Israel’s involvement in the Olympics extends way beyond the participation of Israeli athletes.
As the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens began Friday, officials touted the $312 million security system installed to protect athletes, spectators and residents in the Greek host city. At least 20 Israeli companies as well as Israel’s police, army and naval forces, offered their border protection and software expertise, supplying infrared cameras, closed circuit TVs, patrol boats, software systems, even miles of black irrigation tubing, for the Olympic sites and streets in Athens.
Athens’ total security budget is more than $1.5 billion a record for the Olympics, and Israel is playing a large role. The entire system was set up by San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., an American-led consortium that included companies such as Germany’s Siemens AG; General Dynamics of Falls Church, Virginia; New Jersey-based Honeywell International and more than a dozen Israeli companies, including Elbit Systems, Israel Shipyards, Motorola Israel and Check Point Software Technologies.
“The Israelis aren’t the first in security at the Olympics, but they’re clearly in the top four,” an industry source told ISRAEL21c.
And not just in security. According to an Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute study carried out earlier this year, Israeli companies won tenders and carried out projects worth an aggregate $220 million for the Athens Olympics. Communications firms won tenders worth $30 million, coastal and port security companies will be earning some $120 million; infrastructure suppliers won tenders worth $30 million; environmental, transport and parking companies will earn around $30 million and security consultants won tenders worth $10 million.
If the Arab/Muslim states (and non-states) wanted to be consistent, you would think they would boycott the Games.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
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