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

October 2010

Haneen Zoabi: “We are struggling for a normal state, which is a state for all of its citizens, [in] which the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews can have full equality. I recognize religious, cultural and national group rights for the Israelis, but inside a democratic and neutral state.”

Israel’s apartheid movement is coming out of the woodwork and is taking on a formal, legal shape. It is moving from voluntary apartheid, which hides its ugliness through justifications of “cultural differences” and “historic neglect” which only requires a little funding and a couple of more sewage pipes to make everything right – to a purposeful, open, obligatory apartheid, which no longer requires any justification.

Former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef cites centuries-old interpretation of halakhic ruling barring the sale of land to non-Jews.

Haaretz: Formulas for siege

29 October 2010

The use of mathematical euqations to calculate basic humanitarian needs cannot help but raise parallels with the most monstrous uses of science.

Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” an Israeli parliament committee finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the High Court of Justice. If this legislation is approved by parliament, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.

Protest met with rubber bullets: Israeli police shoot ‘hated’ Arab legislator in back.
MP Zoabi: “The police proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm.”

It would be wrong to dismiss the wisdom of our leaders. Perhaps they’ve gotten exactly what they wanted – to strengthen Hamas in the Gaza Strip, both for perpetuating the intentional division between Gaza and the West Bank and to encourage perpetual low-intensity warfare (which sometimes escalates).

IOA Editor: Hamas, one of Israel’s most important – yet, invisible – allies, affords Israel the opportunity to conjure up “evidence” that an arrangement between Israelis and Palestinians is inherently impossible, particularly on account of Hamas, thus freeing Israel to colonize the little of historic Palestine that is still Arab – while dividing, ruling, and repressing Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself. (Lest we leave out Israel’s other excuses for not ending the Occupation, before Hamas it was Arafat who was “not a partner” for peace, and before him it was the Arab World, etc.)

Ameer Makhoul admits to charges of espionage, contact with a foreign agent and conspiring to assist an enemy, in plea bargain reached Wednesday.

IOA Editor: This is a travesty of justice of the first order: A man is kidnapped from his bed in the middle of the night by the police and held for days without the ability to consult a lawyer; he’s tortured, and signs an ‘admission.’ By law, his accusers – the Israeli government’s secret services and prosecution – are not required to present to him, and to his legal team, the evidence based on which he stands to be found guilty and be sentenced for a very long jail term. Finally, given the virtual outlawing of anything Palestinian in Israel today, it is no wonder that an accused would feel compelled to sign a plea-deal that is likely to land him in jail for 7-10 years – probably far less than if he were to deny the charges.

“Many Jews come to Umm al-Fahm every day and we have no problem, but Marzel and his gang come as enemies and we want to tell them that they are not welcome to …” Before he could finish his sentence police fired a volley of stun grenades, provoking a stampede.

IOA Editor: MPs Haneen Zoabi and Afou Agbaria injured in violent Israeli police actions against demonstrators.

Guardian photos of the clashes:

Open Letter to Mike Leigh

26 October 2010

We are writing to you as a group of fellow filmmakers and academics, Palestinians, Israelis and others, to thank you for your principled and courageous step of withdrawing from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School workshop and “implicitly” joining the cultural boycott of Israel… Your action is striking evidence of growing cultural resistance abroad to Israel’s intransigence. We hope it will encourage others. Only by such concerted action will the situation change in the Middle East.

According to Makhoul’s brother Issam, a former MK for Hadash, his brothers’ Attorneys … will ask the prosecution to drop the severe charge of espionage in exchange for Makhoul’s confession on several other counts. If the plea bargain is put into action Makhoul is expected to serve between seven to ten years in jail, yet the details of the plea bargain have not yet been finalized.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s proposal has been presented as a method of deterring potential criminals from embarking on terrorist activities, seen as targeting Israeli Arabs in particular.

IOA Editor:This Haaretz header is entirely misleading, as is made clear in the body of the story. The targets of this ‘legal’ campaign aren’t convicted terrorists but Arab minority dissenters who don’t play by the “Jewish and Democratic” majority’s rules, as Israel’s Interior Minister Yishai states: [loyalty] “declarations and oaths are not sufficient when dealing with cases such as Azmi Bishara and Hanin Zoabi.” (Neither MP was ever charged or convicted of any ‘State Security’ violations.) And, the truth surfaces when Yishai states “Anyone who betrays the state will lose his citizenship.” This flexible term can be useful in eradicating Palestinian dissent: disobedient Arab citizens (e.g., Ameer Makhoul) of the “Jewish and Democratic” State. This is the latest phase of the Nakba, now dressed in a Blue-and-White ‘legal’ attire: Arab, you’ve been outlawed, and now off you go.

Caterpillar, the company which supplies the IDF with bulldozers, has announced that it is delaying the supply of D9 bulldozers during the time that the trial of Rachel Corrie proceeds.

Turkish newspaper reports agencies stopped exchanging intelligence and conducting joint operations following Turkish government decision.

Since Hamas took control of Gaza, [Israeli] officials have employed mathematical formulas to monitor goods from aid groups entering the Strip to ensure amount was in line with what Israel permitted.

