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

Gaza

For a century, the Zionist colonization of Palestine has proceeded primarily on the pragmatic principle of the quiet establishment of facts on the ground, which the world was to ultimately come to accept. It has been a highly successful policy. There is every reason to expect it to persist as long as the United States provides the necessary military, economic, diplomatic and ideological support.

Menendez and Booker are the Senate’s two leading recipients of campaign contributions from pro-Israel PACs. Menendez, as head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, has played a leading role in supine support for Israel.

US officials understood the Israeli reliance on force to expand and control territory, which they criticized while recognizing Israel’s military superiority as compared to that of surrounding Arab states. It was on the basis of such force that Israel altered the balance of power in the Middle East in 1948. And it was on the basis of such developments that Washington calculated that Israel could be useful in the protection of US regional interests.

Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel’s goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm. For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence. For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.

Noam Chomsky: Israel’s Actions in Palestine are “Much Worse Than Apartheid” in South Africa.

Noam Chomsky’s interview on Democracy-Now (7 Aug 2014). A detailed discussion covering Israel’s attack on Gaza, the role of the US, changing public opinion in the US, BDS and the South Africa comparison, Palestinian violent vs. non-violent response to the Occupation, global reactions, and more.

A state engaging in an illegal occupation has no right of self-defense; it has an obligation to withdraw. A state enforcing an illegal blockade likewise has no right of self-defense, only an obligation to end its blockade. But Walzer ignores all this, wondering only how Hamas can be attacked without killing quite so many civilians.

[I]t is rather uncontroversial to conclude that for Israel the invasion of Gaza has essentially disrupted everyday life in the areas close to Gaza, but that for Palestinians in Gaza it has been experienced as devastation on an unprecedented scale. It will take years for Gaza to recover from the Israeli army’s material destruction, and even longer for Palestinians’ psychological scars, grief, and wounds to heal — if, that is, Israel allows them to live without bombs and invasions in the future.

It’s worth listening carefully when Netanyahu speaks to the Israeli people. What is going on in Palestine today is not really about Hamas. It is not about rockets. It is not about “human shields” or terrorism or tunnels. It is about Israel’s permanent control over Palestinian land and Palestinian lives. That is what Netanyahu is really saying, and that is what he now admits he has “always” talked about. It is about an unswerving, decades-long Israeli policy of denying Palestine self-determination, freedom, and sovereignty.

Rockets fired from Gaza also have the inestimable value for Israeli leaders of letting them do whatever they want to Gaza while receiving the usual pious US support for Israeli “self-defense.” This blanket support enables them to disregard the recent warning of a White House official that “Israel confronts an undeniable reality: it cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely. Doing so is not only wrong but a recipe for resentment and recurring instability.”

Israel has been poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It has been morally bankrupted by the sanctification of victimhood, which it uses to justify an occupation that rivals the brutality and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy—which was always exclusively for Jews—has been hijacked by extremists who are pushing the country toward fascism. Many of Israel’s most enlightened and educated citizens—1 million of them—have left the country. Its most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists—Israeli and Palestinian—are subject to constant state surveillance, arbitrary arrests and government-run smear campaigns. Its educational system, starting in primary school, has become an indoctrination machine for the military.

A senior IDF officer: “As we learned during Cast Lead, it [white phosphorus] doesn’t photograph well, so we are reducing the supply and we will not purchase beyond what we already have.”

The success or failure of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza can only be judged against the operation’s aims.

The dawn of a Palestinian state has been a long time coming. After 65 years of dispossession, 45 years of occupation, and 20 years of failed peace attempts, on Thursday Palestine took one step closer to joining the community of nations. Al Jazeera’s Empire program discusses the prospects for peace with our guests: Rashid Khalidi, Peter Beinart, Ethan Bronner, and Tony Karon.

An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.”

Stephen R. Shalom: Gaza Quiz

29 November 2012

An uneasy cease-fire has been declared ending Israel’s attack on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the situation.

The ceasefire agreed by Israel and Hamas in Cairo after eight days of fighting is merely a pause in the Israel-Palestine conflict. It promises to ease movement at all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, but will not lift the blockade. It requires Israel to end its assault on the Strip, and Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at southern Israel, but it leaves Gaza as miserable as ever.

More than 160 people died in the eight-day Gaza war. And though the fighting may have stopped, the dead and the nightmares remain. Survivors and victims’ families say they want revenge.

