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

December 2011

In this wide-ranging interview, Rashid Khalidi has some harsh words for President Barack Obama, describing his UN speech in September as the worst ever by an American president. Khalidi also reviews the way in which US policy toward the conflict was transformed over decades, and discusses why AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is far more effective today than it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Although he sees no hope at present for a just US policy, this could change if public opinion – which is much more enlightened than that of U.S. policy makers – is expressed through the media and at the political level.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), that ownes 13% of Israeli lands, forbids the sale or lease of its lands to any but Jewish owners. Many are now joining a global campaign against this policy whose roots come from expropriated Palestinian Land. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky looks at the history of JNF land acquisition from the land taken from 1948 refugees in the village of Ma’alul, 1967 refugees on whose land Canada Park was built, and the Bedouins of Al Araqib on whose land the JNF is attempting to build the Ambassador’s Forest.

IOA Editor: An outstanding report by Lia Tarachansky where she puts current events in their historic, political, institutional, and legal context: How the repeated destruction of the Beduin village of al-Araqib fits in the Palestinian history of the Nakba, post-1948 confiscation of Palestinian lands within Israel, and the destruction of the Latroun villages after the 1967 War — all with the full involvement of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a tax-exempt organization in the US.

Israel has been only too happy to perform a pointless tango with the Palestinians on the diplomatic front while it encouraged its settlers to entrench their hold on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, gutting any chance of the Palestinian state that was ostensibly being negotiated.

Israel’s Civil Administration issues 101 different types of permits to govern the movement of Palestinians, whether within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Israel or beyond the borders of the state, according to an agency document of which Haaretz obtained a copy.

TRNN Senior Editor, Paul Jay, interviews Lia Tarachansky, The Real News’ correspondent in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. They are then joined by a panel, discussing current affairs in the region, the media, and TRNN’s coverage. Joining the panel are Shir Hever, Robert Naiman, Samah Sabawi, Ronnie Barkan, and Peter Larson.

Season’s greetings from Truthdig! In this year’s holiday animation by Mr. Fish, an elf confronts Santa about his exploitation of slave labor.

Yitzhak Laor: “This bill truly intends to create a democracy for Jews only. If it were passed, no Arab – whether resident of the territories or Israeli citizen – would have access to the law.”

Anyone who has been harmed by the Israeli dictatorship feels alone, weak, angry and desperate. But every family in its own way cultivates its humanity. In a curious and moving way – despite internal rivalries, an unfair distribution of the burden, manifestations of ignorance and opportunism and disappointing leadership – the ability to remain steadfast and social solidarity are the overall result.

On Friday, Dec 9, 2011 thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv for international human rights day. While Israelis are subject to Israeli civil law, Palestinians are subject to a set of military orders. Order 101 effectively bans political protest of more than 10 people.

Rashid Khalidi: “Nobody believes that firing rockets and getting 1,400 people killed in response is ‘resistance’ that is going to liberate Palestine, and nobody believes that talking with the US, with Dennis Ross putting his thumb on the scales in favor of Israel, which is already overwhelmingly superior, is going to produce an equitable and just and lasting solution of the Palestine question. If you still believe that – you have to have your head examined.”

Rashid Khalidi on Obama: ”I had low expectations and my low expectations were more than fulfilled. He’s done considerably worse than I would have expected. But I never assumed that this would be someone who would be able to break the whole mold of American politics. And he didn’t. Quite the contrary. This has been an Administration that on certain key issues has been almost as bad as and sometimes even worse than the Bush Administration.

Likud MK Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to Israeli human rights organization, stood behind Senator Joseph’s McCarthy’s actions in the 1950s… Akunis said McCarthy – who in the 1950s presided over a committee that investigated Americans suspected of harboring Communist views – “was right in every word, the fact is – there were Soviet agents.”

IOA Editor: Two of a kind…

In a short film launched today, the British born Palestinian singer discusses what it means to her to be able choose her own path, and the support she’s received in the UK.

Like Occupy Wall St. has done for the United States, Israel’s summer protests showed that there is mass discontent inside Israel in many sectors. If a majority of Israelis no longer benefit from Zionism, then Palestinian struggle may have some new and very powerful potential allies.

In recent weeks, a spate of anti-democratic measures have won support from Netanyahu’s rightwing government, justified by a new security doctrine: see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil of Israel. If the legislative proposals pass, the Israeli courts, Israel’s human rights groups and media, and the international community will be transformed into the proverbial three monkeys.

The IDF’s Unit 8200’s task is to intercept, monitor and analyse enemy communications and data traffic – from mobile phone chatter and emails to flight paths and electronic signals. Its goal is to fish out from an ocean of data the piece of information that will help the Israeli security forces identify and thwart a potential attack. In addition, Unit 8200 – the largest in the Israeli army – is responsible for all aspects of cyberwarfare.

IOA Editor: In addition to their presence in high-tech start-ups, there is a global network of Unit 8200 graduates holding key positions at every kind of communications, internet, and technical services company who can provide ‘back-door’ access to their alma mater. Thus, the sophisticated technologies for which the IDF is known may be directly applied to tracking telephone company and internet service provider customers around the world.

A split has developed between Israeli security establishment and Netanyahu. November saw endless speculation about a potential Israeli attack on Iran. At the end of October an Israeli journalist published at article revealing that, against the advice of all Israeli security and intelligence agency heads, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak were deliberating attacking Iran. Perhaps as early as this winter.