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

February 2010

For all events, world wide, check the Israeli Apartheid Week 2010 website: http://apartheidweek.org/

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”.

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:
www.israeli-occupation.org/2010-02-20/us-protestors-halt-israeli-ballet-performance/

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.”

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