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

October 2009

I fully respect the right of the US Congress to examine and judge my mission and the resulting report, as well as to make its recommendations to the US Executive branch of government. However, I have strong reservations about the text of the resolution in question – text that includes serious factual inaccuracies and instances where information and statements are taken grossly out of context.

Israeli authorities are increasingly targeting and intimidating non-violent Palestinian grassroots activists involved in anti-occupation activities who are drawing increased support from the international community.

The kill ratio was 100-to-1 in our favor. The destruction ratio was much, much greater than that. To this day, thousands of Gazans are living in tents because we won’t let them import cement to rebuild the homes we destroyed. We turned the Gaza Strip into a disaster area, a humanitarian case, and we’re keeping it that way with our blockade. Meanwhile, here on the Israeli side of the border, it’s hard to remember when life was so safe and secure. So let’s decide: Who was the victim of Operation Cast Lead, them or us?

Dahiya doctrine

31 October 2009

Wikipedia’s important review of Israel’s military free-range killing doctrine: a proposed and approved strategy under which “Israel finally realizes that Arabs should be accountable for their leaders’ acts”.

The university of Trondheim in Norway may become the first university in the West to adopt an academic boycott of Israel, if a majority of its board votes in favor of the move at a meeting on the subject [November 12].

In parallel to efforts to reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinians and without hurting their interests, Israel must seek peace with Syria in the context of Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967: full and secure peace in return for complete withdrawal. Those who do not want such a deal will seek to undermine it using arguments of procedure.

Most [friends of Israel] cannot understand the clear conscience of “the only democracy in the Middle East,” which does not hesitate to hold an entire people under occupation and siege, and at the same time punctiliously presents itself as always, in any situation, as the innocent victim of the hostile gentiles.

IOA Editor: This commentary is important in that it reflects the concerns of enlightened Israelis for the loss of the support Israel historically enjoyed in the West. In other words, global pressure against the Occupation and violations of international law works and must continue.

It was the sixth known forced return to Gaza of Palestinians stopped at [this] checkpoint… in 10 days, according to the Israeli human rights group Gisha. Israel has also been preventing family reunifications in the West Bank for Palestinians with relatives living in Gaza, in effect forcing people to relocate to the Strip. The steps are part of an Israeli policy of treating Gaza and the West Bank as two separate entities, thereby undermining the coherence of Palestinian claims for a state encompassing both territories. The 1993 Oslo agreement stipulates that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are to be treated as one territorial unit.

“When we [Israelis] say that this is a political conflict, then we lose the battle,” he told the Guardian, adding that it should be remembered that the ancient land of Israel is “given to us by the Bible, not by some United Nations”.

Mustafa Barghouthi and Anna Baltzer on Jon Stuart’s Daily Show: complete interview

Attorney Daniel Machover from London is one of the best known figures in the international group of lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists trying to put IDF officers on trial in European countries for alleged war crimes… Anyone surprised by the activities of the Israeli-born lawyer does not know his family history. His parents, radical left-wing activists, left Israel in 1968… His father, Moshe Machover, was… one of the founders of the Matzpen movement.

“Israel is transparent,” Ya’alon said. “The IDF has recently conducted five serious probes, the criminal investigation division opened an investigation into credit card theft. There is a team that will respond to the report without having to stop the army in order to do so.”

IOA Editor: Israel’s most transparent liar. Will not stop “the army,” but will he be stopped by by global activists?

In August, police evacuated two extended families — 53 people, including 19 minors — from their homes after the Israeli supreme court upheld a settler organisation’s claim to the properties.

“Ma’aleh Adumim was built on lands of the Jahleen; these people were pushed to the edges of the community,” [attorney] Lecker said. “This is not a hostile population and the city should be interested in ensuring that this community is not hungry.”

I want to know how and why it was decided to embark on Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip and to expand it into a ground offensive… I want to know if those who gave orders to the Israel Defense Forces assumed that hundreds of Palestinian civilians would be killed, and how they tried to prevent this.

A country’s conditions do not remove its obligations under international law… Whether a state is an aggressor or acting in self-defense, whether it faces a regular army or insurgents that commit abuses, the laws of war apply, imposing a duty to minimize civilian harm. And being a democratic country prevents Israel from committing wartime abuses no more than it stopped the United States from torture and unlawful detentions at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against these officers if they enter those countries.

