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

Egypt

The greatest illusion about the cataclysmic events shaking Egypt is that, during the truncated one-year presidency of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military had been forced to accept civilian rule and then vacate the political stage. How much did we get from the New York Times (and other mainstream papers) to think otherwise? What information, or misinformation, did the Times pass on to its readers, so that the events since late June of this year would not hit them like a freak summer storm?

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.

References to Israeli soldiers murdering Egyptian prisoners of war, although never officially acknowledged by Israel, can be found in a variety of sources. This case is interesting because it provides details on a discussion with the young General Ariel Sharon, a senior commander during the the 1956 Sinai War. Sharon lies about both the cause and the timing of the murder of Egyptian war prisoners.

While hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and Gilad Shalit return home, hundreds others go into exile, and thousands remain jailed in Israel.

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.

The rules of the game in the new Middle East changed… From now on, the people are speaking; they will not stand for violent or colonialist behavior toward Arabs, and their leaders will have to take this into consideration. The occupation, and Israel’s exaggerated shows of force in response to terror attacks, are now being put to the test of the peoples, not just their rulers.

Two terror attacks shook Israel on Thursday and Friday. By the weekend, eight Israelis were killed and nearly forty injured. Immediately after the attacks, the Israeli air force bombed many locations in Gaza. Nine were killed and nearly thirty injured. In an interview with The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky, Lt. Col. Avital Liebovitz admits the army does not connect the attack to the Popular Resistance Committee, whom the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames but that the army targeted and killed its leader anyway.

From dear friend of the Mubaraks to instant cheerleader of the revolution, [Hillary Clinton's] metamorphosis was truly extraordinary, duly noted in the Egyptian and wider Arab press. It took aback even hardened commentators on the left, impressed by Mrs. Clinton’s shamelessly crass opportunism, just as it instilled deep anxiety and anger among “America’s Arabs” on the right.

On the 63rd commemoration of the Nakba Palestinians coordinate a wave of historic demonstrations. Protests at the Lebanese, Syrian, West Bank, and Gazan borders and inside Egypt took place. Many died as a result of live fire, and hundreds were injured both from Israeli forces and others such as the Egyptian and Lebanese armies.

Noam Chomsky: “Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their interests… The reason is very simple… Plainly, the US and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the US not control the region, but it will be thrown out.”

Palestine Studies TV speaks with Rashid Khalidi, professor at Columbia University and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, on the Fata-Hamas reconciliation agreement.

Following Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, Egyptians are pushing for some of the country’s foreign relations policies to change, especially those related to Israel and Palestine. Aid or protest convoys to Gaza were frequently stopped or arrested during the Mubarak era by the ousted president’s regime, and now for the first time since the revolution thousands of activists are planning to march to the Rafah border town.

Hamas did not die when the Israeli air force killed Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the paralyzed founder, ideologue and symbol of Hamas. As a martyr he was far more effective than as a living leader. His martyrdom attracted many new fighters to the cause. Killing a person does not kill an idea.

When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: “It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end.” The Iranians have the capability to fire rockets at Israel for a period of months, and Hizbollah could fire tens of thousands of grad rockets and hundreds of long-range missiles, he said.

More worrying still to Israeli officials are reported plans by Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza, closed for the past four years as part of a Western-backed blockade of the enclave designed to weaken Hamas, the ruling Islamist group there. Egypt is working out details to permanently open the border, an Egyptian foreign ministry official told the Reuters news agency on Sunday. The blockade would effectively come to an end as a result.

But Obama may have done Abbas a favour: by revealing in the starkest terms the unconditional nature of US support for Israel – and how slender the rewards are for being America’s man in Ramallah – he has forced Abbas to do something that, for once, may win him some Palestinian goodwill. And he may just be able to sell the agreement – in other words, the inclusion of a party that has not renounced violence or recognised Israel – to the EU, which has become increasingly exasperated with Obama’s timidity on Palestine.

Frank Barat asks Noam Chomsky six questions sent to him by Alice Walker, John Berger, Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, Amira Hass and Chris Hedges.

The central slogan in the Egyptian movement is “the people want to overthrow the regime”; the equivalent that has been put forward by some forces in Palestine is: “the people want to end the division”… It means they want a democratic solution to the dead end that they have reached; it would mean elections in both the West Bank and Gaza, and deciding political issues through elections, instead of these two governments holding onto power, each in its “own” territory.

Q: How old are you now?
A: 82.
Q: Why haven’t you mellowed?
A: Because I look at the world… and there’re things happening in the world which should lead anyone to become indignant, outraged, active, and simply engaged.

