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

February 2012

Haneen Zoabi in a highly biased interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV. Her courage stands out, rising above the abrupt Israeli interviewing style: she keeps to her principled positions. (Hebrew with English subtitles.)

Israeli-Palestinian Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran refused to sing ‘Hatikva’ at retirement ceremony of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, prompting calls for his removal.

Norman Finkelstein: “They don’t want Israel… They think they’re being very clever. They call it their three tiers… We want the end of the occupation, we want the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever, because they know the result of implementing all three is what? What’s the result? You know and I know what’s the result: there’s no Israel.”

On Thursday, 8 March 2012, Barnard College [New York] will be hosting the event “Why I Call Myself a Socialist: A Reading and Book Signing” with playwright, actor, and essayist Wallace Shawn. The event will begin at 6pm in the Event Oval at the Diana Center.

In recent years, the government has adopted the so-called Prawer Plan, reversing several earlier decisions to recognize unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev desert. The new plan, explained by Association for Civil Rights in Israel lawyer Rawia Abu Rabia, will relocate 40,000 Bedouins in southern Israel for the establishment of 10 Jewish villages in their place.

The Transportation Ministry confirmed that it was pursuing the plan for the new rail lines “so as to permit it to be carried out in the future,” and in accordance with “a legal commitment the ministry made to the High Court of Justice.”

IOA Editor: This appears to be a scheme to navigate a plan to provide rail service to Ariel, an illegal Jewish settlement at the heart of the West Bank, through the various legal hurdles that it is certain to face. A similar gimmick was used in 2005 because, “by law, private Palestinian land cannot be expropriated for purposes of constructing a transportation route unless it was proven this route will serve the Palestinians as well.” [YNet, 2005] Thus, an imaginary rail network, “under consideration,” provides a legitimizing context for the actual planning of a transport service providing quick access to the center of Israel for thousands of West Bank settlers.

Adalah: “When the issue of ‘equality’ for Palestinian citizens of Israel is seen as a political rather than a constitutional question, it is then a short step to also view human rights groups that strive to achieve the rights of dignity and equality for Palestinian citizens as political organizations, and the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in such cases as political, and thus subject to intervention by the Knesset. However, the Knesset’s interference in the work of the Supreme Court threatens the fundamental principle of the separation of powers.”

National Union MK Michael Ben Ari believes he was barred from US for being a member of far-right Kach organization, says in response that this type of ‘US blindness’ is what brought about the 9/11 attacks.

It is doubtful whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has expressed great concern over the fate of Migron’s residents, has heard of Tha’lah. Unfortunately for the village’s residents, Tha’lah is situated in Area C, which is under Israel jurisdiction. Minister Benny Begin, who worked so tirelessly on the questionable “agreement” that will leave the Migron criminals on stolen land for a few more years (if it is ever implemented ), presumably does not know what happened to the residents of this tiny village in the Southern Hebron Hills. And the Israeli media didn’t stop focusing on an Iranian nuclear bomb that threatens to destroy our homes long enough to cover a boring story about a Palestinian family whose home we Israelis razed.

The following statement will be distributed to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Israeli officials, and the US State Department urging immediate action for the freedom of Khader Adnan. Please join.

Israel’s High Court of Justice scheduled a petitions hearing regarding the case of Khader Adnan on Thursday, 23 February 2012. The High Court of Justice was provided with a detailed medical report prepared on 14 February by an Israeli-accredited doctor on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. Despite the elaborate medical report, which confirmed that Khader Adnan “is in immediate danger of death,” and that “a fast in excess of 70 days does not permit survival,” the Israeli High Court appointed the petition session for 23 February with no guarantees that a decision will be made on the same day. By then, Khader Adnan—if alive—will have reached the 68th day of his ongoing hunger strike.

UPDATED   Israel’s Supreme Court moves up Khader Adnan’s hearing to 21 Feb, 2012.

For over 50 years, Fouzi El-Asmar has been one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. He is most well-known as the author of the landmark autobiographical work, To Be an Arab in Israel (1975), published in seven languages including Arabic and Hebrew, and as a prolific journalist specializing in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with particular focus on matters of concern to Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Settlers from West Bank outposts have taken control of land in Area B and are thus in breach of the 1995 Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, says Dror Etkes, an anti-settlement activist. Area B was defined in the Oslo Accords as land under Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control.

The world watches as tragedy unfolds beneath its gaze. Khader Adnan is entering his 61st day as a hunger striker in an Israeli prison, being held under an administrative detention order without trial, charges, or any indication of the evidence against him. The Palestinian prisoner’s case is a microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation.

Coverage of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel under administrative detention, as his hunger strike enters its 61st day.

Yitzhak Laor on the inability of social-networks-based movementsto bring about a lasting change:

The blogosphere is a salient expression of this hermetically closed system… a ridiculous extension of the cage [the Internet and television]: “I live among people who are like me so as not to fear people who are unlike me”… You do not take the power you have gathered onto the streets, in order to build an organization that will transcend the street and reach former opponents who have experienced a turning point in their lives.

Construction of the new cultural auditorium in Ariel, taking students on tours of the West Bank, and now the plan to turn the ‘university center’ in Ariel into a full-fledged university, are erasing the pre-1967 borders from the collective consciousness of both Palestinians and Israelis.

In Israel, the debate over whether to attack Iran has seen the political leadership of the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, face a resistant security echelon with the heads of Israel’s intelligence agencies (and their predecessors) opposing such an attack. The question of Iran was at the top of the agenda at this year’s Herzeliya Conference last week.

We managed to delete Mount Hermon’s original, Syrian name as if it had never existed. Precious few Israelis have ever heard the name, or are aware of the 200 towns and villages that were obliterated in the Golan Heights. Most Israelis, we might assume, aren’t aware that they were ever there, since Israeli collective consciousness also erased the existence of their 120,000 residents – refugees that no one knows or cares about.

Sarah Leah Whitson: “Israel should end, today, before it’s too late, its almost two-month-long refusal to inform [Khader] Adnan of any criminal charge or evidence against him.”

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