Motorola Solutions deals with radios, scanners, and other technologies sold mostly to governments (think ‘governments and surveillance.’) Motorola Mobility deals with the manufacture and and marketing of mobile devices for the consumer public (think ‘consumers and cell phones.’)
Most of the information below refers to Motorola before the split, and specifically to the side of the business that was inherited by Motorola Solutions.
What does Motorola do?
Motorola and its subsidiaries are involved in several different aspects of the Israeli Occupation.
Perimeter surveillance systems around settlements and military camps
Motorola is extensively involved in designing and implementing surveillance systems around illegal Israeli settlements and military camps in the occupied West Bank. Motorola has created at least four surveillance systems to “protect” dozens of illegal Jewish-only settlements and military camps throughout the West Bank. For example, Motorola has created the Electronic Fence Radar System (EFRS), which is used as a “virtual fence” around dozens of Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank (see here.)
The “fences” are in fact a series of radars and thermal and optical cameras connected to settlement and military camp security forces. These fences can extend up to 700 meters outside of a settlement, and work by alerting settlement security whenever motion is detected near this area, thus preventing Palestinians from working their land adjacent to the settlements. In this way, the systems not only reinforce settlement infrastructure, but also confiscate additional land and further constrict freedom of movement for Palestinians.
Telecommunications equipment for the Israeli military
Motorola has a long history of providing the Israeli military with telecommunications technology. In 2000, Motorola won a $100 million contract to provide the IDF with their specially-designed Vered Harim (Mountain Rose) cellular communications system. It has been installed in a wide range of armored vehicles, and is integrated with communications systems throughout the West Bank (see here and here.)
Motorola is the provider of the primary mode of communication for the Israeli military, meaning that Israeli soldiers—whether operating checkpoints, firing on the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead, tear-gassing nonviolent protesters, or descending on the Free Gaza Flotilla in the middle of the night—are receiving their orders via a Motorola system.
Checkpoints, security, and control systems
Motorola owns 49% of Taldor Communications, which is a division of Israeli company Taldor. In April of 2008, Taldor Communications signed a deal with Visuals Defense Inc. (VDI), to distribute VDI’s “integrated security solutions” in Israel (see here.) VDI specializes in manufacturing products such as watchtowers, motion sensors, military surveillance and communications systems, public announcement systems, and x-rays. Israel’s Separation Wall, checkpoints, terminals, military bases, and illegal settlements rely on these products.
Furthermore, Motorola holds a 9% stake in Afcon, one of Israel’s largest industrial groups. Afcon manufactures metal detectors and gates which are installed in checkpoints throughout the West Bank, including the Patriarch’s Cave checkpoint, the Beit Iba checkpoint, Erez Terminal, and in various locations in the Jordan Valley. Afcon also holds a large contract for the supply of the security system for the Jerusalem Light Rail Transport System. The Jerusalem Light Rail enterprise is one of Israel’s more egregious projects, designed to solidify Israeli control of Jerusalem by connecting it with the illegal settlements that surround the city.
Until April 2009, Motorola Israel—a full subsidiary of Motorola Inc—was Israel’s leading company in the design and manufacture of electronic fuses for aircraft bombs and guided munitions, including those used against civilians during the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza (see in this Human Rights Watch report, page 12). Motorola Israel sold the department that produced the fuses in April 2009, following a successful campaign to pressure the company in the US.
Motorola at home in the US
Motorola’s “excellence” at border militarization and civilian control in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is not lost on US homeland security decision-makers and their dollars. Motorola-USA is a valued industry partner for the US Department of Homeland Security’s $15 million research institute at the University of Arizona, The Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration (see here.) Motorola also holds contracts for providing its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to DHS and Department of Defense for military, border, and immigration security utilization (see here.)
Furthermore, just as the IDF relies on Motorola for their internal communications system, so too do US Immigration and Customs officials depend on the company for their network needs. ICE operates a national radio communication system known as the National Law Enforcement Communications Center (NLECC). NLECC is reliant on Motorola technology for their “Customs Over the Horizon Network” or COTHEN (see here, under Section 8.)
Previous boycotts of Motorola
Motorola was previously boycotted for its dealings with South Africa under Apartheid. The company supplied the police with mobile radio transmitters used to suppress demonstrations against the government. Sounds familiar?
Where is Motorola?
Everywhere people use cell phones! You can sign up with the Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to organize a local Motorola campaign.
- Global headquarters: 1303 East Algonquin Road Schaumburg, Illinois 60196 USA Telephone: +1 847 576 5000.
- Shareholder meetings are held annually in Chicago in May.