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

November 2010

Approximately 86 percent of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country’s future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority, according to a poll by the Israel Democratic Institute.

Underlying the gossip and analysis sent back to Washington is an awareness from many US officials stationed abroad of quite how ineffective — and often counter-productive — much US foreign policy is… The possibility that Israel might go it alone and attack Iran is contemplated as though it were an event Washington has no hope of preventing. US largesse of billions of dollars in annual aid and military assistance to Israel appears to confer zero leverage on its ally’s policies.

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk: “The Palestinian experience suggests the need for a new protocol of international humanitarian law… some outer time limit after which further occupation becomes a distinct violation of international law, and if not promptly corrected, constitutes a new type of crime against humanity.”

Amnesty director Kate Allen: “The so-called ‘easing’ of the Gaza blockade does not change the fact that there’s still a cruel and illegal blockade collectively punishing the entire civilian population… The only real easing has been the easing of pressure on the Israeli authorities to end this cruel and illegal practice.”

Oxfam director Jeremy Hobbs: “Israel’s failure to live up to its commitments and the lack of international action to lift the blockade are depriving Palestinians in Gaza of access to clean water, electricity, jobs and a peaceful future.”

Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey.

Use The Guardian’s interactive guide to discover what has been revealed in the leak of 250,000 US diplomatic cables. Mouse over the map below to find stories and original documents by country, subject or people.

In diplomatic cable documenting 2009 meeting, Defense Minister Barak says Egypt, PA refuse to take over Gaza in case of Hamas defeat.

Israeli democracy at its best: The entire people will decide on the next peace arrangement, but not on the question of settlements and annexation, and not on the question of wars. Israeli trickery at its best: Legislators pass laws relating to the day an arrangement is forged whose point is to defer that day’s arrival for as long as possible. And Israeli morality at its best: A manifestly immoral question is formulated for a referendum, and insult is added to injury because only we Israelis, members of the chosen people, will decide on the fate of another people which has for generations lived under occupation, and we dare to call all this tomfoolery democracy. In fact, this is Israeli chutzpah at its worst.

A trailer for Our Story, an important presentation by Mustafa Barghouthi, documenting Palestinian history, the Occupation, the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people by Israel from 1948 to the present day.

Jonathan Cook, reporting on Israel and the Occupation for over a decade now, provides a comprehensive review of the many ways in which Israel attempts to suppress, control, shape and bias media coverage of the Occupation – globally, locally, and via its far-reaching international Hasbara propaganda network.

RELATED Why NGO Monitor is attacking The Electronic Intifada

Jonathan Cook, reporting on Israel and the Occupation for over a decade now, provides a comprehensive review of the many ways in which Israel attempts to suppress, control, shape and bias media coverage of the Occupation – globally, locally, and via its far-reaching international Hasbara propaganda network. (Part II)

Two days ago in Rafi’ah

nine Arabs were killed,

yesterday six

were killed in Hebron,

and today — just two.

Last year
as we were marching
from Shenkin Street

The sixth Annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture organized by the Department of English and Comparative Literature, American University in Cairo, by Judith Butler.

Knesset approves bill mandating referendum before decision to withdraw from Israeli territory, but does not enable appeal against decision to reject a peace agreement… The wording of the question contradicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that the referendum “enables to pass with strong public support an agreement that answers the national interests of Israel.”

Palestinian resident of the building: “The settlers arrived in the morning and began to break the lock… We were frightened. The children are scared of them and of their guards… Why do they come here? They have a whole country. So why here of all places, in our house?”

The Arab League slammed a new Israeli law mandating a national referendum ahead of any withdrawal from annexed east Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The League’s deputy secretary general, Ahmed bin Helli, said the law “showed clearly the hostile nature of the Israeli government and the fact that it does not take international law and the foundations of the peace process seriously.” (See next item.)

[The State of] Minnesota’s investment in two Israel bonds supports Israel’s apartheid system in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories and enables widespread abuse of human rights. Israel Bonds finance infrastructure projects including settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem; these settlements displace Palestinians from their own lands.

Columbia University student Maya Yechieli Wind organizes campus display depicting IDF soldiers abusing Palestinian students at checkpoints. Israeli students form counter-protest. ‘Many think this is what really goes on,’ one of them says.

IOA Editor: Perhaps it is precisely because this is what actually goes on… Flag-wrapping not withstanding, even this ‘pro-Israeli’ coverage of anti-Occupation activism at Columbia University fails to materially challenge the protesters’ message.

Top Palestinian officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas, are engaged in “very serious” discussions about whether to abandon negotiations with Israel and seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state, a senior Palestinian official said yesterday.

