The Israeli Lab and the Palestinian Guinea Pigs
by Gilad AtzmonThe Lab" is a new groundbreaking Israeli documentary film that redefines our entire understanding of the Jewish State, its aims, its identity and its global destructive role. I honestly believe that this film is the deepest and most important commentary on Israel.
In ‘The Lab’, Director Yotam Feldman exposes the Israeli military industry and its operation, he interviews some major protagonists within Israel’s ‘security’ trade.
He elaborates on the role of the industry within the Israeli society and economy - in the last few years Israeli security exports reached an unprecedented level of $7 billion a year.
A full 20% of Israeli exports are military or military related. Approximately 150.000 families in Israel are dependent on that industry. Israel is now the fourth biggest military exporter.
In the last decade, every Israeli military operation led to an immediate sharp increase in sales of Israeli military export around the world: weaponry, systems, intelligence, strategies, doctrines, knowledge and experience.
Feldman provides us with a glimpse into a very organized universe. We visit Israeli weapon fairs around the world but we also see arenas filled to capacity with foreign generals, public officials and diplomats. They are all shopping for Israeli military products. The message is clear, the 7 billion dollars is just part of the story. Israeli military elite is now deeply interwoven with the political and military elite of every country around the globe. This emerging Israeli business buys the Jewish state influence and support.
"The Lab" makes it evidently clear that the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank and Gaza have become test subjects for Israeli tactics, weaponry and fighting philosophy (‘Fighting Torah’, Torat Lechima - as the Israelis call it). The destruction of the Palestinians has now been transformed into a very profitable industry. We are dealing here with nothing short of highly calculated murder.
Through a set of fascinating interviews, Feldman conveys a very genuine picture of the Israeli death merchants. Feldman lets them talk, he hardly interferes. They are sharp, they are genuine, they are even funny at times, occasionally witty, and a few of them, might even be charming if you did not know who they are. But make no mistake, they are sinister, some of them are clearly psychotic, they are mass murderers and they are free. They sell destruction and havoc and do it very successfully.
Watch IDF Yoav Galant, the planner and executioner of Operation Cast Lead, discussing ‘proportions’:
Being myself an Israeli-born and raised successful musician and writer, I think I can recognize Israeli dedication, perseverance and creativity when I see it, no matter into what service it is pressed. (Perhaps I was lucky to be rescued by bebop.) Those Israeli death angels’ talent is driven into the amplification of human misery. The consequences are tragic.
It is far from being a secret that a century of Palestinian struggle led to practically nothing. The state of the Palestinian solidarity movement is even more embarrassing. Feldman's "The Lab" is a game changer, for it can explain decades of impotence.
We are immersed in flawed terminology - ‘colonialism’, ‘apartheid’, ‘conflict’, ‘solution’, ‘Zionism’ are just few examples. Gaza is now a vast Laboratory - the Israelis are the ‘scientists’ and the ‘technicians’, the Palestinians are the ‘guinea pigs’. Watching "The Lab" must lead all of us to fundamentally question our notions. We are dealing with a premeditated war crime. The notion of resolution (as in ‘two-state solution’), for instance, is not applicable. It is clear beyond doubt that in the real world the ‘scientist’ does not negotiate with the ‘guinea pig’. The ‘scientist’ also doesn’t consider sharing reality with his ‘guinea pig’ in a ‘one democratic state.’ "The Lab" is a glimpse into the Israeli mind: you clearly do not find much compassion there.
For decades we were foolish to examine the success and failure of Israeli military operations in reference to Israeli military and political ‘objectives,’ as we surmised them. We were clearly wrong.
As we learn from Feldman’s film, the real objective of Israeli operations may as well be examining new doctrines and operational systems in order to distribute them around the world soon after. Ehud Barak, for instance, wasn’t exactly the most sophisticated Israeli minister of defense, he clearly failed to defend his people or even make them feel secure. However, he was very successful in selling Israeli weapons and doctrines.
Tel Aviv being subject to a barrage of Qassam rockets may be seen by Israelis as devastating news, but from a military industrial point of view, it was a golden opportunity to examine and promote the Israeli anti-missile system Iron Dome. If I am correct here, it becomes clear that like the Palestinians, more and more Israelis are also becoming ‘guinea pigs’ in this ever growing military laboratory.
One may wonder how and when "the Zionist dream" transformed itself into a military business. Only a few of us, writers and scholars, have attempted to answer this question. The transformation of the Jewish State into an oppression factory is apparently a direct outcome of Israel’s supremacist ideology. If we want to understand what is happening in the Jewish State, we must first grasp the notions of choseness, Jewishness and Jewish identity politics.
I guess that enough Palestinians in Gaza do realise by now that they have been part of an Israeli experiment. Every too often we learn from Palestinian doctors that while treating casualties of Israeli aggression they encounter new types of wounds. The Lab explains it but it isn’t Palestine alone. We also witness a growing similarity between the operational mode of police forces around the world and the IDF treatment of the Palestinians.
Watching Yotam Feldman’s "The Lab" explains it all. We are all Palestinians. We are either occupied by Israel or by its proxy forces around the world - those who are trained in Israel and implement Israeli weaponry and tactics.
The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics - Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays saxophones, clarinet and ethnic woodwind instruments.
His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".
Atzmon is touring extensively around the world playing in festivals, concert halls and clubs. His albums, of which he has recorded twelve to date, often explore political themes and the music of the Middle East.