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

Stephen R. Shalom

A state engaging in an illegal occupation has no right of self-defense; it has an obligation to withdraw. A state enforcing an illegal blockade likewise has no right of self-defense, only an obligation to end its blockade. But Walzer ignores all this, wondering only how Hamas can be attacked without killing quite so many civilians.

The issue of one state or two states has been very divisive among leftist supporters of justice for Palestinians. It will of course be up to Palestinians themselves to decide the terms on which they will settle their long-standing conflict with Israel. But outsiders can offer their assessments and analysis, particularly as the debate has important implications for their Palestine solidarity work, and may be of benefit as well to Palestinians.

In Knowing Too Much, Norman Finkelstein [argues] that both American Jews and the American public more generally are moving away from uncritical support for Israel. This shift, he suggests, holds out the possibility that the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be settled at last.

Stephen R. Shalom: Gaza Quiz

29 November 2012

An uneasy cease-fire has been declared ending Israel’s attack on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the situation.

(1) The Israeli occupation and its policy of building settlements and displacing the local population are unequivocally illegal and unjustified. (2) The Israeli occupation has been a vicious one, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. (3) The Israeli occupation has been the most long-standing occupation in the world. (4) Our government, the US government, has made possible this sordid record of occupation and abuse.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to justify Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people, Israel’s apologists — whether based in Israel or at pseudo-academic centers such as the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism — resort to another line of defense: namely, they accuse Israel’s critics of being anti-Semitic. Not the sort of classic anti-Semitism found for example in Hamas’s Charter, but instead the anti-Semitism of an anti-Israel double standard.

Appendix to Anti-Semitism and the Israel-Palestine conflict – assessing the claim of double standards, by Stephen R. Shalom, Israeli Occupation Archive – IOA (19 Nov 2010).

[T]he simplest answer to [the] question of what Israel could do to maintain its security in place of a blockade is that it is precisely the blockade that causes the threats to Israeli security. Without the blockade, there would be no obstacle to negotiating a long-term ceasefire, which would mean the end to rocket fire and other threats to Israel’s legitimate security interests.

ALSO : Stephen R. Shalom: Palling Around with Terrorists – Obama and the Israel-Palestine Conflict

From the beginning of his administration, Obama declared that he was concerned over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that he wanted the blockade of Gaza loosened. But Israel ignored him and the United States did nothing. Fifty-four Representatives urged the United States to apply real pressure on Israel to lift the blockade, but to no avail. There was and remains a very simple solution if Obama genuinely wants to mitigate the effects of the blockade: namely, the United States could do what Rep. Brian Baird of Washington suggested: break the blockade. Just sail supplies in by sea. Israel certainly isn’t going to sink U.S. navy vessels.

But in creating this nightmare for the people of Gaza, Israel didn’t act alone.

It had the support of Egypt, which kept the Rafah crossing closed. It had the support of the European Union, which joined in the shunning of the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

And most importantly, Israel had the decisive support of the U.S. government. Many of the weapons used by the Israelis in their ferocious assault were provided by the United States: the aircraft, the helicopters, the bunker-buster missiles. But the United States provided as well crucial diplomatic backing, making sure that no resolution would emerge from the Security Council that could interfere with Israel’s agenda.

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched its brutal assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead. Here are many of the most frequently-asked questions and answers, and information sources.

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched its brutal assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead. Here are many of the most frequently-asked questions and answers, and information sources.