Amnesty:
-450,000 West Bank and E. Jerusalem settlers consume as much as or more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.
-Palestinian per capita consumption of 70 litres per day compares with the WHO recommended level of 100 litres and Israeli consumption of 300.
-180,000 to 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities, especially in the Israeli controlled “Area C” (60% of the West Bank), have no running water.
-The Israeli military “often” prevents them from accessing rainwater by destroying water-harvesting cisterns or even confiscating water tankers.

I believe we should be amending the Basic Law: Human dignity and Liberty, and decide that the State of Israel is committed to maintaining the liberty and dignity of a person only if he’s Jewish; Just like we have land that is only for Jews and roads that are for Jews only. By modifying the Basic Law as suggested, we will know that “dignity and liberty” in the Jewish state are only reserved for Jews.

VIDEO: Free Gaza Movement

26 October 2009

Watch this short film detailing the Free Gaza Movement mission, the ideas behind the Movement and the kinds of action and witnessing International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza activists have undertaken in Gaza.

During the discussion, Tibi added that the proposed law reminded him of the “thought police” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

The Bahraini parliament and government are in dispute over a proposed bill that could sentence a person to five years in jail for cooperating with Israel.

Goldstone uses the term “continuum,” assessing [the Gaza attack] as part of a chain of events, which also includes the complete closure of the Gaza Strip for three years, the policy of razing homes, the arrests, the interrogations and torture, not only in the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In short, Operation Cast Lead is not an “incident.” It is a link in a chain as old as the occupation itself… Goldstone puts the symptom under the microscope and derives the illness. The result is a textbook whose title should have been “A manual for the occupier in the fifth decade.”

IOA Editor: Ground breaking commentary.

In praise of… Amira Hass

24 October 2009

Only Amira Hass could have received the International Women’s Media Foundation lifetime achievement award by saying her life as a journalist had been a failure. By her standards maybe, but then she sets them high… But make no mistake, the Haaretz columnist fully deserves this award.

Labour, the dominant party for the first three decades of Israel’s existence, would only get seven MPs in the 120-strong parliament if elections were held today, according to a public opinion poll published on Friday.

Israeli governments have avoided dealing with Hamas not because they fear that engaging the organization might not produce a peace agreement, but because they know they could not manipulate Hamas the way they have been able to manipulate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – namely, by using content-less peace talks as a fig leaf for the continued expansion of the settlement enterprise.

Israeli senior defense official: “The settlers are very much in tune with the ticking political clock… You can sense it on the ground, with the infrastructure work that is being done, but also in more minor things. They are acting without any legal authorization and are ignoring the state… whoever can, goes ahead and builds… It begins with the official leadership of the Yesha Council [of settlements] and ends with the hilltop youth.”

Indyk: The “all-purpose solution to every problem that has to do with Israel – make peace, and everything will be all right.”

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupt former prime minister’s speech, week after similar incident in Chicago. Woman identified as a Jews shouts at him, ‘No more genocide in my name.’ WATCH VIDEO.

Turkey was shocked by Goldstone’s report on the Gaza conflict, but Israel is seeking other explanations for deteriorating ties.

The International Women’s Media Foundation honoured Israeli journalist Amira Hass with 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Amira Hass is a regular columnist with Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper and the only Israeli journalist to have spent several years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank.

A leading Israeli defense analyst said the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has decided to end defense and military cooperation with Israel. Analyst Ron Ben-Yishai said the Turkish Defense Ministry has shelved a range of proposed Israeli projects.

Richard Goldstone: “I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they have identified are. I would be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are.”

ADC has filed multiple administrative complaints with the US Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the US Tax Code yet allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Gideon Levy: A nation alone

22 October 2009

Any legitimate criticism is immediately labeled here as anti-Semitism, including Richard Goldstone, the Jewish Zionist. We are pushing everyone into a corner roughly and hope they will change their opinions and suddenly be filled with a deep understanding for the killing of children in Gaza.

A representative of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission and a senior Iranian official met last month to discuss the chances of declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone, Haaretz has learned. This is the first direct meeting between official representatives of the two states since the fall of the Shah in 1979.

IOA Editor: As the leading Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz shows convincingly in Defending the Holy Land, having nuclear weapons only harms Israel – without them, Israel would have found it much preferable to accept a peaceful diplomatic settlement.

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