Israel’s Secret Often Wins Wars, Builds an Entrepreneurial Weapons ‘Lab’ – 3 days ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The open war that occurred between Israel and the Hamas group in Palestine has once again opened the curtain on Israel’s military strength.

Even though it was hit by a major attack by Hamas in the first week of October 2023 to reclaim Palestinian land from Zionist occupation, the country is now ravaging Gaza with its military equipment.

In a major attack last weekend, around 5,000 rockets were launched by Hamas and entered Israeli territory, causing casualties. However, Israel responded to the attack which resulted in a declaration of war. As a result, shootings have continued until now, resulting in many civilian casualties.

History has actually recorded that Israel, as a state proclaimed in 1948 on Palestinian land, often won wars. Even when attacked by Arab countries shortly after independence, Israel still won.

It is not surprising that Israel is often called the country with the most powerful military power in the world and has become a high-income country based on World Bank records. Its military strength has also become a sales commodity offered to other countries. So, how can this happen?

The Beginning of Israel’s Military Power

Since David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the first Jewish State in the world, Arab countries immediately reacted strongly. They cannot accept Israel’s presence in the Middle East which oppresses Palestinians. As a result, war always occurred in the following times.

This position puts Israel in a difficult situation. Indeed, Israel from the start was fully supported by the United States and other Western countries. However, Tel Aviv also realizes that this support will not always last.

On this basis, according to Yaakov Katz in The Weapons Wizard: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower (2017), Israel began to exercise independence in the military sector.

For Tel Aviv, being in a ‘sea of ​​anger’ requires the country’s defense sector to be very good. If at any time it is attacked, the country will not just collapse and can counterattack the enemy. So, David Ben-Gurion’s first order was not to focus on building the economy, but to build the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Long story short, the presence of the IDF was welcomed positively by the US. Because Uncle Sam has interests there and wants to use Israel as a shield to ward off the rise of the power of Arab countries and Soviet influence in the Middle East.

On this basis, aid from the US to the IDF poured in abundantly.

In the US Foreign Aid to Israel document (2022), it is noted that Israel is the largest recipient of aid from the US since World War II.

Al Jazeera wrote that from 1946 to 2023, the US has sent military aid worth US$ 124 billion or Rp. 1,946 trillion. Of course, this does not take into account the transfer of technological knowledge which cannot be calculated economically.

Thanks to this large amount of assistance, it is no wonder that the IDF has transformed into the largest modern military in the world. It was at this point that the IDF began to ‘sell itself’.

Arms Business

Realizing that the country lacks natural resources and other commodities, the government has begun selling domestically produced weapons internationally. Please note, Israel does not only receive weapons supplies from the US. However, it also produces itself.

According to Antony Loewenstein’s notes in The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World (2023), this production has been carried out since the 1990s as an effort by Israel to get rid of its dependence on weapons from the US. Since then, Israel has carried out massive research into weapons production.

It is known, still citing Yaakov Katz’s presentation, that Israel is willing to spend around 4.5 percent of the country’s GDP on research and development. Of that amount, around 30 percent of the research budget is channeled to develop the defense industry.

Moving on from here, four world-renowned weapons companies were born, namely Elbit, RAFAEL, IMI (Israel Military Industries), and IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries). All of the company’s production, from drones, tanks, missiles and so on, have successfully attracted world attention.

For example, Tel Aviv succeeded in creating the Merkava tank, one of Israel’s most secret military projects. This tank is considered the deadliest for the enemy and the safest for the troops.

Then there is also the Heron drone made by IAI. According to Antony Loewenstein’s notes, the Heron drone has become the European Union’s mainstay weapon for monitoring the arrival of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. This drone, which can fly for 40 hours non-stop, was purchased by the European Union in a partnership package worth US$ 91 million in 2020.

Interestingly, Antony Loewenstein’s research in The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World (2023) explains that during its weapons business, Israel used Palestine as a laboratory.

So, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict functions as a means of testing Israeli weapons which can be used as a promotional tool when selling weapons. When that is successful, it will be able to attract more countries to buy Israeli weapons.

“The EU has partnered with leading Israeli defense companies to use its drones, and of course its years of experience in Palestine is a key selling point,” said Antony.

Furthermore, Antony said, “Palestinians are guinea pigs for Israeli technology.”

On this basis, it is not surprising that Israel is one of the largest arms exporters which plays an important role in shaping global military and geopolitical trends.

Referring to the SIPRI Arms Transfer Database in March 2023 shows Israel is the world’s 10th largest arms exporter, accounting for 1.4% of global arms sales during the 2018-2022 period. Furthermore, The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows that Israel is in the top 10 arms exporters in the world in 2017-2021 with a contribution of 2.4%.

Meanwhile, referring to Reuters and the Times of Israel, Israel’s arms exports will reach US$ 12.5 billion in 2022 or around Rp. 196.63 trillion (US$ 1=Rp. 15,730). This value is 9.6% higher than in 2021, US$ 11.4 billion, which was a record.

And this was all done after Israel succeeded in making Palestine a ‘laboratory’ for the weapons business.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]


Originally posted 2023-10-14 14:45:00.