[Israel’s current “Pillar of Defence” assault on the Gaza Strip] may serve Netanyahu’s hidden agenda: a protracted regional war may provide a smokescreen for a major ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the territories occupied by Israel since 1967. This is a long-term plan supported by all major Zionist parties. It is designed to resolve the contradiction between the deep-seated Zionist opposition to the creation of a Palestinian sovereign state, however small, in any part of pre-1948 Palestine, and the even greater “demographic peril”, as it is openly described in Israeli public society, of Arab majority in that land.

The inciting cause of the latest confrontation between Israel and Hamas has little to do with the firing of rockets, whether by Hamas or the other Palestinian factions. The conflict predates the rockets – and even the creation of Hamas – by decades. It is the legacy of Israel’s dispossession of Palestinians in 1948, forcing many of them from their homes in what is now Israel into the tiny Gaza Strip. That original injustice has been compounded by the occupation Israel has not only failed to end but has actually intensified in recent years with its relentless siege of the small strip of territory.

Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein: “This verdict is yet another example of where impunity has prevailed over accountability and fairness. Rachel Corrie was killed while non-violently protesting home demolitions and injustice in Gaza, and today, this court has given its stamp of approval to flawed and illegal practices that failed to protect civilian life.”

If anything can be said about the inhabitants of the many refugee camps in Jordan it is that they have shown remarkable resilience in the face of unspeakable injustice. The people at Gaza camp are warm and welcoming, albeit curious. Numbers haunt the life of every refugee; on one hand, there are passport numbers, national identification numbers, and social security numbers that are denied to them. On the other hand, you have the statistics that their lives have been reduced to: 24,000 refugees, 2,000 makeshift shelters, 50% unemployment, 0.75 square kilometers.

Israeli official: “It’s true that the new British law is better than the original one, which allowed any judge to issue a warrant, but the government promised it would be changed so that only the Attorney General, who is a political figure we can trust, would authorize universal jurisdiction arrests. Instead they decided that the Director of Public Prosecutions, who is a civil servant, may decide that he is going to authorize arrest warrants. We are still waiting for assurances on this from the British government.”

Military prosecution says will take no legal steps against those responsible for deaths of Samouni family, killed in their home during Operation Cast Lead.

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.

Eyes in Gaza: What did I see in Gaza and what you can do? A presentation by Dr. Mads Gilbert, one of two foreign doctors allowed into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

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.

This hooligan-like logic turns into part of a totally uninhibited language. We are allowed to assassinate, but you aren’t allowed to respond: For the little, if any, of our blood spilled, you will pay with many liters of blood. This is a colonial logic, in which the West has permission to do what it pleases, while the natives do not. This, incidentally, is the logic in the campaign against Iran: You don’t have permission to acquire nuclear facilities, only we do.

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…

On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands. It is not fair that the officer who then served as GOC Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will be the only one remembered on this anniversary. Indeed, the list of fighters who should be mentioned and recalled is long.

The beauty lies in the way Israel divides the conflict with the Palestinians into separate battlefields to avoid a comprehensive diplomatic solution… [T]he results of the January 2006 elections in the territories brought Hamas to power and gave Israel the excuse to deprive the PA of its representation. The two parts of the Palestinian state became independent entities and by their own doing fulfilled Israel’s desire to apply the principle of divide and rule.

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

Eyes in Gaza reminds us why Israel and the US have been terrified that Palestine’s success at the UN would mean accountability for Israel. It shows why 80 percent of the Arab world considers Israel the world’s most dangerous country, and why even certain policy-makers in high US places are beginning to mutter about Israel’s being a liability to the US in America’s current economic crisis.

A majority of Palestinians support the bid for Palestine’s membership of the UN, but expect a negative backlash, according to the results of a survey released Sunday and carried out in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip from July 13 – 17.

A month after recent escalation between Israel and Gaza two Palestinian children in critical condition in an Israeli hospital.

Human rights groups and international media have been reporting for years that the IDF uses unmanned drones armed with missiles in order to attack targets in Gaza. This is the first instance of it being published in WikiLeaks, quoting the words of the IDF Advocate-General.

Following last week’s terror attack in which eight Israelis died on the Southern border with Egypt, the Israeli air force escalated its bombardment of Gaza. On Saturday, despite predictions that the cycle of violence would dissolve the rising social protest movement in Israel, thousands poured onto the streets and chanted “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

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