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johnaa
Advisor

Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab

http://972mag.com/economic-strength-is-more-than-a-rhetorical-pun-its-a-work-plan/76488/    

 snip=-   Yotam Feldman’s new film, “The Lab,” introduces us to the men who made the Occupied Palestinian Territories the largest and most advanced weapon-testing laboratory: arms dealers and developers, defense experts and industry leaders. Despite the urge to compare it to other Israeli documentaries which have recently exposed the secret lives of the people running the occupation (such as “The Law in These Parts” and “The Gatekeepers”), “The Lab” is above all a film about knowledge. Security knowledge created in the flexible zone between two dimensions separated by a very blurred line: the military and the market.

 

  On the first plot level, “The Lab” follows Naomi Klein’s claim that the main reason for Israel’s economic prosperity at a time of political instability and global crisis lies not in its outstanding human capital that enables it to smoothly escape the negative economic repercussions, but rather the continuation of regional conflicts. In The Shock Doctrine,sheshows that most of Israel’s economic growth can be attributed to the huge defense industry, which has become Israel’s main export industry, particularly following 9/11 (In 2012, Israel was ranked the world’s sixth largest arms exporter). She also claims that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not only the world’s largest open-air prisons, but also the world’s largest test-labs, where “Palestinians are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.”

 

  For Feldman, recent military campaigns, primarily Operation Cast Lead, illustrate the transformed nature of war: from a temporary disturbance involving damage to life and property, to a fixed, profitable state of affairs. Thus, the film joins other voices seeking to assess the profits derived from the occupation, and not its alleged costs to the Israeli society. The film’s true power is revealed, however, not when it shows up uninvited to closed events in order to confront the profiteers, but in the exceptional interviews held with them. These reveal that every arms dealer has a worldview that is quickly unfolded in front of the camera. Warmongers, it seems, no longer operate in the shadows. If arms are sold in the open market, they should be treated like any other commodity, and since what is hidden cannot be sold, the veil of secrecy must be quickly removed from the security market, turning the occupation from a disgraceful well-known secret into a selling point.

 

   Captivating success stories of Israeli field commanders who mobilize their hands-on combat experience to sell more arms reinforce the impression that the occupation provides lucrative economic opportunities. At the same time, the stories suggest that the intimate relationship between the military and the economy in Israel is bigger than the sum total of all personal relations between military professionals and businessmen or from a few field commanders with a business acumen. In international conferences where Israeli models proudly present weapons to eager men, it appears that the Israeli Defense Ministry operates as Israel’s chief export agent. This is where the boundary between the “economic” and “political” collapses, and where the phrase ‘economic strength’is revealed to be more than just a rhetorical pun: it is a work plan. A plan founded on the assumption that security is a product the country supplies to its law-abiding citizens, and that a strong economy is the basis for military strength. Whereby the state’s role in expanding the defense industry is naturally given, since it supports “growth,” and defense exports – even when completely private – are seen as a national success story. To borrow from cinematic terminology, the Israeli defense industry is a clear case of co-production.

 

 Importantly, this co-production has a third partner: Israeli academia. One of the film’s most intriguing aspects is that it interweaves the stories of weapon inventors and arms dealers with those of scientists and intellectuals.

 

   Military philosopher Shimon Naveh takes us to a desert training base, modeled on a Palestinian town. With a Nike T-shirt, military camouflage pants and round hipster glasses, he walks around the ghost town, explaining how French philosophy has helped him come up with a military doctrine suitable for postmodern warfare: deconstruction, but of urban space. Bluntly put, the doctrine is based on drilling holes in the walls of residential houses and moving like a rhizome outside paved roads. Naveh can thus take credit for the destruction wrought by the IDF as it reoccupied West Bank cities during Operation Defensive Shield.

