US interest in ME oil…..if anything it’s destabilizing and detrimental to our and others oil interest.
    The importance of Israel to the US is in US domestic politics only….and our government spends half of it’s time trying to ‘manage’ Israel so it won’t cause some catastrophic blow up that would interfere with ME oil availability to the world.

    Nail the US and Israel both– but do not try to assign Israel some ‘partnership asset role’ in protecting US oil interest. There is no asset role there, keep it accurate.

    Otherwise I agree with what is said.

  5. radii
    January 16, 2013, 1:32 pm

    yes, whether it was apartheid South Africa or various murderous militias in Africa (and many other places in the world) israel has been a death-merchant, profiting off of the suffering of people … disgusting

  6. hophmi
    January 16, 2013, 3:14 pm

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This is true of virtually every first world country, including the United States, France, and China. Double standard method of avoid actual repression in Arab states and radical favorites, like Venezuela and Cuba.

    • andrew r
      January 18, 2013, 2:45 pm

      On the one hand, Israel-defenders tout the democracy of Israel, on the other hand, they want to audit discussion about Israel. What the hell, I thought you liked democracy.

  7. jimmy
    January 16, 2013, 4:16 pm

    link to jinsa.org

    Senator Joe Lieberman and Five Senior Military Officers Join the Ranks of JINSA Advisors

    thank god for phil and his site…

    phil you should start a magizine to counter kistols crap…I understand he has someone hand deliver the weekly standard to every member of congres….free

  8. DICKERSON3870
    January 16, 2013, 4:23 pm

    RE: “Israel exports weapons, technologies, training, and techniques of violence for use by governments and corporations against populations around the world.” ~ International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

    MY COMMENT: This is yet another reason that I fear Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an “existential threat” to the values of The Enlightenment! ! !

    OTHER EXAMPLES OF ZIONISM’S VALUES TRUMPING (OVERRIDING) THE VALUES OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT HERE IN THE U.S.
    “How We Became Israel”, By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, 9/10/12
    LINK – link to theamericanconservative.com
    ‘Israelis are helping write US laws, fund US campaigns, craft US war policy’, by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, 6/30/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net
    “America Adopts the Israel Paradigm”, by Philip Ghiraldi, Antiwar.com, 7/05/12
    LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
    “Report: Israeli model underlies militarization of U.S. police”, By Muriel Kane, Raw Story, 12/04/11
    LINK – link to rawstory.com
    “David Yerushalmi, Islam-Hating White Supremacist Inspires Anti-Sharia Bills Sweeping Tea Party Nation”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 3/02/11
    LINK – link to richardsilverstein.com
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 16, 2013, 4:30 pm

      P.S. ALSO RE: “. . . I fear Revisionist Zionism and Likudnik Israel (specifically by virtue of their inordinate sway over the U.S.) might very well be an ‘existential threat’ to the values of The Enlightenment!” – me (above)

      FOR ANOTHER EXAMPLE, REGARDING THE ADOPTION BY THE U.S. OF ISRAEL’S USE OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL ASSASSINATIONS, SEE:
      “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
      The US was once part of the international consensus against extra-judicial assassinations. Now it is a leader in that tactic.

      [EXCERPTS] Israel’s escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict. Overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians . . .
      . . . Meanwhile, most US media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. . .
      . . . Obama had no choice but to support these attacks, which were designed, in part, to extra-judicially assassinate Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving in his car. . .
      Extra-judicial assassination – accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children – is a staple of the Obama presidency. That lawless tactic is one of the US president’s favorite instruments for projecting force and killing whomever he decides should have their lives ended: all in total secrecy and with no due process or oversight. There is now a virtually complete convergence between US and Israeli aggression, making US criticism of Israel impossible not only for all the usual domestic political reasons, but also out of pure self-interest: for Obama to condemn Israel’s rogue behavior would be to condemn himself.
      It is vital to recognize that this is a new development. The position of the US government on extra-judicial assassinations long had been consistent with the consensus view of the international community: that it is a savage and lawless weapon to be condemned regardless of claims that it is directed at “terrorists”. From a 15 February 2001 Guardian article by Brian Whitaker on the targeted killing by Israel of one of Yasser Arafat’s bodyguards [emphasis added]:
      “International opprobrium was directed at Israel yesterday for its state-approved assassinations of suspected terrorists – a practice widely regarded as illegal. . .
      . . . “The United States, while also condemning Palestinian violence, made clear its disapproval of the assassinations. . .
      “State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: ‘The use of Israeli helicopter gunships, Palestinian attacks against settlements and motorists, the use of mortars by Palestinians and the targeted killings by the Israeli Defence Force … are producing a new cycle of action or reaction which can become impossible to control. . .

      . . . As the Council on Foreign Relations documented in April of this year:

      “The United States adopted targeted killing as an essential tactic to pursue those responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have employed the controversial practice with more frequency in recent years. . .

      In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to guardian.co.uk

      • ritzl
        January 16, 2013, 8:23 pm

        Thanks Dickerson. Great rundown showing how we (US) are net importers of these mindsets and methods – not net exporters. Though it can never be “proven,” they, or at least their sophistication, don’t seem to originate here.

        Expanding a little from personal experience, when that thug-cop pepper-sprayed those sitting protestors at UC-Berkeley(?) in the face from a foot away, it shocked a lot of people in my circle. Left and Right. In one conversation, one person (a Righty) disgustedly pointed out (to three of us at lunch) that these are the same tactics Israel uses. He saw his own kids in those kids faces. We didn’t dwell on it though…

        So in my limited and mostly very conservative world, there’s general disgust about these tactics, and association with Israel.

        I can’t remember who said it here first, but “Drip. Drip. Drip.”

  9. Mooser
    January 16, 2013, 4:35 pm

    “This is true of virtually every first world country, including the United States, France, and China.”

    So, Hophmi, you figure that was what they meant by “Homeland for the Jewish People”? A world-wide distributor of the tools of repression? Now, Hophmi, I want you to think real, real hard. You don’t see any slight difference between Israel and say, China, the US, France which might make it slightly more problematical for Israel to be a font of murderous repression technology?

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