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

democracy

We are struggling not only to liberate the Palestinian people from the occupation and from Israel’s racist apartheid regime, but also to liberate you from the illness of racism, so you can stop inflicting harm on me and on millions of people who are the natives of this country. And then we can live together equally and peacefully.

On the occasion of the swearing in of the new Israeli government and the 19th Knesset (18 March 2013) and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (22 March 2013), Adalah is pleased to launch the Discriminatory Laws Database,

Far from marking a revival by the center-left, as most media presented the results, [Israel’s 2013] election results signaled a further rightward shift in the center of political gravity in Israel. Hana Suwayd of the Democratic Front, the least outspoken of all the Palestinian legislators, observed: “I believe that what happened in Israeli politics is a kind of transformation: The extreme right became the mainstream, and the most extreme people are sitting at the center of Israeli politics.”

A recent report in the Haaretz newspaper, on an Israeli Jew who grows Christmas trees commercially, noted in passing: “hotels – under threat of losing kashrut [Kosher] certificates – are prohibited by the rabbinate from decking their halls in boughs of holly or, heaven forbid, putting up even the smallest of small sparkly Christmas tree in the corner of the lobby.”

IOA Editor: Merry Christmas, Israel!

Adalah document covering Israeli election rules and party or individual disqualifications.

MK Haneen Zoabi called the decision “anti-democratic and illegitimate”, a form of political revenge that reflected the tyranny of the majority. “No one will determine for the Arab minority who represents it other than Arab citizens themselves,” she said. “I was elected to represent my people and, through their support, I have a legitimacy that the committee cannot take from me.”

Jamal Zahalka: “Our problem is not that we are terrorists but rather that we are democrats in an environment that does not believe in democracy… We are tired of apologising for demanding full equality for all Israeli citizens. We’re tired of sitting in the dock for being patriotic Palestinians.”

On Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stepped down from his post following charges arising from a 13-year investigation against him. 972 Magazine’s Noam Sheizaf analyses Lieberman’s decision and what it will mean for Likud Beiteinu, the new joint list of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Lieberman’s party Yisrael Beiteinu.

Haneen Zoabi: “Legally, they have no case. I never imagined myself to be in the middle of a war like this. I don’t think they will disqualify me. If so, and if Balad is disqualified, there will be no election – the Arabs will not vote.”

On June 22, 2012 Daphnie Leef, the symbolic leader of the J14 social justice movement in Israel was violently arrested while trying to set up a protest tent. The action was meant to reinvigorate the movement that began on July 14, 2011. In response to her arrest, and that of twelve others, thousands poured onto the streets in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, breaking bank windows and chanting “citizens’ mutiny” as police violently arrested 89.

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.

The National Democratic Party has accused Israel’s security services of repeatedly harassing one of its leaders each time he leaves and enters Israel. The NDP, which represents Israel’s large minority of Arab Palestinian citizens and has three members sitting in the Israeli parliament, has suffered a campaign of persecution from the Israeli security services for many years. The latest incident occurred last month, when Awad Abdel Fattah, the NDP’s secretary-general, returned from a speaking tour in Europe.

In recent weeks, incitement by government officials, rightist settlers, and poor community members against African refugees seeking asylum in Israel escalated into violence. In may Molotov cocktails were thrown into refugee homes, businesses and one kindergarten. The incident did not lead to casualties but inspired a wave of protests leading to a race riot on May 23rd.

On Saturday Israelis organized the first demonstration of what was meant to be a resurrection of last summer’s protests against the high cost of living. Last July protest mass demonstrations reached half a million people in Tel Aviv. This Saturday, roughly ten thousand people came out to downtown Tel Aviv. A crew of police media staff circled the demonstrators, filming activists who held megaphones or looked like leaders. One officer instructed the police to arrest a man who called officers “fascists.”

Members of the left wing organization Zochrot were attempting to distribute flyers containing the names of Palestinian villages that were evacuated or destroyed in 1948, when they were held indoors by police for almost four hours.

IOA Editor: The Only Democracy in the Middle East in action…

The Palestinian Authority has quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas, according to senior government officials and data analyzed by network security experts.

Israeli-Palestinian Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran refused to sing ‘Hatikva’ at retirement ceremony of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, prompting calls for his removal.

Despite the focus on my new book and writing, this was not about me; it is all about targeting a Palestinian citizen who is determined to use the legal means available to her in order to fight for her people – whether they are Israeli citizens, inside the Occupied Territories, or expelled refugees.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces. “It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges says of the bill. “It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”

Imagine a world without Google, Wikipedia, craigslist, or the IOA, and [add your favorite sites here]…

News Corp, RIAA, MPAA, Nike, Sony, Comcast, VISA and others want to make that world your reality.

