- Publisher : Verso (May 23, 2023)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 183976208X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1839762086
How Israel makes a killing from the occupation of Palestine
**WINNER OF THE 2023 WALKLEY NON FICTION JOURNALISM PRIZE**
**Shortlisted for the 2023 Moore Prize for Human Rights Writing**
Israel’s military industrial complex uses the occupied, Palestinian territories as a testing ground for weaponry and surveillance technology that they then export around the world to despots and democracies. For more than 50 years, occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has given the Israeli state invaluable experience in controlling an “enemy” population, the Palestinians. It’s here that they have perfected the architecture of control.
Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein, author of Disaster Capitalism, uncovers this largely hidden world in a global investigation with secret documents, revealing interviews and on-the-ground reporting. This book shows in-depth, for the first time, how Palestine has become the perfect laboratory for the Israeli military-techno complex: surveillance, home demolitions, indefinite incarceration and brutality to the hi-tech tools that drive the 'Start-up Nation'.
From the Pegasus software that hacked Jeff Bezos' and Jamal Khashoggi’s phones, the weapons sold to the Myanmar army that has murdered thousands of Rohingyas and drones used by the European Union to monitor refugees in the Mediterranean who are left to drown. Israel has become a global leader in spying technology and defence hardware that fuels the globe’s most brutal conflicts. As ethno-nationalism grows in the 21st century, Israel has built the ultimate model.
"Antony Loewenstein dissects how and why the Jewish state went all in on arming the world’s autocrats, from Viktor Orbán to Mohammed bin Salman—a dizzying but essential read."
—Sam Russek, Books of the Year 2023, The New Republic
"Loewenstein connects the dots in this compelling, horrifying investigation. The Palestine Laboratory provides crucial context about the Israel-Hamas war, and the reality of life in the occupied Palestinian territories prior to October 7."
—Kate Knibbs, Best Books of 2023, WIRED
"A sad and sordid record of how "the light unto the nations" became the purveyor of the means of violence and brutal repression from Guatemala to Myanmar and wherever else the opportunity arose."
"This is a must read on a hidden and shocking aspect of the Israeli colonisation of the Palestinians. We have waited long for such a book that exposes the way Israel uses its oppression of the Palestine to enhance its military and security industries. This book shows clearly that this kind of export is now Israel's most significant contribution to the global violation of human rights..."
—Ilan Pappe, author of Ten Myths About Israel
"A triumph of investigative journalism. It exposes the ruthlessness with which Israel exploits the experience gained from the illegal occupation to export all kinds of military hardware as well as the technology of surveillance, espionage, cyber warfare, phone-hacking, and house demolition. It also shines a torch on the dark side of Israel's support for despots around the world. Altogether, a profoundly depressing audit on a country that used to boast of being "a light unto the nations"."
—Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World
"Loewenstein's account of how the myth of Israel's 'start-up nation' is born out of the state colonisation of Palestine is a riveting and essential read. From drones to Pegasus software, policing techniques to deadly ammunition this is a persuasive and timely intervention.'"
—Eyal Weizman, director of Forensic Architecture
"A welcome addition to the growing body of work on the militarisation of Israel and its incredible hold of the armaments and security global market. It maps the growth of this national project of the Zionist state, its transformation from state to private ownership, and from hardware to software, as well as the political and diplomatic powers it grants Israel across the globe. Crucial sourcebook and an excellent read!"
—Haim Bresheeth-Zabner , author of An Army Like No Other
"Loewenstein writes a fascinating book, documented and evidence-based, on the lesser-known side of the occupation, one of the few in history where the occupier only benefits and does not pay anything for it. This is a book that paints a portrait of Israel, one of the ten largest arms exporters in the world, which trades in death and suffering and sells them to anyone who wants to buy"
—Gideon Levy, Haaretz
"I just couldn't put it down. It's truly the best book on this topic that I've read. The choice of chapters, the amazing work Loewenstein does to get the voices of the people impacted and of researchers to paint a picture of the Israeli arms industry that is more complete and insightful than I've seen anywhere else.'"
—Shir Hever, political economist and author of The Privatisation of Israeli Security
"Draws on documents and interviews to show how the weapons, technology and tactics developed by Israel to subjugate the Arabs living under occupation are being exported across the world - meaning, in effect, that Israel is profiting financially from the pain and suffering of Palestinians."
"A sharp exposé of how Israel's suppression of Palestine has translated into lucrative anti-terrorist systems that the Israeli government exports globally...[An] eye-opening delineation of the alarming ramifications of Israel's status as an 'ethnonationalist state.'"
"Loewenstein highlights a rarely discussed aspect of Israel's standing in the world, its dominance of the international military, security, and surveillance industries…Citing numerous Israeli and U.S. military and cybersecurity experts, Loewenstein urges a sober re-evaluation."
"Timely ... Loewenstein provides an impressive and succinct ... historical summary of Israel's shady track record in foreign policy since its establishment"
—Mairav Zonszein, The World Today
"Well-researched ... Loewenstein probes deeper into the psyche of a military-industrial entanglement that has led to the dehumanisation of Palestinians"
—Mehul Srivastava, Financial Times
"A convincing and powerful voice"
—Marc Martorell Junyent, New Arab
"An incisive exploration of Israel's sordid ties with autocracies, regimes engaged in mass displacement campaigns and governments needling their way into your phone ... Loewenstein's book stands out as a new addition to the pantheon of important works of political reportage about Israel's role in the world, and what toll - especially for Palestinians - that role may take."
—Patrick O. Strickland, Middle East Eye
—Mike Phipps, Labour Hub
"An outstanding work of investigative journalism"
—Bob Newland, Morning Star
"Loewenstein has produced a very effective analysis and critique of Israel's repressive role in the world today. It should be widely read."
—Andrew Hornung, Jewish Voice for Labour
"Meticulous ... an eye-opening study of the real situation"
—Muhammad Ali Siddiqui, ARY News
"Excellent ... Lowenstein explores the myriad ways that Israel ruthlessly exploits its occupation of Palestine to showcase, and then sell and export, all manner of military hardware, surveillance technology, cyber-warfare technologies and policing techniques."
—Michael Lavalette, Counterfire
"In his searing account, Loewenstein examines Israel's modern war exports to Augusto Pinochet's fascist junta in Chile, the repressive Shah of Iran, the Guatemalan genocide, and, more recently, authoritarian regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, India, and Azerbaijan, which earlier this year ethnically cleansed thousands of Armenians from its southwest."
—Sam Russek, The New Republic
"A timely read at any given moment ... Loewenstein traces the international community's complicity with Israel in much detail."
—Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor
"Loewenstein's book offers a harrowing account of Israel's military-industrial complex and its sinister role in perfecting and exporting oppressive technologies around the world."
About the Author
Antony Loewenstein is an independent journalist, best-selling author, filmmaker and co- founder of Declassified Australia. He’s written for The Guardian, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books and many others. His books include Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside The Bloody War On Drugs, Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe and My Israel Question. He’s the co-editor of the essay collection, After Zionism. His documentary films include Disaster Capitalism and the Al Jazeera English films West Africa’s Opioid Crisis and Under the Cover of Covid. He was based in East Jerusalem 2016-2020.