even though Al-Aqsa flood The arrogant Israeli bet on the “deterrent power” provided by surveillance technologies and advanced weapons proved to be a failure. Investors quickly returned to pouring money into so-called “tested weapons,” and it seems clear that the executives of defense industries are the only victors in the Gaza war, according to an investigation by Sophia Goodfriend. From the Hebrew website “Siha Mekumit” with the title “Gaza is a weapons market even when the war is not over.”
It was only five weeks after the attack on October 7, 2023, that a rising Israeli security company called Smart Shooter posted a promotional photo on Facebook, showing Israeli special forces aiming assault rifles developed by the company at a reinforced concrete building somewhere in Gaza.
A month later, the company's CEO, Michael Moe, told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the Gaza war – in which 30,000 Palestinians were killed – was an opportunity to increase sales, and that it was the golden hour that the defense industries were waiting for.
Therefore, it does not seem strange that the Israeli technology industries have returned to their previous arrogance, despite their miserable failure to predict the Al-Aqsa flood, so that a discourse that has been promoted for years has once again prevailed, saying that Israel will enhance its security by investing in more advanced weapons and surveillance technologies.
The deep questions raised by the attack within the military establishment about the feasibility of excessive reliance on technology quickly subsided, and the army began to promote itself again as the army of breakthrough technologies, equipped with automatic weapons that had been tested on the battlefields, and investors began to pump more money into emerging defense industry companies.
Israel's military technology industries have flourished in the past twenty years under the influence of Palestinian Intifadaand the so-called war on terrorism, has rebounded further in recent years after the outbreak The Russian-Ukrainian warThe military use of technical surveillance systems has increased over time corona (And the protests that accompanied it over the economic crisis), and it seemed that the interests of the military establishment and the economy were intertwined, according to Sophia Goodfriend, so the former needed new weapon systems (with the complexity of the battle against the Palestinians), and the latter needed developing a strategy to promote the return of foreign investors to Israel.
Israeli defense industry exports amounted to $12.5 billion in 2022, and are expected to rise in 2023, just as they are expected to flourish globally due to the impact of the Gaza war.
But investors are not only pumping money into multinational arms companies, but also into small up-and-coming companies, many of which are based in Israel, and which manufacture, among other things, automatic machine guns, electronic hacking programs, dive aircraft, and tanks enhanced with artificial intelligence, all of which are technologies that are being considered. It is profitable in Silicon Valley.
Gaza.. a weapons market
Among those whose shares rose sharply at the end of 2023 were emerging companies whose weapons were used by the army in Gaza. After all, military technology is one of the few industries that thrives during wartime.
Many of the marketed weapon systems were tested for the first time in Gaza, said Noam Perry, a researcher at the American Friends Service Committee, in an interview with Magazine+972, an organization that tracks weapons used by Israel in Gaza.
But while multinational arms companies were keen to remain relatively out of the Gaza events (due to protests over the war and prosecutions in the Court of Justice), small up-and-coming Israeli companies – such as Smart Shooter – launched extensive promotional campaigns for their products, capitalizing on the close and ambiguous relationship between the two countries. Defense industries and the high-tech sector, Goodfriend adds.
This relationship is not unique; Silicon Valley was – in the beginning – nothing more than an arm of the Pentagon, but the connections in Israel turned into a brand.
The blurry connections between the army and private defense industry companies have made the military strategy develop, not according to the real and immediate needs of the army, but rather according to the needs of investors, to whom entrepreneurs present a rosy picture of weapons systems, electronic espionage, and artificial intelligence that promise a time when highly intelligent machines will replace humans. .
Thus, just days after the October 7 attack, Aharon Kaplowitz established a venture fund called “Ventures1948,” and told reporters that the ground invasion of Gaza was an unprecedented opportunity to test new weapon systems on the battlefield, in the name of protecting Israel, of course.
But the promise that technology would make shooting operations more accurate has collapsed on the rocks of reality. Swooping planes did not prevent wiping entire neighborhoods off the map with bombs weighing about a ton each, nor did sniper rifles equipped with artificial intelligence technology prevent the killing of innocents, just as the use of guidance systems did not prevent “One minute” without killing 10,000 Palestinian children.
The Palestinians will inevitably pay the price for these weapons and new surveillance systems – as Goodfriend says – but the Israelis do not know to what extent they will benefit from them.
All these failures provided an alternative angle for understanding the events of October 7, 2023: the capital cycle, according to Goodfriend.
Confidence has exceeded its limits and the bubble has finally burst, and the transfer of massive resources to investments in advanced military technology (at the expense of ground forces) has done nothing for Israel, proving that the optimism of investors and entrepreneurs in the ability of this technology was not only divorced from reality, but rather closer to a disease of delusion.
But the investment cycle is afflicted with weak short-term memory. After 3 months of war, venture capitalists and military officials around the world began to inflate the bubble of military industries again, and here is the illusion of technical invention tempting Israel once again to abandon the search for a real solution to its endless wars.