Is there a democratic country in the world where there are unrecognized villages? In Israel there are. Is there a country in the world where there are laws that allow for admissions committees to prevent citizens from living in certain communities? In Israel there are. Is there a country with a true democracy where a bill like the Nakba Law can be passed or where citizenship can be revoked, including citizenship of tens of thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem? Is there a democratic state that rules over another people as Israel does over the Palestinians?
For the first time in decades, Palestinian activists in Ras al-Amud, a neighborhood of Jerusalem south east of the Old City, invited Jewish Israeli activists to join them in their protest against a fortress settlement in their area. The neighborhood is the site of nearly daily confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces, and is sometimes referred to as the “daily intifada”.
Why did the Arabs of Haifa flee in 1948? Didn’t Haifa’s Jewish mayor ask them to stay? Maybe because Haganah (the primary pre-state Jewish military organization in Palestine) mortar rounds shot at the midst of the civilian crowds in the market, spoke another language. Here is a story that Israeli historians do not like to tell. (HEBREW)
“We are rapidly turning into South Africa. The economic hardship due to sanctions will be felt by every family in Israel,” said Idan Ofer at a gathering of some 80 businessmen. (HEBREW)
IOA Editor: A clear indication of how Israel’s ruling elite is deeply concerned about the potential economic impacts of BDS on Israel’s economy and on all Israelis. The meeting, which was organized in great secrecy, included Israeli billionaires and other leading business figures and its purpose was to support a diplomatic initiative designed to avert the impending deterioration of Israel’s global status.
In the 1940s, with the understanding that a war is on its way, the Haganah (the primary pre-state Jewish military organization in Palestine) collected detailed intelligence on hundreds of Palestinian villages. Only a few dozen files survived in the archives, and in them images that teach a great deal about the way in which the Palestinian population at the time was viewed by the Jewish population. (HEBREW)
Despite tensions in Washington during PM’s visit, Israelis generally don’t believe Obama is hostile to Israel or that US-Israel relations have been harmed, indicating that the public seems to be turning a deaf ear to analysts who criticized Netanyahu’s address to Congress.
Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent with the peace group CodePink, disrupted Netanyahu’s speech. Standing in the congressional gallery, she yelled, “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!” As she screamed, members in the audience tackled her to the ground, and undercover security forces later dragged her outside. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital where she was treated for neck and shoulder injuries. At the hospital, police arrested Abileah and charged her with disorderly conduct for disrupting Congress.
Netanyahu … is determined to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by any and all means. That did not start with the present government – it is an aim deeply embedded in Zionist ideology and practice. The founders of the movement set the course, David Ben-Gurion acted to implement it in 1948, in collusion with King Abdallah of Jordan. Netanyahu is just adding his bit.
A handful of Israelis marked Jordanian Independence Day on Tuesday by trying to present the Jordanian Embassy in Ramat Gan with a petition to make the country the official homeland of the Palestinian people.
IOA Editor: Arye Eldad is one of Israel’s most overtly-racist MPs. Following the footsteps of his father, Israel Eldad, leader of the Stern Gang — the organization responsible for the Deir Yassin massacre. As this short news story makes clear, ethnic cleansing is deeply rooted in the Eldad family.
From dear friend of the Mubaraks to instant cheerleader of the revolution, [Hillary Clinton's] metamorphosis was truly extraordinary, duly noted in the Egyptian and wider Arab press. It took aback even hardened commentators on the left, impressed by Mrs. Clinton’s shamelessly crass opportunism, just as it instilled deep anxiety and anger among “America’s Arabs” on the right.
An interview with Alternate Focus: an analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, covering several of the most central issues.
On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in his virtually unprotected compound by a raiding mission of 79 Navy Seals, who entered Pakistan by helicopter. After many lurid stories were provided by the government and withdrawn, official reports made it increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law, beginning with the invasion itself.
This latest of Obama’s statements may be the closest the president has come to legitimising illegal Israeli settlements… Obama’s idea of Palestinian self-determination is for Palestinians to accept whatever Israel decides.
The BBC continues to confuse cause and effect – Israeli attacks are always reported as retaliation to Palestinian violence or rockets, and the idea that Palestinian rockets, however ineffective, are armed resistance to Israel’s hammering from land, sea and air is rarely broadcast.
Does history matter? Over the course of the past few months the Obama administration has abandoned its putative efforts to engage Israel and the Palestinians in peace talks after their collapse in the face of Israel’s continued settlement building on the West Bank. At the popular level and in the mainstream media, the response was one of familiar frustration with the allegedly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict… In practice, the core issues have remained the same for over 60 years, with the role of the United States and U.S. interests, including defense industries — major components in perpetuating the conflict — expanding over the course of that period.
The Palestinians and the international community, including the United States, have long objected to the E-1 plan on the grounds that it would cut the West Bank in two and sever East Jerusalem from the rest of the area.
Hamas spokesman: “The US administration will fail, just as all others have in the past, in forcing Hamas to recognize the occupation.”
Matan Cohen needs your support in dealing with a heavy fine, a penalty for his challenging the State of Israel for shooting at him, and 14 others, during a West Bank protest. Please help this courageous activist.
For those who have never lived in a system of violence like the Israeli occupation, it is hard to understand how simply not going anywhere constitutes resistance, but when the objective of your oppressor is to get you to leave your land, staying put is part of the daily struggle. In this sense, every Palestinian living under the Israeli occupation is a nonviolent resister.
