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

Jewish World

Two confidential Anti-Defamation League memos from the 1970s show that the pro-Israel “civil rights” group sent spies to report on talks by Noam Chomsky, a noted critic of Israel. “Chomsky is an Arab apoligist, [sic] pure and simple,” one reads, addressed to Irwin Suall, then national director of “fact-finding.”

Let me start with a proposition that should by now be a matter of general knowledge: the totality of Jews do not constitute a nation in the modern sense of this term; nor have they been a nation in any contemporary meaningful sense for well over 2,000 years.

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.

Since 1999, over 300,000 young Jews from around the world have embarked on the free, 10-day tour of Israel known as Taglit-Birthright. It’s considered the most effective means of connecting the next generation of the Jewish Diaspora to the state of Israel. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently pledged $100 million to the program.

Under international law, Israel’s rule in the West Bank and Gaza is considered “belligerent occupation” and, therefore, its actions must be justified by military necessity only. If there is no occupation, Israel has no military grounds to hold on to the territories. In that case, it must either return the land to the Palestinians, and move out the settlers, or defy international law by annexing the territories, as it did earlier with East Jerusalem, and establish a state of Greater Israel.

In fact, it is rarely useful to compare the Holocaust and the ordeal of the Palestinians; it does not help us understand the reality of either. Sixty-four years have elapsed since the Nakba, 64 years during which Palestinians have been subjected to further wars, expulsions, and dispossession. They have been denied political, economic, and human rights… This is not genocide, but what name is there for it?

In the name of ["Never again to us, the Jews"], they end up denying the humanity of the victims of Israel, the purported “State of the Jews”, just as most oppressors throughout history have denied their victims’ humanity.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is planning to build a Museum of Tolerance on the Muslim Mamilla cemetery. This project is a grotesque attempt to erase the well-established history of a continuous Muslim presence in the city that dates back over a millennium… There is no justification for these desecrations. If they were occurring in any other place on earth, the outcry would be deafening. Unfortunately, the treatment of Mamilla is not an anomaly; Muslim and Christian sites of cultural, religious and historical significance continue to be systematically disrespected by Israeli authorities. The Protection of Holy Sites Law in Israel now covers 137 sites. Not one of these is Christian or Muslim.

In June, Norman Finkelstein will mark 30 years of criticizing Israel. He remembers the exact day – the beginning of the Lebanon war, which ended his indifference to the Middle East’s troubles. He’ll have a new book coming out – “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel Is Coming to an End” – that focuses on Jewish public figures who represent, in his view, the narrative of beautiful Israel that’s coming to an end. He is sure to make a lot of people mad again.

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.

JVP has grown dramatically in size and influence in the past two years. As part of the ongoing assessment sparked by this growth, JVP reviewed its BDS policy. On the basis of an organization-wide conversation about BDS, we have refined our position while maintaining our strategy. JVP shares the aims of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee — ending the occupation, achieving equality for Palestinians now living in Israel, and recognizing Palestinian refugees’ right of return. JVP focuses our efforts on boycott and divestment campaigns that directly target Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. We believe this to be the most effective way for JVP to help bring about the aims we share with the Palestinian BDS call.

The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate US President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.

IOA Editor: One can only imagine what would have happened if, say, an Arab American were to utter such an immoral and stupid suggestion: they’d be put away for quite some time.

Last summer, Israelis rose up in a mass movement inspired by the regional protests of the Arab Spring. Starting on Rothschild Boulevard, one of tel Aviv’s wealthiest neighborhoods, tent cities sprung up throughout the country, and Israelis poured to the streets to demonstrate. But in September, as quickly as the tent cities popped up, they disappeared. The protests stopped, and in a sweeping move, the government demolished dozens of tent cities throughout the country.

Benny Katzover: “The main role of Israeli democracy now is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its role, and it must disassemble and give way to Judaism… In Jewish faith, the Land of Israel is central…”

On New Year’s Eve, thousands of Ultra Orthodox men came out in protest of what they called religious prosecution. In recent weeks, tensions in Israel between religious and secular Jews escalated after Israel’s main TV news, Channel 2, filed a report showing Ultra Orthodox men in the city of Beit Shemesh attacking an 8-year old Orthodox girl for not dressing modestly enough. The report sparked nation-wide outrage and brought thousands to Beit Shemesh in protest.

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.

To escape the contradictions created by history and its lessons, we chose to buy the meta-historical explanation of our armed, fortified presence here: no more and no less than God’s promise to Abraham, from whom all of us are directly descended. This promise is what permits us, in our view, to do whatever we please to the people that dwells here, the natives of this land: to expel, to concentrate, to divide, to blockade, to impoverish, to dry out, to bomb, to uproot, to dispossess.

US Likudniks, who had remained relatively restrained on [book talks] until now, could not stand it any longer. They launched a massive attack against me in the form of a smear article … written by two Campus Watch vigilantes and first published on FrontPageMag… From there, the article was reproduced by countless websites and blogs belonging to the same ideological swarm, and distributed by them to their extensive email lists.

Sygmunt Bauman: “Israel does not see the missiles falling on communities along the border as a bad thing. On the contrary, they would be worried and even alarmed were it not for this fire.”

