Yaba Yaba

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Archive for June 21st, 2007

No logo? no logic.

with 4 comments

Naomi Klein, of nologo.org fame, writes in the guardian:

Political chaos means Israel is booming like it’s 1999 – and the boom is in defence exports field-tested on Palestinians.

Indeed, an iconic piece of British intellectual colonialism if I’ve ever seen one. Here are a few gems:

Much of this growth has been in the so-called homeland security sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2bn, an increase of 20%. The key products and services are hi-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems – precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.

Right. before 9/11 we didn’t have police. And if we did, their job was to kindly ask members of the public to please avoid stepping on the lawn at Royal Ascot. Perhaps Ms. Klein would care to check the figures on the size of the homeland security in Britain during the reign of the IRA. But that’s just an aside. The bit I love is precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Hello? Give me a call lady. I’ll give you a list. It starts with concrete blocks, wooden battons, barbed wire, goes on to tear gas, and down to 5.56 calibre ammo. Lots of it. believe me, occupation is a low-tech business.  Advanced technologies are needed to stop planes & buses from blowing up.

Or this, my favorite:

It’s no coincidence that the class projects at Ben-Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images, and Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance. Thirty homeland security companies have been launched in Israel during the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country’s universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups – something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott.

Ur, what exactly is Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images? Obstacle Detection and Avoidance? Never mind. Is sounds evil, so it must be good. In case you’re a nitpick, I recommend a little known tool called google.
What’s this? geology? robotics? oh, stop it. we’re dealing with a bad, bad, state here. don’t be a killjoy. Anyway, while we’re at it: most military research funding in Israel comes from the US. The Israeli army doesn’t bother with Universities, which have funny ideas about publishing their results, or get skirmish about the way their used. It holds its own R&D.

I say again. Intellectual colonialism: the perception that as a Brit you have a god-given right, no – duty, to wag your finger at whoever around the world you think is misbehaving. The arrogance that lets you think you don’t even have to bother with getting your facts right. The astonished insult when the nations you wag your finger at can’t be bovvered.

And I’m bloody fed up with it.


Written by yishaym

June 21, 2007 at 6:36 pm

This is Hamas

with 6 comments

There were five of them. They stood over me and shot my legs from the knee down. One of them put his Kalashnikov to my head. Instinctively I moved the barrel aside and the bullet hit my hand.

The speaker? A Palestinian policeman and Hamas voter.

When Hamas was voted in I was happy. I mean, a government voted out for corruption, peaceful transition of power. You don’t see that every day.

But apparently, there’s more to democracy than election.  One thing they forgot is the principle of continuity: any new administration is bound by the commitments made by past administrations. The other is the idea of concentration of power. Political parties do not own military force, the state does. That one, actually, is the stale legacy of Arafat. When he got hold of the steering wheel, he intentionally left ‘uncontrolled’ militias which he could feed and starve to regulate the temperature of the flames. Now, finally, the PLO is calling for general disarmament.

(digg story)

Written by yishaym

June 21, 2007 at 9:54 am