Move Over AIPAC / CodePink flashmob event at Union Station, Washington DC on 20 May 2011, during the annual AIPAC convention and the Move Over AIPAC convention and series of protest in Washington DC.
In retrospect, the [Nakba] village files… sometimes constituted the last testimonies of the Arab villages, just before they were emptied of their inhabitants. They are the last remaining vestiges of the villages before they were destroyed or settled by Jewish immigrants who streamed into the country in its first years; villages which were erased from the Israeli map because of their Arab identity.
IOA Editor: Newly revealed documents on the Nakba, directly from the files of its perpetrators. This Israel-centric exposure of Israeli war crimes might, over time, help change Israelis’ view of history, or so one hopes.
It was the same old story. Palestinians can have a “viable” state, Israel a “secure” one. Israel cannot be de-legitimised. The Palestinians must not attempt to ask the UN for statehood in September. No peace can be imposed on either party. Sometimes yesterday, you could have turned this into Obama’s forthcoming speech to pro-Israeli lobbyists this weekend. Oh yes, and the Palestinian state must have no weapons to defend itself. So that’s what “viable” means!
Two Jews, three opinions, is the old adage. On “everything but Israel,” is the present reality. Despite its belief to the contrary, neither the Jewish community nor Israel is well-served by that reality. Mainstream Jewry is dishonored by having the likes of Wiesenfeld and Hikind be its public voice on such matters, and by insisting that unquestioning and irrational loyalty to Israel substitute for rational debate and a commitment to what is just.
As the state which claims to be the heir of the Holocaust martyrs, Israel crowns itself as the winner in the global, historical competition of victimhood. Yet it manufactures methods of oppression and dispossession of the individual and the collective, methods which turn the Nakba into a continuing, 63-year process.
Unlike previous years, this Nakba Day was not simply a commemoration of the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians in 1948, when their homeland was forcibly reinvented as the Jewish state. It briefly reminded Palestinians that, despite their long-enforced dispersion, they still have the potential to forge a common struggle against Israel.
On the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba Palestinians coordinate a wave of historic demonstrations. Protests at the Lebanese, Syrian, West Bank, and Gazan borders and inside Egypt took place. Many died as a result of live fire, and hundreds were injured both from Israeli forces and others such as the Egyptian and Lebanese armies.
[Cornel West] now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”
MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad ) canceled a scheduled lecture at the University of Haifa Sunday after the university announced it was banning on-campus political activity and called in security forces. The lecture, which would have coincided with Nakba Day, was arranged and approved by the university a month ago. Zuabi, who was invited by the Balad student association, had planned to discuss anti-Arab discrimination and other issues.
IDF soldier describes the distress of a young woman who tearfully pleaded to be allowed to pass through a Jenin checkpoint in order to sit an important exam. He gradually came to understand, he says, that the Israeli army’s intention was “to enforce tyranny on people who you know are regular civilians” and to “make it clear who’s in control here”.
A dramatic video published by the website baladee.net shows the moment when hundreds of Palestinian refugees and Syrians break through the border fence from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (part of Syria occupied by Israel in 1967 and illegally annexed in 1981).
Noam Chomsky: “Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their interests… The reason is very simple… Plainly, the US and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the US not control the region, but it will be thrown out.”
Ynetnews: Around 100 extreme leftists are protesting near Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque in a show of support for the Palestinian “Nakba Day,” “the Just people’s uprising”, and against “the killing of innocent civilians”.
IOA Editor: Interesting that Israel’s most popular Hebrew newspaper describes Israeli-Jews demonstrating in solidarity with Palestinians on Nakba Day as “extreme leftists” when all they do is protest against violations of international law. We now say, “We’re all extreme leftists…”
It is necessary to know that there were 418 villages here that were wiped off the face of the earth, and it should be remembered that there were more than 600,000 natives of this land who fled or were expelled not to return to their homes, and that to this day most of them … and their offspring live in terrible conditions, carrying keys to their lost homes… We must know that under nearly every patch of Jewish National Fund forest rest the ruins that Israel was keen to erase, to ensure that they not serve as evidence of a different heritage. We can know that under our flourishing Canada Park hide the ruins of three villages which Israel razed after the Six Day War, putting its residents on a bus and expelling them.
At the end of March, the Israeli parliament passed the Nakba Law which states that any body that receives government funding, such as schools, can be fined for commemorating the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day. The Nakba means “Catastrophe” in Arabic and refers to the 1948 war, the result of which was the depopulation of two thirds of the Palestinian population, which today numbers millions of refugees. To this day many still hold the keys to their original homes, but are not allowed to return. In defiance of the law, the Israeli organization Zochrot posted a sign with the law in German throughout the core of Tel Aviv where thousands celebrated. Within minutes, police surrounded the Zochorot office.
The “peace negotiations” were a deceptive farce whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU. Far from enabling a negotiated and fair end to the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population, as well as its geographical fragmentation. Far from preserving the land on which to build a state, it has tolerated the intensification of the colonisation of the Palestinian territory.
The sweeping denial of residency status from tens of thousands of Palestinians and deporting them from their homeland in this way cannot be anything but an illegitimate demographic policy and a grave violation of international law. It’s a policy whose sole purpose is to thin out the Palestinian population in the territories.
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