Rasha Abdul Rahim
Director of Amnesty Tech
PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
Director of Advocacy and Campaigns
Medical Aid for Palestinians
Deputy Executive Director & Senior Fellow
Arab Center Washington DC
About the Webinar
On June 15, 2023, Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) organized a webinar titled, “Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights: The Case of Israeli Surveillance of Palestinians.” Panelists were: Rasha Abdul Rahim, Director of Amnesty Tech at Amnesty International; Sophia Goodfriend, PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Duke University; Mona Shtaya, Non-resident Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP); and Rohan Talbot, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at Medical Aid for Palestinians. Tamara Kharroub, Deputy Executive Director and Senior Fellow at ACW, moderated the event.
Rasha Abdul Rahim discussed a recent Amnesty International report, “Automated Apartheid,” on Israel’s use of facial recognition technology in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, detailing how Israel uses this and other technologies to surveil and control Palestinians and maintain its apartheid system of oppression.
Mona Shtaya provided further context on the role of Israel’s surveillance and technology initiatives in militarizing and securitizing Palestinian spaces, highlighting Israel’s push to harness the power of artificial intelligence in collaboration with major companies such as Google and Amazon.
Sophia Goodfriend spoke about the close ties between Israel’s military and its technology industry, covering the rising significance of intelligence units in the Israeli Army and their role in providing a pipeline to the country’s surveillance and tech industry, and emphasizing the human cost of automated surveillance in the West Bank and of automated warfare in the Gaza Strip.
Rohan Talbot focused on the legal implications of Israel’s use of surveillance technologies, especially when it comes to its responsibilities as an occupying power that is subject to international humanitarian law.
Featured image credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff