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

February 2010

Israeli Apartheid Week 2010

28 February 2010

For all events, world wide, check the Israeli Apartheid Week 2010 website:

But now I feel that it has become more possible, more urgent to reconsider the politics of the BDS. It is not that the principles of the BDS have changed: they have not. But there are now ways to think about implementing the BDS that keep in mind the central focus: any event, practice, or institution that seeks to normalize the occupation, or presupposes that “ordinary” cultural life can continue without an explicit opposition to the occupation is itself complicit with the occupation.

John Pilger reminds us of the struggle by an extraordinary few in Israel against the repression and lawlessness of the occupation of Palestine. They are the inspiration to break the loud silence in the Jewish diaspora.

The EU court in Luxembourg has ruled that Israel cannot pass off products made by its settlers on occupied Palestinian land as its own in order to get customs perks… It is unlikely to have a big financial impact… But the judgment has political weight in the context of long-standing EU complaints that Israeli support for settlers is damaging the Middle East peace process.

[T]he battle over Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetery, a Muslim cemetery known in Arabic as Maman Allah, where the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center intends to build a Museum of Tolerance, … encapsulates many aspects of Israel’s approach to Palestinian rights since the conflict began.

Members of prominent Palestinian families from Jerusalem came out last week in protest against plans by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to build a Museum of Tolerance on top of part of the ancient Mamilla Cemetery where their ancestors are buried.

IOA Editor: For more on this Israeli desecration of Muslim cemetery, read:
1. The Center for Constitutional Rights’ Mamila Cemetery Fact Sheet
2. Nadia Hijab: Scattered in death as in life
3. Mamilla Cemetery Chutzpah and the Museum of Tolerance by Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance.

“The degree to which Bronner’s personal life… is integrated into Israeli society, makes him an excellent candidate to cover Israeli political life, cultural shifts and intellectual life. The problem is that Bronner is also expected to be his paper’s lead voice on Palestinian political life, cultural shifts and intellectual life, all in a society he has almost no connection to, deep knowledge of or even the ability to directly communicate with.”

Ask any tea grower in Sri Lanka or banana farmer in Cameroon and they’ll tell you that Israel is seen as a global weapons provider, a political and economic power, an occupying and oppressing state.

Clashes erupted Wednesday between Palestinian residents and ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. A Palestinian woman and child were hurt in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

“The reason he gave was that Shimon Peres had received the Nobel Peace Prize, and Peres he alleged was the father of the Israeli atomic bomb and he did not want to be associated with Peres in any way.”

The disappearance of the two-state solution is triggering a third transformation, which is turning Israel from a democracy into an apartheid state. The democracy Israel provides for its (mostly) Jewish citizens cannot hide its changed character. A democracy reserved for privileged citizens while all others are denied individual and national rights and kept behind checkpoints, barbed wire fences and separation walls manned by Israel’s military, is not democracy.

The neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a 20-minute walk up the hill from the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem, has become the focal point of the struggle over the expanding project of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Under pressure from the United States, Israel is to grant visas to four activists from the International Solidarity Movement so they can testify in suit brought against the government by the family of Rachel Corrie, an activist killed by an IDF bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003.

Forty-five human rights activists called upon fellow New Yorkers to boycott the Israel Ballet at its performance Sunday at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. Accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, protesters performed ballet, sang, chanted, and handed out mock programs to bring attention to the Israel Ballet’s role in the Israeli state’s use of the arts to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people.

[T]he cabinet backed a bill last week that, if passed, will jail senior officials from the country’s peace-related organisations should they fail to meet tough new registration conditions… “We are seeing the evaporation of the last freedoms of speech and organisation in Israel,” said Amal Jamal, head of politics at Tel Aviv University… The Israeli political system, he added, was being transformed into a “totalitarian democracy”.

Haaretz: A duty to protest

22 February 2010

Bil’in has become a symbol of a civic struggle devoid of terrorism. Such persistent, ongoing protest action is remarkable. It has even prompted the Supreme Court to rule that the route of the fence should be moved, and that some 170 acres of land be returned to the villagers. Astonishingly, this ruling has yet to be implemented by the state, which is thus displaying brazen contempt of court.

Human rights activists from Vermont, New York and Israel interrupted a performance of the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, VT calling attention to the dance company’s complicity in Israeli war crimes.

IOA Editor: See also Ynetnews story and correction of facts by activists:

The International Women’s Peace Service is currently seeking applications from women who would like to join our on-the-ground team in Palestine as long term volunteers (short term volunteers are welcome).

As he prepares to leave Jerusalem after four years as the Guardian’s correspondent, Rory McCarthy reflects on a new, harsher climate of thought that is apparent in the wake of the Dubai assassination. But this attitude is not universal: dissent thrives in the most unlikely places.

The Mahmoud al-Mabhouh Assassination: The mission was not regarded as unduly complicated or risky, and Netanyahu gave his authorisation, in effect signing Mabhouh’s death warrant…

One well-informed Israeli source said: “The operative teams were very much aware of the CCTV in Dubai, but they have been astonished at the ability of the Dubai police to reconstruct and assemble all the images into one account.”

