by Tobias Gisle
Wednesday, 21
July 2021

Israel offers its conflict management solution for sale

The country is exporting a system of total surveillance around the world
by Tobias Gisle
Smile! You’re being monitored. (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Tel Aviv

In a 2018 article on surveillance technology, the historian Yuval Noah Harari speculated about the totalitarian potential of certain Israeli practices of control, especially in the West Bank.

“Israel is a leader in the field of surveillance technology, and has created in the occupied West Bank a working prototype for a total-surveillance regime. Already today whenever Palestinians make a phone call, post something on Facebook, or travel from one city to another, they are likely to be monitored by Israeli microphones, cameras, drones, or spy software… It therefore takes surprisingly few Israeli soldiers to effectively control the roughly 2.5 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank.”
- Yuval Noah Harari, The Atlantic

Recent days have proved Harari right. The Pegasus Project and Amnesty Tech have revealed the extent of the surveillance originating from the Israeli company NSO. Their malware Pegasus, is allegedly able to monitor every aspect of a target’s life, from reading all their online communications to secretly filming them. (NSO defends its creation by saying that these tools are only to be sold to governments and only to be used against criminals and terrorists.)

Israel’s ultra-technological security apparatus is not without its positive aspects, as Harari hints. The relatively low death-toll in Israel’s wars and the steady decline in terrorism there is partly due to this rigorous digital tracking of every aspect of Palestinian life.

The results? Deaths in Israel due to Palestinian violence have gone from 457 at the height of the Second Intifada in 2002 to three dead Israelis in 2020 — although that number will likely increase due to the Gaza war 2021, it is unlikely to surpass fifteen deaths.

The Israeli conflict management system is now being offered as a lucrative export. It is an intriguing idea. Why fight a conflict if you can manage it with technological solutions? If it can save lives, what is the problem? And if it is only sold to governments, that sounds safer still — rather that than mafia bosses, terrorists, drug kingpins, and other bad actors getting hold of the technology.

The trouble, of course, is that some governments are themselves some of the worst abusers of people’s freedom. As Harari feared, a powerful system of control can be implemented with tools like Pegasus. Software like this is a tempting weapon for all governments, everywhere. In the short term, such coercive measures, as Israel proves, can make the public safer. But these erosions of privacy risk the further erosion of freedom of expression, and real political opposition — which stores up the potential for greater violence later on.

Join the discussion

  • It might start in the hands of benevolent governments (if there are such things) but soon it will be in the hands of oppressive governments, and probably even sooner in the hands of criminals, given how useless governments are at keeping anything secret or private.
    The outlook is not good. I always thought that the handloom weavers smashing up spinning jennys were ridiculous, but perhaps they understood more about technology than we do.

  • Being a conspiracy loon ( because not being one just means you are ignorant of how it is) I see manipulation in almost everything.

    The whole Liberal/Left movement of BLM rioting, the ultra Liberal (Soros campaign funded) DAs (prosecution) refusing to prosecute, and Judges releasing criminals into the community, the refusing to keep crime out of nice neighborhoods, the movement to defund Police and release Prisoners is to:

    1) Greatly increase the number of victims.

    2)Victim Blame (see CRT)

    3) make it appear unjust to lock up criminals as it is racist, poorist,

    4)Make everyone afraid of everyone, and afraid to be out, or in.

    Because then the honest citizens are trapped – they are racist and poorist if they want the criminals to be harassed by Police, and locked up by the courts, and so they MUST push for ever greater surveillance instead.

    The Biden/Harris/AOC policy of creating crime to increase the number of victims, and the more violent the better, is so they may then get all ‘Law and Order’ and put electronic surveillance everywhere, with facial recognition, gait recognition, tracking, and THEN The CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) To track every penny you receive, from where and who, and spend, to who and where.

    Once you have a digital wallet strait to the Central Bank (rather than a private Bank) you are 100% monitored! BAM, and you are as monitored as someone in a Super-Max Prison. The digital wallet (your phone app) naturally has GPS, and everything else….. China has released the digital Yuan. EUCB says it will be under 4 years, USA FED says same….

    The days are numbered – 10 likely, and you will be as known as is possible, much more than you know your self. Whose phone is near whose phone, when, where, and even why…this will be kept forever, and algorithms will crunch it….

    This is why Biden/Harris/AOC is trying to get as many old ladies beaten in the streets as possible, and they are doing a good job, and the MSM is covering it daily – to get the cameras and software up to 100% tracking everyone.

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