Citing “health challenges” posed by COVID-19, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative (USIBI), a venture of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is advancing a new eight-point policy framework to facilitate a “more robust bilateral collaboration” between Israeli and American companies to realize the “potential” of technologies emerging out of Israel relating to telehealth, robotic diagnostics and AI-powered applications in healthcare.
In a recent article, investigative reporter Whitney Webb uncovered the deep Israeli military roots of virtually every “health” tech startup to emerge in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and their extensive relationships with the U.S. government at both the federal and state level. Regarding the policy framework, Webb stated that it was likely “part of a broader effort aimed at using the coronavirus crisis to facilitate the integration of Israeli tech companies, particularly in the “digital health” sector, into the U.S. technology ecosystem. Many, if not the vast majority, of these companies”, she continued, “were either founded by ex-members of Israeli intelligence or military intelligence, but also serve as contractors to Israel’s government or its military.”
The implications for the average American citizen are far-reaching. As Webb explains, “these health “solutions” offered by these Israeli companies use AI or “digital solutions” require the accumulation of vast amounts of private medical and demographic data; data which is then shared with these foreign companies and their partners and clients, representing a clear threat to privacy.”
But, privacy is hardly the only concern. “Many of these companies that are now marketing these “healthcare” solutions,” says Webb, “were previously contractors for the IDF and used surveillance and predictive policing on Palestinians in occupied Palestine.”The Merging of US and Israeli National Security States is Accelerating Amid COVID-19