Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

May 2009

“I want to make it clear that the current Israeli government will not accept in any way the freezing of legal settlement activity in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told Army Radio.

According to The Sunday Times, “Administration officials say privately that Obama has given himself two years for a diplomatic breakthough on a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, despite the opposition of Binyamin Netanyahu… to America’s minimum demand for a freeze on all settlement building in disputed territory.”

A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic.

A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic.

In the outside world such a country is called an apartheid state. In Israel they call it the one-state solution. Once it was out of bounds, only the radical left in both nations dared to suggest it. Now it is being proposed by the Israeli right, while they blur and repress the reality.

The proposal to legally bar the commemoration of the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day reflects growing trepidation in Israel about the inevitable encounter with the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding that the Nakba is a foundational part of Israeli identity.

Ashkenazi, like other Israelis, could have read the Red Cross’ protest during the offensive, that the IDF prevented medical teams from reaching wounded Palestinians by shooting at them. He or his aides could have gone to the Web site set up by Israeli human rights organizations, which was full of reports and testimonies.

[T]orture has been routine practice from the early days of the conquest of the national territory, and then beyond… Small wonder that the President advises us to look forward, not backward – a convenient doctrine for those who hold the clubs. Those who are beaten by them tend to see the world differently, much to our annoyance.

[U.S. Middle East envoy George] Mitchell will come, and we’ll talk to him. I suggest that Israel and the U.S. don’t set a timetable. We won’t let them threaten us… From the banks of the Potomac in Washington it is not always clear what the real situation here is.

In France’s eyes, Jerusalem should, within the framework of a negotiated peace deal, become the capital of two states… In broad terms, France condemns the ongoing settlement, including in East Jerusalem. We reiterate the need for a freeze on colonization activities, including those linked to natural population growth.

“The findings are worrying because they reflect an exaggerated and unnecessary fear,” Prof. David Menashri, the head of the [Iranian Studies] Center, said. “Iran’s leadership is religiously extremist but calculated and it understands an unconventional attack on Israel is an act of madness that will destroy Iran. Sadly, the survey shows the Iranian threat works well even without a bomb.”

The supreme tenet of Israeli defense policy states that Jerusalem must not launch any strategic initiative that stands in contradiction, or places in harm’s way, the clear interests of the United States. This stance has underpinned every fateful decision taken by Israel relating to matters of war and peace… If this tenet remains the cornerstone of defense policy, then Israel once again will not act against the explicit wishes of the U.S.

We must be thankful to Obama… he is trying to rescue Israel, the Middle East, and basically the entire world… The ball is in Netanyahu’s court. If he ends the occupation, he’ll get peace and security; if he doesn’t, he won’t.

IOA Editor: Levy’s unbridled enthusiasm about Obama’s Middle East plans is not justifiable but may be explained as a desperate desire for someone to step in and block Netanyahu – a sincere hope, but not one grounded in reality.

A Majority of 76 Senators urged President Barack Obama Tuesday to advance Middle East peace talks while minding the “risks” Israel faces in a two state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians.

There was a revealing interlude in mid-September 2007, when the former Federal Reserve Chair, Alan Greenspan, was quoted in The Washington Post of Sept.17, 2007, as saying that “the removal of Saddam Hussein had been ‘essential’ to secure world oil supplies….” Greenspan’s statement, that “the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil,” apparently shocked the White House, leading an anonymous White House official to explain, “well, unfortunately, we can’t talk about oil.” The former Federal Reserve Chair was already on record as conceding that he was ‘saddened that it was “politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.

I am increasingly convinced that if Obama fails to speak out now, it will doom the two-state solution forever. Further fiddling in Washington — after eight years of it — will consign Jerusalem, the West Bank and the two-state solution to an Israeli expansionism that will overwhelm the ability of cartographers to concoct a viable Palestinian state.

As Akiva Eldar reports,figures for 2006-07 reveal that the housing shortage in settlements stems largely from “migration” from Israel proper to communities beyond the Green Line, as well as the addition of new immigrants from abroad.

We came to annihilate you; Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right; No tolerance, we came to liquidate. This is a selection of graffiti Israeli soldiers left on the walls of Palestinians’ homes in Gaza, which they turned into bivouacs and firing positions during Operation Cast Lead. Here and there, a soldier scribbled a line of mock poetry or biblical quote in the same sentiment. There were also curses on the Prophet Mohammed and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, along with shift schedules and favorite soccer teams.

Altogether only 30 to 40 select commercial items are now allowed into the Gaza Strip, compared to 4,000 that had been approved before the closure Israel imposed on Gaza following the abduction of Gilad Shalit, according to merchants and human rights activists.

The survey shows that Holocaust denial among Israeli Arabs has become more prevalent in recent years… “This radicalization in the positions of Arabs was caused by a series of factors such as the Second Lebanon War, the stalemate in the negotiations with the Palestinians.”