80 Members of the US Congress are in their sway, 30 against, the rest undecided or undeclared.

[ PLEASE READ WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS ]

Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.

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…”

Yitzhak Laor: “This bill truly intends to create a democracy for Jews only. If it were passed, no Arab – whether resident of the territories or Israeli citizen – would have access to the law.”

On Friday, Dec 9, 2011 thousands of Israelis marched through Tel Aviv for international human rights day. While Israelis are subject to Israeli civil law, Palestinians are subject to a set of military orders. Order 101 effectively bans political protest of more than 10 people.

Likud MK Ofir Akunis, who sponsored the bill to limit foreign funding to Israeli human rights organization, stood behind Senator Joseph’s McCarthy’s actions in the 1950s… Akunis said McCarthy – who in the 1950s presided over a committee that investigated Americans suspected of harboring Communist views – “was right in every word, the fact is – there were Soviet agents.”

IOA Editor: Two of a kind…

Jerusalem anti-Arab activist: “A booklet with a list of places that employ Arabs will be published soon. That will be followed by hanging up posters and signs with these lists in the streets – just so that the public will know and be cautious.”

We must not dismiss the NGO Bill – it truly intends to create a democracy for Jews only; if it were passed, no Arab – whether resident of the territories or Israeli citizen – would have access to the law.

The decision to close down the station is part of a general attack on left-wing organizations. The station provided a platform for left-wing groups that are now under attack by a new law that would curb their foreign funding. “Of course there is an attack here that is not only on us. If someone came to the conclusion that this isn’t legal, then after seven years there are different ways to go about it.”

The recent forced closures of Palestinian nonprofit organizations in Jerusalem is an example of the Israeli authorities’ continued attacks on the city’s Palestinian identity and their attempts to maintain control over occupied East Jerusalem, according to local human rights groups.

One day not long from now we will wake up to a different kind of country, the country that’s now in the making. It won’t look like the country we know, which already has its share of flaws, distortions and ills. And when we become aware of this, it will be too late. At that point, the old Israel will be described in glowing terms, a model of democracy and justice, compared to the new version that is taking shape as we close our eyes to it, day after day, new law after law.

Although the Zabeidats’ petition raised the issue of the legality of the committees in general, the court in its ruling on the case chose not to address the issue directly and instead is awaiting the attorney general’s opinion on the issue. The step was also taken because there is a case pending before the court challenging the propriety of the committees.

IOA Editor: The admission-committees system enables hundreds of Israeli Jewish towns and villages to reject individuals seeking to reside in them based on “incompatibility” – a sufficiently general term used to reject Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Israel Lands Administration’s reversal of a long standing policy of systematic discrimination against Israel’s Palestinian citizens, in this instance only, is merely a tactical move designed to deal with this potentially precedent-setting legal case: All discriminatory laws and practices remain unchanged, continuing a long history of ethnic cleansing efforts on the part of all Israeli governments, “Right” and “Left” alike.

Palestinian residents of Sahknin, an Arab Galilee town, petitioned the Israeli High Court of Justice five years ago over rejection by Rakefet’s admissions committee.

IOA Editor: The admission-committees system enables hundreds of Israeli Jewish towns and villages to reject individuals seeking to reside in them based on “incompatibility” – a sufficiently general term used to reject Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Israel Lands Administration’s reversal of a long standing policy of systematic discrimination against Israel’s Palestinian citizens, in this instance only, is merely a tactical move designed to deal with this potentially precedent-setting legal case: All discriminatory laws and practices remain unchanged, continuing a long history of ethnic cleansing efforts on the part of all Israeli governments, “Right” and “Left” alike.

Whenever a conflict between democracy and Jewish values arises, the new definition of Israel would allow courts and legislators to favour the latter. The proposed bill will also make halacha, Jewish religious law, “a source of inspiration to the legislature and the courts”. And, in the spirit of favouring the Jewish character of the state over a state for all its citizens, the legislation would also downgrade Arabic from an official language to one with “special status”.

The 19th century … 2001 … today. Noam Chomsky sees hegemonic powers showing extreme contempt for democracy – and acting in ways they know will increase terrorism.

We liked military juntas in the Arab world, and in Chile, Argentina and Ethiopia. Military juntas speak a similar language. They understand one another; their interests are narrow and specific; they are scornful of civilians, certain that without them their countries will fall into chaos, and that civilian politics – democracy – is a recipe for the country’s collapse. Juntas operate in the name of a desired value that is supreme to all other values: security.

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