Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

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

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Chill Yishay,

    First off Naomi Klein is Canadian. Second, what makes you think, that her criticism of Israel means she criticises no-one else? Why is it not alright for non-Israelis to criticise Israel unless in the same sentence they criticise their own country (or another)? If an Israeli (not a politician obviously!) criticised the British record in Northern Ireland, I would most probably wholeheartedly agree, regardless of wether that israeli in the same breath criticesed Israel’s policies in Palestinian territories.
    As for what she says, I don’t have the facts or the figures, and from your response, I figure you don’t either.

    I’ll just say this: to stop ‘terrorism’, there’s one sure solution: stop partaking in it. And that goes not only for Israel, in case you get all excited and accuse me of victimising. out Israel.
    I’m sorry, mate, but I’m bloody fed up with it too.


    June 22, 2007 at 11:21 pm

  2. My beef is mainly with the Guardian, for giving her a platform. And as you know well, I’m a vocal critic of Israel’s actions and policies. I think I’ve also always shown respect for you, or anyone else, who made valid, eye-to-eye arguments and was willing to engage in dialogue. But her text is arrogant nonsense end to end (I just quoted and unpacked two examples). That’s what I’ve lost my tolerance for.
    If you want to criticize Israel, there’s enough substantial arguments to make. Why waste your time on rubbish?

    You know, I don’t think she gives a hoot about Israel or Palestine. This is a shameless promo for her new book.


    June 23, 2007 at 12:34 am

  3. And, may I add, if you’re a critic of the actions of your country, have the courage to take that criticism to its logical conclusion. I, and many other Brits and French are deeply opposed to the actions of our governments past and present. That opposition doesn’t stop when someone from another country decides to be critical of our governments. That would be intellectual dishonesty.


    June 23, 2007 at 8:44 am

  4. sorry, I meant to post my earlier responses on Facebook! can it be undone?


    June 23, 2007 at 8:48 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: