Jonathan Cook writes on his website:
Digital age weapons developed by Israel to oppress Palestinians are rapidly being repurposed for much wider applications – against Western populations who have long taken their freedoms for granted.
Israel’s status as a “startup nation” was established decades ago. But its reputation for hi-tech innovation always depended on a dark side, one that is becoming ever harder to ignore.
A few years ago, Israeli analyst Jeff Halper warned that Israel had achieved a pivotal role globally in merging new digital technologies with the homeland security industry. The danger was that gradually we would all become Palestinians. Israel, he noted, treated the millions of Palestinians under its unaccountable, military rule effectively as guinea pigs in open-air laboratories. They were the test bed for developing not only new conventional weapons systems, but also new tools for mass surveillance and control.
As a recent report in Haaretz observed, Israel’s surveillance operation against Palestinians is “among the largest of its kind in the world. It includes monitoring the media, social media and the population as a whole”.
But what began in the occupied territories was never going to stay in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. There was simply too much money and influence to be gained from a trade in these new hybrid forms of offensive digital technology. Tiny though it may be in size, Israel has long been a world leader in an extremely lucrative arms trade, selling to authoritarian regimes around the world its weapons systems as “battlefield-tested” on Palestinians.