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Trump Administration Hires Israeli Military Contractors to Build U.S.-Mexico Border Wall: One of those Israeli companies has ties to West Michigan

October 2, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would award millions of dollars in contracts to fulfill President Donald Trump’s ominous promise to expand the wall at the Mexico/U.S. border. These contracts are going to Israeli companies, as was reported by the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign

The BDS campaign reported:

Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary, Elta North America, has been awarded a contract worth up to $500,000 to build prototypes for the wall on the Mexico/U.S. border, while the U.S. subsidiary of the Israeli security and surveillance company Elbit Systems has received its third contract to build the U.S. border wall and to militarize the border area.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded Elbit Systems a $145 million contract to erect and maintain surveillance towers along the Arizona/Sonora (Mexico) border. Already in 2006, Elbit had been subcontracted by Boeing to provide cameras and radar systems for the DHS’s Strategic Border Initiative. Earlier this month, Elbit announced a contract to deliver even more radar and surveillance towers to militarize the Mexico-US border area, boasting it offers “field proven architecture” tested on Palestinians.

Elbit Systems has a connection to West Michigan. First, the former Chairman of Elbit Systems, Joseph Parini, is on the advisory board for the Michigan Israel Business Bridge. Another advisory board member for the Michigan Israel Business Bridge is Birgit  Klohs, who is the President and CEO of the Right Place Inc. here in Grand Rapids. Klohs has aggressively sought to bring Israeli companies to West Michigan and has already brought Plasan North American to Walker, Michigan.

The other interesting connection between Elbit Systems (which has new contracts for the US/Mexican border wall) and West Michigan, is the current CEO of Elbit Systems, Raanan Horowitz. According to the Elbit Systems website, Horowitz, received a Master of Business Administration from the Seidman School of Business at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.” 

Some communities are organizing actions on November 9, for a World Without Walls. This day of action is to make the connection between the illegal Israel wall on Palestinian land and the US wall that will be expanded along the US/Mexican border. It would seem that Grand Rapids might want to join is this global day of action, considering the connections between the Israeli companies contracted to be involved in the US/Mexican border wall and the ties that one of those companies has to West Michigan.

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