Since its February debut, Jewish leaders have condemned “Seven Jewish Children” as anti-Semitic. The play is said to tie the Nazi murder of Jews during the Holocaust with the killing of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel. It also depicts an Israeli’s decision to tell a child not to feel sorry for dead Palestinians.

A United Nations report published Friday by the world body’s Committee Against Torture urged Israel to reveal secret torture facilities.

On the eve of Netanyahu’s While House visit on Monday, a report by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & and International Studies was released today, reiterating earlier findings (see below). It criticizes any possible Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, and it points to the potential ramifications such an attack, and the continued Israeli-Palestinian stalement, may have on U.S.-Israel relations.

“President Barack Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raises some of the most serious issues in U.S.-Israeli relations. It is premature to judge how the Netanyahu government will deal with either the Arab-Israeli issue or Iran, but both could be major sources of tension if the two countries do not go deeper than their usual dialogue. The United States and Israel are allies, but this scarcely means that they have identical strategic interests or that U.S. ties to Israel cannot be a liability as well as an asset.”

“[A]ll the declarations about developing the operational capability of IAF aircraft so they can attack the nuclear facilities in Iran, and the empty promises about the ability of the Arrow missile defense system to contend effectively with the Shahab-3, not only do not help bolster Israel’s power of deterrence, but actually undermine the process of building it and making it credible in Iranian eyes.

The time has come to adopt new ways of thinking. No more fiery declarations and empty threats, but rather a carefully weighed policy grounded in sound strategy. Ultimately, in an era of a multi-nuclear Middle East, all sides will have a clear interest to lower tension and not to increase it.”

[T]he area known as E1, linking the settlement to East Jerusalem… is the only area that [candidate] Netanyahu explicitly committed to developing… His political rival… Ehud Barak also publicly expressed support for building there… All of these developments share a single common denominator – by taking “a dunam here and a dunam there,” they are tightening Israel’s grip on the land… These steps seriously diminish the already narrow possibility of reaching a final-status agreement with the Palestinians. Over the past decade Palestinian officials have hinted that they could come to terms with Ma’aleh Adumim, but that willingness is unlikely to extend to the giant “bubble” developing around the settlement.

IOA Editor: Both Likud and Labor candidates – now government partners – share the vision, plans, and actions designed to sever the West Bank in order to make a future independent Palestinian state impossible. And, “US protest,” and “Obama’s determined veto,” recently mentioned frequently in connection with Israeli settlement expansion are, so far, entirely theoretical: indeed, mere speculations.

“We, Israeli organizations, comprised of Jewish and Palestinian women and men and dedicated to building a just peace and to promoting human rights and equal civil rights in Israel/Palestine, call upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory…” [Signed by 20 Israeli/Palestinian organizations]

Mohammed Abu Akrub returned from school one afternoon and stood in the street with a few friends, doing nothing, according to him. Six Israel Defense Forces jeeps appeared suddenly and announced a curfew in the village. That was the start of the abuse of Mohammed and his five friends – abuse that continued until dawn, when the six were tossed out of the jeeps, wounded and battered.

The latest from the “Most Moral Army in the World:” [C]omplaint was submitted by Omar al-Qanoa to the IDF military advocate general by the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Reviewing Kill Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas by Paul McGeough, Adam Shatz provides an excellent historical review of Hamas: tracing its history and Israel’s role in helping it become a prominent power in the Palestinian social and political arenas.

The Jewish and Arab populations in Israel and the Palestinian territories will reach an equal number by 2016, according to figures released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Israel Police on Tuesday detained Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass upon her exit from the Gaza Strip, where she had been living and reporting over the last few months.

Successive Israeli governments since 1993 certainly must have known what they were doing, being in no hurry to make peace with the Palestinians. As representatives of Israeli society, these governments understood that peace would involve serious damage to national interests.

A recent letter, co-signed by a hundred Israelis and Palestinians, stated that Israel’s “ruthless, criminal bashing of the Palestinians has met with little international criticism.”

IOA Editor: Using “anti-Israel,” rather than “anti-occupation,” activists, even when referring to Jewish Israelis, reflects the difficult challenges facing boycott activists: On this matter, Haaretz echoes Israel’s official propaganda machine.

UN Special Coordinator: “Everything Israel does now will be highly contentious,” warning the Israeli authorities “not to take actions that could pour oil on the fire.”
Israel’s Interior Minister: “This is the land of our sovereignty. Jewish settlement there is our right.”
Tel Aviv University Archeologist: “The sanctity of the City of David is newly manufactured and is a crude amalgam of history, nationalism and quasi-religious pilgrimage… the past is used to disenfranchise and displace people in the present.”

With renewed American interest in delivering a two-state reality, the leaderships in both Jerusalem and Ramallah appear to share one common goal: finding a comfort zone, a place where the peace process can continue ad infinitum, and hard decisions can be avoided.

“Remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria,” Netanyahu said during a briefing he gave to the reporters.

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