Aletho News


Turning Blood into Money

Profiting from Killing

By Vacy Vlazna | Dissident Voice | October 16, 2013

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, “There’s 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 OK’d 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 Aceh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 and 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.

October 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stop the War Machine, no weapons to Israel

October 13, 2012, National Demonstration at Alenia Aermacchi Headquarters, Varese, Italy

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, a national demonstration will be held in Varese, Italy, where most of the country’s military aircraft production is located, to denounce the weapons industry, in particular the sale of 30 M-346 trainer jets to Israel. The protest will take place at the Alenia Aermacchi headquarters, manufacturers of the M-346 and part of Finmeccanica Group, one of the world’s top weapons producers.

The M-346, defined as a “technologically advanced trainer jet,” is in fact designed to be armed with missiles or bombs. These weapons will undoubtedly be “tested” first and foremost on Palestinians. As a trainer jet, the M-346 is designed to prepare fighter pilots in the use of the most “technologically sophisticated” attack aircraft, such as the “netcentric” and “invisible” F-35 from US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Israel has signed on to purchase 19 F-35 fighter jets, with an option for 56, and Italy is also unfortunately in line to purchase the combat aircraft for future wars.

Recently, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stopped off at Alenia Aermacchi headquarters near Varese during his semi-secret tour of Italy, which was soon followed by the signing of the M-346 contract.

Local and national politicians, from center-left to center-right, have promoted the deal, conveniently “overlooking” the December 2008 – January 2009 “Operation Cast Lead”, which saw Israel’s “air power” rain down on the unarmed civilian Palestinian population, killing 1400, of which 400 children. A brutal military action, in which Israel used new unknown weapons as well as those already prohibited by international conventions (white phosphorus, DIME bombs, depleted uranium) and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity as documented in the UN “Goldstone Report”.

In addition to halting the sale of M-346 jets to Israel, the demands of the demonstration include suspension of the military cooperation agreement between Italy and Israel signed in 2005.

In recent years, local groups in Varese have denounced the chronic dependence of their territory on war production, organizing assemblies and protests against Agusta Westland (helicopters) and Alenia Aermacchi (aircraft) and, more recently, the F-35.

The demonstration also calls on workers at Alenia Aermacchi and all weapons producers to rejects employment based threats and to work to convert factories from producing instruments of death to socially beneficial and environmentally friendly products.

Moreover, local groups have called this national demonstration in opposition to the practice of war, which has intensified over the last 20 years, where military action is called “peace”, justified as an instrument of “preventive security” and to “export democracy”, and even defined as “humanitarian.”

“Humanitarian war” is instead an oxymoron: war causes nothing but death, injuries, destruction, generating hatred, resentment and revenge, it is the most inhumane act imaginable.

There will never be peace as long as the most profitable industry is that of producing weapons and instruments of death.

Participants include
Father Alex Zanotelli, Prof. Massimo De Santi, Prof. Mauro Cristaldi, dr Mario Agostinelli and former Vice President of European Parliament Luisa Morgantini.

Endorsements and statements of support can be sent to:

Varese organizing committee:

Nessun M346 per Israele

October 1, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Stop the War Machine, no weapons to Israel

Away with Palestinian murder? IDF ‘killer’ given 45 days

RT – August 13, 2012

An Israeli soldier accused of killing a Palestinian mother and daughter carrying a white flag during Operation Cast Lead will serve just 45 days in prison. He agreed to a plea bargain and had his charge downgraded to “illegal use of weapon”.

­The plea bargain on the reduced charge – down from manslaughter – was approved on Sunday by a military court in Jaffa.

The investigation into the killing of a 64-year-old mother and her 35 year-old daughter, shot while walking with a group of Palestinians holding white flags after their home was bombed, was opened following a complaint filed by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

The incident happened on January 4, 2009, during the Israeli Operation Cast Lead.

It happened when a group of Gaza civilians carrying makeshift white flags approached an IDF position manned by Givati soldiers, including the unnamed infantry sergeant, identified by Israeli media as “Staff Sergeant S”.

“S” opened fire on the group, without an order from his commanding officer.

The younger woman was killed on the spot, while her mother was severely wounded by the gunfire and later died of the wounds.

“S” later admitted he had fired shots and reported hitting one of the people in the group. He explained his actions by describing the incident as a “threatening situation endangering the lives of the soldiers” and claimed he fired at the legs of the advancing crowd.

The military said there were discrepancies between the troops’ accounts of the incident and the details reported widely by human rights groups. The troops reported shooting one man at the site, not two women, and on a different date.

The lawyers of “S” then argued there was no connection between the shooting he admitted to and the killing of the Palestinian women, as no conclusive proof was presented. In particular they demanded the bodies be presented to the court.

The military prosecution accepted the claim and dropped the manslaughter charges, changing them to the “illegal use of weapon.”

“Following a mediation process and upon examination of the evidence with the recommendation of the military court, both sides have reached a plea bargain in which the indictment will be adjusted, and he will be convicted of using a weapon illegally,” AFP quotes a military statement.

“S” will now serve 45 days in prison, while a conviction of manslaughter would have carried a sentence of up to 20 years.

By now “S” is the only Israeli soldier to face manslaughter charges for suspected unlawful killings during Israel’s war against Gaza in 2008-2009.

B ‘Tselem argued the indictment was based solely on the soldiers’ accounts and not on conflicting testimony from Palestinian witnesses. In a statement posted on its website the group demanded that the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) reopen the file into the killing.

The human rights group has called for independent investigations into some 20 cases involving the killings of 92 Palestinians. Instead, they say, the military launched its own investigation into 11 deaths, including the “S” case.
Anonymous accounts of deliberate civilian murder

The death toll from the three-week Gaza War was 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Four of the latter are believed to have died from friendly fire.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that of those Palestinians killed, 926 were civilians, including 429 women and children. 236 were combatants and 255 were members of the Palestinian security forces.

Back in 2009 The Times published an anonymous account of deliberate killings of Gaza civilians.

The soldiers’ testimonies included accounts of an unarmed old woman being shot from a rooftop while crossing a main street during the fighting.

“I don’t know whether she was suspicious, not suspicious, I don’t know her story,” one non-commissioned officer was quoted as saying to Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy. “I do know that my officer sent people to the roof in order to take her out… It was cold-blooded murder.”

He then revealed how soldiers were clearing houses by shooting anyone they encountered on sight.

“When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up story by story… I call that murder. Each story, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself – how is this reasonable?”

Another NCO recounted a military blunder that led to a mother and her two children being shot dead by an Israeli sniper.

“We had taken over the house… and the family was released and told to go right. A mother and two children got confused and went left… The sniper on the roof wasn’t told that this was OK and that he shouldn’t shoot… you can say he just did what he was told… he was told not to let anyone approach the left flank and he shot at them.”

“That’s the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn’t have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him,” said one soldier after being asked why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot.

According to The Times, IDF troops also used Palestinian children as human shields to check for traps and explosives. The soldiers, who ordered a nine-year-old boy to open bags suspected of containing explosives, were charged in 2010 with “inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority.”

The UN launched its Fact Finding Mission into the conflict. In 2009 a former judge and commercial lawyer Richard Goldstone, who led a fact-finding mission, released a report which stated both Israel and the Islamist group Hamas were guilty of war crimes during this conflict.

The report sparked outrage on the part of Israel and it refused to cooperate further with the inquiry.

August 13, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment