Israel a inventé l’économie de la guerre sans fin, ou l’économie du Monde-Forteresse



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Israel a inventé l’économie de la guerre sans fin, ou l’économie du Monde-Forteresse

Israël s’adapte. Le gros Thomas Friedmann s’extasie. Pour lui, Israël a découvert quelque chose, ce qui est normal puisqu’Israël découvre régulièrement quelque chose avec Thomas Friedman. Cette fois (dans le New York Times, le 10 juin 2007), «Israel Discovers Oil». En gros : l’Israëlien moyen, dynamique, entreprenant, se fout des déboires de sa politique et de la médiocrité de ses politiciens. Il s’est lancé dans une dynamique et économique, et capitaliste aventure, à la conquête de l’avenir, évidemment à l’aide des “start-up”, de l’économie-internet et ainsi de suite. Bravo Israël. Bravo Friedman et la fable mille fois resservie.

Ce à quoi, Naomi Klein, dans The Nation du 2 juillet, répond : le brave et gros Friedman, encore une fois aveuglé par sa passion pour Israël et pour l’économie capitaliste, se trompe. Israël connaît un boom économique parce qu’Israël est devenu un des centres mondiaux de ce que Klein nomme “l’économie de forteresse”. L’économie d’un pays assiégé, en guerre constante, en constante opération de répression, d’écrasement d’un ennemi incontrôlable et surtout des populations qui l’environnent, le constant renforcement de ses protections, de ses murs, de sa surveillance vidéo, de ses fouilles, de sa peur. C’est l’économie-suspicion, l’économie de la peur. («So in a way Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn't the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target “suspects.” And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource.»)

Dans ce cas, nous explique Klein, Israël est imbattable :

«Thomas Friedman recently offered his theory in the New York Times. Israel “nurtures and rewards individual imagination,” and so its people are constantly spawning ingenious high-tech start-ups — no matter what messes their politicians are making. After perusing class projects by students in engineering and computer science at Ben Gurion University, Friedman made one of his famous fake-sense pronouncements: Israel “had discovered oil.” This oil, apparently, is located in the minds of Israel's “young innovators and venture capitalists,” who are too busy making megadeals with Google to be held back by politics.

»Here's another theory: Israel's economy isn't booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-'90s, when Israel was in the vanguard of the information revolution--the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners.

»Within three years, large parts of Israel's tech economy had been radically repurposed. Put in Friedmanesque terms: Israel went from inventing the networking tools of the “flat world” to selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom — a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world.

»Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country--US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2 billion in “defense” products to the United States--up dramatically from $270 million in 1999. In 2006 Israel exported $3.4 billion in defense products--well over a billion more than it received in US military aid. That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain.

»Much of this growth has been in the so-called “homeland security” sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion — an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are high-tech fences, unmanned drones, biometric IDs, video and audio surveillance gear, air passenger profiling and prisoner interrogation systems — precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories.

»And that is why the chaos in Gaza and the rest of the region doesn't threaten the bottom line in Tel Aviv, and may actually boost it. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the “global war on terror.”

»It's no coincidence that the class projects at Ben Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like "Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images" and "Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance." Thirty homeland security companies were launched in Israel in the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups (something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott).»

Mis en ligne le 18 juin 2007 à 05H26


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