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

April 2010

The story I will tell is straightforward. Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.

The deep racism of the Israeli psyche is on the rise. The 1990s, at least in hindsight, marked some liberalization of the public discourse; the first decade of this century crushed it, and now the mildly critical, left-liberal discourse hardly exists in the mainstream. No wonder the liberal left has just 3 seats out of 120 in the Knesset; all the other parties are various shades of right-wing, far right, or fascism (except the small outcast “Arab” parties).

The US has given private assurances to encourage the Palestinians to join indirect Middle East peace talks, including an offer to consider allowing UN security council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity, the Guardian has learned.

IOA Editor: As they used to say in New York, “that and a token will get you into the subway.”

Israel is about to be admitted to an exclusive economic club, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Despite the Government of Israel’s failure to comply with OECD demands and standards, the organization announced in January 2010 that it will “complete” Israel’s membership by 2010. However, the OECD needs consensus to admit a new member state into the organization, so it only takes ONE country’s dissent to stop Israel from joining until it has met international human rights standards. The Israeli Government has yet to comply with the Goldstone Recommendations and until it does, admission to the OECD should be withheld.

The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders — with “minor and mutual modifications,” to adopt official U.S. terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.

Meron Benvenisti: “The whole notion of a Palestinian state now, in 2010, is a sham… The entire discourse is wrong. By continuing that discourse you perpetuate the status quo. The struggle for the two-state solution is obsolete… For the last 20 years I have questioned the feasibility of the partition of Palestine and now I am absolutely sure it is impossible… Or, it is possible if it is imposed on the Palestinians but that will mean the legitimisation of the status quo, of Bantustans, of a system of political and economic inequality.

Hamas spokesman: “This is a terrible crime committed by Egyptian security against simple Palestinian workers who were trying to earn their daily bread.” Egyptian security officials admitted that they had destroyed four tunnels north of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday.

The only democracy in the Middle East is perhaps unique, but it’s doubtful if it’s the real thing. Results of a poll published in Haaretz yesterday reflect what has been known for a long time: a combination of ignorance, a basic lack of understanding and a fascist mood. An ill and dangerous wind is blowing toward a government that is threatened with collapse.

More than half of Jewish Israelis think human rights organizations that expose immoral behavior by Israel should not be allowed to operate freely, and think there is too much freedom of expression here, a recent survey found.

IOA Editor: Very important. The unveiling of Israel’s ‘democratic’ facade – by Jewish, and democratic, Israeli scientists.

With respect to the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict, Israel has contributed and is contributing to the inability to reach a solution; it is also contributing to the inability to manage the conflict reasonably and fairly. The gap between Israeli politicians’ statements and deeds is large, and contributes a great deal to the continuation and exacerbation of the conflict, parallel to the other side’s contribution. Note, for example, the decision to approve military orders enabling the deportation of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres that he is disappointed with Benjamin Netanyahu and finds it hard to understand the prime minister’s diplomatic plan. Sarkozy made his comments at the Elysee Palace two weeks ago.

“When will the University of California stop funding war crimes against Palestinian civilians and the occupation of Palestinian land? How much longer will grieving mothers have to wait for justice?” UC Berkeley student and JVP activist Matthew Taylor covers the final stretch before tomorrow’s Student Senate vote.

No less than 60 percent [of Israeli Jews] at all income levels responded in that they would take off [and move to the United States] if given the chance.

The most educated, respectable and wealthy Palestinian citizen will always fare worse at the airport security check than the most disreputable Jewish citizen, or the one who espouses extremist opinions or even the Jewish citizen with a criminal record.

Hamas released an animated cartoon on Sunday showing abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been captive in Gaza for nearly four years, returning to Israel in a coffin. The three-minute 3D animation [is] shown on the website of Hamas’ armed wing.

IOA Editor: A very sophisticated — both substantively and graphically — Hamas message to Israel: Exchange the Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, while he’s alive. It immediately proved to irritate the Netanyahu government.

[T]he line that separates the two sides today is not between Arabs and
Israelis or Jews and Muslims. Today the line is between those who want peace
and are ready to pay the price for it, and all the rest. They are the other
side! And today, that other side, to my dismay, is the corrupt group of
politicians and generals that leads us and behaves like a bunch of mafia
dons, war criminals, who play ping-pong in blood among themselves, who sow
hatred and reap death.

The Arab-Israeli war of narratives that has led to Holocaust-denial on the one hand and Nakba-denial on the other opposes two entirely symmetrical visions of the origins of this intractable conflict. In The Arabs and The Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, Gilbert Achcar traces a complex history of interpretations from Arab responses to the earliest intimations of the Nazi genocide, through the creation of Israel and the occupation of Palestine, to last winter’s Israeli offensive against Gaza.

This morning [22 April 2010], the Israeli Border Police prevented Mr. Ameer Makhoul, the Director of Ittijah – Union of Arab Community-Based Associations inside Israel, from leaving the country. Makhoul, who also serves as the head of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, received a prohibition order from leaving the country upon his arrival to the Jordan River Crossing. The order, which was issued by the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Eli Yishai, prohibits Makhoul from leaving the country for a period of two months.

Defining a Palestinian with a Gaza Strip address as a punishable infiltrator if he is found in the West Bank – as implied by a military order that has now gone into effect – is one more link in a chain of steps that Israel has taken, whose cumulative effect is to sever the Strip from Palestinian society as a whole.

