The Palestine Laboratory by Antony Loewenstein – Our Review


Our Review…

Written by Australian investigative journalist, Anthony Lowenstein, the grandson of Jewish refugees who fled Europe at the beginning of WWII, The Palestine Laboratory, is a comprehensive contextual panorama of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the genocide of its people. It elucidates the ways in which ethnonationalist ideology grows when accountable democracy withers. 

In a manner not unlike the writing of Jared Diamond or Masha Gessen, Loewenstein unveils the Israeli government’s experiments in surveilling, controlling and subjugating the Palestinian population. It lays out the architecture of oppression that the Israeli government has honed over decades, from the Nakba to today and how it has become the Amazon of arms, supplying fighters in Rwanda, Chile, Iran, South Africa, Columbia, Argentina, Russia, Romania, Haiti, India, Indonesia and Nicaragua. 

The sections that pack the biggest punches are those in which Lowenstein lays bare the Israeli technological experimentation and innovation in the form of drones, surveillance technology and apps that make ordering an air strike as easy as ordering a pizza.  Lowenstein takes us step by step through the way Israeli companies then sell this technology on to the West. He cites whistleblower Edward Snowden who asserts, “The phone in your hand exists in a state of perpetual insecurity, open to infection by anyone willing to put money in the hand of this new [Israeli] Insecurity Industry.”

The Palestine Laboratory is not only essential reading to comprehend what is happening right now in Gaza, it asks crucial moral and ethical questions about the silent complicity of all of us, as we seek and rely more and more security, convenience and automation from technology and how our technological advances are possible. With its comprehensive research and referencing of sources, and its additional reading list, this is the perfect complement to McCann’s, Apeirogon, and a must-read for all of us who use apps to do anything; from booking a taxi or accommodation, to ordering food or checking in to a location. 

Review by Katina @Great Escape Books