Noam Chomsky speaks about Cairo and Wisconsin – social struggles in both Egypt and the US, including the history of union activism.

[S]ome American officials and pundits are searching for any kind of interpretation that will enable them to divorce US support for the Israeli occupation from America’s relations with the Arab world. By claiming that the Palestinian issue is no longer central to Arab thinking, they imagine that the US can simply impose a ‘solution’ that ensures Israeli hegemony in the region and falls short of accepting the Palestinian people’s right to exercise self-determination.

The author is reminded that the Palestinians are under occupation when almost all Egyptians refuse to meet with her because she writes for an Israeli newspaper.

The sigh of relief in Israel after it turned out that for the time being the Egyptian people are making do with military rule could be heard all the way to Cairo’s Tahrir square. The democratic threat had been removed from the agenda for the time being.

The main value of the 1979 Camp David treaty to the Israeli leadership has been three decades of calm on Israel’s south-western flank. That, in turn, has freed the army to concentrate on more pressing goals, such as its intermittent forays north to sow sectarian discord in Lebanon, its belligerent posturing towards first Iraq and now Iran in the east, and its campaign to contain and dispossess the Palestinians under its rule.

Massive public protests continue to sweep the Middle East and North Africa in countries including Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Iran—many being met with violent government crackdowns. Democracy Now! speaks to Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at Al Jazeera English, and MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky.

The scenes coming from Egypt in the last 18 days are testimony to peoples’ ability to overcome fear through collective action and organization. Against state intimidation and killings, popular self-organization was resilient and steadfast.

Will the spread of democracy lead to a peaceful end to decades of autocratic rule in the Middle East or will the fear of Islamist extremism galvinise Washington’s resolve to reinforce Pax Americana? Marwan Bishara interviews Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University; Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer-winning author; and Thomas Pickering, the former US under secretary of state.

The era of using the Palestinian cause as a pretext for maintaining martial laws and silencing dissent is over. The Palestinians have been betrayed, not helped, by leaders who practice repression against their own people… Equally, it is no longer acceptable for the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas to cite their record in resisting Israel when justifying their suppression of each other and the rest of the Palestinian people.

After the announcement that Hosni Mubarak would be stepping down, Dr. Moustafa Barghouti, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative congratulated the Egyptian people for achieving a political victory that will be remembered in history as a testament to the power of popular resistance.

IOA Advisory Board member Bashir Abu-Manneh speaks about current events in Egypt.

The stability in the region, something which Westerners and Israelis have come to yearn, merely means perpetuating the status quo. That situation might be good for Israel and the West, but it is very bad for the millions of people who have had to pay the price. Maintaining Mideast stability means perpetuating the intolerable situation by which some 2.5 million Palestinians exist without any rights under the heel of Israeli rule; and another few million Palestinian refugees from the war of 1948 are living in camps…

On January 29, Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s top spy chief, was anointed vice president by tottering dictator, Hosni Mubarak. By appointing Suleiman, part of a shake-up of the cabinet in an attempt to appease the masses of protesters and retain his own grip on the presidency, Mubarak has once again shown his knack for devilish shrewdness. Suleiman has long been favoured by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism, his willingness to talk and act tough on Iran – and he has long been the CIA’s main man in Cairo.

It remains unknown what is meant by – and what will happen during – an ‘orderly transition’ under the auspices of temporary leaders closely tied to the old regime, who likely enjoy enthusiastic backing from Washington. Will a cosmetic agenda of reform hide the reality of the politics of counterrevolution? Or will revolutionary expectations come to the fore from an aroused populace to overwhelm the pacifying efforts of ‘the reformers’? Or, even, might there be a genuine mandate of reform, supported by elites and bureaucrats – enacting sufficiently ambitious changes in the direction of democracy and social justice to satisfy the public?

In discovering their power to determine their future, north Africa’s protesters have already opened a new age in world history.

The new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel’s who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret “hotline” to Cairo, leaked documents disclose.

IOA Editor: The implications on the continuation of the Gaza siege are only too obvious. Another reason to oppose the US-lead efforts to limit the change of government in Egypt.

We the protesters who are currently on sit-in at Tahrir (liberation) square in Cairo since January 25, 2011 strongly condemn the brutal attack carried out by the governing National Democratic Party’s (NDP) mercenaries at our location … under the guise of “rally” in support of President Mubarak… We regret that some young people have joined these thugs and criminals, whom the NDP is accustomed to hire during elections, to march them off after spreading several falsehoods circulated by the regime media about us and our goals. These goals that aim at changing the political system to a one that guarantees freedom, dignity and social justice to all citizens are also the goals of the youth. Therefore we want to clarify the following.

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