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

September 2011

Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have started a hunger strike to protest their treatment by the Israeli prison services, Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Tuesday.

[Netanyahu’s] propaganda was sweet as honey dripping from his lips. It improves from speech to speech. But the prime minister promised that this time he would feed us the truth, not another campaign speech. A test of this promise seems apposite.

Amid the enthusiastic applause in New York and the celebrations in Ramallah, it was easy to believe — if only a for minute — that, after decades of obstruction by Israel and the United States, a Palestinian state might finally be pulled out of the United Nations hat. Will the world’s conscience be midwife to a new era ending Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians? It seems not.

In Qusra, deep among the terraced hills of the West Bank, fear is on the rise. “The settlers are provoking us continuously,” said Hani Abu Reidi, head of the village council. “They uproot olive trees, kill our sheep, burn our mosques and curse our prophet. They want to drag us into the sphere of violence. We do not want to go there.”

Reality Check: No celebrations were going on in the Jenin refugee camp this week, where families involved in the long struggle with Israel acknowledged that what concerns them now is economics – not empty declarations at the UN.

It goes without saying that Palestinians and Arabs are outraged by the idea that the United States is threatening to block recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations. What is less obvious, perhaps, is that some of the most vociferous critics of the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. recognition are Palestinians themselves. How could it be that advocates of Palestinian rights could be suspicious of, if not altogether opposed to, the U.N. gambit? Isn’t the creation of an internationally recognized independent state the goal shared by all Palestinians? Not exactly. The Palestinian cause concerns more than merely statehood.

Mouin Rabbani: I think it’s perfectly possible to go to the UN to seek the internationalization of the question of Palestine and do it in a way that not only strengthens your claims and preserves your rights, but increases the likelihood that you’re actually going to get somewhere.

Israelis and Palestinians express skepticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ UN move, while protests are taking place throughout the West Bank, facing Israel’s technology solution to anti-Occupation resistance: tear gas and a crowd dispersal weapon called “The Scream” which produces a high-pitch sound, disorienting and temporarily deafening the demonstrators.

[The Palestinian] argument is straightforward: If the idea behind a two-state solution is dividing land among the two peoples, how can Israel unilaterally continue to settle the contested land while carrying out negotiations? Israeli unilateralism, in other words, has driven the Palestinians to choose the unilateral path. The only difference is that the latter’s unilateralism is aimed at advancing a peace agreement, while the former’s is aimed at destroying it.

Today, for some Palestinians living under the 44-year occupation simply remaining on the land is a kind of moral victory. This summer, I started hearing a new slogan: “Existence is resistance.” If you remain on the land, then the game isn’t over. And if you can bring attention to the occupation, while you remain in place, so much the better.

Here is colonialism in all its glory. After all, the United States agrees that there should be a Palestinian state, it even twisted the arm of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a little bit, cautiously so it wouldn’t hurt, so that he would blurt out the necessary formula “two states for two peoples.” … After all, Arafat already recognized it. Palestine fulfilled all the threshold conditions. And still, this state has only one chance of being born the American way. Through negotiations that will lead to a consensual agreement and a handshake. And if Israel’s hand is missing, never mind, the Palestinians will wait until it grows.

On Friday, 24 June at 12:46 pm, the prison administration brought us, the prisoners, a watermelon. It was our first watermelon of 2011. According to the prison regulations, each prisoner gets 180 grams of fruit each day. It’s one of our basic rights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that in his speech at the UN on Friday, he will “tell the truth”. This is no trivial matter when it involves a politician who invented an encounter with British soldiers that happened before he was born… The following lines are an attempt to formulate Netanyahu’s truth ahead of one more speech of a lifetime.

Dear Students, It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 2011 National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Conference at Columbia University in the City of New York from 14-16 October 2011.

A majority of Palestinians support the bid for Palestine’s membership of the UN, but expect a negative backlash, according to the results of a survey released Sunday and carried out in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip from July 13 – 17.

One proposal would allow police to use force against those being detained – and not only against those being arrested, as they are now authorized to do. While currently the law mandates that a person arrested must be brought before the court in 24 hours from the time of arrest, the proposed regulations would allow the police to extend that to 48 hours. This would mean that for two full days there would be no judicial supervision of the police actions or decision to arrest.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store believes negotiations can ‘solve’ matters between Israel and the Palestinians, but that the Palestinians have a ‘right to go to the UN’.

Herein lie the most painful ironies of the PA’s 17-year existence, oft-stated, but still poorly understood in the West: As a non-sovereign entity, it must beseech its overlords for the trappings of autonomy. As the constable of its appointed domains, the PA must crack the heads of the Palestinians it claims to represent if they transgress the boundaries of official discourse. As a creature of the Oslo accords, it cannot transcend the terms of these agreements between an occupying power and an occupied people. No one can doubt who the arbiters of the agreements are: When Palestinians narrowly elected Hamas to head the PA in 2006, Israel and the US imposed a tight physical and diplomatic siege upon the Hamas-affiliated officers and their territorial seat in the Gaza Strip.

Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign: “Would the London Philharmonic Orchestra have punished musicians speaking out against apartheid South Africa, when a similar call for boycott was supported by artists, performers and sports people internationally? … If the LPO really wishes not to appear to be taking sides, and supporting an occupying nation against an occupied people, it must end the ridiculous suspension of these four musicians immediately.”

Israeli troops fired tear gas indiscriminately and sometimes dangerously to enforce a daytime curfew inside a West Bank village to stop Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration on their own land, a military whistleblower has told The Independent.

Bedouins in the Negev continue to be targeted by Israeli efforts to displace them. The Israeli government has now approved a plan that would uproot 30,000 Palestinians and place them in “recognized villages.”

A month after recent escalation between Israel and Gaza two Palestinian children in critical condition in an Israeli hospital.

Reform began after arrest warrant issued in 2009 against opposition leader Tzipi Livni; British Ambassador says change law ‘can no longer be abused for political reasons.’

IOA Editor: The change itself is an abuse of the law for political reason.

The truth is that the Palestinians have just three options: to surrender unconditionally and go on living under Israeli occupation; to launch a third intifada; or to mobilize the world on their behalf. They picked the third option, the lesser of all evils even from Israel’s perspective. What could Israel say about this – that it’s a unilateral step? But it didn’t agree to stop construction in the settlements, the mother of all unilateral steps. What did the Palestinians have left? The international arena. And if that won’t save them, then another popular uprising in the territories.

IOA Editor: Levy is the good, sensible and moral Israeli, addressing an Israeli audience. However, to state that for the Palestinians to mobilize the world on their behalf is “the lesser of all evils even from Israel’s perspective” is problematic, at best.

History shows that all Israeli governments — “Left” or “Right” alike — prefer violent Palestinian resistance to the Occupation over any non-violent protest because it provides Israel the best possible excuse to do what it knows and does best: attack and destroy Palestinian population centers, national infrastructure, agricultural and industrial employment centers — bring about as much destruction so as to crush Palestinian society, push back reconciliation and continue the land colonization process in order to make a Palestinian state physically and geographically impossible.

The experience of Gaza and the Second Intifada provide ample evidence to this assessment. One can only hope that the Third Intifada will be sophisticated enough, and very obviously non-violent, in order not to provide Israel with easy excuses.

This is also why Israel is at such a loss now on how to deal with the legitimate Palestinian demand for statehood, scrambling to deal with global pressure on the UN frontier: if it could only launch a missile-equipped drone to solve it all…

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