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

anti-Occupation

Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad: “I want my films to put fear into Israelis. My job is to disturb their dreams, to wake them from the fantasy that there is no occupation.”

Ten years ago, Aisha Mershani began a project to document the lives of everyday Palestinians non-violently resisting Israeli occupation. Since 2003, she have photographed and gathered testimonies from Palestinian communities that have resisted the building of the Wall. After six years away, she is returning to the West Bank in the summer of 2013 to complete this project. Thus far, Aisha has self-funded her work; she is now asking for your support with the completion of the last stage of this ten-year project.

IOA Editor: We highly recommend supporting Aisha’s work.

We are all part of the same old story, nothing has changed since the bad old days of apartheid South Africa and Segregated America. We must stand united with all our brothers and sisters against racism, colonialism, segregation and apartheid.

This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.

In a society where graduates fresh out of high school are required to participate directly in military occupation at an early age, saying no can be a way of showing another path is possible, and retrieving one’s humanity in the process.

Journalist Amira Hass drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article.

Statements challenging the national narrative aren’t exactly common in Israel on Holocaust Remembrance Day. So it was particularly refreshing to read … about a different sort of speech delivered in honor of the day.
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Israelis have been revelling in the prospect of an Oscar night triumph next week, with two Israeli-financed films among the five in the running for Best Documentary. But the country’s right-wing government is reported to be quietly fuming that the films, both of which portray Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in a critical light, have garnered so much attention following their nominations.

Matzpen co-founder Akiva Orr died last week in Israel. He is remembered by friends and comrades around the world.

However futile the activists’ efforts prove to be on this occasion, the encampment indicates that ordinary Palestinians are better placed to find inventive ways to embarrass Israel than the hidebound Palestinian leadership. Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi extolled the activists for their “highly creative and legitimate nonviolent tool” to protect Palestinian land. But the failure of PA officials, including Saeb Erekat, to make it to the site before it was cordoned off by Israel only heightened the impression of a leadership too slow and unimaginative to respond to events.

Last week, in one of the first actions of its kind, activists released the names of Israeli soldiers involved in the killing of a Palestinian protester. Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year-old demonstrator from the village of Nabi Saleh, was killed when a soldier shot a tear gas canister at his face in December last year.

A statement by a group of Columbia University professors in response to recent comments by the newly appointed chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, Nicholas Dirks, wherein he equated the criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

New Matzpen website

4 September 2012

IOA Editor: For 50 years now, Matzpen, an Israeli anti-Zionist activist organization, has been a leading voice for Palestinian rights, and against the Israeli occupation. Its new website covers decades of steadfast, principled opposition to injustice. Please visit the new Matzpen website, help disseminate it, and link to it from your website or Facebook profile/page. Thank you!

A brilliant work by Shimon Tzabar (1926, Palestine – 2007, London), an artist, writer, poet, satirist, amateur mycologist, and a vocal fighter against the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. As relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1968, well before the term ‘racial profiling’ was known.

On June 2nd, Wafa Tiara, a Palestinian agricultural worker organized under the Ma’an union was supposed to address Israel’s J14 social justice movement. The protest was meant to serve as an indicator of whether this movement, which began last summer, could restart after its quiet winter months.

Over 1500 activists from 15 countries attempted to fly to Ben Gurion Airport to travel to Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territories. They were invited by Palestinian activists to help build a school and protest Israel’s control of all access points to the occupied territories. Hundreds were prevented from even boarding their planes and instead staged protests at various airports. Dozens were deported upon arrival and dozens arrested and transferred to Israeli prison. Israeli activists attempted to hold signs welcoming them at the airport but were immediately removed.

Palestinian and international cyclists were brutally attacked by the Israeli occupation forces on Saturday as they attempted to bike up Route 90, the main North-South highway running through the Jordan Valley. The cyclists were demonstrating against Israeli apartheid policies in the Jordan Valley, which limit Palestinian access to roadways as part of an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Bedouin communities of the Valley.

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As citizens of Israel, we feel great respect and appreciation for our international activists who come to visit the West Bank and express solidarity with the Palestinian residents, living under occupation and apartheid… We will greet them with open arms, in a feeling of deep appreciation and a personal friendship with some of them. We will hold ‘Welcome’ signs, balloons, flowers, chocolates, and copies of the drawings of Palestinian children from Bethlehem. We welcome them in the harsh reality where Palestinians are excluded from meeting their invited guests and escorting them from the airport – not to mention, of course, being excluded from themselves flying from this airport.

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.

Dear Mr. Tzabar

25 March 2012

A short film about the late, celebrated Israeli journalist, poet, artist and satirist Shimon Tzabar and his last public protest against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, made shortly before his death in 2007 after forty years of self-imposed exile in London.