In the case of Israel- the line between the government and the Jewish people as a whole is deliberately obscured and groups like the ADL never hesitate to use this confusion to their advantage, making virtually all criticism of Israel subject to potential condemnation as a a form of anti-Jewish hatred. This is the essence of Israeli exceptionalism which leads to the situation we have now- a country that claims all of the benefits of being a western style democracy with little of the accountability.

Two years after participating in a Taglit-Birthright tour, Harald Fuller-Bennett was denied entry into Israel. The Shin Bet claimed he had links to terrorists and suspected him of no longer being Jewish.

Israel’s legal system, despite its reputation for presuming that Palestinian citizens are habitual security offenders, has found Sheikh Salah guilty neither of anti-Semitism nor of directly helping terrorists. So why is Britain being even “more Israeli rather than the Israelis”, as two Arab members of the Israeli parliament caustically observed?

Scene: an elevator, downstage right. Stuck inside are ROY Cohn and Ethel Rosenberg, characters in Tony Kushner’s landmark play, Angels in America. McCarthyite lawyer, Roy prosecuted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of spying for the USSR and executed in 1953. Ethel now paces impatiently, pushing elevator buttons. Above the stage, captions from recent New York Times headlines wink on and off didactically.

On March 30, 2011, join the international campaign to Stop the Jewish National Fund. A key pillar of the colonization of Palestine – from the founding of the State of Israel to the present – has been the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (KKL), commonly known in English as the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The JNF enjoys charity status in over 50 countries. This is despite its role in the on-going displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their land, the theft of their property, the funding of historic and present-day colonies, and the destruction of the natural environment.

Once you are labeled and stereotyped – especially if you are denounced as an anti-Semite – you are relegated to the fringes, pronounced a hater beyond redemption, and even beyond explanation.

New letter signed by rabbis’ wives appeals to women urging them to stay away from Arabs. ‘As soon as they have in you in their grasp – everything becomes different. Attention will be replaced with curses, physical abuse and humiliation,’ letter states.

Ali Abunimah, speaking at the University of New Mexico, asks the Jewish Federation of New Mexico to apologize for publishing a Dry Bones cartoon which compared BDS supporters with Hitler.

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).

When I envision Israel ending settlement expansion and living in equality with the Palestinians – while Netanyahu’s government confiscates more Palestinian land and builds more settlements every single day – I wonder who is misguided?

Matan Cohen, Israeli who disrupted PM’s speech: We were raised on human rights. Youngster who heckled Netanyahu during GA address in New Orleans says US Jews distancing themselves from community due to “expectation of blind loyalty to Israel.”

IOA Editor: “Raised on human rights” is well intentioned, and an understandable comment when facing the likes of Netanyahu and Lieberman, but it is misleading. Although plenty of individual Israeli (Jewish) families raised their children “on human rights,” Labor Zionism was racist from the very start but, unlike today, mostly below the surface: instituting land laws designed to deprive Arab citizens of most natural and national resources; putting activists under administrative detention without trial, and much more.

Now things are far more out in the open: raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night and putting them away — via trials without the standard rules of evidence that would be required in the West (e.g., most recently, Ameer Makhoul); the ability to legally exclude any Arab citizen from living in much of Israel that is, in effect, designated as Jewish-only; and an “informal,” but well organized and sanctioned by “Higher Authority,” terror campaign against renting to Palestinians when they venture into Jewish towns (even when those had been mostly-Arab towns before 1948), lest their sort mix with our precious daughters (see Jonathan Cook’s Rabbis’ edict bars renting to Arabs). Today’s conditions are far more blatant, and outright scary, but they evolved over a long period of time, starting from the political foundation put in place by Labor Zionism.

ADL’s Foxman: “These groups are not promoting peace, they are spreading propaganda to assault Israel’s legitimacy. We want to Americans to know who these groups are and what it is they really stand for, which is to delegitimize the Jewish state.”

IOA Editor: From one of Israel’s propaganda chiefs, himself. We’d be honored to join the list.

Over 100 people demonstrated against loyalty oath in Tel Aviv; warn ‘Israel is becoming a fascist state.’

From now on, we will be living in a new, officially approved, ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist country. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t affect him is mistaken. There is a silent majority that is accepting this with worrying apathy, as if to say: “I don’t care what country I live in.”

Israel’s botched raid against the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31 is the latest sign that Israel is on a disastrous course that it seems incapable of reversing. The attack also highlights the extent to which Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States. This situation is likely to get worse over time, which will cause major problems for Americans who have a deep attachment to the Jewish state.

[Schumer's] talk covered several foreign policy issues, including Iran and Israel/Palestine. When the topic turned to the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla Schumer began by explaining that the “Palestinian people still don’t believe in the Jewish state, in a two-state solution”. But that is not all, he continued: “They don’t believe in the Torah, in David.”

IOA Editor: In a more-or-less decent society, free of racism, where basic concepts of justice form the foundation of thought and public speech of political leaders – none of this could happen without public apologies and resignation. Not so in the US, guardian of the “Free World” and champion of “Democracy.”

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