 

   At the Social Sciences Building at Tel Aviv University, we meet Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel, who is busy developing mathematical models predicting the success rates of targeted killings and arrests. His models enable him to predict, using a simple substitution formula, the number of people that need to be killed in order to bring about the collapse of an entire organization or political system. Ben Israel’s research is just one example for the thriving security-knowledge industry in Israeli academia, that even the few Israeli academics who publicly oppose the occupation tend to ignore.

 

  Feldman’s hybrids – cyborgs of science, technology and military – dramatically expose the far-reaching repercussions of the migration of knowledge from the Israeli lab to the rest of the world. For example, Israeli riot control technologies sold to Brazilian police for fighting drug dealers cast Rio’s favelas in the shape of Palestinian refugee camps; Kabul is reminiscent of Baghdad, which in turn looks like Jenin. This similarity is more than the product of Orientalist imagining or the hatred of the poor and black (although these are certainly important factors): it is forms of knowledge, hi-tech industry products, which make these spaces so disturbingly similar.

5 Replies
gough whitlam
Senior Contributor

Re: Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab

Who gives a rats what happens there. You have an obsession with that Lot like your life was connected to them. No one is interested in your pet projects.
johnaa
Advisor

Re: Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab

   What happens there has everything to do with the wars and instability in the most of the world which is costing the empire a great deal respect and the tax slaves our wealth..   That's certainly way over your head, not because you live 'down under', but because you are disconnected from reality.

gough whitlam
Senior Contributor

Re: Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab


@johnaa wrote:

   What happens there has everything to do with the wars and instability in the most of the world which is costing the empire a great deal respect and the tax slaves our wealth..   That's certainly way over your head, not because you live 'down under', but because you are disconnected from reality.


The irony of it is your country has this propensity to go to war for no particular reason and you wonder why the country is broke.  I don't recall hearing cries from all the righties on here when Bush decided to wipe out the federal budget to line the pockets of himself and Cheney with Iraqi oil. But your embicilic cretonised brain wouldn't go back that far ay?  Andyou say I am detached from reality!!! Give me a break?

johnaa
Advisor

Re: Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab

  Googhy admits-->"I don't recall hearing cries from all the righties on here when--"   There's a lot more you don't "recall" ! !

 

   That's right Googhy you don't recall All the many times I, Johnaa,  posted sever criticism of the Shrub and Cheney crime family, nor, can you finger out why the zionist dupes you are calling "righties' and those know-nothings who witlessly call themselves "conservatives" waste so much energy telling me what a low life I am.   You are so limited in your ability to understand what you read here you think anyone who doesn't love everything about and everything Obummer is and does is of one mind,etc.     You don't call a he11 of a lot of things, maybe it's caused by over indulgence in drink or other drugs or breathing too much gases from your manure pits.

 

   I, Johnaa, do not agree with a lot of those you lump together calling them righties, who are just blindly following the zioncons who, in ignorance believe that makes them"conservatives".  If you were able to think and was aware of what happens you would understand Obummer is following along the  zioncon path Shrub was on and you are fooled.

 

  You're a racist who believe because Obummer is black he is special and anyone and everyone who is opposed to what he does only does so because of his race.  It's all about race in your feeble mind.  

 

  You live a long way from this nation, from reading your posts you do not read and so know next to nothing about the middle east or the world in general.  It's obvious what you believe is the result of absorbing the brainwashing and propaganda fed to you and the low-information dupes through the main stream media.   That is the reason I write about you detachment from reality.    

  

   To have knowledge of events, issues and history one must carefully and broadly read what is presented as news and information, instead of sitting on your brains watching TV, radio and other mainstream brainwashing disguised as entertainment.  

 

johnaa
Advisor

Re: Occupied Palestine, Israel's weapons testing lab

Googhy, you don't give a rats ass and are not interested, so why bother to tell me?  If you don't give a rats ass then prove it-->shut up about it. 

 

  I don't give a rats ass if you are not interested, if you are interested or what you are not interested in nor what you don't care about or what you care about.  Buzz off fool !

 

  I just don't give a **bleep** what you think, so why bother me with it.