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

Economy

Former Israeli defence (then industry) minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer: “People like to buy things that have been tested. If Israel sells weapons, they have been tested, tried out. We can say we’ve used this 10 years, 15 years.”

Israel apparently has bombed inside Syria, as most people that follow the news know by now. Originally, the propaganda or PR around this event was that they were bombing chemical weapons on their way to Hezbollah. Now the story seems to be they were taking out some kind of advanced rocketry that was being sent from Iran to Hezbollah. One way or the other, Israel does not seem to be hiding the fact that they made such a strike. Political economist Shir Hever discuss Israeli strategic thinking in all of this.

Israeli archeologist Yonathan Mizrachi: “Israel wants to present the situation as if it is simply ‘borrowing’ these antiquities from the Palestinians, like it might borrow an exhibit from France or Britain. But that is not the reality in this case. It is borrowing them from the Civil Administration, which has no right to them in the first place.”

International NGOs are working extensively in the Palestinian villages, towns and cities of Areas A and B, whilst Palestinians in Area C (including most of the Jordan Valley) are systematically denied access to water, land, education, health care, or electricity. As these NGOs work within the military laws imposed on the West Bank by the occupation forces, Jordan Valley Solidarity has been analysing the extent to which the work of the NGOs benefits local Palestinian communities, and to what extent it benefits the occupation they are living under.

Jonathan Cook tells the story of Nazareth, a Palestinian town that survived the Nakba only to be subjected to massive land confiscations, economic strangulation, and systematic discrimination by all Israeli governments since 1948. An important report covering issues crucial for the understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: because the Occupation didn’t start in 1967, and because discrimination against Israeli Palestinians, at times violent, continues.

Europe’s only real leverage over Israel is economic: business between the two already accounts for about 60 per cent of Israeli trade, worth nearly 30 billion euros (Dh136 billion). But rather than penalising Israel for repeatedly stomping over the flimsiest prospects for a two-state solution, the EU is handsomely rewarding it.

Senior EU diplomat: “I was struck by the fact that a whole range of relations was offered to Israel – at the request of Israel – as if nothing is happening on the ground… Most ministers are too afraid to speak out in case they are singled out as being too critical towards Israel, because, in the end, relations with Israel are on the one hand relations with the Jewish community at large and on the other hand with Washington – nobody wants to have fuss with Washington. So [ministers] are fine with making political statements but they refrain from taking concrete action.”

Abigail Disney: “Recent evidence from the Israeli Civil Administration documents that Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories sources mud used in its products from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea, which is in direct contravention to provisions in the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Convention forbidding the exploitation of occupied natural resources.”

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.

When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged.

IOA Editor: Although not focusing on the Israeli occupation, this exceptional commentary explains US history and global behavior, very much including the Middle East.

In 2011, over 9,000 patients from Gaza received emergency care in Israeli hospitals. Many of the admitted were injured in Israeli attacks on the strip. The director of Physicians for Human Rights’ occupied Palestinian territories division and Khamis al-Essi, emergency physician at one of Gaza’s largest hospitals, talk about why Gaza’s healthcare system fails to treat the thousands of injured who are forced to seek treatment outside the strip.

Economic war of attrition: “Each Iron Dome system costs $50,000,000 and each Tamir interceptor it employs has a price tag of no less than $62,000. In contrast, each of the Qassam rockets that the Iron Dome is meant to intercept cost no more than $1,000. It is believed that there are tens of thousands of Qassam rockets in Gaza alone and the capacity to produce more.”

IOA Editor: The Israeli leadership has long preferred a ‘technology fix’ when dealing with problems arising from the Occupation. Disregarding the underlying assumptions made by the author, it is clear that technology fixes have significant limitations. In this case, a nation gone mad, preferring occupation to security and stability — both physical and economic — not to mention justice which, clearly, is not a policy consideration.

South Korea has offered to buy a significant quantity of Israeli-made weapons and defense systems, including the anti-rocket Iron Dome system, if Israel agrees to purchase South Korean fighter jets.

IOA Editor: From crushing Palestinian resistance — however misguided and ineffective — in Gaza via Israeli ‘technological fixes’ (with extra US funding) to profiting from them around the world. The show, called ‘Occupation,’ must go on because there’s no business like war business…

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.

Israeli protests in 2011 looked at first as if they constituted another link in the chain of militant uprisings sweeping the world in 2011. It seemed that the rage and indignation were directed against the disastrous doings of capitalist neo-liberalism which resulted in a vast enrichment of a very small elite, along with a drastic deterioration in living conditions and increased poverty. However, the nature of Israel as a settler-colonial state in which neo-liberalism and privatization were supported by Labor and the General Federation of the Workers determined the decisively different character and development of last summer’s protest.

The IDF’s Unit 8200’s task is to intercept, monitor and analyse enemy communications and data traffic – from mobile phone chatter and emails to flight paths and electronic signals. Its goal is to fish out from an ocean of data the piece of information that will help the Israeli security forces identify and thwart a potential attack. In addition, Unit 8200 – the largest in the Israeli army – is responsible for all aspects of cyberwarfare.