Israeli banks provide the financial infrastructure for all activities of companies, governmental agencies and individuals in the continuing occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights. The services provided by the banks support and sustain these activities. Additionally, as this report shows, it is evident that the banks are well aware of the types and whereabouts of the activity that is being carried out with their financial assistance.

Over the past two years, we have been increasingly troubled by expanding tendencies to harm Israel’s democracy… In anticipation of Israel’s Knesset’s Winter Session 2010-11, we wish to warn against the troubling trend of infringement against democracy in Israel as expressed through the persistent promotion of anti-democratic bills, decision-making process, and conduct by Members of Knesset (MK).

Amira Hass: The many incidents described in the human rights organizations’ reports indicate that the drone photographs are not as precise or clear as they are said to be, or that the technology considered “objective” also depends on commanders’ interpretation: Children playing on the roof are liable to be regarded as “scouts,” people trying to speak to their relatives over the phone are liable to be “signal operators for a terrorist brigade,” and families that went to the garden to feed the goats, squads of Qassam launchers.

Beit Ummar is just one of hundreds of villages in Palestine under constant harassment from Israeli settlers. [Its residents] have suffered the loss of their land, limited access to their own water supply, rocks smashing their windows, midnight arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets, and daily Israeli military aggression. The most recent insult: settlers’ feces covering the vineyards of Beit Ummar.

The [Israeli] right … is well on its way to negating Israel’s earlier achievements in crushing the Palestinian people, and it will bring about their reunification. The Israeli left and center did quite a lot to split the Palestinian people and to transform them into distinct groups: Palestinians in Israel, Palestinians in the West Bank, Palestinians in Jerusalem, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians in the diaspora.

Silent protest during a University of Michigan visit by two IDF soldiers on 20 October 2010.

Former US president Jimmy Carter and two other Elders visit the weekly Friday Sheikh Jarrah demonstration in Jerusalem.

Senior army officers are under investigation for authorizing an air strike in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead that killed 21 members of the same family despite possibly receiving warnings from subordinates that there could be civilians in the area.

Most of the 33 British passengers on May’s aid flotilla to Gaza have asked to give oral testimony to Turkel committee investigating the IDF raid on the ships, according to Daniel Machover, a lawyer acting on their behalf.

Former US President Jimmy Carter said on Friday that the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah is against international law. Carter spoke at a weekly demonstration held in the East Jerusalem neighborhood by Israeli and Palestinian left-wing activists, protesting a Jewish takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.

My nearly 25 years of covering the Israeli occupation and expressing my controversial opinions have indeed stirred up wrath in some circles. But I have always taken pride in the fact that after hundreds of reports from the field – this entire modest documentation enterprise – none of the facts have ever been refuted despite the efforts of many.

Gisha Director Sari Bashi: “Instead of considering security concerns, on the one hand, and the rights and needs of civilians living in Gaza, on the other, Israel banned glucose for biscuits and the fuel needed for regular supply of electricity – paralyzing normal life in Gaza and impairing the moral character of the State of Israel. I am sorry to say that major elements of this policy are still in place.”

If Israel is the Jewish state, then what right do we Palestinian interlopers have to be here at all? None. And so it should be little surprise that Lieberman is simultaneously pushing a plan to trade Palestinian citizens of Israel into a rump state in the West Bank.

“My biggest struggle,” he says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard to break. That we Israelis are the ultimate and only victims. That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational. That the Palestinians are not human beings like us? So you get a society without any moral doubts, without any questions marks, with hardly public debate. To raise your voice against all this is very hard.”

“If a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is to be found it has to be here in Jerusalem as well,” said delegation leader and former Irish president Mary Robinson.

On October 26th, Brooklyn For Peace, CODEPINK NYC, Adalah-NY, Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other local groups will bring the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign to Brooklyn for a third time. Local activists, some dressed in spa attire, and others wearing monster masks to convey the message that Occupation is an Ugly business, will gather on Montague Street to tell Ricky’s NYC: No More Ahava Cosmetics.

Following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF established a special unit whose purpose was to prevent the leakage of classified information onto the internet via social networks. The unit scans a list of popular websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace looking for breaches of security.

IOA Editor: Israel’s own violent Occupation actions are the best ‘gifts for Hamas,’ not the reporting of such actions.

Let us be clear: Palestinians long ago recognized Israel and its right to exist in peace and security. Twenty-two years ago, to be precise. The peace process that began 17 years ago has repeatedly reaffirmed Palestinian recognition of Israel and its right to exist over 78 percent of our historic homeland. The internationally recognized obstacle to peace is the ongoing Israeli occupation.

Director of Mossawa advocacy center for the Palestinian minority: “The police have already repeatedly demonstrated their hostility to Palestinian citizens, but this move proves that the authorities want to extend and deepen our oppression.”

In all likelihood, I will be one of the very first non-Jews expected to swear loyalty to Israel as an ideology rather than as a state. Until now, naturalising residents, like the country’s soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority’s presumption that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state”.

British director Mike Leigh has canceled his scheduled visit to Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved a controversial amendment to the Citizenship Law last week requiring non-Jews to pledge allegiance to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.”

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2