Bıdɛn spokesperson Jen Psaki worked for Israeli spy firm
Published: March 27, 2021Share
| Print This
Shawn ThewPool via CNP
President Joe Bıdɛn’s press secretary Jen Psaki worked for an Israeli firm accused of involvement in surveillance of Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.
Psaki’s public financial disclosures show that she earned at least $5,000 as a “crisis communications consultant” for AnyVision
The disclosure forms for executive branch officials can be requested
from the Whιte House. Psaki’s disclosure obtained by The Electronic Intifada is included below this article.
The exact date of the work is not specified, but it occurred between the time Psaki left the σbαmα administration in 2017 and her new role in the Bıdɛn Whιte House.
Psaki has operated a communications firm called Evergreen Consulting since a month after President Barack σbαmα left office.
This covers the period when AnyVision faced a public relations crisis over its alleged complicity in Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights.
In 2019, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported
that AnyVision’s facial recognition technology was being secretly used by Israel’s occupation army “to monitor West Bank Palestinians at checkpoints on the way into Israel – while using a network of cameras deep inside the West Bank.”
AnyVision’s president, Amir Kain, was former head of the Israeli defense ministry’s security department, and one of its advisers, Tamir Pardo, is a former head of the Mossad spying and assassination agency, according to Haaretz
In other words, AnyVision was reportedly an integral part of what Israel’s leading human rights group B’Tselem recently described
as an “apartheid regime” established to perpetuate “the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians.”
According to Haaretz
, the firm’s co-founder Eylon Etshtein asserted without apparent irony that his company is “very sensitive” to racial and gender bias and only sells to “democratic countries with proper governments.”
A subsequent report
by Olivia Solon for NBC News stated that AnyVision “powers a secret military surveillance project throughout the West Bank.”
“Palestinians living in the West Bank do not have Israeli citizenship or voting rights but are subject to movement restrictions and surveillance by the Israeli government,” NBC noted.
The network also reported that when it approached AnyVision’s Etshtein for comment, “He disputed that the West Bank was ‘occupied’ and questioned the motivation of the NBC News inquiry, suggesting the reporter must have been funded by a Palestinian activist group.”
Etshtein also apparently threatened to sue the network.
Solon’s report focused attention on how American tech giant Microsoft had invested $74 million in AnyVision.
That spurred the #DropAnyVision
campaign by human rights and Palestine solidarity activists calling on Microsoft to divest from the spy firm.
The campaign – spearheaded by Jєωιѕн Voice for Peace – was successful.
Microsoft announced a year ago
that it was withdrawing from involvement with AnyVision, after it commissioned an investigation
led by former US attorney general Eric Holder.
Microsoft said that Holder’s investigation could not substantiate the accusations about AnyVision’s secret involvement in surveillance of Palestinians.
But Microsoft said
it was divesting anyway since holding a minority share in a firm selling “sensitive technologies” including facial recognition would not allow for the “level of oversight or control that Microsoft exercises over the use of its own technology.”
“Microsoft’s decision to dump AnyVision is a huge blow to this deeply complicit Israeli company and a success for an impressive BDS campaign,” Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, said at the time.New Entrant Report | U.S. Office of Government Ethics; 5 C.F.R. part 2634 | Form Approved: OMB No. (3209-0001) (Updated July 2020)Executive Branch PersonnelPublic Financial Disclosure Report (OGE Form 278e)Filer's InformationPsaki, JenAssistant to the President and Whιte House Press Secretary, Whιte House - Bıdɛn-hαɾɾιs AdministrationDate of Appointment: 01/20/2021Other Federal Government Positions Held During the Preceding 12 Months:NoneElectronic Signature - I certify that the statements I have made in this form are true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge./s/ Psaki, Jen [electronically signed on 03/05/2021 by Psaki, Jen in Integrity.gov] - Filer received a 15 day filing extension.Agency Ethics Official's Opinion - On the basis of information contained in this report, I conclude that the filer is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations (subject toany comments below)./s/ Olorunnipa, Funmi, Certifying Official [electronically signed on 03/19/2021 by Olorunnipa, Funmi in Integrity.gov]Other review conducted byOther review conducted by/s/ Olorunnipa, Funmi, Ethics Official [electronically signed on 03/19/2021 by Olorunnipa, Funmi in Integrity.gov]
U.S. Office of Government Ethics Certification