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

February 2011

In Israel there is ethnic democracy: democracy for 80 percent of the public and exclusion and discrimination for 20 percent, and a regime of oppression and dictatorship in the occupied territories. I and my colleagues, my fellow Arab Knesset members, are sitting just a few meters away in the plenum hall from Israelis who have killed members of our people and are imposing a regime of occupation. Will anyone say this testifies to support for their deeds?

The consequences are already tangible across the Middle East, which has suffered disproportionately under the oppressive rule of empire. The upheavals as Arab publics struggle to shake off their tyrants are also stripping bare some of the illusions the western media have peddled to us. Empire, we have been told, wants democracy and freedom around the globe. And yet it is caught mute and impassive as the henchmen of empire unleash US-made weapons against their peoples who are demanding western-style freedoms.

While criticizing decision makers for underestimating the risk of civilian injuries, probe panel says Israel’s Gaza assassination of Salah Shehadeh was a necessary part of its war on ‘murderous terrorism.’

IOA Editor: This is a somewhat diluted version of the Hebrew original. The Haaretz original story points out that the committee found that while the IDF action was “preventative and legitimate,” the result of the bomb used by the IDF was found in retrospect as “disproportional.”

Needless to say, the “Investigation Committee,” appointed by former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert – himself responsible for Israel’s Gaza crimes – did not deal with the legitimacy of the use of any force as a means to prevent the Hamas violence. International law spells out in some detail when force can justifiably be used – generally only as a measure of last resort, after all other efforts have failed: clearly not the case here, and clearly not a concern of this committee.

A crisis erupted between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During a telephone call this week, Merkel told Netanyahu that he had disappointed her and had done nothing to advance peace.

US Senator John Kerry and Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly began drafting an unofficial position paper that would define the principles of negotiations with Israel.

The sigh of relief in Israel after it turned out that for the time being the Egyptian people are making do with military rule could be heard all the way to Cairo’s Tahrir square. The democratic threat had been removed from the agenda for the time being.

The US and Israel have successfully tested Israel’s Arrow 2 ballistic anti-missile system off the coast of California. The joint exercise between Israel Aerospace Industries and the US Missile Defense Agency involved firing a missile from an offshore platform inside a US Navy firing range to see if the Arrow 2 system would detect and destroy the missile.

The main value of the 1979 Camp David treaty to the Israeli leadership has been three decades of calm on Israel’s south-western flank. That, in turn, has freed the army to concentrate on more pressing goals, such as its intermittent forays north to sow sectarian discord in Lebanon, its belligerent posturing towards first Iraq and now Iran in the east, and its campaign to contain and dispossess the Palestinians under its rule.

If the story told … is true, Gaddafi is entitled to immigrate to Israel as a Jew under Israel’s Law of Return. Even if every other country on earth refused him entry, Israel would be obligated by its own laws to take Gaddafi in.

IOA Editor: The evil deeds of mankind, and the ironic twists of history.

The Indian Air Force and the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are set to sign a major contract in March 2011, which will outfit India’s Tejas fighter jets with Rafael’s Derby missile.

Six years have passed since residents of Bil’in, together with their Israeli and international supporters, started regularly demonstrating against the Wall and the confiscation of more than half their land by it… The Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements declared this Friday a celebration of six years of struggle against the wall and the Occupation.

US is the only Security Council member that opposes the resolution; though its wording does not conflict with Washington’s stance on settlements it fears that if the resolution passes it will be an obstacle to renewal of peace talks.

Massive public protests continue to sweep the Middle East and North Africa in countries including Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Iran—many being met with violent government crackdowns. Democracy Now! speaks to Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at Al Jazeera English, and MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky.

The scenes coming from Egypt in the last 18 days are testimony to peoples’ ability to overcome fear through collective action and organization. Against state intimidation and killings, popular self-organization was resilient and steadfast.

Just as upon return from the state-sponsored trips to Auschwitz, Jewish students will come back from Hebron feeling more nationalist than ever before.

Israeli Civil rights attorney Lea Tsemel: “The [activists] were focused and continue to be focused on legal, democratic and non-violent protest against settlement trends in East Jerusalem . . . the phrasing of the report suggests the Shin Bet view these activists as similar to terrorists . . . as individuals seeking to harm the security forces.”

Although the Ministry of Defense [and] the Jerusalem municipality have claimed that the base will be within the green line, the document proves otherwise… Most of the area in which the base is to be built, however, appears to be on land that belonged to Jordan during the interwar [1948-1967] period. According to armistice agreements, it was a demilitarized zone and a small part of it was no man’s land between the two countries’ borders.

During tour with new IDF chief along northern border, the defense minister said Israel taught Hezbollah a lesson during the Second Lebanon War, but it could soon be forgotten.

IOA Editor: Be Prepared – Israel is always ready for the next attack.

Will the spread of democracy lead to a peaceful end to decades of autocratic rule in the Middle East or will the fear of Islamist extremism galvinise Washington’s resolve to reinforce Pax Americana? Marwan Bishara interviews Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University; Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer-winning author; and Thomas Pickering, the former US under secretary of state.

An updated map of Israeli colonization of the West Bank was released by Peace Now. It deserves careful study. Also note the graph on the left which shows clearly that colonization peaked during the so-called “Oslo Peace Process,” and again during the Camp David Peace charade hosted by US president Bill Clinton. This provides fresh evidence, if it were needed, that as far as Israel is concerned the negotiations were an exercise in deception and fraud.

Al Jazeera English’s correspondent in Cairo, Ayman Mohyeldin, tells our American viewers that we appreciate your enthusiastic support. Largely unavailable through US cable and satellite providers, Al Jazeera has recently received a large amount of attention in the American media.

The era of using the Palestinian cause as a pretext for maintaining martial laws and silencing dissent is over. The Palestinians have been betrayed, not helped, by leaders who practice repression against their own people… Equally, it is no longer acceptable for the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas to cite their record in resisting Israel when justifying their suppression of each other and the rest of the Palestinian people.

After the announcement that Hosni Mubarak would be stepping down, Dr. Moustafa Barghouti, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative congratulated the Egyptian people for achieving a political victory that will be remembered in history as a testament to the power of popular resistance.

Lifta has become known within Israel and internationally as a quintessential Palestinian village, one of the few of the 500 villages that had not been completely destroyed by Israeli forces in the war of 1948. Lifta is celebrated as part of a beautiful landscape of ruins, loved by walkers and nature enthusiasts, but remembered primarily by its original inhabitants many of whom live nearby but have never been allowed to return.

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