FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Walls and Militarized Police: How Israel Is Exporting Its Occupation to the United States

Israeli footprints are becoming more apparent in the US security apparatus. Such a fact does not bode well for ordinary Americans.

US Senate Bill S.720 should have been a wake-up call. The Bill, drafted by the Israel lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as part of its “2017 Lobbying Agenda” is set to punish any individual or company that boycotts Israel for its violation of Palestinian human rights.

The severe punishment could reach a million dollars in fines, and up to 20 years in jail. Although political boycott has been sanctioned by the US Supreme Court, the Congress wants to make a boycott of Israel the exception, even it means the subversion of US democracy.

Still, protests are largely muted. The mainstream US media is yet to take US lawmakers to task, as hundreds of those elected representatives have already endorsed the unacceptable initiative.

Criticizing Israel is still a taboo in the US, where the Congress is beholden to lobby pressures and kickbacks, and where the media’s script on the illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestine is even less critical than Israel’s own media.

However, the infiltration of the US government is not new. It is only becoming more emboldened, due to the absence of enough critical voices that are capable of creating a semblance of balance or a serious debate on the issue.

For years, ordinary US citizens have been far-removed from the entire discussion on Israel and Palestine. The subject felt alien, marred by Hollywood propaganda, religious misconception and the lack of any understanding of history.

But in recent years, Israel has become an integral part of American life, even if most people do not spot the Israeli influence.

“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. The massive payouts are the result of the exploitation of American fear of terrorism, while presenting Israel as a successful model of fighting terror.

In the last two decades, hundreds of top federal agents and thousands of police officers have, thus far, received training in Israel or through seminars and workshops organized on Israel’s behalf.

Groups like AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs are, to various degrees, involved in turning the US police force into militarized units similar to the structure of the Israeli police.

As an occupying power, Israel has blurred the lines between the police and the army. In areas like occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, both apparatus behave in a similar pattern. They ‘shoot to kill’ as a result of the slightest provocation or suspicion. Sometimes, for no reason at all.

Alex Vitale, an author and a Brooklyn College professor of sociology, described the nature of the regular trips made by federal agents and police officers to Israel.

“A lot of the policing that folks are observing and being talked to about on these trips is policing that happens in a non-democratic context.”

This ‘non-democratic context’ involves the policing, humiliating and often outright murdering of occupied Palestinians. Instead of pressuring Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinians, the US government is bringing Israeli ‘expertise’ to its own cities.

Indeed, the US military-like police phenomena has 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, with Israeli military contractors opening subsidiaries across the country, promoting their surveillance technologies, walls, border monitoring equipment and violent tactics.

Americans should be worried, but most are oblivious to the disturbing pattern because the media rarely sheds a light on the growing Israeli military influence on American life.

An Israeli company, Elta North America, (a subsidiary of the Israel Aerospace Industry) was one of eight companies awarded a massive sum to produce a prototype for the wall that the US intends to build along the US-Mexico border.

The wall was one of the main pledges made by Trump during his campaign for the White House. Israel was the first country to rush in support of Trump’s divisive words.

“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.

Although his support of Trump angered Mexico and many Americans, Netanyahu knew of the lucrative investments in the years ahead only too well.

Indeed, US border security has been a major source of revenue for Israeli companies.

One such generous contracts was the one granted by the Obama Administration to the Israeli company Elbit Systems. Valued at $145-million, the company provided surveillance equipment and built towers along the Arizona/Sonora US-Mexico border.

Elbit 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.

Israel’s illegal tactics are now the model through which the US plans to police its cities, monitor its borders and define its relationship with its neighbors.

But the fact is that Israeli walls are not meant for defense, but rather to annex Palestinian and Arab land, while feeding its own national phobias of threats lurking all around.

While the US’ imprudent and violent response to September 11, 2001 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 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.

More articles by:

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael Duggin
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail