By Vacy Vlazna
Warning! The Lab contains war-porn and hard-core evil; watch and weep.
Yotam Feldman’s documentary, released in August, is one of the most important exposés of the obscene rationale and execution of Israel’s hugely lucrative arms and security industries through the voices of some of its ex-military key operators: Amos Golan, Shimon Naveh, Leo Gleser, and Yoav Galant.
Israel’s armament juggernaut currently turns over $7 billion p.a. and its phenomenal success is, as Feldman reveals, due to experience, that is, the testing of weaponry on the Palestinian population in the Israeli military ‘labs’ of Gaza and the West Bank:
“I think the main product Israelis are selling, especially in the last decade, is experience. .. the testing of the products, the experience is the main thing they [customers] are coming to buy. They want the missile that was shot in the last operation in Gaza or the rifle that was used in the last West Bank incursion.”
Without blinking an eye, Benjamin Ben Eleixer, Industry Minister proudly asserts the reason for the tremendous demand for Israeli weapons and technology,
‘If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say: we’ve used this for 10 years, 15 years,”
Tested by Israeli killers on 1,398 Palestinian children murdered since 2000 and the hundreds of thousands of children who struggle with war trauma, PTSD and perpetual terror.
The Lab makes plain why the peace process, past, present and potential, is a total sham. The economy of Israel is inextricably dependent on war and the suffering of the Palestinians;
“And the other is the fact that now the Israeli economy is so much dependent on these operations. It’s 20 percent of the exports. It’s 150,000 families–not people–in Israel actually dependent on this industry. And if one day it will stop, if there will be no next operation in Gaza, so Israel will have some economic problems.”
‘The arms industry doesn’t belong to a few dealers, its owned by a whole country.’
What better justification of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which targets state and private companies as well as all Israeli universities, through their military R&D programmes, that are ‘turning blood into money’.
Which gun made the shekel accelerate when sisters Amal, 2 and Suad Abed-Rabbo, 9,who was waving a white flag, were shot by tank personnel in Gaza?
The degradation of the Israeli mind and society through the perverted normalising of state-sanctioned cruel aggression and violent criminality is apparent in the egotistic strutting throughout the film of the Israeli warmongers, politicians and arms dealers, who are oblivious that to civilised people they come across as psychopaths:
Gen (ret.) Amiran Levin,
“I want to move onto one point, speaking of Gaza, speaking of Lebanon, and other places we will occupy in the future. Since we want to maintain equilibrium, as a developed country, punishment as a strategy should be the main element…That’s the most important thing, Quantity is more important than quality. One mistake the army makes is judging each case individually, whether the person deserves to die or not. Most of these people were born to die, we just have to help them.”
Lt.Co.(ret.) Shimon Naveh, a military philosopher, yes, you read right, military philosopher, who talks like he’s swallowed a kilo of amphetamines, strolls through a bullet-riddled mock Arab village used for military exercises, moaning,
“As you can see this isn’t an Arab village. It is a dead place. Maybe in our rosiest dreams this is what a Palestinian village would look like, but it isn’t one.”
Gen.Yoav Galant, the ‘inventor’ of the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead;
“As far as I’m concerned the enemy has 3 options either he get killed, or he surrenders, or he flees.”
Galant omits that the 1.6 million men, women, children and elderly of Gaza (for that matter all Palestinians) have nowhere to flee because Israel tightly controls Palestinian land, sea and airspace.
Thus we understand that the Israelis have the identical strategy of low intensity or asymmetrical warfare as the USA; only attack nations that are on their knees through sieges, sanctions and substandard armaments.
Naveh, in an interview in the Small Wars Journal admits as much, “When you fight a war against a rival who’s by all means inferior to you, you may lose a guy here or there, but you’re in total control. It’s nice. You can pretend that you fight the war and yet it’s not really a dangerous war.”
Apart from the Hamas freedom fighters armed with Kalashnikovs and a ‘modest stock of weapons’, Palestine has no army, navy, airforce to defend its people. There are, of course, President Abbas’ US armed and trained security forces but they brutally police their own people on behalf of Israel.
