Israel’s Expertise in Pacifying the Palestinians Is in High Demand by Capitalist Elites As Populations Around the World Grow Restive
As the world watches in horror Israel’s military assault on the people of Gaza, people are left to wonder why world leaders are not doing more to censure Israel and are allowing Israel to get away with mass killing.
Jeff Halper, an American-Israeli anthropologist who has written numerous books on Israeli history, has a clear answer.
He says that leaders of countries around the world are feeling more insecure as wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a tiny capitalist elite and popular disaffection and the threat of rebellion grows.
Israel is revered precisely for its mastery of population-control techniques against the Palestinians, which many leaders want to emulate against dissident or minority groups within their own borders.
Part of Israel’s ace in the hole, according to Halper, is its development of a formidable weapons industry that allows it to supply high-tech weapons to countries around the world for the purpose of population control.
Israel is at the cutting edge in the development of surveillance satellites, weaponized and surveillance drones, Artificial Intelligence (AI) target identification systems, spyware gadgets and crowd control and cyberwarfare technologies, which it sells around the world.
Israel additionally provides training to police and military forces and supplies mercenaries who can be found in presidential guards and among the enforcers of drug cartels.
Because of their heavy reliance on Israeli military aid, many countries may make a show of criticizing certain Israeli excesses but do nothing to impede them, refusing to impose economic sanctions or embargoes or trying to cut Israel off from world trade.
Halper spoke during a webinar on December 6 sponsored by the War Industries Resistance Network and Massachusetts Peace Action. His presentation included a map which showed the huge number of countries to which Israel sells weapon systems.
Among them are countries run by dictators to which even the U.S. refuses to sell weapons, like Equatorial Guinea and Myanmar.
Israel is also China’s number two arms supplier and the top supplier to India, which purchases more than $1 billion per year.
Additionally, Israel is a supplier of arms to South Korea, Brazil, Russia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda, Turkey and Azerbaijan which used the arms to brutalize Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh.
Halper sees Israel as a key global enforcer of the world capitalist system whose arm sales extend to 191 countries (up from 130 eight years ago).
The Occupied Territories have functioned as a laboratory for testing new weapons and counterinsurgency techniques by Israel which collaborates closely with the U.S. military and allows for testing of its new weapon systems.
U.S. leaders are in love with Israel because they seek to emulate Israel’s success against the Palestinians in asymmetrical warfare, which they have failed at miserably in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and before that Vietnam.
U.S. leaders also see as a model for the U.S.-Mexico border the censor-laden wall that Israel built surrounding Gaza.
Halper warned that we are in danger of “all being Palestinized.”
All of this is by a global capitalist elite and its political representatives who are adopting ever more repressive measures in an attempt to sustain their wealth and power.
Funding Your Own Assassins
Israel’s claim to be fighting in Gaza in self-defense is undercut by the emergence of new details about its role in funding and propping up Hamas.
On December 10, The New York Times published an article entitled “‘Buying Quiet’: Inside the Israeli Plan That Propped Up Hamas” by Mark Mazetti and Ronen Bergman.
The article noted that, “for years, the Qatari government had been sending millions of dollars a month into the Gaza Strip—money that helped prop up the Hamas government there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel not only tolerated those payments, he had encouraged them.” So too did three American presidents—Barack Obama, Donald J. Trump and Joe Biden.
According to the Times, much of the money was dispensed to Hamas from suitcases by Qatari officials who were escorted into Gaza by the Mossad. The money allowed Hamas to divert some of its own budget toward military operations targeting Israel, including the October 7 attacks.
CovertAction Magazine has previously detailed how the Israeli billionaire class, whom Benjamin Netanyahu represents, has sought a state of permanent war as part of their governing strategy.
The billionaires grow rich from war and the Israeli war industry, and the creation of a terrorist threat legitimizes expanded military operations designed to wipe out the Palestinians and enhance the goal of establishing a “Greater Israel.”
Israel had been gripped with massive protests on the eve of the Israel-Gaza War against rising inequality and the attempt to subordinate Israel’s judiciary to the executive branch, with Netanyahu personally facing corruption charges.
Once the war broke out, the protests dissipated and Netanyahu could play his familiar role of uniting Israelis of all class backgrounds against a foreign enemy—which conveniently he and his ruling circle had helped to empower.
