Israel's Post-911 Economic Boom

Naomi Klein
Saturday June 16, 2007
The Guardian

Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president's chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hizbullah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith. At a glance, things aren't going well for Israel. But here's a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it's 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China's?

Thomas Friedman recently offered his theory in the New York Times. Israel "nurtures and rewards individual imagination", and so its people are constantly spawning ingenious hi-tech start-ups, no matter what messes their politicians are making. After perusing class projects by students in engineering and computer science at Ben-Gurion University, Friedman made one of his famous fake-sense pronouncements. Israel "had discovered oil". This oil, apparently, is located in the minds of Israel's "young innovators and venture capitalists", who are too busy making megadeals with Google to be held back by politics.

Here's another theory. Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-90s, when the country was in the vanguard of the information revolution - the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack, and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners.

Within three years, large parts of Israel's tech economy had been radically repurposed. Put in Friedmanesque terms, Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the "flat world" to selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of 24-hour-a-day showroom, a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world.

Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country - US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank, and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2bn in "defence" products to the United States - up dramatically from $270m in 1999. In 2006, Israel exported $3.4bn in defence products - well over a billion more than it received in American 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 $1.2bn, an increase of 20%. The key products and services are hi-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".

It's no coincidence that the class projects at Ben-Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images, and Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance. Thirty homeland security companies have been launched in Israel during the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups - something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott.

Next week, the most established of these companies will travel to Europe for the Paris Air Show, the arms industry's equivalent of Fashion Week. One of the Israeli companies exhibiting is Suspect Detection Systems (SDS), which will be showcasing its Cogito1002, a white, sci-fi-looking security kiosk that asks air travellers to answer a series of computer-generated questions, tailored to their country of origin, while they hold their hand on a "biofeedback" sensor. The device reads the body's reactions to the questions, and certain responses flag the passenger as "suspect".

Like hundreds of other Israeli security start-ups, SDS boasts that it was founded by veterans of Israel's secret police and that its products were road-tested on Palestinians. Not only has the company tried out the biofeedback terminals at a West Bank checkpoint, it claims the "concept is supported and enhanced by knowledge acquired and assimilated from the analysis of thousands of case studies related to suicide bombers in Israel".

Another star of the Paris Air Show will be Israeli defence giant Elbit, which plans to showcase its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned air vehicles. As recently as last month, according to press reports, Israel used the drones on bombing missions in Gaza. Once tested in the territories, they are exported abroad: the Hermes has already been used at the Arizona-Mexico border; Cogito1002 terminals are being auditioned at an unnamed American airport; and Elbit - also one of the companies behind Israel's "security barrier" - has set up a deal with Boeing to construct the Department of Homeland Security's $2.5bn "virtual" border fence around the US.

Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel's homeland security sector, a topic explored in greater detail in my forthcoming book, it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians - whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling Hamastan - are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

So in a way Friedman is right, Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects". And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource.

· Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, will be published later this year by Picador; a version of this article appears in the Nation, www.thenation.com and www.nologo.org.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2104411,00.html

The Likud Criminal Gang Behind 9/11 and the War on Terror

by Christopher Bollyn
23 December 2006

Ehud Olmert and the criminal gang behind the Likud party in Israel are directly implicated in 9/11 and the subsequent so-called "war on terror."

This is not an opinion - this is what the evidence reveals.

The Zionists justify their knowledge of the attack by claiming they had followed the Arab terrorists and discovered their dastardly plans.

The Zionists claim to have warned a few government employees of the upcoming attack, but they never bothered to tell their friends in the news organizations.

The far right Likud party of Israel grew out of the Zionist terrorist gang known as the IRGUN - a fascist organization created by Vladimir Jabotinsky of Odessa. This is the same terror gang that blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and committed terrorist acts across Palestine and beyond in the 1930s and 40s.

Terrorism, particularly "false-flag" terror in which the blame for a terror attack is wrongly assigned to the enemy, is a strategy and tactic developed and perfected by the Zionists.

The so-called "war on terror" is also a Zionist construct first articulated by Benjamin Netanyahu in the early 1980s. There was a earlier concept developed in Israel called "TNT" which stood for the Hebrew "Terror Neged Terror" or "terror against terror."

The blueprint for the "war on terror" is found in Netanyahu's 1986 book "Terrorism: How the West Can Win." In his speeches and writings, Netanyahu, whose father was the secretary for Vladimir Jabotinsky, and a leader in his New Zionist Organization, promotes the "war on terror" to be waged against Israel's enemies.

The evidence and the motivation for 9/11 all point to the criminal Likud party and their hard-core Zionist supporters in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia.

It should be obvious that people like Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Olmert, Ariel Sharon, and Shimon Peres were involved at the architectural level in the planning of 9/11 in order to bring the United States military into a shooting war in the Middle East.

The same Zionist gangsters who support the Likud also support the Republican Party. Lewis Eisenberg, Ronald Lauder, and Steven L. Friedman are among the U.S. based Zionists that are deeply involved in the attacks of 9/11.

When looking at the terror attacks of 9/11, one should ask more than "Cui bono?" It should also be asked: "Who else?"

Who else could have done it? Who else would want to do it? Who else has any reason to do it?

These Zionist leaders are more than war criminals - they are a threat to all of humanity. They must to be stopped, for our sake and the sake of the peace of the world.

The Zionists are not the pious, peaceloving, religious people they claim to be.

