[News] You've heard about the violence in Chile. You probably haven't heard their military learns its tactics in Israel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 23 10:59:33 EDT 2019


  You've heard about the violence in Chile. You probably haven't heard
  their military learns its tactics in Israel

Benjamin Zinevich 
<https://www.independent.co.uk/author/benjamin-zinevich>- October 22, 2019

What started as a student act of civil disobedience against Santiago’s 
rising metro fares has now expanded outside the Chilean capital. In a 
sudden uprising against austerity and persistent economic inequality, a 
proposed fare increase (the equivalent of €0.02) was simply salt on an 
open wound for the poor and working-class citizens of Chile. Peaceful 
protests, when forcibly dispersed by the national police, have turned 
violent. The government, led by conservative billionaire President 
Sebastián Piñera, responded by declaring a state of emergency and 
calling in the military to quell protests, declaring that the state was 
“at war”.

While the military enforces brutality towards civilians not seen since 
the dictatorship that ended in the early 1990s, it is important to 
highlight the international connections to such brutality. The state of 
Israel’s tactical and resource-based military support in the past and 
present for Chile should be noted in particular.

During Augusto Pinochet’s US-supported regime, Chile witnessedtens of 
of political adversaries imprisoned, killed, or disappeared. During 
these years, Israel and Chile had a collaborative relationship, as 
Israel was one ofthe main suppliers 
of arms to the military junta.

The dark era of Pinochet’s rule has some notable connections to the 
present. President Piñera, having appointed individuals to his cabinet 
whomade comments 
defending Pinochet, has also worked to refine so-called “anti-terror” 
laws from the junta era. These laws have in turn increased surveillance 
and oppression of Mapuche and left-wing groups.

Today, the armed forces of both Chile and Israel make no attempts to 
hide their alliances, citing on the Chilean Embassy to Israel’swebsite 
the aims of “increasing the bonds with...Israel, in order to make 
knowledge, training and experiences exchange possible.” Chile and 
Israelsigned an agreement 
in 2018 which spoke of encouraging further "cooperation in military 
education, training and doctrine" during Israeli General Yaacov Barak’s 
visit to Chile that year.

While this alliance is known to benefit the military power of both 
countries, those who are affectedthe most negatively 
are the working class and Indigenous people of both regions. In Israel, 
Palestinians suffer under a system of occupation and apartheid, and in 
Chile, the working class and Indigenous groups, such as the Mapuche, 
have experiences centuries of colonial-based oppression.

In recent years, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has seemingly used a 
tactic of maiming Palestinian protesters rather than lethally shooting 
them. For more than a year now, Palestinian civilians have marched 
towards the Gaza wall in protest of Israeli occupation, and theIDF has 
nearly 60 per cent of these 10,511 civilians in the lower limbs, with 
more than 90 per cent of casualties coming from live ammunition.

During the past week, these Israeli tactics have been used on Chilean 
civilians on multiple reported occasions. One woman has beenshot in the 
and was reported in critical condition due to excessive bleeding. In 
another, a 23-year-old manwas shot in the leg 
before a military vehicle crushed him to death.

These similar tactics are no coincidence, and are internationally a part 
of what activist groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace have named“the 
deadly exchange” <https://deadlyexchange.org/>. In the United States, 
municipal police, ICE agents, and other security agents routinely train 
alongside the IDF, sharing tactics and weaponry that can encourage 
racial profiling, extrajudicial killings, and increased surveillance on 
both countries’ most marginalized groups.

Emilio Dabed, a Palestinian-Chilean lawyer, has laid out the connections 
before, writing 
“In both cases, Palestinians and the Indigenous population in Chile live 
in a state of exception imposed on them by the colonizers, and under 
which the colonized people are [seen as] neither citizen-holders of 
rights nor political subjects but rather a threat — bodies [to be] ruled 
by violence that is normalized in law.”

The Israeli arms which forcibly kept Pinochet in power were used 
disproportionately on the Mapuche, who had supported left-wing efforts 
such as the election of socialist Salvador Allende in 1970. Today many 
Indigenous people are taking part in the demonstrations, and have become 
many of the casualties at the hands of the military.

Outside of Chile and Israel, it’s important that we call out military 
partnerships that perpetuate the oppression of marginalized indigenous 
people. Such ties between the IDF and other countries’ armed forces 
should be investigated and questioned. Further militarization of 
communities does not produce peace, but further brutality and injustice 
— and it’s time we talked about why we’re ignoring that fact.

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