Feldman shows how Israel’s major arms companies make arms selling sexy. At a weapons trade exhibition in Paris, a perky young female rep demonstrates on screen the precision capabilities of IAI products, and at the Shivta military base, foreign officers who have come to view a missile demonstration are divided into groups led by ‘lovely’ female Israeli soldiers.
Foreign governments, like Australia, contribute generously to optimising the profits of Israel’s death merchants while simultaneously appeasing their electorates, Galant complains, “Theres a lot of hypocrisy, they condemn you politically, while they ask you what your trick is, you Israelis, for turning blood into money,” nevertheless the gains for Israel as specified by him are,
“First of all it gains security, secondly the nations and the armies of the world want to be friends with the strong, just side, and the winning side.”
Strong, yes, JUST? Not according to the parents of little 3 year old Ahmed As -Sinwar who was found under a pile of rubble and stones with a hole in his head, and not according to the parents of the other 352 children killed plus the 860 children injured and maimed in Operation Cast Lead by the sought-after Israeli air and ground missiles, artillery shelling, phosphorous bombs, flechettes, bullets and unexploded ordnance.
It is utterly macabre and beyond decent comprehension that the sales of drones were boosted by the wilful killing by drones of 116 children during Operation Cast Lead.
The highest echelon of the Israeli government has control of the business of death. All export of arms and security services are OKd by SIBAT, the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s export agency.
Amos Golan, an arms dealer who started ‘with a dream’, views himself as a ‘good guy’ not someone who kills innocent people in his spare time. He was a former commander of the Duvdevan special forces unit that conducts undercover operations disguised as Arabs and the inventor of the highly profitable Cornershot assault and sniper gun that enables the user to see around corners.
His Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems (SSASS), listed with SIBAT, has provided security solutions and training for the dictatorships of the Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda where SSASS trained the Black Mamba death squad accused of human rights violations.
Leo Gleser, a generous father and grandfather, states that since 9/11 “all defense solutions now come from Israel through Israeli companies.” Who’d have thought 9/11 would benefit Israel? His own company, International Security and Defense Systems (ISDS), listed with SIBAT, was “established in 1982 by highly experienced officers, former operatives of I.S.A. Israeli Security Agency, the MOSSAD and the Defence Forces” has among its clients the Athens, Barcelona, Beijing and Rio Olympic Games, 2014 World Cup Soccer, joint ventures in security training with China, India, Brazil, Spain and USA.
It also serves the United Nations which appears to have overlooked that Gleser’s company trained, in the 80s, the CIA backed brutal Honduran Battalion 3-16 involved in the disappearance of 191 people. (This has been documented in Andrew and Leslie Cockburn’s book Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship.)
War criminal and child-killer, Noav Galant, once tipped to become the next Chief of General Staff, is now retired because of allegations that he appropriated public lands near his home for his private use which is irony par excellence given he is on the board of HaShomer HaChadash that helps Israeli “farmers and ranchers in the Negev and the Galilee who administer vast tracts of state-owned land to deal with the threat of illegal seizure of their land”, which is to say, to prevent the ‘ongoing encroachment of the Bedouin on state-owned land ‘ which we all know is ancestral Bedouin land seized by Israel. As we have seen, Galant knows all about hypocrisy.
The Lab’s exposition of Israel’s profiteering from its military expertise and arms dealing is nothing new as this has been well documented elsewhere such as in Jane Haapiseva-Hunter ‘s ‘Israeli Foreign Policy: South Africa and Central America’. The impact of The Lab lies in directly hearing and seeing for ourselves Israel’s deviants cheerily admit to making big bucks from ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Feldman ends The Lab with a masterstroke of irony filming, at a conference, these fat Israeli death feeding maggots, nodding and smiling to John Lennon’s beautiful and inspiring song, ‘Imagine’.
Imagine all the people,
Living life in peace…
– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.