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

2011

In this wide-ranging interview, Rashid Khalidi has some harsh words for President Barack Obama, describing his UN speech in September as the worst ever by an American president. Khalidi also reviews the way in which US policy toward the conflict was transformed over decades, and discusses why AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is far more effective today than it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Although he sees no hope at present for a just US policy, this could change if public opinion – which is much more enlightened than that of U.S. policy makers – is expressed through the media and at the political level.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), that ownes 13% of Israeli lands, forbids the sale or lease of its lands to any but Jewish owners. Many are now joining a global campaign against this policy whose roots come from expropriated Palestinian Land. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky looks at the history of JNF land acquisition from the land taken from 1948 refugees in the village of Ma’alul, 1967 refugees on whose land Canada Park was built, and the Bedouins of Al Araqib on whose land the JNF is attempting to build the Ambassador’s Forest.

IOA Editor: An outstanding report by Lia Tarachansky where she puts current events in their historic, political, institutional, and legal context: How the repeated destruction of the Beduin village of al-Araqib fits in the Palestinian history of the Nakba, post-1948 confiscation of Palestinian lands within Israel, and the destruction of the Latroun villages after the 1967 War — all with the full involvement of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a tax-exempt organization in the US.

Israel has been only too happy to perform a pointless tango with the Palestinians on the diplomatic front while it encouraged its settlers to entrench their hold on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, gutting any chance of the Palestinian state that was ostensibly being negotiated.

Israel’s Civil Administration issues 101 different types of permits to govern the movement of Palestinians, whether within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Israel or beyond the borders of the state, according to an agency document of which Haaretz obtained a copy.

TRNN Senior Editor, Paul Jay, interviews Lia Tarachansky, The Real News’ correspondent in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. They are then joined by a panel, discussing current affairs in the region, the media, and TRNN’s coverage. Joining the panel are Shir Hever, Robert Naiman, Samah Sabawi, Ronnie Barkan, and Peter Larson.

Truthdig: Occupy North Pole

25 December 2011

Season’s greetings from Truthdig! In this year’s holiday animation by Mr. Fish, an elf confronts Santa about his exploitation of slave labor.

Yitzhak Laor: “This bill truly intends to create a democracy for Jews only. If it were passed, no Arab – whether resident of the territories or Israeli citizen – would have access to the law.”

Anyone who has been harmed by the Israeli dictatorship feels alone, weak, angry and desperate. But every family in its own way cultivates its humanity. In a curious and moving way – despite internal rivalries, an unfair distribution of the burden, manifestations of ignorance and opportunism and disappointing leadership – the ability to remain steadfast and social solidarity are the overall result.

On Friday, Dec 9, 2011 thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv for international human rights day. While Israelis are subject to Israeli civil law, Palestinians are subject to a set of military orders. Order 101 effectively bans political protest of more than 10 people.

Rashid Khalidi: “Nobody believes that firing rockets and getting 1,400 people killed in response is ‘resistance’ that is going to liberate Palestine, and nobody believes that talking with the US, with Dennis Ross putting his thumb on the scales in favor of Israel, which is already overwhelmingly superior, is going to produce an equitable and just and lasting solution of the Palestine question. If you still believe that – you have to have your head examined.”

Rashid Khalidi on Obama: ”I had low expectations and my low expectations were more than fulfilled. He’s done considerably worse than I would have expected. But I never assumed that this would be someone who would be able to break the whole mold of American politics. And he didn’t. Quite the contrary. This has been an Administration that on certain key issues has been almost as bad as and sometimes even worse than the Bush Administration.

Likud MK Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to Israeli human rights organization, stood behind Senator Joseph’s McCarthy’s actions in the 1950s… Akunis said McCarthy – who in the 1950s presided over a committee that investigated Americans suspected of harboring Communist views – “was right in every word, the fact is – there were Soviet agents.”

IOA Editor: Two of a kind…

In a short film launched today, the British born Palestinian singer discusses what it means to her to be able choose her own path, and the support she’s received in the UK.

Like Occupy Wall St. has done for the United States, Israel’s summer protests showed that there is mass discontent inside Israel in many sectors. If a majority of Israelis no longer benefit from Zionism, then Palestinian struggle may have some new and very powerful potential allies.

In recent weeks, a spate of anti-democratic measures have won support from Netanyahu’s rightwing government, justified by a new security doctrine: see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil of Israel. If the legislative proposals pass, the Israeli courts, Israel’s human rights groups and media, and the international community will be transformed into the proverbial three monkeys.

The IDF’s Unit 8200’s task is to intercept, monitor and analyse enemy communications and data traffic – from mobile phone chatter and emails to flight paths and electronic signals. Its goal is to fish out from an ocean of data the piece of information that will help the Israeli security forces identify and thwart a potential attack. In addition, Unit 8200 – the largest in the Israeli army – is responsible for all aspects of cyberwarfare.

IOA Editor: In addition to their presence in high-tech start-ups, there is a global network of Unit 8200 graduates holding key positions at every kind of communications, internet, and technical services company who can provide ‘back-door’ access to their alma mater. Thus, the sophisticated technologies for which the IDF is known may be directly applied to tracking telephone company and internet service provider customers around the world.

