The profits of war

War means business: big, big business. The international arms trade thrives and hopes for bigger and better wars. Security companies, frequently set up by former soldiers and mercenaries, send trigger-happy employees into the fray in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never have wars seen so many privateers, not bounded by international rules of engagement etc., involved. Dangerous yes, but very profitable if you survive. (Probably quite the reverse for your family if you don’t). They have killed and maimed civilians, and been involved in the torture of innocent people.
So Israeli occupation is profitable. An article from Jewish Voice for Peace looks in more detail at who is benefiting and how.


“The following announcement introduces the groundbreaking project “Who Profits”, a new online data base recently launched in Israel and providing extensive, detailed information on companies and corporations that amass direct profits from Israel’s continuing military occupation of the territories captured in 1967. “Who Profits” was created, and is operated, by the Coalition of Women for Peace. Its relevance, even further enhanced by the recent exposure of the “Spiegel Report” revealing the illegality of virtually all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, its probing factual insights into the vested financial interests in maintaining Israel’s occupation form a powerful, vital tool for both understanding and resisting it.
For an interview with Dalit Baum of “Who Profits”, listen to the January 18 episode of “Beyond the Pale”, a weekly radio show by Marilyn Niemark and Esther Kaplan, at: http://www.beyondthepale.org/episode/2009/01/18.”
Rela Mazali
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Who Profits from the Israeli Occupation?
Announcing a new on-line database: www.whoprofits.org
Now, more then ever, Israeli activists need a powerful global movement to help us build a just peace in Israel/ Palestine. Looking for effective tools for ending the occupation, we have launched a new website listing companies directly involved in the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The grassroots initiative, of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, includes a database and an information center, and reflects an on-going two-year effort, rigorous research, documentation and site visits.
This unprecedented on-line resource already lists about 200 companies, and hundreds more will be added during 2009, offering an extensive and intricate mapping of the corporate aspects and interests in the continued occupation. The website offers a new useful categorization of all corporate interests in the occupation, and exposes specific examples of direct involvement of many international and Israeli companies for the first time. In tracing ownership links it shows in detail how some of Israel’s largest corporations are tied in with the occupation.
The database allows for advanced searches, such as: Which U.S. corporations support the West Bank military checkpoints? Which of the companies are listed in the London stock-exchange? What settlements’ production is formally registered inside Israel? Note, however, that the on-line data is always partial, always growing, and please send us any relevant information, further requests for information or suggestions.
As Israeli activists, we feel obligated to try and educate ourselves and others about the economic incentives and corporate involvement in the occupation, but this is not enough. You can support our efforts by continuing this investigation in your own country, by informing others of our website, or by sending us a much needed donation.
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