Rather, they are a treacherous, deceptive, and abusive criminal gang.

Christopher Bollyn
Source

"War is just a racket...I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else."

~General Smedley Butler

"The Zionists are not the

"The Zionists are not the pious, peace-loving, religious people they claim to be. Rather, they are a treacherous, deceptive, and abusive criminal gang."

---This is a racist comment because it claims that NO Zionists are religious, peace-loving, or pious. This is as ignorant as saying all Muslims are terrorists. Many of us in 9/11 Truth denounce any racist generalization such as the one stated above.

"Terrorism, particularly "false-flag" terror in which the blame for a terror attack is wrongly assigned to the enemy, is a strategy and tactic developed and perfected by the Zionists.

The so-called "war on terror" is also a Zionist construct first articulated by Benjamin Netanyahu in the early 1980s. There was a earlier concept developed in Israel called "TNT" which stood for the Hebrew "Terror Neged Terror" or "terror against terror."

---This is just wrong...Most people here who have studied this history KNOW that false-flag terror was developed and perfected LONG before Israel and Zionism. Israel does take part in false flag terror. But again, the generalization about is inaccurate.

"These Zionist leaders are more than war criminals - they are a threat to all of humanity. They must to be stopped, for our sake and the sake of the peace of the world."

This comment is more realistic. Much of the Israeli leadership is as radicalized and corrupt as the American.

Please be specific with your criticisms Mr. Bollyn, or it is conclusive that you are being racist (generalizing and asserting a stereotype). Generalizing about ALL Zionism hurts 9/11 Truth by making us all look like bigots which the vast majority of us are NOT. Making comments about the whole group (as above) are a logical fallacy.

http://www.thesonsofliberty.us

it's still true

that mossad agents filmed and celebrated the destruction of the wtc. not to mention the scores of other leads and the fact that bush didn't blow up the towers ( no offense, immortal technique). it was you, agents, it was you...
hide all you want, losers.
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http://anti-neocons.com/

---This is a racist comment

---This is a racist comment because it claims that NO Zionists are religious, peace-loving, or pious. This is as ignorant as saying all Muslims are terrorists. Many of us in 9/11 Truth denounce any racist generalization such as the one stated above.

Zionism is a secular political movement, how can it be racist to question members and/or leaders of such an organisation? Is it racist to say that the neocons are a bunch of racketeering warmongers?

Followers of an ideology should not be shocked when their beliefsystem is judged by the actions of their leaders.

IF YOUR LEADERS NO LONGER REPRESENT YOU, GET RID OF THEM OR JOIN ANOTHER MOVEMENT !!!

"how can it be racist to

"how can it be racist to question members and/or leaders of such an organization?"

It is racist to say the whole group is one way. It is not racist to criticize specific leaders or even leadership. Bollyn didn't specify this is his final comments. This is what I said above, but I am repeating it cause I think you don't understand.

http://www.thesonsofliberty.us

Zionism is an ideology, not a race or religion.

Criticizing Zionists qua Zionists is not racist -- that's absurd.

I think there are probably many Zionists who would stop short of endorsing false flag terrorism to further their agenda, but the fact remains that Zionism is itself a racist and imperialist ideology. (it is racist insofar as it posits a "Jewish identity" that is hereditary and not dependent on religious belief or practice -- that is, secular, atheist Jews are clearly privileged in Israel.)

"It is racist to say the

"It is racist to say the whole group is one way."

The Zionist group or the Zionist race?

Have you heard ANY interviews with Bollyn?

Is the quote below the only argument you have, to show that this man is driven by blind hate?

"The Zionists are not the pious, peace-loving, religious people they claim to be. Rather, they are a treacherous, deceptive, and abusive criminal gang."

The UN says the same thing!

Surely there must be a better quote out there that could expose this closet-whatever once and for all.

I don't think you all understand my point

I just want to make sure people clarify their definitions of Zionism. Specifying to the utmost degree is important to avoid stereotyping of 9/11 Truth. Yes Tarpley is right that Bush didn't knock down the towers. Tarpley is also right when he says that the Mossad was highly unlikely to have been deeply involved with the attack. I'm not saying any of the facts about the dancing Israeli's or the problems with a broad perspective on Zionism are a racist thing to research and understand. But if we go to far without specifying, we do not sound informed (even though we are).

http://www.thesonsofliberty.us

When I say "Zionist" I mean "Zionist."

I don't mean Jew. There are clear political agendas behind the attempt to lexically conflate those two distinct words. You can participate in the conflation by carelessly (or hatefully) using "Jew" when you mean "Zionist," but you can also do harm by assuming that people criticizing Zionists are not making a careful distinction.

I'm a BIG fan of Tarpley's, but he has completely failed to convince me that there was not participation by Zionists, be they American, Israeli, or dual citizens. "A Clean Break" is just as suspect a document in my mind as "Rebuilding America's Defenses." And if Zionists were involved, there is every reason to suspect that persons connected to Mossad were involved.

thanks for posting this

who benefitted from 9/11? al-queada? al- who? no, i don't think so. patsystan, umm i mean, pakistan? you've got to be kidding. the military-industrial complex's cash cow, aka. israel? ding-ding-ding!!! we have a winner!

and now for round 2....
which organization does all evidence point toward for blowing the towers to kingdom come?
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http://anti-neocons.com/

Excellent article! "So in a

Excellent article!

"So in a way Friedman is right, Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target "suspects". And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource."