How a Tiny Kibbutz Founded on Blood-Soaked Palestinian Land is Making Billions in U.S. Taxpayer Money  

Earlier this month, a subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation announced they are building a fleet of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The U.S. State Department ordered 75 of the vehicles through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) as part of Biden’s military aid package and dozens more were purchased by Israel via Direct Commercial Sale. The FMS is worth approximately $30 million with each vehicle reportedly costing a whopping $400K.

According to Bloomberg, the Pentagon has “quietly ramped up military aid” to Israel  and is seemingly green lighting the apartheid state’s every demand despite the fact Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has mass-murdered over 20,000 Palestinians in the last ten weeks alone, two-thirds of which are women and children. 

The weapons pipeline to Israel is extending beyond the well-publicized provision of Iron Dome interceptors and Boeing Co. smart bombs. It continues even as Biden administration officials increasingly caution Israel about trying to avoid civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. – Bloomberg

The endless flow of U.S. weapons to Israel in the midst of clear evidence that Netanyahu continues to violate international law, including but certainly not limited to genocide and war crimes, is a contravention of the very Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) policy President Biden signed earlier this year.

National Security Memorandum 18 states the U.S. will prevent “arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law.” Biden is also required to take into consideration a recipient’s deliberate intent to violate human rights, an obligation he’s clearly ignored.

Between 2018-2022 alone, the State Department authorized $5.7 billion in Direct Commercial Sales to Israel, including chemical and biological agents, vaccines, launch vehicles, rockets, guided and ballistic missiles, bombs, and mines. Currently, the U.S. also has nearly 600 active FMS cases with Israel valued at approximately $23.8 billion. Cases tagged as a priority include F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft, CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopters and precision-guided munitions. 

Israel’s latest request includes 57,000 High Explosive artillery shells, 20,000 rifles, night vision goggles, hand-held bunker-buster munitions, mortars, and the new JLTVs built by Oshkosh Corporation. Interestingly, Oshkosh chose Plasan North America, a subsidiary of Israeli company, Plasan Sasa, Ltd., based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to produce the tactical protective components for the military vehicles. Plasan’s subsidiary boasts that their products are “Made in the USA” but lurking beneath the company’s appropriation of America’s patriotic slogan lies a dark history.

In 1909, a small group of Eastern European Zionists migrated to northern Palestine and there they built a modest hut perched atop the hilly ruins of an Arab village once known as Umm Juni. After moving their settlement closer to the mouth of the Jordan River, these early pioneers established the first kibbutz, an agrarian collective based on the principles of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation.

Kibbutzim quickly sprouted into a mass pioneering movement and thousands of youth group members flocked to these rural communities where they received an education in farming and military training before spreading out across Palestinian land to build their own communes.

Kibbutz children with members of the Givati Brigade | ארכיון קיבוץ גת, CC BY 2.5

Under the guise of socialism and a working class labor force, kibbutzim became the bedrock for Jewish state-building and the rise of Israel’s national ideology. Some kibbutzim were “placed strategically near regions like Gaza in order to help stake the future,” such as Kibbutz Hatzerim, which, according to early colonizers, “served an important political purpose as it brought about the UN recommendation of including the entire area south and west of Hatzerim within the borders of the future Jewish State.”

The approach is known as ‘creating facts on the ground’ – laying a stake in an area to ensure that it will be part of a future state and difficult to get rid of later on.

The distribution of the settlements determined the map of the proposed United Nations Partition Plan for Jewish and Palestinian states in 1947.

By 1948, prior to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Zionist movement, Jews had control over less than six percent of the land. – aljazeera.com

These settlements were built almost entirely on land theft, violence and the supplication of Palestinian workers, culminating in what The Jacobin described as “war capitalism” laden with nationalism and acute militarism. Despite whatever aspirations these early settlers had of a socialist Shangri-la rooted in equality and communal spirit, the kibbutzim movement became a monstrous exercise in Western colonization and ethnic nationalism.

Kibbutz Sasa, home to the very parent company that is manufacturing the JLTV components for Oshkosh Corporation, is no different. The kibbutz was founded in January 1949 after military forces depopulated a small Palestinian village known as Sa’sa. Prior to 1948, approximately 1,300 Arabs had settled in the area and built a marketplace, a mosque, and two schools for their children. They also planted olive trees, and nearby springs provided fresh water and irrigation.

Meanwhile, in 1920, the Labor Zionist party formed the Haganah, a barbaric paramilitary organization that helped build the settlements and protected the Jewish colonizers that occupied them. The Palmach was considered the elite combat unit of the Haganah and in 1938, members of this feral terrorist brigade ambushed the small village of Sa’sa, savagely killing its inhabitants.

Commander of the Palmach, Yigal Allon | commons.wikimedia.org

Using the same propaganda tactic that Netanyahu is using 75 years later to massacre tens of thousands of Palestinians, Zionists claimed that Arab militants were using the village as a base to justify an attack against the defenseless villagers.

Armed with a compelling disinformation operation, the deputy commander of the Third Battalion, Moshe Kalman, thus ordered his troops to blow up the houses in Sa’sa and “kill as many warriors as possible.” The attack was meant to serve as a warning to others and so, on the night of February 14, 1948, members of the Palmach entered the village:

The order to attack Sa’sa came from Yigal Allon, the commander of the Palmach in the north, and was entrusted to Moshe Kalman, the deputy commander of the third battalion that had committed the atrocities in Khisas…

Kalman’s troops took the main street of the village and systematically blew up one house after another while families were still sleeping inside. ‘In the end, the sky prised open,’ recalled Kalman poetically, as a third of the village was blasted into the air. ‘We left behind 35 demolished houses and 60-80 dead bodies’ (quite a few of them were children).

During an interview conducted by historian Boaz Lev Tov with the now-deceased Elad Peled, a former squad commander in the Palmach, Peled stated:

Peled: [L]et me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa…The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach…can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.

Boaz Lev Tov: While people were sleeping there?

Peled: I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house.

Despite Zionists’ claims that the village was used by Arab militants, according to Illan Pappe’s book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” the New York Times reported that Kalman’s troops encountered no resistance from the villagers.

IDF Soldiers in Sa’sa, October 1948 | wikipedia.org

The initial attack on Sa’sa was carried out months before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was considered a “landmark in the War of Independence.” A second terrorist attack was carried out on October 30th, after which the village remained permanently occupied. 

Between 1947-1949, the Palmach carried out dozens of large-scale attacks “aimed at the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their towns and villages to build the Jewish state, which culminated in the Nakba.” Two days before the second attack on Sa’sa, armed troops unleashed a bloodbath on the village of al-Dawaymah. According to horrific testimony allegedly given by a Zionist soldier stationed in al-Dawayim, Arab children “were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks” while women were locked in their home and blown up.

One soldier boasted that he raped an Arab woman and afterwards shot her. An Arab woman with a days-old infant was used for cleaning the back yard where the soldiers eat. She serviced them for a day or two, after which they shot her and the infant… 

I myself was at the front for two weeks and heard boasting stories of soldiers and commanders, of how they excelled in the acts of hunting and ‘fucking [sic]. To fuck an Arab, just like that, and in any circumstance, is considered an impressive mission and there is competition on winning this [trophy].

And according to Egyptian socialist Mostafa Omar in his review of Ilan Pappe’s book:

[Declassified Israel military archives and memoirs of Israel’s founding fathers] leave no doubt that, in the decades before 1948, the leaders of Zionism concocted a premeditated plan to expel the native Palestinian population. Pappe details how these Israeli ‘heroes’ executed the plan in the period from December 1947 to March 1949 through the use of massacres, rapes, demolition of villages, and forced expulsion of the native population.

Less than a year after the Palmach’s carnage and destruction, American-Jewish members of the Zionist youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair, founded Kibbutz Sasa on the depopulated ruins of the Arab village. Here you can find a list of Zionist settlements and the Palestinian name of the village and stolen lands on which they were built.

Today, Sasa’s population is approximately two-thirds smaller than the original village it rests on. On a website dedicated to the kibbutz you’ll find old photographs of soldiers raiding the village and the destruction left behind under the title “Conquest of Sasa.” The site doesn’t mention the bombings or the ethnic cleansing. Rather, kibbutz members drunk on the genocidal ideology of Zionism teach their children that “archaeological findings indicate that in the place where the kibbutz sits, there was a Jewish village during the Second Temple period.”

Today, there are over 270 kibbutzim throughout Israel and its illegally-occupied lands but the large majority of them have since been privatized and moved away from collective ownership and cooperative living. However, more than a handful of kibbutzim own their own companies, the profits of which are shared among its members.

For example, in 2014, Kibbutz Sdot Yam—which was a “vital cog in the Palmach machinery for smuggling illegal immigrants into Palestine”—sold their majority stake in the luxury stone company, Caesarstone, for $260 million making its members “wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.”

The Caesarstone wealth means that Kibbutz Sdot Yam can easily keep functioning as a commune. It can also offer its members a pretty nice life, financing university degrees for all the children of the kibbutz, even graduate degrees for those who wish to pursue them. There is a rich medical plan for all of the commune’s members and generous support of the elderly. Good housing is provided to everyone. — Forbes

In 2011, Kibbutz Shamir sold a 50% stake in their ophthalmic lens company, Shamir Optical, to the French design and eye lens manufacturer, Essilor, for $130 million. At the time, Shamir’s reported annual revenue was  $142 million and Israeli executives were expected to receive half a million dollars in bonuses in the merger. In September 2022, Essilor acquired the remaining 50% for an undisclosed amount.

In 1948, settlers founded Kibbutz Gabzit on the lands of al-Tira, Baysan after Zionist troops evicted the Arab population. In 2021, this same kibbutz sold Plazit-Polyga Plastics Industries for approximately $210 million mere weeks after they inked a deal with Danish firm, Faerch, for MCP Performance Plastic.

In 2012, Kibbutz Yizre’el, which was also founded in 1948 on the ethnically-cleansed lands of a Palestinian village called Zir’in, turned down an offer for NIS 180 million for their shares in the kibbutz-owned company, Maytronics. Over a decade later, the kibbutz’s stake in the company is worth more than ten times the original offer “making the kibbutz one of Israel’s wealthiest.”

Earlier this month, Maytronics became the first kibbutz owned company to be listed on the TA-35 Index…Yizre’el holds a 60% stake in the company, whose market capitalization reached NIS 5.5 billion (approximately $1.6 billion) this week.

In other words, the 293 kibbutz members have, between them, an asset worth around NIS 3 billion (approximately $882 million). The kibbutz also enjoys a dividend in the form of rent for the structures used by the company and salaries to the 37 members who are also among Maytronics’ employees. — calcalistech.com

And 75 years after a “young group of girl and boy scouts” founded Hatzerim, the kibbutz sold 80% of its stake in the irrigation firm, Netafirm, to Mexichem, netting approximately $241 million for its approximate 800 members. 

Not surprisingly, two days after Biden announced that he was sending additional taxpayer money to Israel, Wiggles Creatives’ West African blog, AB TC, reported that Israel’s kibbutzim have fallen “into the ranks of the world’s richest cooperative communities” with kibbutz companies being sold for hundreds of millions of dollars.

In terms of excessive wealth, the aforementioned kibbutzim pale in comparison to Kibbutz Sasa, which continues to operate much in the same way as the original settlers did, including communal dining and pooled salaries where paid wages are turned over to the kibbutz and shared among its members. 

Sasa owns a technology company called Sasa Software that brings in anywhere from $5-$25 million annually in cyber security products but it’s Plasan Sasa, Ltd. that has become the kibbutz’s real bread and butter. The Israeli defense contractor designs and manufactures protective components for military vehicles including an advanced system that absorbs the energy from explosive devices to minimize damage to both the vehicle and its occupants. They also provide protective armor for maritime vessels.

According to the company’s director of design, Nir Kahn, “We’re not a well-known company, not even in Israel…We work quietly in the background.” And in a recent interview with Forbes he stated, “We’re, more often than not, a quiet or even silent partner in the background.”

Well, not anymore. 

Over the course of the last decade, Plasan has signed “contracts worth billions of dollars with major clients,” the profits of which are shared between approximately 200 members of the kibbutz. According to a 2009 article published by Haartez entitled “The Kibbutz That Is Saving American Soldiers’ Lives,” the company works with a “staggering 2,500 other subcontractors, most of them American.”

Internationally, Plasan has contracts with the Spanish Army, the UK Royal Navy, and the Royal Australian Navy, the last of which is for three of their warships anticipated for service in 2031. They’ve also provided bullet-proof ambulances to the Ukraine government and tactical vehicles to the Australian Army.

The company partners with firms like Elbit Systems, an Israeli arms manufacturer notorious for their complicity in the Zionist state’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinians. They also collaborate with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and global aerospace and defense company, General Dynamics. 

In February, the U.S. government awarded automotive manufacturer, AM General, a $4.65 billion contract to manufacture 20,000 JLTVs and 10,000 trailers for the U.S. military. The company then awarded Plasan a $300 million contract to produce components for the vehicles.

Two months ago, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Plasan a $250,000 contract for vehicular equipment components and now the State Department is spending an additional $30 million for 75 tactical vehicles, the components of which will also be manufactured by Plasan.

In other words, 75 years after Palestinian men, women, and children living in the small village of Sa’sa were blown up in their sleep so Zionist Jews could steal their land, one tiny kibbutz will reap yet another outlandish, blood-soaked fortune thanks to American taxpayers because Plasan’s North American subsidiary was right: Genocide is Made in America.

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