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

April 2011

Ghada Karmi: “On setting up its state in 1948, Israel set about demolishing every vestige of Palestinian life and history in the land… The battle to preserve Lifta must be won – it remains a physical memory of injustice and survival.”

The significance of a Palestinian state joining the UN is that, for the first time, it will be the Palestinians who will decide what the international legal framework is that is binding in their territory.

Noam Chomsky in a telephone interview held on 1 March 2011 with Gadi Algazi of Israel Social TV. The interview covers the democracy uprising in the Middle East, US and the Occupation, democracy in Israel, Chomsky’s vision for Israel and Palestine, Iran and Israel’s nuclear policy, and Israel’s mainstream media.

Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz awarded Eliyahu with the prize for “his actions, effort and devotion to the Jewish nature of the Land of Israel.”

IOA Editor: The “devotion to the Jewish nature of the Land of Israel” is the same racist devotion to keep away the Palestinian people, dispossessed from the very same land, including Israeli citizens, even as short-term renters (e.g., Palestinian students in Safed). Ethnocentric Israel, a rapidly diminishing democracy-for-Jews only, now officially awards members of its ruling tribe often described by fellow Israeli-Jews as ‘racist’ and ‘extremist’ for their “devotion” to racist discriminatory laws and practices. Ethnic cleansing — “dunam here and dunam there,” bit by bit, one student and one family at a time — whether in Safed, or in Silwan, or elsewhere.

On April 15, 2011, Italian journalist and activist Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped and killed in the Gaza strip. According to a video released by his kidnappers, they belonged to a Salafi group, which Hamas identified as including a former Hamas policeman. While the mainstream media portrayed the killing as an act of an extremist group identifying with Al Qaeda, many are saying the group, as other Salafi groups operating in Gaza represents a growing force from inside Hamas itself.

The fact that the man has brought a case to the Supreme Court demanding that he be allowed to return to Gaza is a clear repudiation of the stupidity of Shabak’s claim that he is in danger if he returns.

We say that most of us are in favor of the two-state solution, but we vote for parties that will do nothing to advance it. We vehemently oppose a one-state solution but we live, in fact for decades, in an apartheid state. We favor free access and worship at Joseph’s Tomb but not at Al Aqsa. We remember 1948 but without the Nakba. We oppose returning Palestinian property from before 1948 but we evict Palestinian inhabitants in Hebron and Sheikh Jarrah on the grounds that their homes were under Jewish ownership before 1948. We shoot passengers in Palestinian cars who refuse to stop at roadblocks, but when the Palestinian police do the same, we call it a “murderous terror attack.” We call the Israeli army Defense Forces, while most of its work is occupation.

IOA Editor: Brilliant!

Despite Netanyahu’s rhetoric, the facts on the ground – illegal outposts, failure to abide by court rulings, unfettered settler activity- make peace a distant dream.

In the wake of her participation in last year’s Gaza flotilla, Zuabi was stripped of three key privileges as an MK; Zuabi in turn petitioned the High Court to get her privileges reinstated. The court gave the Knesset 30 days to submit an explanation.

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Goldstone miscalculated; he has given the report a second life. It may still languish in the UN system, thanks to the geopolitical leverage being exerted by the United States to ensure that Israeli impunity is safeguarded once more. But this new controversy surrounding the report has provided civil society with renewed energy to push harder on the legitimacy agenda which is animating the growing Palestinian solidarity movement.

To suggest that Palestinians are equally responsible for this state of affairs would suggest the two sides hold equal power to shape events. They don’t. No matter how many rhetorical checkpoints get thrown up, there are some basic facts you just cannot get around. Israel is the occupier; Palestinians are the occupied.

And no one is a human being without recognizing that the other is also one, and that it is important to get to know him, both his shortcomings and hopes. No one is born a murderer and no one is destined to be murdered, and no nation has a monopoly on suffering and mourning. The warning sign before a holocaust, genocide, politicide, ethnocide or ethnic cleansing is the same everywhere and at all times. True, learned research distinguishes between each, but the victims don’t care about the minute distinctions.

Solidarity activists have traditionally been embraced, virtually adopted even, by their host communities. That they should be killed by those they were trying to defend generated shockwaves that reached deep into the heart of Palestinian communities across the world.

Matzpen co-founder Oded (“Odik”) Pilavsky died last week in Tel Aviv at the age of 79. Three years ago he wrote about how and why he had arrived to the left margin of the Israeli political spectrum. Originally published on the Matzpen website, an edited version of the article was published yesterday in the Haaretz weekend magazine.

Suad Amiry’s inspiring, and hilarious, closing speech at the TEDx, Ramallah meeting on 16 April 2011. A Must-Watch video!

We are left to speculate regarding the reasons for Abu Sisi’s detention. The number of possibilities includes … that he had helped refine a new fuel system that made the plant far less dependent on Israeli-supplied diesel fuel. This may not have sat well with the Israeli authorities, who wish to control the system’s operations should they want to limit or cut them off.

The US and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by U.S. polling agencies. [Most] Arabs regard the US and Israel as the major threats they face… Opposition to US policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons… If public opinion were to influence policy, the US not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of global dominance.

Former chief IDF rabbi: “A village like this, like Awarta, from which the murderers of the Fogel family and of the Shebo family emerged, must suffer as a village. A situation must be created whereby the inhabitants prevent anyone in this village from harming Jews. Yes, it is collective punishment. They must not be allowed to sleep at night, they must not be allowed to go to work, they must not be allowed to drive their cars. There are many ways.”

Israeli prison authority terrorized Palestinian prisoners in a ‘commando’ raid at the Ketziot prison which was designed to “boost the morale” of prison guards. One Palestinian prisoner was killed and several were injured. This was a routine prison raid, carried out against sleeping prisoners in the middle of the night. The video had been suppressed by the Israeli government from the time it was made in 2007, but was shown on Israel’s Channel 2 TV last week.

In this four-part video interview, British journalist Jonathan Cook talks about Nazareth and how it fits in within Israel’s ethnocracy; about Israel’s separate citizenship laws, one for Jews and one for non-Jews; and about where the Arabic language fits within Israel’s inherently discriminatory political system.

Cook’s position in the Arab heartland of Israel puts a different perspective on his reporting: namely that the post-1967 conflict over the occupied territories is best understood as a reflection and continuation of the larger conflict begun in 1948.

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