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Israel Uses Gaza As A Laboratory To Test Their Weapons — It's A Highly Profitable 'Enterprise' (Video)

In 2013, Yotam Feldman, an Israeli journalist and filmmaker, released The Lab, a documentary positing that war is beneficial for the Israeli economy. Feldman’s film argues that the Palestinian territories are the “lab” where Israel uses its weaponry. Israeli companies profit from war because their products are “tested” on Palestinians, Feldman argued — particularly the residents of Gaza. “After every campaign of the kind that is now taking place in Gaza, we see an increase in the number of customers from abroad,” Eli Gold, CEO of Israeli arms company Meprolight, told the Israeli daily Haaretz last year.

“Combat Proven”: The Booming Business of War in Israel

The Palestinians of Gaza are considered nothing but lab rats on whom  they can test their latest weapons and which they then advertise to the  world as "tested and proven." (Illustration adapted from Steve Jurveston)
The Palestinians of Gaza are considered nothing but lab rats upon
whom Israel can try out its latest weapons which then can be
marketed to the world as "tested and proven." (Illustration adapted
from Steve Jurveston)
By Alex Kane
The Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center was bustling with military personnel. Tall, broad-shouldered soldiers donning masks and sunglasses had their guns at the ready, and a mini-drone built at Ariel University, an Israeli school located in the occupied West Bank, went up in the air, flying high as the press snapped photos.

This was not war, but one of the many demos held at the ISDEF expo, an annual June event that attracts thousands of security officials and professionals interested in weapons. Arms fairs in Israel showcase the latest products the profitable Israeli weapons industry manufactures — and the demos are the perfect place to show those products off.

[...]

The featured arms companies, like the attendees interested in buying their products, came from around the world, but Israeli companies far outnumbered other nations. The fair is put on with the active help and cooperation of the Israeli government, and the ISDEF expo board of advisers is composed of elite former Israeli military officers. The U.S. Department of Commerce is the only foreign governmental body to co-sponsor the event.

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The Lab: Weapons Testing on Palestinians - Excerpt


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Israel has established itself as a leading hub for weapons makers, capitalizing on the constant state of conflict the country is in and the close coordination between the military and the weapons industry. At the ISDEF opening ceremony, Ziva Eger, the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s director of the division for foreign investment and industrial cooperation, boasted about how Israel takes “technology from the defense sector and just implements it to the civilian sector.”

In Israel, nearly 6,800 individuals deal in weapons exports at over 1,000 companies, according to Defense Ministry data from 2013. The country’s weapons industry brought in about $5.6 billion last year, making Israel the eighth largest weapons exporter globally, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said that 150,000 Israeli households rely on the weapons industry for income. While last year’s earnings were actually a drop from a high of $7.5 billion in revenue in 2012, a decrease attributed by Israel’s Defense Ministry to budget cuts in the U.S. and Europe, Israel is among the world’s top arms exporters per capita. In fact, the U.S. effectively provides a subsidy to the Israeli weapons business: While about 75 percent of the $3.1 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel must be spent on American weapons, 25 percent can be spent on domestic Israeli arms makers — a situation unique to Israel. Even when Israel buys U.S. arms, it sometimes requests that those weapons be built with Israeli components.

[...]

The wars on Gaza have had a devastating impact on the population there, leaving half of Palestinian adolescents with symptoms of full or partial post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study published in Arab Journal of Psychiatry. But in Israel, the wars are good for business.

In 2013, Yotam Feldman, an Israeli journalist and filmmaker, released The Lab, a documentary positing that war is beneficial for the Israeli economy. Feldman’s film argues that the Palestinian territories are the “lab” where Israel uses its weaponry. Israeli companies profit from war because their products are “tested” on Palestinians, Feldman argued — particularly the residents of Gaza. “After every campaign of the kind that is now taking place in Gaza, we see an increase in the number of customers from abroad,” Eli Gold, CEO of Israeli arms company Meprolight, told the Israeli daily Haaretz last year.

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