ALSO:

Israel deports West Bank prisoner to Gaza

Has Israel Reneged on the Unity of West Bank and Gaza?

Israeli Military Order enables IOF to expel Palestinians from West Bank

IDF bid to expel West Bank Palestinians is a step too far

There are times when civil society has to take the initiative when government leaders are unable or unwilling to do so. Indeed, today, with tensions rising between Israel and Iran… it is time to talk, before it is too late.

Haaretz correspondent Aluf Benn: “Only one thing does bother the Israelis, according to the polls: fear of a diplomatic embargo and an international boycott. The Goldstone Report and the International Court of Justice in The Hague are arousing concern and interest, far more than Obama’s peace speeches.”

Finkelstein concludes that Gaza was not a war but a massacre, “like shooting fish in a barrel”. Israel maintained undisputed control of the air, carrying out 3,000 sorties virtually unhindered. Amnesty International could not find cases where civilians were caught up in crossfire, because there wasn’t a single battle during the 22-day assault: “‘Most of the time it was boring,’ one soldier confirmed to Amnesty, ‘there was supposed to be a tiny resistance force upon entry, but there just wasn’t'”.

We, at BOYCOTT!, a group of Israeli citizens, strive to stop our government’s human rights and international law violations, which have been facilitated by the cooperation of international companies. Your company has gone to great lengths in getting involved with the Israeli land and resources annexation, segregation and continued colonization of Palestine.

A Palestinian citizen of Israel was struck in the head with a high-velocity canister during a Friday protest against the separation wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in. The man, identified as 43-year-old Imad Risqa from Yaffa, was transported to hospital.

Please stop selling Ahava products. The theft by Israeli colonizers of these resources from stolen Palestinian land supports the illegal displacement and dispossession of the indigenous population. I ask Ulta to cease supporting such violations of international law and human rights.

American voters believe U.S. President Barack Obama is not a strong supporter of Israel, a new Quinnipiac University survey revealed Thursday, also showing a large majority of Jewish voters as disappointed with the administration’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

An often-overlooked factor in the field of sustainable development and resource management is the impact of the military on the environment and unfortunately this is no exception in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Whilst there have been many studies and reports on the economic, social and political repercussions of the continued Israeli occupation, there has been scant attention paid to the detrimental effects on the environment from Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) activities and the military infrastructure which supports them. This is in no small part because of the lack of information provided by the Israeli authorities and the high level of secrecy surrounding the IOF. For example, whilst conducting research for this paper it was not possible to view any images of the military bases in the oPt post 2004 because all sources have been doctored to erase any evidence of their presence.

On the 40th Earth Day, a consideration of some of the environmental impacts of the 42-year long Israeli Occupation, presented in a report by Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) – Jerusalem.

Issa Qaraqi, PA minister of prisoner affairs: “It is inhumane what they are doing. He has no connection to Gaza, no relatives there, nothing,” claim[ing] Israel was implementing a new set of military orders that critics fear could lead to mass deportations from the occupied West Bank.

United States administration officials have voiced harsh criticism over advertisements in favor of Israel’s position on Jerusalem that appeared in the U.S. press with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s encouragement. The authors of the most recent such advertisements were president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel. “All these advertisements are not a wise move,” one senior American official told Haaretz.

Also: Yossi Sarid: For Jerusalem, a response to Elie Wiesel

Will a serious battle against Occupation cause a deep rift in the Jewish People? Will it drive a wedge between all those who believe that the Jews, like other peoples, deserve a state of their own? Too late. The Occupation has already been there, and done precisely that.

IOA Editor: We may not share Burston’s vision of post-Occupation Israel, but it is encouraging to see, on Israel’s “Independence Day,” Israeli Jews calling their people to end the occupation.

A 2007 report on racial profiling by Israeli carriers… concluded: “it is hard to find any Arab citizen who travels abroad by air and who has not experienced a discriminatory security check at least once”… [This] incident follows on the heels of a diplomatic crisis between Israel and South Africa over revelations that spies posing as El Al staff have been operating at Johannesburg airport, gathering information on non-Jewish passengers visiting Israel.

In its 62nd year of independence, as it has every year since March 2002, Israel is taking advantage of its independence to turn its back on the Arab Peace Initiative. This year, too, it is ignoring a plan that offers it normalization in return for a withdrawal from the occupied territories and a just and agreed resolution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Noam Chomsky: “I don’t bother writing about Fox News, it is too easy. What I talk about are the liberal intellectuals, the ones who portray themselves and perceive themselves as challenging power, as courageous, as standing up for truth and justice. They are basically the guardians of the faith. They set the limits. They tell us how far we can go. They say, ‘Look how courageous I am.’ But do not go one millimeter beyond that. At least for the educated sectors, they are the most dangerous in supporting power.”

Richard Falk: “a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these Orders, with particular gravity in the event that young persons become victims of their application.”

While public deportation which are contrary to the Geneva Conventions had stopped in 1992, a much more sinister plan appears to have been implemented. The new undeclared policy is called by some “the transfer policy,” whereby Palestinians are “encouraged” to leave and not return by use of various administrative orders, such as this latest order.

IOA Editor: Mr. Kuttab may be referring to “deportation” to other countries. However, expulsions of Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza not only did not stop, but has picked up momentum in recent months, even before the reports on Order 1650. Read Amira Hass’ High Court: Gaza student cannot complete studies in West Bank.

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