Israeli political analyst Yossi Alpher: “In effect, [the new law] weakens the authority of the Knesset to decide these issues and turns it over to a system that has never been tried in Israel. It’s extremely difficult to predict how the [new] system will behave. It is clearly intended to make it more difficult to approve withdrawal from these territories. It really strikes at the heart of the Israeli parliamentary system.”

IOA Editor: Why is this important? The new law makes Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and of Syria’s Golan Heights more permanently secured by making a negotiated compromise by a future Israeli government (however theoretical and hard to imagine) much more difficult to carry out.

For historical context, read about the 1967 expulsion of Syria’s Golan Height population, which was strikingly similar in methods and means to Israeli actions in the 1948 Nakba:

The Disinherited: Syria’s 130,000 Golan Height Refugees

At the beginning of his term, Barack Obama became the first US president to call for a halt in Jewish settlement construction in the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories as a prerequisite for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. But if a deal that stipulates a partial 90-day freeze of settlement building in return for US military and political incentives is reached, he will become the first US president to legitimise the Jewish colonies.

The Middle East policies of US President Barack Obama may well prove the most detrimental in history so far, surpassing even the right-wing policies of President George W. Bush. Even those who warned against the overt optimism which accompanied Obama’s arrival to the White House must now be stunned to see how low the US president will go to appease Israel — all under the dangerous logic of needing to keep the peace process moving forward.

Many analysts and observers fear that life in the west Bank is taking on an increasingly authoritarian hue. “I feel real concern that we are reaching the level of a police state,” says Shawan Jabarin, the director of al-Haq, a Ramallah-based human rights group.

In any other country, the current American bribe to Israel, and the latter’s reluctance to accept it, in return for even a temporary end to the theft of somebody else’s property would be regarded as preposterous. Three billion dollars’ worth of fighter bombers in return for a temporary freeze in West Bank colonisation for a mere 90 days? Not including East Jerusalem … [T]here is only one word for Barack Obama’s offer: appeasement.

I was eager to return to Palestine, to see what Edward Said called “Zionism from the standpoint of its victims.”

By handing light sentences to IDF soldiers who knowingly risked the life of a non-combatant Palestinian child, an Israel Defense Forces court has conveyed a message that the lives of Arabs have less value than the lives of Jews, Deputy Knesset Speaker Ahmed Tibi said Sunday.

According to Dror Etkes, who has been researching construction in the settlements for several years, at least 25 springs are undergoing development for tourism. “Access to these springs has been blocked to the Palestinians, and there are dozens of other springs that the settlers have marked as targets for takeover,” he says.

Noam Chomsky on the illusion of US democracy, liberal-conservative politics, the economy, unions and much more in a Paul Jay (the Real News Network) interview.

Amira Hass has been a correspondent in the Occupied Territories for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz since the early 1990s. Hass describes her work as “writing about the Israeli occupation and Apartheid regime and about Israelis through the experiences of Palestinians.” She also covers internal Palestinian issues. She is the author of the widely acclaimed Drinking the Sea at Gaza and two books of collected articles.

A press that excels in many ways has shirked its task in covering the occupation; it’s the occupation’s greatest collaborator. It helps Israelis feel that there is no occupation. Without the dehumanization campaign in the press, Israelis would feel less self-satisfied, and perhaps more moral doubts would be raised about what we are doing.

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine staged a very impressive mock Israeli checkpoint for Right to Education Week – watch video.

Ali Abunimah, speaking at the University of New Mexico, asks the Jewish Federation of New Mexico to apologize for publishing a Dry Bones cartoon which compared BDS supporters with Hitler.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to justify Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, Israel’s apologists — whether based in Israel or at pseudo-academic centers such as the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism — resort to another line of defense: namely, they accuse Israel’s critics of being anti-Semitic. Not the sort of classic anti-Semitism found for example in Hamas’s Charter, but instead the anti-Semitism of an anti-Israel double standard.

Appendix to Anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict – assessing the claim of double standards, by Stephen R. Shalom, Israeli Occupation Archive – IOA (19 Nov 2010).

Despite lavish incentives offered by the U.S. to bring about a 90-day settlement freeze Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has intensified illegal settlement construction in the occupied territories, further casting doubt on the future of peace talks and on the Obama Administration’s ability to secure Israeli cooperation. Listen in on an earlier IMEU briefing with historian Rashid Khalidi and author John Mearsheimer.

Irene Gendzier, professor of Political Science at Boston University (and IOA Advisory Board member), will present her research on the foundations of US foreign policy in the Middle East in 1945 – 1949. The findings point to very early recognition on the part of US foreign policy planners of the future role the newly created State of Israel could have in protecting US interest in the region.

The talk by Irene Gendzier is THIS Monday, 22 November 2010- Columbia University, 207 Knox Hall, at 12:30pm

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