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

May 2011

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.

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