I recently interviewed Jeff Halper about his excellent new book, War Against the People, which examines the way Israel has crafted an indispensable role for itself doing what Halper calls “niche-filling” in the “war on terror”.
Put in the simplest terms, Halper’s argument is that Israel develops, refines and tests things – weapons, missile interception systems, surveillance, crowd control, biometric data collection, new interpretations of international law – using the Palestinians as guinea pigs. The occupied territories are test beds, demonstrating how well such “innovations” work in the field. That knowledge and experience can then be sold on to other international players, including, of course, the biggest: the United States.
Craig Murray, a former British ambassador (one who went rogue, from the British government’s point of view) has a very interesting post about the latest efforts of David Cameron’s government to justify the extra-judicial murder of two Britons in Syria over the summer by claiming that such actions accord with international law. The US began doing similar things in the Middle East to its citizens, also using drones, a few years earlier.