Israeli firm gets Mexico border wall contract

How ironic. We noted in August that ex-Israeli security chief Uza Dayan was warning the US against emulating Israeli strategies in securing the Mexican border. Now it appears that Elbit Systems, an Israeli firm which is building the “Aparthied Wall” in occupied Palestine, has been awarded a contract, along with Boeing, to build the wall on the Mexican border. From Israel21C, Oct. 15:

For possibly the first time ever, the words Israel and border are in the same sentence and it doesn’t have anything to do with its own borders. The talent and expertise that Elbit Systems (NASDAQ ELST) has employed for years in protecting Israel’s borders will now be put to use on US borders to keep Americans safe.

Kollsman Inc., an American-based subsidiary of Elbit, has been selected as a member of the winning consortium by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) to supply technology to identify threats, to deter and prevent crossings, and to apprehend intruders along the US borders with Canada and Mexico.

Kollsman, headquartered in Merrimack, New Hampshire, is a development, manufacturing and support organization providing advanced electro-optical and avionics systems to the commercial aerospace, military and homeland security markets. The company’s expertise includes enhanced vision systems, flight displays, head-up displays, thermal imaging systems, fire control systems, and advanced security and surveillance solutions.

The Secure Border Initiative is the latest attempt by the United States government to use technology to secure its borders, stop smuggling, and prevent illegal immigration. After September 11, illegal immigration is not just seen as a social problem, but also a national security issue. A unique aspect of this initiative was that Homeland Security gave the bidders total freedom to create new ideas of how to apply both new and old technology to secure the US borders.

The DHS awarded the SBI contract for the border security project to prime contractor Boeing over Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. In addition to Boeing and Elbit, the other members of the $2 billion program are telecommunication heavy-weights Lucent, L3 Communications, Perot Systems and Unisys Global Public Sector.

Elbit was selected because of its ability to bring together global resources with decades of technological experience and capabilities securing borders in extreme cold, mountainous regions, as well as hot, desert terrains.

Kollsman’s global parent, Elbit Systems Ltd. has extensive experience with operational border control and management systems combined with command, control and situational awareness for the Israeli government. Elbit’s Long Range Reconnaissance and Observation System (LORROS) and advanced turnkey unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAV) are some of the products and technology that will be utilized.

President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America, Tim Taylor said he was proud of being part of the winning bid and is “motivated to provide the best border protection available.”

“US citizens and the federal government are very concerned about the vulnerabilities on the porous US northern and southern borders. The strategic and technological strengths that we bring to the project will help restore the safety and security that Americans have known for so long. Detecting threats along 6,000 miles of border in the US is not the place for experimentation. The experience of our family of companies, along with the substantial credentials of Boeing as a successful prime integrator in the homeland security market enables us to make a significant contribution to protecting the United States.”

Wayne Esser, head of the SBInet project for Boeing said: “We are very happy that Elbit is part of the team because there is not one-size-fits-all solution for 6,000 miles of border. Knollsman has the engineering and manufacturing capability to provide at short notice state-of-the-art solutions that will be integrated to support this challenging effort. The result will be a program that safeguards the freedoms that are a cornerstone of our nation.”

Based in Haifa, Elbit is the largest non-governmental defense company in Israel.

“Elbit Systems through its Ortek subsidiary is a major player in homeland security in Israel and throughout the world. The electronic deterrence system is key in providing customers in Israel and around the globe with comprehensive solutions for peripheral defense,” said Joseph Ackerman, president and CEO of Elbit.

Among its projects are defense systems for Israel’s land and sea borders, peripheral security systems of air force bases, major sections of the border security fence, and Jerusalem’s detour route.

From AP, Sept. 22:

Boeing’s project proposal also included relying on more than 300 radar towers along the borders, some supplemented with cameras developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. which can spot people nearly 9 miles away and vehicles at distances of up to 12 miles.

Under the program, Boeing and its partners will also work to improve physical infrastructure along the border areas to help agents do their job.
After SBInet is deployed in Arizona, it will be rolled out in segments to other parts of the border based on highest traffic areas, Chertoff said.

Other partners of Boeing in the bid include L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. , Unisys Corp. , Perot Systems Corp. , DRS Technologies , Elbit unit Kollsman Inc., Lucent Technologies , Centech and USIS.

