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

June 2011

The United States is sure to bring all its considerable influence to bear to avoid such resolutions being brought before the Council… But the fact that such a course would clarify the situation, and finally extract a small price for the United States’ shameless pandering to Israel, is precisely the reason why this is a course to be seriously considered.

There is no other meaning to a “Jewish state” except the recognition of the legitimacy of granting privileges to Jews in Israel at the expense of Palestinian citizens, annulling the legitimacy of our struggle for real democracy.

Reports of bureaucratic and technical obstacles have given flotilla organizers the chance to remain in the spotlight, resulting in an increased awareness of Israel’s policies in Gaza.

US Senate Resolution 185: “Palestinian efforts to gain recognition of a state outside direct negotiations demonstrates absence of a good faith commitment to peace negotiations, and will have implications for continued United States aid.”

According to [Israeli] government sources, the army doesn’t have any evidence that the flotilla activists are planning violent resistance, yet it publicly accuses them of conspiring to murder soldiers.

Several Israeli ministers have accused the [Israeli] army of “spin” over its claims that activists on board a Gaza-bound flotilla plan to harm Israeli soldiers, Maariv newspaper reported on Wednesday.

IDF officer: “A non-violent protest of 4,000 people or more, even if they only march to a checkpoint or a settlement, and especially if the Palestinian police does not deter them, will be unstoppable.”

The gradual closure of Gaza began in 1991, when Israel canceled the general exit permit that allowed most Palestinians to move freely through Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since then the closure, which may soon be challenged by the second Freedom Flotilla, has become almost hermetic.

IOA Editor: Israel’s propaganda attack, a prelude to the looming confrontation, is growing more intense. The latest from the people who killed 9 innocent peaceful activists last year: “Senior Israeli officials receive information that activists are bringing chemical substances to use against soldiers; extremists participating in flotilla have said they intend to ‘shed the blood of IDF soldiers.'” Surely, this could serve as a ‘justification’ for another violent attack on this year’s round of ‘pirates…’

Passengers on the US Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, said news reports that an Israeli “lawfare” group, Shurat HaDin, is behind the complaint delaying the departure of the US boat from Greece substantiate the Americans’ assertions that the complaint is frivolous. The passengers expressed confidence that Greek authorities will now quickly dispense with the complaint and allow The Audacity of Hope to sail.

On Sunday, a convoy of activist ships known as the Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human set sail for the shores of Gaza. The convoy is the tenth such attempt by the Gaza Freedom Movement to break the naval blockade on the strip. The same day, the Israeli Government Press Office issued a release, warning foreign journalists that if they are on board the ships, they are liable to be banned from Israel for ten years.

I take a look at the other people in the room and ask myself, “Why do they need this?” The oldest person planning to sail on the Canadian vessel is a 77-year-old American woman… There’s also another woman and a man over 70… There are nine other passengers in their sixties, and many others between 40 and 60. So why are they doing this?

Letter from head of Israel’s Government Press Office warns that taking part in convoy of boats sailing to Gaza could result in being barred from Israel for 10 years. … The flotilla “is a dangerous provocation that is being organized by western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas.” … Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass will be joining the flotilla, along with several dozen other journalists and several hundred activists from some 20 countries.

Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, are asking Greek government officials to clarify whether the boat they are leasing is being blocked from leaving Greece because of an anonymous request of a private citizen concerning the seaworthiness of the ship or whether a political decision has been made by the Greek government in response to U.S. and Israeli government pressure.

US peace activists preparing to set sail on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, expressed profound disappointment over a statement issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. Instead of calling on the Israeli government to let a flotilla of unarmed civilians sail to Gaza, the United States government is pressuring its own citizens to refrain from legal acts.

Why am I going on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza? I ask myself this, even though the answer is: what else would I do? I am in my 67th year, having lived already a long and fruitful life, one with which I am content. It seems to me that during this period of eldering it is good to reap the harvest of one’s understanding of what is important, and to share this, especially with the young. How are they to learn, otherwise?

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy is gathering signatures for the following statement about the continuing repression in Bahrain. To date, the statement has been signed by more than 1,500 people, including hundreds of courageous Bahrainis.

U.S. Boat to Gaza passengers recorded short personal statements on who they are and why they chose to participate in the upcoming Freedom Flotilla 2. Israel has described Gaza Flotilla participants as terrorists and is preparing its mighty naval, air, and ground forces to deal with them as such. Based on the experience of the first Freedom Flotilla, we already know what to expect and who is going to do the terrorizing. Watch these brief personal statements to see who the participants really are, and just what a threat they pose to the only nuclear superpower in the Middle East.

Israel should end discriminatory policies that have forcibly displaced hundreds of West Bank Palestinian residents from their homes, Human Rights Watch said today. In demolition operations on June 14 and 21, 2011, Israeli authorities displaced more than a hundred residents of three West Bank communities, including women and children, destroying their homes and other structures. Israeli authorities should compensate the residents and provide them with housing, Human Rights Watch said.

Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain had been tossed out of the Middle East. That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region.

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On Wednesday, 22 June 2011, Israel held the largest war exercise in its history. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky interviewed Rela Mazali, the founder of New Profile, an organization working to demilitarize Israeli society, and Alex Cohn, a war resister who served five months for objecting to serve in the army.

Gaza Island

22 June 2011

The Freedom Flotilla 2, with 12+ boats carrying humanitarian aid and 1000+ peace activists, is sailing to Gaza in late June. Alice Walker, who’s sailing with us, calls this the Freedom Ride of our generation. We want to help open this Palestinian port and end the illegal Israeli blockade, which has caused so much suffering. Meanwhile, the global BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement is calling on Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson and Kiri Te Kanawa to cancel their 2011 Israel concerts and get on the boat!