The October 31 issue of The New York Times had an article tellingly titled “They Refused to Serve. Now They’re Supporting Israel’s War Effort.” It profiled former coordinators of the anti-Netanyahu street protests who had once vowed not to serve in the IDF, but who were now supporting Israel’s war effort in reaction to the Tribe of Nova massacre and helping to organize clothing and military equipment drives for soldiers on the front lines of the war in Gaza.
No wonder then that Netanyahu’s government ignored warnings of the impending Hamas attack!
A Times article on December 20 was titled “After the Oct. 7 Attacks, Israelis Are Becoming More Politically Conservative.”
It emphasized that a) Israel’s peace camp had been driven virtually underground after the October 7 attacks; b) that being a leftist had now become a dirty word; and that c) Israelis had moved decidedly to the right on a number of issues, including support for settlers in the West Bank, endorsement of far-right politicians, and even the reestablishment of a military occupation of Gaza.
Tai Schneider, a columnist for the Times of Israel was quoted as saying “the trauma of what happened on Oct. 7 shifted Israeli society. It made them question the most basic tenets of whether they were safe in their homes. They are calling now for more—more military, more protection–more hard-line policies.” This is similar in many ways to what happened in the United States vis-à-vis 9/11.
The Times in its December 10 article emphasized as a motive for Netanyahu’s funding of Hamas his goal of wanting to establish a counterweight to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
In 2012, Netanyahu told Israeli journalist Dan Margalit that having two strong rivals, including Hamas which does not recognize Israel’s legitimacy, would lessen pressure on him to negotiate toward a Palestinian state.
Shlomo Brom, a retired general and former deputy to Israel’s national security adviser, said that “one effective way to prevent a two-state solution is to [create a] divide between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.” The division gives Mr. Netanyahu an excuse to disengage from peace talks, noting that he can say, “I have no partner.”
This motive is totally perverse and undermines Netanyahu’s claim to have launched military operations to protect Israeli security— from an enemy that he financed, no less.
Netanyahu’s critics include Ami Ayalon, the former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, who stated that Israel was “controlled by “chaos agents” whose goal is to create a “human disaster” in Gaza, because “from the chaos we shall start again.”
“This is exactly the theory of the most radical, fundamental Muslim organizations,” of ISIS and al-Qaeda, Ayalon said.
He added that it is foolish to go to war without defining a political goal: “The military goal is never the end goal, military is a tool, war is not the objective…. Victory is never measured in military terms. So when we say ‘the day after,’ we are trying to define the concept of victory, and we are not doing it. It’s a huge failure.”
Dethrone King Bibi
On December 25, Haaretz’ lead editorial was titled “Dethrone King Bibi.” It argued that the conditions exist to resume the huge protests against Netanyahu and his government that shook Israel for months before October 7.
At that time, the protests were focused against Bibi’s dictatorial “judicial reform;” now, their focus will be “King Bibi’s” responsibility for creating the conditions that led to October 7 and the current war.
Haaretz wrote that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the one who bears the greatest blame for the security, diplomatic and social failures that led to the October 7 massacre and the outbreak of war. The thousands who protested on Saturday night in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Caesarea, calling for him to be deposed, prove that conditions have matured for the protests to be resumed and to expand the ranks of those taking to the streets.”
Haaretz went on to note that Netanyahu accepts no responsibility for that disaster of October 7, but blames the IDF, the intelligence services, the Oslo peace accords and “Yitzhak Rabin and those who continued his path,” the Israeli daily writes, and adds: “All of the above is enough without saying a word about the judicial coup he advanced in the service of the extreme Kahanist right, with its appetite for annexation and Jewish supremacy.”
Haaretz concluded by stating that “the time has come to demand from the one who wrought disaster on the State of Israel to vacate his throne and allow others the chance to repair what he has destroyed.”
Sherra Frenkel, “After the Oct. 7 Attacks, Israelis Are Becoming More Politically Conservative,” The New York Times, December 20, 2023, A8. ↑
Bezalel Smotrich, a far-right politician who is now Netanyahu’s finance minister, put the Israeli strategy bluntly in 2015 when he said: “The Palestinian Authority is a burden,” while “Hamas is an asset.” ↑
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About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019), The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and Warmonger. How Clinton’s Malign Foreign Policy Launched the U.S. Trajectory From Bush II to Biden (Clarity Press, 2023).
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.