A split has developed between Israeli security establishment and Netanyahu. November saw endless speculation about a potential Israeli attack on Iran. At the end of October an Israeli journalist published at article revealing that, against the advice of all Israeli security and intelligence agency heads, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak were deliberating attacking Iran. Perhaps as early as this winter.

To escape the contradictions created by history and its lessons, we chose to buy the meta-historical explanation of our armed, fortified presence here: no more and no less than God’s promise to Abraham, from whom all of us are directly descended. This promise is what permits us, in our view, to do whatever we please to the people that dwells here, the natives of this land: to expel, to concentrate, to divide, to blockade, to impoverish, to dry out, to bomb, to uproot, to dispossess.

Report shows the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with judges accepting 67 percent of prosecution appeals, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.

Salim Tamari discusses his recent book, Year of the Locust: A Soldier’s Diary and the Erasure of Palestine’s Ottoman Past, and puts it in today’s geopolitical context.

False Prophets of Peace refutes the long held view of the Israeli left as adhering to a humanistic, democratic and even socialist tradition, attributed to the historic Zionist Labor movement. Through a critical analysis of the prevailing discourse of Zionist intellectuals and activists on the Jewish-democratic state, it uncovers the Zionist left’s central role in laying the foundation of the colonial settler state of Israel, in articulating its hegemonic ideology and in legitimizing, whether explicitly or implicitly, the apartheid treatment of Palestinians both inside Israel and in the 1967 occupied territories.

The disingenuity of the Israeli government’s international comparisons is evident when one compares politicians’ rhetoric for audiences within Israel with the diplomatic discourse abroad.

The real concern among [UK] government officials is that Fox, Werritty and Gould were conspiring in a “rogue” foreign policy – opposed to the British government’s stated aims – that was authored by Mossad and Israel’s neoconservative allies in Washington.

Veolia is not only still involved in the illegal Israeli tram project connecting Israeli’s colonies to Jerusalem, it also owns and operates (through its subsidiaries), the infamous Tovlan landfill which processes Israeli waste on occupied Palestinian land in direct violation of international law.

Jerusalem anti-Arab activist: “A booklet with a list of places that employ Arabs will be published soon. That will be followed by hanging up posters and signs with these lists in the streets – just so that the public will know and be cautious.”

We must not dismiss the NGO Bill – it truly intends to create a democracy for Jews only; if it were passed, no Arab – whether resident of the territories or Israeli citizen – would have access to the law.

Start with fragmentation. When talking about Israel refer to a mythical state that existed between November 1966 and June 1967, the only period during which the majority of Palestinians living under Israeli control were NOT subject to military rule.

The decision to close down the station is part of a general attack on left-wing organizations. The station provided a platform for left-wing groups that are now under attack by a new law that would curb their foreign funding. “Of course there is an attack here that is not only on us. If someone came to the conclusion that this isn’t legal, then after seven years there are different ways to go about it.”

The recent forced closures of Palestinian nonprofit organizations in Jerusalem is an example of the Israeli authorities’ continued attacks on the city’s Palestinian identity and their attempts to maintain control over occupied East Jerusalem, according to local human rights groups.

Israel carried out a de facto annexation of Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and given it to Kibbutz Merav. Merav, part of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, is about seven kilometers northwest of the parcel. The route of the separation barrier in the area was changed so that the plot in question, about 1,500 dunams (375 acres), would be on the Israeli side.

Author and translator Ilana Hammerman was questioned by the police for the third time this week on suspicion of bringing Palestinians into Israel without a permit. What began as a private initiative turned into a public protest against restrictions on Palestinian when Ilana Hammerman reported on her activities in Haaretz Magazine.

I don’t see how any person can here find objectionable the demand to ‘enforce the law’. I cannot believe you couldn’t reach 80 percent of the British people on that slogan. Of course Israel’s defenders will say ‘oh, the law is ambiguous’, but we can very easily show that it’s not. The law is very clear. There is no respectable institution or organisation in the world today which says that the settlements are legal. You go from the International Court of Justice to human rights organisations… you can’t name one.

On Tuesday six Palestinian activists boarded Israeli buses in an attempt to challenge the system of segregation in the West Bank. They were arrested at Hizmeh checkpoint, interrogated by Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shabak [Shin Bet], and released. In the West Bank, segregation is both visible with the separation wall, fence, and separate cities for Israelis and Palestinians and invisible with separate legal and security systems for the two peoples.

Apartheid is a system of racial domination, in which a dominant group exploits, oppresses, marginalizes and excludes subordinate groups. The specific forms of these practices may vary from one case to another. They must bear similarities to South African state practices from 1948 to 1994, but need not be identical to them, as long as the general discriminatory thrust is similar.

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama are pissed off at [Netanyahu] because he’s not as good a liar as his predecessors in the PM’s Office. They’re angry because he doesn’t bother to cover up the gap between the words and the bulldozers. It makes it harder for them to conceal the falsehood in US and European policy. A policy which supposedly seeks peace in the region and a state for the Palestinians; in practice, one that collaborates with Israel’s aim to impose a capitulation arrangement on the Palestinians.

Palestinians are losing out on some $6.9 billion a year, a study shows, as restrictions on water use, resources and imports exact their toll.