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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.