On episode 22 of The Electronic Intifada Podcast, we ask how powerful the Israeli army really is.
Shir Hever has researched in depth the economic factors behind Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli arms and surveillance technology industries.
Hever explains how mass surveillance is used on Palestinians and exported to other governments around the world, and how Palestinian resistance is able to punch holes into Israel’s technological superiority.
“The Israeli security elite is in a deep crisis,” he tells The Electronic Intifada Podcast.
Israel’s weapons and surveillance technology industry – much of it run by private entrepreneurs – is able to test its new products on Palestinians. The industry has been able to capitalize on its unethical experiments by promoting its innovations as “battle-proven” and some Israeli arms companies have reaped enormous profits.
Yet “right now we are seeing a military force in Israel that is completely unprepared for anyone who has the means to fight back,” Hever says.
When Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, “even the most elite units of the Israeli military, as soon as they engaged and came into direct conflict with Hizballah fighters, they just immediately fell into their routine reaction which is take cover, and call on the radio and ask for air support,” he explains.
“Because why would you risk your neck? Why would you try to fight back? And then, of course, that meant that even a very small number of Hizballah fighters were able to hold back entire Israeli battalions.”
Hever also discusses how a significant number of young people avoid military conscription in Israel despite how it is mandatory.
Articles we discussed
- “Economy of the Occupation,” (Shir Hever, Alternative Information Center)
- “Scottish “friend of Israel” faked anti-Semitism for years,” (Asa Winstanley)
- “Florida officials, Israeli government app bully Palestinian student” (Nora Barrows-Friedman)
Theme music and production assistance by Sharif Zakout
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