The organizers of an event this Saturday Nov. 11 at New York City’s Judson Memorial Church, “Resist the Apartheid Walls, from Palestine to Mexico,” note: “Elbit will import Israeli military technology, tested on Palestinians, for use against poor immigrants here.”

See our last posts on Israel/Palestine, the struggle for the Mexican border, the immigration crackdown and the “Apartheid Wall.”

  1. Palestinian solidarity with Oaxaca
    From Stop the Wall:

    Jerusalem, November 3, 2006: In this dreadful Autumn of death and destruction, the Palestinian and Mexican people are united more than ever in a common history, mourning and struggle.

    In Palestine in the last 48 hours a new massacre has been perpetrated. 20 martyrs from the refugee camp of Beit Hanoun have been added to the hundreds of victims that have been killed since June, when the Occupation forces launched another ruthless offensive in the Gaza Strip.

    In the same way, since June the Mexican government has started to use all the destructive force of its military against the 70,000 educational workers in Oaxaca who struggle for their rights. The same government that followed the demands of the US government to send its soldiers to invade and massacre the Iraqi people today turns these weapons against its own people in defense of imperialist interests.

    We mourn the dead of Oaxaca as we mourn our own and we take courage from the determination in the struggle that this people has shown in response to the repression. They have united their voices in the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO): some 350 organizations have taken back the city and struggle to overthrow the corrupt government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

    If the government wanted to crush this movement with the invasion of the 29th October and the murder of the protesters, we now know that this goal has not been achieved and that the activists of the APPO know how to respond to the latest brutal attacks.

    We know that the Mexican Intifada continues and spreads to other states of the nation.

    As Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign representing some 50 popular committees that struggle day after day in the villages ghettoized by the wall and besieged by the complex mechanism of Zionist repression and expulsion, we want to let you know that you are not alone, that your struggle is our struggle.

    60 years of occupation, dispossession, daily murder and eventually the attempt to transform Palestine into a giant open air prison were not enough to destroy the determination of the Palestinian people. The majority of our people has been expelled from their land and struggles for the return to their homes, the rest of us resists apartheid and a life in open-air prisons behind walls and razor wire.

    The experience of these 60 years of resistance enable us to recognize our brothers in the Mexican indigenous communities who have resisted genocide for over 500 years. We salute the resistance of the people of Oaxaca against a corrupt puppet government and see in it a new point of reference for the struggle against imperialism.

    We join the call of our Mexican comrades to demand:

    1. That Ulises Ruiz Ortiz immediately step down from his post as governor of the state of Oaxaca. His authoritarian policies are at the root of the bloodshed and the struggle. His permanent presence is the main obstacle to a political solution.

    2. The immediate withdrawal of the Federal Preventive Police from the city of Oaxaca.

    3. The immediate end to all forms of repression, the liberation of the arrested and the detained and the return of the disappeared.

    4. Unconditional respect for Human Rights and the guarantee of safety for all, in particular the members of the APPO.

    5. The punishment of the intellectual and material authors of the murders perpetrated by the paramilitary groups of the state.

    We further remind the Federal Government that it holds the responsibility for the repression and assaults on the population and organizations of Oaxaca.

    We join all those that ask a political solution and the respect of the demands put forward by the APPO.

    Jamal Juma
    Coordinator of the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

  2. “Apartheid Wall”
    “Elbit will import Israeli military technology, tested on Palestinians, for use against poor immigrants here.”… “Apartheid Wall”… Wow! last time I’ve read something like this in “Pravda” newspaper, about 30 years ago (I was a Komsomol member then, you know :-)). In which world do you live, guys? While the only result of “peace process” was creation of a pseudo (and soon-to-be) state that DOES NOT RECOGNIZE Israel (meaning, acts to destroy it) – Israel can’t protect itself by the most passive way it can be done? And what is so wrong in making US border to look a bit different than Swiss cheese? Or is border control something unique, practiced by “evil imperialists”, while “progressive humankind” abandoned it centuries ago? Keep it up, comrades, the world will be plain boring without you :-D…

    1. “Apartheid Wall”
      “Israel can’t protect itself by the most passive way it can be done?”

      Does that include illegally building 80% of the wall inside occupied territory in order to annex land? I’d hardly call that “passive.” That’s active theft.

