Thursday, January 08, 2009

Israel's Will to Violence

In which we could sure be talking more about the economy, stupid pundits. After all, the prime motivating factor of this latest slaughter is surely the desire to demonstrate to Israel's new shareholders that the fourth largest arms dealer in the world is capable of better innovation and "success" than in its last performance. Where's Naomi Klein these days?
Israel now sends $1.2 billion in “defense” products to the United States—up dramatically from $270 million in 1999. In 2006 Israel exported $3.4 billion in defense products—well over a billion more than it received in US military aid. That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain.

Much of this growth has been in the so-called “homeland security” sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion—an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are high-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems – precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock-in the occupied territories.

And that is why the chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn’t threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the “global war on terror.”

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