IJAN’s 28-page booklet was officially released at the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil and has received widespread attention in recent weeks. The project has been featured in Al Jazeera, Jacobin, La Rebelión and Jadaliyya among other publications.
The pamphlet is being used as part of a broader organizing project with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the US Palestinian Community Network, the Palestinian Youth Movement and the National Lawyer’s Guild to highlight the role Israel plays in the arms industry and political repression around the globe. The information in the pamphlet is not widely known. We seek to continue to build awareness and gather testimony leading to popular tribunals in various locations impacted by the work of Israel and its related corporations and organizations. Given state-secrecy, censorship and limited organizational resources, the information we have gathered thus far is merely the tip of the iceberg in the push for accountability.
The pamphlet is available on-line and print copies can be ordered in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We welcome translation of the pamphlet into other languages. We also urge the organizing of actions, campaigns or popular tribunals across places where Israel, often with the United States and other governments, plays a role in the repression of our movements or attacks on communities.
The pamphlets, source documents, research, ways to get involved and video from our first People’s Assembly at the World Social Forum Free Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil are available on-line at: http://israelglobalrepression.wordpress.com/.
From the Introduction:
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.