IOA Editor: In addition to their presence in high-tech start-ups, there is a global network of Unit 8200 graduates holding key positions at every kind of communications, internet, and technical services company who can provide ‘back-door’ access to their alma mater. Thus, the sophisticated technologies for which the IDF is known may be directly applied to tracking telephone company and internet service provider customers around the world.

Palestinians are losing out on some $6.9 billion a year, a study shows, as restrictions on water use, resources and imports exact their toll.

Oxfam says over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September, and 7,500 this year. Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy, the international organization estimates.

The PA, which exercises limited rule in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has often failed to pay its 150,000 employees on time and in full and remains reliant on foreign aid to fill a deficit projected at $900 million this year. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank say that financial problems threaten the state-building program overseen by Salam Fayyad, the prime minister in the West Bank.

Campaigners for Palestinian rights are celebrating after the primary Israeli agricultural produce export company Agrexco, which has been a key target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights, has been ordered into liquidation after being unable to pay its creditors… Agrexco is a partially state-owned Israeli exporter responsible for the export of a large proportion of fresh Israeli produce, including 60-70% of the agricultural produce grown in Israel’s illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The protest is supported by 90% of Israelis. It is led mainly by students and white-collar workers who are described by the media, somewhat misleadingly, as ‘middle class’. In fact, the demands raised by them indicate that they feel they are being proletarianised, and display solidarity with the poor. The prevailing spirit is that of egalitarianism, self-activity and grassroots direct democracy.

Israel’s “March of the Million” brought out more people than any other protest in Israel’s history. Meanwhile the government has decided to keep quiet, only appointing a committee to look into the demands of the J14 movement. While many on the street have different ideas about how to move ahead, most have little faith in the committee.

While certainly factors besides the mounting pressure on Agrexco from the BDS movement were at work here, the movement has made an impact on the Israeli economy.

“Under normal trade and transit conditions … Israel would no longer enjoy overwhelming dominance as the leading OPT trading partner,” the UNCTAD report says.

Roubini says that the current global economic system – capitalism – will remain in a crisis – a crisis economist Karl Marx predicted more than a century ago – until major systemic reforms are implemented. He says that social unrest and demonstrations are all being driven by the same thing, capitalism’s most serious crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It stems from globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and a destructive redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital.

Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled over the weekend its latest development in the field of secret unmanned aerial vehicles – a miniature aircraft weighing four kilograms, known as GHOST to foreign customers.

IOA Editor: Israel’s approach to dealing with Palestinian civil society has often been via a ‘technology fix:’ Spot and Shoot, robotic fighting machines, Shock Vehicle and, last but not least, the Caterpillar bulldozer.

This most recent addition to Israel’s arsenal will enable occupation forces to observe urban resistance in narrow alleys, ‘around the corner,’ via a device remotely controlled at the platoon level.

As with the other ‘fixes,’ GHOST could potentially lessen IDF casualties thus making the cost of occupation more acceptable to Israeli society, while enabling the IAI to sell yet another product, tested on the backs of Palestinians, to shady governments around the world.

We are profiting from the occupation even as we groan under regressive taxation. Whether our families came from Katrielevka or Baghdad, we are profiting from the structural discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel and from the very fact that they have become a minority in their own land.

Even if the word “occupation” is not uttered, even if no one speaks of a Palestinian state, the smothering trap that successive Israeli governments have put us in for the past 40 years no longer allows us to breathe. There is a sense of hopelessness and pointlessness stemming from the knowledge that everything is the same, and only the citizens’ situation declines from day to day. There’s nothing to look forward to, no prospect for something else in sight.

As the movement grows, some will continue to think and demand “justice” within the borders of one nation, at the expense of the other nation that lives in this land. Others will understand that this will never be a country of justice and welfare if it is not a state of all its citizens.

Yasmin Dahr and Eilat Maoz put Israel’s July 14 Movement in its proper historical, social, and political context – something the protest movement’s loosely structured leadership has, so far, insisted on avoiding. Important analysis. (HEBREW)

Israeli official: “UAVs are a critical part of the battlefield today, as can be seen by the dramatic increase in the amount of flight hours of drones in the IAF – and they can also contribute to watching over gas fields.”

The [Washington] spectacle is even coming to frighten the sponsors of the charade. Corporate power is now concerned that the extremists they helped put in office may in fact bring down the edifice on which their own wealth and privilege relies, the powerful nanny state that caters to their interests.

On July 14th, eight Israeli students set up tents in the heart of Tel Aviv. Within days they were joined by hundreds of tents, and tent cities sprung up throughout the country. This movement, which became known as “July 14th” saw dozens of direct actions such as blockading the entrance to the Israeli parliament and massive protests with tens of thousands on the streets of Tel Aviv and nine other cities.

The activists, who belong to the extreme right, claim solution to housing crisis is construction in the West Bank; plan to set up dozens of more tents in coming days.

The great majority of the Israelis demanding affordable housing, even if they may understand the connection, are reluctant to articulate that their economic distress is exacerbated by the cost of the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Israel’s military budget for fear that this stance would discredit them politically. Consequently, it may take a long time before a significant number of Israelis are convinced or compelled to abandon their colonial settlement project and share the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with Palestinians on the basis of equality.

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