The artificial division between Areas A, B and C was supposed to be erased from the map, and dropped from the discourse, in 1999. Instead, Israel has sanctified and perpetuated it. The largest share – 60 percent – is designated Area C, meaning it is under full Israeli security and civil control. It is self-evident why Israel perpetuates the Area C classification. After all, it gives Israel a free hand to continue emptying that part of the West Bank of Palestinians and encourage more Jews to violate international law and settle there.

Up until a few months ago, Hezbollah could reasonably claim pride of place in the Arab anti-imperialist camp. Hezbollah was the only Arab force that repeatedly stymied the powerful Israeli military and never caved in. It weathered repeated attempts by the Arab reactionary camp – the US-allied governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt under Mubarak, and several lesser regional states – to disarm it and marginalize it. Over a period of nearly two decades, Hezbollah was perhaps the most stubborn (and visible in the West) obstacle to imperialist domination of the Eastern Mediterranean.

In late June, a US flagged ship called The Audacity of Hope will join the 2nd Freedom Flotilla – Stay Human as people from 22 nations set sail to Gaza challenging the Israeli naval blockade. Though the flotilla has the right under international law to do exactly what it is doing and has made abundantly clear its commitment to nonviolence, the government of Israel has publicly stated that they are prepared to act illegally and violently and take severe, even potentially life-threatening, action against the boats and their passengers. The US Boat to Gaza organizing committee urges people throughout this country to plan now for Emergency Response actions.

On June 27, 2011, the Knesset’s Law, Constitution, and Justice Committee will deliberate the Boycott Bill, in preparation for second and third reading in the Knesset plenum. As part of our ongoing campaign against this anti-democratic legislation, we are now launching the second phase of our “Right to Resist” campaign. The campaign consists of four videos stared by some of Israel’s popular artists and cultural figures: singer-songwriter Rona Kenan, filmmakers Eitan Fox and Gal Ochovsky, the poet Meit Wizeltir, actress Einat Weizman, and cultural figure Muhammed Jabali.

Dr. Salem Ajluni: “Without annual external assistance to the tune of about $1 billion from the donor countries, this is not a sustainable situation. I’m not the only one saying this. So is the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and [Palestinian Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad.”

Israel, backed by the US, has started a campaign to preempt a Palestinian drive to win United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israeli in the 1967 war. If such a recognition is secured, it will neither lead to an establishment of a Palestinian state nor would it stop the continued Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands. Nevertheless, Israel is mainly concerned that the Palestinian move would restore the United Nations resolution – and international resolutions – as the main reference for solving the conflict.

“My understanding of the Jewish ethical tradition comes primarily from my knowledge of the Jewish historical experience… I feel they are the principal determining factors: our ethical tradition, our struggles for justice, going back to the 19th-century shtetl, where my great-grandmother was hunted by the Cossacks, in pogroms.”

The Israeli Defense Forces held a large drill Wednesday in preparation of the flotilla that intends to set sail to the Gaza Strip later this month. The drill focused on different scenarios that might occur at sea and methods to deal with them.

Settling a score

16 June 2011

According to the [Israeli] court decision, the custodian of abandoned property in the West Bank area allocated the land on which the farm stands to the World Zionist Organization, which granted a permit for use of the land to Sussia, a cooperative agricultural association [a group of Jewish settlers].

The 2006 Edward Said Memorial lecture of Adelaide University,Australia, delivered by Tanya Reinhart on 7 October 2006. Tanya Reinhart covers important issues in this lecture: the Nakba in the history of the occupied and the occupier, the choice of armed- vs. unarmed struggle, Israel and South-Africa, the role of international activism, and what can be learned from both Edward Said and Nelson Mandela.

The kit called ‘How do you say Nakba in Hebrew?’ did not receive Israel’s Education Ministry’s approval and most of the teachers using it conceal their source.

Bassem Tamimi of Nabi Saleh delivered a court statement at the start of his trial last Sunday saying ‘I reject [these laws] and cannot recognize their validity.’

“Israel is occupying the Palestinian people in my name, in the name of world Jewry,” Lucas, clutching his American passport, tells the camera. “And I myself, an American Jew, is here to say that is completely unjustified and ethically reprehensible.”

IOA Editor: This news story finally made it to Haaretz, and got distorted along the way. The group of Israelis marching through East Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs” was not “small,” as several video reports have clearly shown.

The right wing considers recognition of the reality created in 1949 to be the chief enemy of Zionism. The dynamic of a conquering nationalism can never recognize that any situation created at any given time is final.

IOA Editor: Written from an Israeli-centered perspective, Sternhell focuses on the extreme “right” Zionism (Netanyahu, Yaalon, et al), correctly pointing out its dangerous and unstoppable nature. Unfortunately, he lets “mainstream” Zionism (not the subject of this article) go scot-free. In fact, much of what he says about “right wing” Zionism applies equally to “mainstream” Zionism. Perhaps the grass is greener when one conjures up the dream-images of what Zionism-Lite could/should have been. However, for the Palestinians, the harsh reality of dispossession and ethnic-cleansing of the past 100+ years was managed and carried out mostly by “mainstream” Zionism: some 77 years (about 40 years pre-statehood, followed by 37 of the past 63 years of Israeli statehood, including the 1967 war and subsequent occupation and settlement). Therefore, this article is important for the understanding of Zionism, both “right” and “mainstream,” not for the implied, and very limited, differences between them.

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