Book Review – The Privatization of Israeli Security

Since the onset of the Oslo Accords, Israel has steadily privatized its security apparatus. Rather than deny this process, the government has boasted of it, pointing to the accuracy of its intelligence services, the precision of its weapons, and the efficiency of its military tactics. Israel has also yielded handsome profits from its global arms trade, seemingly impervious to the criticism surrounding it. In 2018, the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer categorized Israel as one of the least transparent exporters of authorized small arms trade in the world next to Iran, North Korea, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

In his recent book, political economist Shir Hever explains why Israeli security elites embraced privatization and how they have turned violence into a commodity in order to preserve their status and privilege. He shows how Israel has outsourced its military occupation and subcontracted repression, and how its military-security-industrial complex interacts with the international domains of security privatization through international security companies, arms trade, and U.S. military aid.

Tartir, A. (2019). Shir Hever. The Privatization of Israeli Security (London: Pluto Press, 2017). Pp. 256. $25.00 paper. ISBN 9780745337197. Review of Middle East Studies, 1-3. doi:10.1017/rms.2019.30

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