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

Haaretz

Anonymous Hackers: “@haaretzprint we are sorry , we didn’t know that haaretz is a good newspaper,we sorry about this , and be sure no one will attack u again.”

IOA Editor: In an interesting twist, rightwing extremist MK Arieh Eldad quipped that the “anti-Israel hate messages” left on the Haaretz website by the hackers “will probably become the paper’s draft editorial for tomorrow’s copy.” The only problem: no hate messages of any kind were placed on the website.

Citizens of Israel can leave the country for any length of time, and their citizenship and all their rights are theirs in perpetuity. But when it comes to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel applies draconian regulations whose covert intent is to bring about the expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible from their home city.

“There are even journalists in Israel for whom it is possible to expect the subject of the Palestinians to be as important as sports, celebrities or film, and who are involved with this. And each time I see how Israeli society finds it difficult to accept this.”

Bil’in has become a symbol of a civic struggle devoid of terrorism. Such persistent, ongoing protest action is remarkable. It has even prompted the Supreme Court to rule that the route of the fence should be moved, and that some 170 acres of land be returned to the villagers. Astonishingly, this ruling has yet to be implemented by the state, which is thus displaying brazen contempt of court.

It could be expected that a country that has ruled another nation for many years would show tolerance toward manifestations of unarmed protest against the occupation and its ills… The suppression of public protest under the transparent guise of protecting state security does not augment Israel’s international standing. Such a policy gives a bad name to “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

A country that believes in the morality of its actions and those of its soldiers should not behave like a permanent suspect and boycott institutions of international law. On the contrary: It must fight within those institutions for its positions and justice. Joining the International Criminal Court at The Hague will place Israel on the side of the enlightened nations, and will contribute to restraining forceful and harmful actions.

IOA Editor: It is not entirely clear whether Haaretz is saying that Israel should stop its thuggery and join the international (law) community, or that it should join the international community so that it can get away with its thuggery. It is clear, though, that the pressure of the international community is making the Israeli government, and public opinion, squirm – and that, of course, is a good thing.

Barghouti is considered a Palestinian leader. Before he moved on to subversive activities and running a terrorist cell, he was a peace activist and sought to hold meetings between Israelis and Palestinians. He considered the Oslo Accords the basis for dialogue. From his cell he developed, along with Hamas leaders, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Document and has not abandoned diplomatic discourse. Anyone who thinks that keeping him behind bars will contain his political power and standing is welcome to learn from South Africa, which imprisoned Nelson Mandela for decades only to see him become president.

IOA Editor: This Haaretz editorial reflects the domestic discussion in Israel on the impending Shalit-prisoners exchange deal.

The time has come for Obama to summon both sides for serious, continuous negotiations, accompanied by a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders. There could be no clearer expression of the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and its future as a Jewish and democratic state.

IOA Editor: There could certainly be no clearer expression of US commitment to all peoples in the Middle East, the inherent conflict between a “Jewish” and a “democratic” state notwithstanding.

The establishment of a state commission of inquiry to investigate the Goldstone report’s allegations of Israeli war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza is the only appropriate response the Israeli government can make.

The fact is, soldiers who took part in the operation, and not only Israeli and foreign observers suspected of self-righteousness or hypocrisy, were revolted by what they saw, heard, and sometimes even did in the Gaza Strip. This revulsion, which the IDF officially rejects and seeks to contain, was recorded in Haaretz… and stirred up a storm. The presentation of the probes’ findings sounded like a belated defensive move, partly because senior people in the army and government are concerned about legal measures against them overseas.

The IDF’s internal investigations, which are moving ahead very slowly, are not enough. The army is absorbing more and more religious extremism from the teachings of the IDF’s rabbinate. It would be appropriate to investigate the problems from outside the IDF and root them out before the rot destroys the IDF and Israeli society.

Despite the lack of clarity about the next government, one thing is becoming painfully clear – the entire left-wing bloc has suffered a crushing defeat in the election.