Israel’s great march backward: “Today I am pleased that more and more scientists engaged in pure science, rather than being employed in the name of an ideology, are reaching the conclusion that the world must have a master. Nothing is given to chance,” he said. “These are my opinions and I won’t deny them just because I was appointed to an Education Ministry position.”

National Ballet Company’s show in Vermont interrupted by pro-Palestinian protestors who force their way into theater.

UPDATED: Statement by one of the protesters — consisting of a performer of Yiddish music and actor, a theater artist and high school teacher, a filmmaker, and a musician and former Israeli Air Force pilot — correcting the Ynetnews report and presenting a strikingly different picture of the protest.





Tue, 9 March 2010 5:00-7:00pm
53rd St/Lexington Ave, New York

War and Peace Index shows 52% of Israel’s Jewish residents believe those criticizing Israel’s policy when talking to foreign elements should not be viewed as traitors.

IOA Editor: Which may mean that nearly half of Jewish Israelis believe that we are. Goes to show that no news isn’t good news.

Rashid Khalidi: “A two-state solution looks a lot further off today than it did in the 1990s… In spite of all of these vicissitudes…” Palestinians have an “extraordinary solidarity of society” and general cohesiveness, so they may just escape their “very, very grim future.”

Brown University student: “I thought it was phenomenal” [and] found it “particularly motivational,” and… was “enraged by the current situation in Palestine.”

Breaking the Law of Return

19 February 2010

We are Jews from the United States, who, like Jewish people throughout the world, have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “law of return.”

Today there are more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. Israel denies their right to return to their homes and land—a right recognized and undisputed by UN Resolution 194, the Geneva Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Meanwhile, we are invited to live on that same land simply because we are Jewish.

We renounce this “right” to “return” offered to us by Israeli law. It is not right that we may “return” to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.

Demonstrators participating in rally protesting the Israel’s West Bank separation fence dismantled a section of the barrier on Friday, during a rally marking five years since the beginning of the Bil’in protests. About a thousand people took part in the rally, which was also attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Palestinian parliament member Mustafa Barghouti as well as Fatah strongman Nabil Shaath.

Video: Footage from CCTV cameras shows a chronological timeline of the events that took place on the day that Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh was assassinated in his Dubai hotel room. Footage supplied by The Media Office of Dubai Government.

Overall, the Arab population in Israel [approximately 1.5 million people] dropped from an average of 3.4% for the years of 1996 to 2000, to 2.6% for 2008. In comparison, Egypt’s growth rate is 2.2%, with Jordan’s at 2.4%.

If anyone still had doubts about an imminent conflict with Iran, it was removed this week by the arrival of the U.S. army chief in Israel… [Mullen] stuck to the message he was sent here to convey: that he is concerned by the “unexpected consequences” of an Israeli attack on Iran. Mullen’s remarks, made in public even before his first meeting with his Israeli hosts, immediately dictated the tone of Israeli media would adopt to cover his visit.

The Eitan’s role would be to operate in the highest altitudes, along with other aircraft flying at lower altitudes. The new drone will be providing an effective means at all theaters, with an emphasis on distant ones – including Iran.

IOA Editor: As covered by Amira Hass and others, Israeli high technology warfare plays a lead role in spying on and killing Palestinians, most recently in Gaza, a development zone for Israel’s military industries. This particular model goes the distance and is likely to be used in attacks on Iran. In time, it will probably be sold to the US and others who need air coverage for large “war theaters” in distant lands they attack, conquer, and occupy.

[O]n Thursday, officials appeared to harden their rhetoric. Mr. Miliband, who had been briefed on the meeting with the Israeli ambassador, said that it was made clear “how seriously” the U.K. takes the fraudulent use of British passports. “We want to give Israel every opportunity to share with us what they know about this incident,” he said.

Collusion. That’s what it’s all about. The United Arab Emirates suspect – only suspect, mark you – that Europe’s “security collaboration” with Israel has crossed a line into illegality, where British passports (and those of other other EU nations) can now be used to send Israeli agents into the Gulf to kill Israel’s enemies.

There’s no difference between the assassins by the Border Police or the Duvdevan unit that kills wanted people in the occupied territories, and the daring hush-hush assassins of Dubai. The only debate since Dubai is about whether it was a snafu. But the real snafu is that assassinations have long been a legitimate weapon: no doubts and no questions asked, all without the true designation – executions.

IOA Editor: See also Haaretz editorial: Troubling questions from Dubai, which is questioning the wisdom of the Mossad assassination, but not the legitimacy of murder as a foreign policy.

On February 25, 2010 activists around the world will participate in an international day of action to raise awareness about the issue of lack of freedom of movement in the Palestinian city of Hebron. The closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians is just one prominent example of the policy of separation that affects the lives of Palestinians all across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Jaffa Councillor Omar Siksik: “For six decades the authorities have not built one new house for the Arab population, and in fact they have demolished many Arab homes, while building social housing for Jews.”

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