How Israeli high tech gets sold to countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel
This evening I was told about a company in Israel that is white labeling (which means removing all signs of who the real manufacturer is) for sale to a hostile (i.e. Muslim) country. This is not uncommon. On the very first initial public offering on which I worked when I made aliya, one of the items we had to get permission not to disclose was the fact that the company was about to make a large sale in Malaysia. How does it happen? Jonathan Ferziger and Peter Waldman explain.
Trade and collaboration in technology and intelligence are flourishing between Israel and a host of Arab states, even if the people and companies involved rarely talk about it publicly. When a London think tank recently disinvited Bar from speaking on a panel, explaining that a senior Saudi official was also coming and it wasn’t possible to have them appear together, Bar told the organizers that he and the Saudi gentleman had in fact been planning to have lunch together at a Moroccan restaurant nearby before walking over to the event together. “They were out-Saudi-ing the Saudis,” he says.
Peace hasn’t come to the Middle East. This isn’t beating swords into plowshares but a logical coalescence of interests based on shared fears: of an Iranian bomb, jihadi terror, popular insurgency, and an American retreat from the region. IntuView has Israeli export licenses and the full support of its government to help any country facing threats from Iran and militant Islamic groups. “If it’s a country which is not hostile to Israel that we can help, we’ll do it,” Bar says. Only Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Iraq are off-limits.Interesting. Three of those four countries are also on the list of countries whose nationals are currently barred (or not barred depending upon whom you ask) from entering the United States under Donald Trump's executive order.
The Saudis and other oil-rich Arab states are only too happy to pay for the help. “The Arab boycott?” Bar says. “It doesn’t exist.”Hey - don't tell the Democrats that. They think the Arab boycott exists and will continue to exist until we have 'peace' with the 'Palestinians.' Reality says otherwise.
On the other hand, the Saudis like to hide reality:
Saudi officials declined to speak on the record about possible ties to Israel. Questions e-mailed to the kingdom’s interior ministry and its embassy in Washington for this article were unanswered. A source in Riyadh, insisting on anonymity, e-mailed a statement denying any trade links between Israel and Saudi Arabia:Read the whole thing. It's fascinating.
“In regard to defense systems technology, Saudi Arabia has never dealt with Israel in this field or any other field. Moreover, common sense tells us that in order for Saudi Arabia to get any weapon systems, they have to be bought under trade agreements made with friendly countries that manufacture those systems with official and approved export trade certificates from their governments. It is also certain that Israel is not among the countries that have commercial relations with the Kingdom.”The Arab embargo of Israel, nominally in force since the Jewish state’s founding in 1948, necessitates that all business between Israel and most Arab states remain strictly off the books, cloaked by intermediaries in other countries. But the volume and range of Israeli activity in at least six Gulf countries is getting hard to hide. One Israeli entrepreneur set up companies in Europe and the U.S. that installed more than $6 billion in security infrastructure for the United Arab Emirates, using Israeli engineers. The same companies then pitched Saudi Arabia to manage overcrowding in Mecca. Other Israeli businesses are working in the Gulf, through front companies, on desalination, infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and intelligence gathering.