      The fact that the Separation Barrier cuts into the West Bank was and remains the main cause of human rights violations of Palestinians living near the Barrier. Israel contends that the Barrier’s route is based solely on security considerations. This report disputes that contention and proves that one of the primary reasons for choosing the route of many sections of the Barrier was to place certain areas intended for settlement expansion on the “Israeli” side of the Barrier. In some of the cases, for all intents and purposes the expansion constituted the establishment of a new settlement.

      You talk about not recognizing Israel; does helping itself to whatever occupied Palestinian territory it covets show that Israel has any intention of recognizing a Palestinian state, or just the leftovers denuded of arable land and water resources, and label the remaining bantustans a “state?”

  3. “Apartheid Wall.”
    To describe The United States attempt at keeping illegal aliens out of our country as apartheid is perhaps the most insanely liberal thing I’ve ever heard and I’m not even a conservative.

    For your information the border between Mexico and Guatemala is lined with machine guns,walls,land mines and razor wire.But nobody here is accusing the Mexican government of apartheid.In fact the vast majority of governments in the world use the same measures.If a country can’t protect it’s borders it’s a joke.

    Liberals think because of our past history concerning Blacks and Native Americans were obligated to give all people of color a free pass into this country.If in fact the people streaming across our borders were white they would be the first to demand a halt to it.

    1. read, then commment
      > To describe The United States attempt at keeping illegal aliens out of our country as apartheid

      I understand that actually reading the thread before posting generic outraged talking points isn’t standard conservative internet trolling but I thought I’d point out that the ‘Apartheid Wall’ mentioned was in Israel / Palestine and the company that is building it has been contracted to build the Mexico wall and there are some issues in Mexico that are being addressed (see above).

      So you’re trolling in the wrong thread. But, as you throw liberal around like an epithet I’d like to ask, assuming you are a ‘conservative’, what’s the view like from the dustbin of history?

      You pathetic overweight racist posers are fading into the past with your failed ideology. bye bye.

    2. he says he’s “not even a conservative”
      But he’s definitely a troll.

      Thank you, JG, for sparing me the effort of pointing out that the poor fellow didn’t even bother to read what he is dissing.

      I have crossed the Mexico-Guatemala border many times. There are no machine guns, walls, land mines or razor wire. Most of the border is a jungle river with nothing but scattered mud-and-thatch villages on either side, and no defenses whatsoever. To the extent that Mexico has militarized its southern border in recent years (road checkpoints, patrols, etc.) it is largely due to US pressure.

      The big majority of national borders on the planet do not have security walls of the type the US is building. In fact, it’s hard to think of anything that even comes close, apart from Korea’s DMZ. Otto is just making up facts.

      1. he denies but the prose tells
        The rampant use of ‘liberal’ was the give away regardless of his denial. He probably self identifies as a ‘libertarian populist’ of the racist wing nut variety. Not worth the thread – although border speculation is an interesting topic.

        Wondering what the checkpoint level is India / Pakistan. My guess is some symbolic road blocks with high kicking honor guard and that’s about it. Any more info?

  4. US just a laughingstock to rest of the Planet!
    Sorry, but to pay Israel to build this wall, is a joke! But it shows how serious the USA is in its zionist governmental programs…
    as I rant on….
    Anyone who feels sorry for Israel is delusional beyond belief. Israel steals and steals and kills and kills the land and people of Palestine, who respond with peaceful demonstration against the apartheid wall that cuts off their villages from their ancestral lands. Israel is a pariah state which has little resemblance to a democracy. No wonder it is becoming increasingly despised around the world because of its greed and brutality. There will never be peace for Israel so long as it denies equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens, and continues to occupy and brutalize its neighbors in Palestine. The BDS movement is working, as it worked in South Africa. Israel has only one friend left in the world, and even the United States is becoming tired of zionist whining and begging. There is already a single state, controlled by Israel. The world will not stand idly by while Israel continues playing the victim while killing thousands of women and children, as it did in Lebanon and Gaza. Free Gaza. Free Palestine.

    1. Border wall is not a “zionist” program
      And the US is not paying Israel to build it, but paying an Israeli firm to help build it. More to the point, it seems all your outrage is for Israel. Would you still oppose the border wall if an Israeli firm wasn’t involved?