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

Akiva Eldar

It’s a shame the police don’t show the same determination treating the settlers who invade private Palestinian land as they do evicting the temporary settlers on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard. It’s a shame the social justice activists ignore the creeping eviction by the Israeli government in the occupied territories.

Israel carried out a de facto annexation of Palestinian land northeast of the Jordan Valley and given it to Kibbutz Merav. Merav, part of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, is about seven kilometers northwest of the parcel. The route of the separation barrier in the area was changed so that the plot in question, about 1,500 dunams (375 acres), would be on the Israeli side.

[Netanyahu’s] propaganda was sweet as honey dripping from his lips. It improves from speech to speech. But the prime minister promised that this time he would feed us the truth, not another campaign speech. A test of this promise seems apposite.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that in his speech at the UN on Friday, he will “tell the truth”. This is no trivial matter when it involves a politician who invented an encounter with British soldiers that happened before he was born… The following lines are an attempt to formulate Netanyahu’s truth ahead of one more speech of a lifetime.

This time, too, Israel will accuse the Arabs of unilateral steps, ignore the United Nations, expand settlements in the West Bank, and build more neighborhoods for Jews in East Jerusalem.

Despite Netanyahu’s rhetoric, the facts on the ground – illegal outposts, failure to abide by court rulings, unfettered settler activity- make peace a distant dream.

I asked Goldstone to help point out even a single word in the two reports that could justify his vague statement about the non-existence of the policy on harming civilians – while both reports repeatedly criticize Israel for not having investigated this issue at all. Apologizing politely, the South African freedom fighter said he had imposed media silence on himself. A pity…

MKs from the party heading the opposition recently voted in favor of two bills that should have been easy “nays”: giving mortgage help to would-be settlers and probing leftist organizations.

IOA Editor: Another, rather mundane, instance where so-called “Labor,” “Centrist” Israeli parties participate, alongside the “Extreme Right,” in the daily conduct of Israel’s colonization program: the century-long dispossession and repression of the Palestinian people, now with a new McCarthyist twist pointing to its own Jewish citizens. History doesn’t repeat itself, it simply continues.

Fostering the illusion that the conflict is ending doesn’t bring a solution closer; in fact, the focus on the final-status talks offers an alibi for deepening the occupation. The high and mighty words about two states for two peoples silence the protest voices of a nation that for more than 43 years has lived under the occupation of another nation.

26 former top EU officials, including ex EU chief Solana and former German President Richard von Weizsacker, urge world powers to confront Jerusalem over its refusal to obey international law.

Knesset approves bill mandating referendum before decision to withdraw from Israeli territory, but does not enable appeal against decision to reject a peace agreement… The wording of the question contradicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that the referendum “enables to pass with strong public support an agreement that answers the national interests of Israel.”

The demand to suspend settlement building is no excuse [to torpedo direct talks] – it’s as legitimate a position as the Palestinians can have. Why should they relinquish a condition that has the support of the entire world, with the sole exception of Israel?

IOA Editor: Eldar is correct in pointing to the reasonableness of the Palestinian position on the settlement freeze. And his focus on Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman is understandable, even if not entirely logical – Netanyahu, at whose pleasure Lieberman serves, is not terribly different. Most importantly, based on past performance, Eldar’s pointing to Livni as a replacement for Lieberman misses the mark entirely: During Israel’s attack on Gaza, Livni was a leading participant in Israel’s crimes, indistinguishable from the rest. It is doubtful that Livni would move Netanyahu towards a viable peace agreement, as Eldar wishes, because there’s nothing to support the suggestion that either Netanyahu or Livni would be willing “to evacuate most [settlements] permanently.”

Sixty-two years after the founding of the state … it is time to acknowledge that the Jewish state is not interested in also being the state of its Arab citizens. The predicament of the Arab minority between the Mediterranean Sea and the Green Line, especially the Muslim Arab minority, is an indication of the attitude of the Jewish democratic state toward those who do not belong to the lords of the land.

Pending court approval, government could assume control over properties of people who moved to enemy states during the War of Independence, as well as structures that belong to people now residing in the [occupied] territories.

IOA Editor: Not “legal” and not “abandoned.” The term “abandoned property” was created by the Israeli legal system after Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine’s Arab population in 1948, specifically to acquire Palestinian owned properties. In many cases, then and now, the “abandoned” properties belong to a population that was forcibly evicted, or kept out, of the very property that was subsequently deemed “abandoned.”

See also David Shulman: Sheikh Jarrah – July 9, 2010

The number of Palestinians under questioning by the Shin Bet security service who are not permitted to meet with an attorney is a state secret, the State Prosecutor’s Office told the High Court of Justice last week.

Defense Minister Peres, 1974: “This cooperation [Israel – South-Africa] is based not only on common interests and on the determination to resist equally our enemies, but also on the unshakable foundations of our common hatred of injustice and refusal to submit to it.”

President Peres on judge Richard Goldstone: “A small man, devoid of any sense of justice.”

The commotion over the PA’s economic campaign against the settlements indicates, more than anything else, how the colonialist mindset has been branded into Israeli consciousness. The protests over the threatened loss of the hewers of wood and drawers of water shows how hard it is to shake off the master-servant attitudes that have taken root over the last 43 years.

[C]orruption on the hill in West Jerusalem is nothing compared to the theft of land, identity rape, and the body of lies and criminal discrimination against 270,000 residents of the eastern part of the city. Although these despicable acts have been going on in broad daylight for years, the public and the media don’t find them interesting. After all, it’s about Arabs.

In its 62nd year of independence, as it has every year since March 2002, Israel is taking advantage of its independence to turn its back on the Arab Peace Initiative. This year, too, it is ignoring a plan that offers it normalization in return for a withdrawal from the occupied territories and a just and agreed resolution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

In the summer of 1967, Yeshayahu Leibowitz prophesied that Israel’s occupation would corrupt the country and turn it into “a Shin Bet state.” As early as the first intifada, we understood there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation. One nation cannot rule over another for 43 years without behaving cruelly toward the helpless, without executing people without trial, without embittering the lives of women and children, the sick and elderly.

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