When the international community began placing pressures on the racist government of apartheid South Africa, the United States, Britain and Israel stood defiantly alongside it, supporting its atrocities.
Israel went further still, offering the racist Afrikaner government nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of having them used against its neighbouring African countries.
The US and the UK were quite obsessed with the supposed rise of communism around the world, while on the other hand using fear-mongering as a way to achieve global hegemony. Their support of the racist regime of P.W. Botha in South Africa — and other brutal regimes — was predicated on the same misleading logic, as they saw in the capitalistic South African economy a wall in the face of the rising communist tide.
Israel was the third party in that ominous triad, not only in terms of offering yet more support but also in engaging in business with various dictatorships around the world. That relationship continued and expanded with time. As the US and Britain invaded Iraq in 2003, Israel’s supporters cheered vehemently as its war technology resulted in Iraq being overpowered.
In the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, Israelis trained US army personnel on torture techniques to break down Iraqi prisoners; amongst them being the infamous ‘Palestinian chair’ device. It should come as no surprise then that Israel was the most enthusiastic party outside the US that supported President Donald Trump’s decision to build a ‘great wall’ covering around 2,000 miles along the US-Mexico border, estimated at as much as $67 billion (Dh246 billion).
“President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” tweeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the time. Wherever there are walls to be built — real or metaphorical — Israel is always there, exporting its knowledge thereof to the US and other countries.
In fact, Israel has fashioned an entire security sector based on its 50 years of illegal military occupation of Palestine, throughout which it has perfected the art of collective punishment, confining millions behind walls, trenches and military checkpoints.
While the media had then sold the idea that America’s ‘war on terror’ is a global extension of Israel’s own war, Israeli manufactures moved in, cashing in on the American fears. “In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel seized on its decades-long experience as an occupying force to brand itself as a world leader in counter-terrorism,” reported Alice Speri in the Intercept. The successful branding has earned Israeli security firms billions of dollars — a result largely of the American fear of terrorism, and the representation of Israel as a successful model combating terror.
In the last two decades, hundreds of top federal agents and thousands of police officers have received training in Israel or attended seminars and workshops organised on Israel’s behalf. Groups like American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs are, to varying degrees, involved in turning the US police force into militarised units similar to the structure of the Israeli police.
Exporting occupation tactics
As an occupying power, Israel has blurred the lines between the police and the army. In areas like Occupied east Jerusalem in occupied Palestine, both apparatus’ behave in a similar manner. They ‘shoot to kill’ on the slightest ‘provocation’ or suspicion. Most times, for no reason at all. US military-like police phenomena have made local cops look more like “an occupying force” than individuals sworn to protect the public.
Israel is exporting its occupation tactics to the US at a faster rate than ever before, with Israeli military contractors opening subsidiaries across the country, promoting their surveillance technologies, walls, border monitoring equipment and violent tactics.
An Israeli company, Elta North America (a subsidiary of the Israel Aerospace Industry), was the only foreign company to be awarded a massive sum to produce a prototype for the intended wall along the US-Mexico border. Another Israeli company, Elbit Systems also cashed in handsomely from Boeing in 2006 for its part in the “DHS’ Strategic Border Initiative.” Magal Security System, the Israeli firm that has helped the Israeli military in tightening the siege on Gaza, is actively involved in the burgeoning US security industry and was one of the first companies to pitch building the wall to cut off Mexico from the US. While the imprudent and violent response of the US to the September 11 attacks has contributed to existing American fears of the rest of the world, Trump’s isolationist policies pave the perfect ground for further Israeli infiltration of the American government and society.
The evidence of all of this can now be found in major US cities, its various borders, and the surveillance system that has the potential to monitor every US citizen.
Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London).