Merchants of Fear: Israels Profiting from Homeland Insecurity
- The day after 9/11, Benjamin Netanyahu let slip that the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans was “very good” for Israel. In particular, the mass murder was very good for an emerging sector of the Israeli economy. In “Laboratory for a Fortressed World,” Naomi Klein detailed the post-9/11 “explosion of Israel’s homeland security sector.”
“Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry,” Klein wrote in 2007. “By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion – an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are high-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.”
And the Department of Homeland Security, the Lieberman-Specter brainchild then headed by Michael Chertoff, had become one of Israel’s most reliable markets.
“Israel has struck oil,” as Klein so aptly put it. “The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target ‘suspects.’”
In order to exploit that resource to the full, Israel needed the likes of Chertoff, Lieberman, Schumer and Specter to hype the concept of “homeland security” in the United States. Americans, however, should have been asking a couple of pertinent questions. Which homeland? And whose security?