Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Deadly Experiment; Israel’s murderous testing ground for ‘non-lethal’ weapons

Corporate Watch- “The Israeli government and its army have been for years now using the West Bank and Gaza as their testing ground. The Palestinians are their guinea pigs. The Israeli army uses tear gas that would probably be banned in any other countries in the world. They shoot tear gas, directly at protesters, once again, an illegal act. But a very rewarding one. Israel’s security industry is booming. It’s never been this good. Countries all over the world are buying Israel’s expertise in security, crowd control and weaponry every day. Israeli soldiers are training other countries commandos all over the planet”

On New Year’s Eve 2010, whilst much of the world was celebrating, over a thousand people demonstrated in the Palestinian village of Bil’in against Israel’s encroachment on the village’s land, Israeli tear gas and rubber bullets rained down on the protesters and Jawaher Abu Rahma, who had joined the march to the apartheid wall and retreated to the sidelines after the first Israeli volleys of gas, choked to death as gas enveloped the village.

A report from Bil’in residents said that “Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas from the moment protestors entered their sight. It is obvious that for the army, the mere presence of unarmed demonstrators is reason enough to use chemical weapons against them.”

In September 2010 18 month old Mohammed Abu-Sarah from Issawiya died after tear gas, fired by the Israeli police in a residential area during a demonstration, seeped into his family’s living room.

The Israeli military routinely uses CS gas against Palestinians.[3] Two suppliers of this gas are Combined Systems International (CSI) and Defense Technology in the US. Defense Technology is owned by the British arms giant, BAE systems.

The village of Bil’in has, since 2005, been resisting Israel’s apartheid wall and settlements which encroach on the village’s land. The community’s steadfast resistance has won an announcement, in February 2010, by the military that the walls route around the village would be altered.

However, this is not the only achievement of Bil’in’s struggle. The village has become a symbol of a new popular resistance to the Israeli occupation and has attracted international solidarity from all over the world. Bil’in’s fight has become a foundation of the joint struggle of Israeli and Palestinian activists against the occupation and has spurred the birth of the ‘popular committees’ movement against the wall and settlements. Statements from Bil’in have often provided a compass for the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid.

Bil’in’s successes have come at a price. That price is baldly illustrated in the story of the Abu Rahma family. In 2008 Ashraf Abu Rahma was shot at close range while detained by an Israeli soldier and badly injured (see video –[5], In April 2009, Bassem Abu Rahma his brother, was shot at very close range by a tear gas canister and died from his wounds (see video here –[6]. Abdallah and Adeeb Abu Rahma have both served hundreds of days in prison for their involvement in the popular struggle[7]. Despite all this Jawaher, their sister, kept returning to the demonstrations, week after week for four years, until, on December 31st 2010, she collapsed from tear gas inhalation and died in a Ramallah hospital as doctors fought for her life.

Bil’in, and villages across Palestine, have become a testing ground for the Israeli security industry, and for international companies who need an arena to try out their wares. While unmanned bulldozers, aircraft and boats patrol and bombard the besieged Gaza strip and the latest in CCTV, fingerprint and bodyscanner equipment proliferate at the hundreds of Israeli checkpoints across the West Bank, Bil’in, and other villages engaged in the popular struggle, are subjected to countless experiments in so called ‘non lethal’, sometimes called ‘less lethal’, weapons technology. Bil’in’s non violent demonstrations have been attacked with bullets, plastic coated steel bullets, rubber bullets, baton rounds, water cannons firing corrosive chemicals, coloured dye and foul smelling water that will make you vomit, chemical and noise weapons. Many of these weapons will soon be found on the international market, after being tried and tested on the people of Palestine, whose deaths, whose suffering and whose grief is valued less than that of the people of London or Washington.Read more