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

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery: “The boycott law is a sophisticated law. It doesn’t impose criminal sanctions on someone who calls for boycotting the settlements. If it did, we wouldn’t have the slightest problem; we would go to jail. Instead, this law makes everyone who calls for boycotting the settlements liable for paying millions of shekels in compensation to the settlers. There is no limit to the sum that the settlers can demand of us in compensation for damages, without their even having to prove it [the damages]…”

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.

Hamas did not die when the Israeli air force killed Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the paralyzed founder, ideologue and symbol of Hamas. As a martyr he was far more effective than as a living leader. His martyrdom attracted many new fighters to the cause. Killing a person does not kill an idea.

Ethnic cleansing can be carried out dramatically (as in this country in 1948 and in Kosovo in 1998) or in a quiet and systematic way, by dozens of sophisticated methods, as is happening now in East Jerusalem. But there cannot be the slightest doubt that this is the final stage of the one-state vision of the rightists. The first stage will be an effort to fill the entire country with settlements, and to demolish any chance of implementing the two-state solution, which is the only realistic basis for peace.

If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up (instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission), here are some of the questions it should have addressed.

When Netanyahu calls it a flotilla of hate, is he lying? Not only Netanyahu, the ministers, too, in addition to a few people in uniform: the army chief of staff and the commander of the navy. In any well-run country, the head of the navy would have resigned that same night.

“Only a crazy government that has lost all restraint and all connection to
reality could something like that – consider ships carrying humanitarian aid
and peace activists from around the world as an enemy and send massive
military force to international waters to attack them, shoot and kill.”

Netanyahu is not even deceiving Obama. The American president knows full well that this is all play acting. He is very intelligent. He is not very courageous… This is a great victory for Netanyahu, his second over Obama. Not yet the decisive victory, but a victory that bodes ill for the chances of peace in the near future.

IOA Editor: Avnery is able to see through Thomas Friedman’s ‘advice,’ but he’s not considering the possibility that Obama is actually going exactly as far as he wants to, and entirely by choice: a verbal pursuit of Peace in the Middle East, not the sort that requires any action.

For Netanyahu, the threat of peace has passed. At least for the time being. It is difficult to understand how Obama allowed himself to get into this embarrassing situation.

On the morrow of the Six-day War, Amos Kenan came to my editorial office. He was in a state of shock. As a reserve soldier, he had just witnessed the emptying of three villages in the Latrun area. Men and women, old people and children, had been driven out in the burning June sun on a foot march in the direction of Ramallah, dozens of kilometers away. It reminded him of sights from the Holocaust.

IOA Editor: Kenan’s checkered past should be obvious to any reader of these pages (and Avnery’s account of history often leaves one wondering). This piece is included here because of Kenan’s role in revealing Israel’s conduct in 1967, specifically, the war crimes and ethnic cleansing that took place in the Latroun area. On this, see Imwas: occupied and destroyed by Israel in 1967, elsewhere on the IOA website.

Uri Avnery: A Jeremiad

1 August 2009

“Therefore I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons… and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel, [d]eclare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions…”

IOA Editor: Avnery’s view of history is founded largely on his own imagination: Post-1948 Israel was a natural outcome of pre-statehood, and post-1967 Israel was a continuation of earlier years. But it fits with Avnery’s retrospective view of his life in Palestine/Israel. The key question conveniently left out by Avnery, and by the Dalia youth of 1947, was “what was to become of the Palestinian natives,” once the dancing stops and the fighting begins. However, the article reflects the internal tension in certain segments of Zionism, and this is why it is of interest.

A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic.

A million and a half Arab citizens cannot be expected to recognize Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. They want it to be “a state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others. They also claim with reason that Israel discriminates against them, and therefore is not really democratic.

Police offensive against New Profile activists – a violation of the freedom of speech. This assault on the adherents of peace and democracy follows after Lieberman took over the police and state prosecution.

The inherent aim of the Zionist enterprise was and is to turn the country – at least up to the Jordan River – into a homogeneous Jewish state. Throughout the course of Zionist-Israeli history, this aim has not been forsaken for a moment. Every cell of the Israeli organism contains this genetic code and therefore acts accordingly, without the need for a specific directive.

In this war, this has become political and military dogma: only if we kill “them” disproportionately, killing a thousand of “them” for ten of “ours”, will they understand that it’s not worth it to mess with us. It will be “seared into their consciousness” (a favorite Israeli phrase these days). After this, they will think twice before launching another Qassam rocket against us, even in response to what we do, whatever that may be.