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

US

“As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world,” Chomsky said.

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?

This week in Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign ministry hosted the fourth international conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism… This is “a gathering that has served as an important focus for efforts to fight Palestine solidarity activism and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.” [Here is] the “Action Plan” presented to delegates by the working group tasked with examining “delegitimization” and BDS… This document needs to be read, shared, and taken into account by activists when planning campaigns and strategies.

The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the Western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab Spring is limited, but it’s not insignificant. The Western-controlled dictatorial system is eroding. In fact, it’s been eroding for some time.

Israel has been ranked in the top four countries that most negatively influence the word, according to a global public opinion poll conducted by the BBC… Where do the negative evaluations of Israel come from? Some 45 percent of participants said that Israeli government policy causes them to see Israel in a negative light, and 27 percent said their negative evaluation stemmed from the state’s treatment of its own people.

The war in Afghanistan — where the enemy is elusive and rarely seen, where the cultural and linguistic disconnect makes every trip outside the wire a visit to hostile territory, where it is clear that you are losing despite the vast industrial killing machine at your disposal — feeds the culture of atrocity. The fear and stress, the anger and hatred, reduce all Afghans to the enemy, and this includes women, children and the elderly. Civilians and combatants merge into one detested nameless, faceless mass. The psychological leap to murder is short. And murder happens every day in Afghanistan. It happens in drone strikes, artillery bombardments, airstrikes, missile attacks and the withering suppressing fire unleashed in villages from belt-fed machine guns.

Noam Chomsky remembers Howard Zinn, the great American activist and historian, and his close friend of 45 years. A moving political and personal history of the leading activists of a generation — people who are nearly gone but will always remain for generations to follow.

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.

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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.

Noam Chomsky has been awarded this year’s Sydney Peace Prize, Australia’s only international peace prize. In his City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture, “Revolutionary Pacifism: Choices and Prospects,” Chomsky covers activist A.J. Muste’s concept of “revolutionary pacifism,” the principle of universality, and the long history of violent US behavior around the world, including the Middle East.

On a symbolic level, the national conference reads as a victory for Palestine solidarity work in the United States. Organizing a national structure will provide SJP chapters with resources that will enable students to continue to be effective in educating their campuses on Israel-Palestine, in spite of the forces that oppose them.

What happens is in all of these movements … the foot soldiers of the elite — the blue uniformed police, the mechanisms of control — finally don’t want to impede the movement and at that point the power elite is left defenseless…

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.

Last week the Presbyterian Church (USA) published a report containing a resolution recommending that the Presbyterian Church divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions for their non-peaceful pursuits in Israel and the Occupied Territories. This call for divestment is not the first instance of the Presbyterian Church’s involvement in the Palestine question. Rather, it is the result of ongoing efforts by the Presbyterian clergy to educate their communities and to promote socially responsible positions on issues in the Middle East.

Dear Students, It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 2011 National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Conference at Columbia University in the City of New York from 14-16 October 2011.

We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of September 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world. On May 1st, the presumed mastermind of the crime, Osama bin Laden, was assassinated in Pakistan by a team of elite US commandos, Navy SEALs, after he was captured, unarmed and undefended, in Operation Geronimo…

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

Peaceful protesters, especially on college campuses, usually never face criminal charges. This has led some to believe that District Attorney Tony Rackaukas is singling the students out because of their faith and the politics involved.

On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in his virtually unprotected compound by a raiding mission of 79 Navy Seals, who entered Pakistan by helicopter. After many lurid stories were provided by the government and withdrawn, official reports made it increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law, beginning with the invasion itself.

Does history matter? Over the course of the past few months the Obama administration has abandoned its putative efforts to engage Israel and the Palestinians in peace talks after their collapse in the face of Israel’s continued settlement building on the West Bank. At the popular level and in the mainstream media, the response was one of familiar frustration with the allegedly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict… In practice, the core issues have remained the same for over 60 years, with the role of the United States and U.S. interests, including defense industries — major components in perpetuating the conflict — expanding over the course of that period.

Two Jews, three opinions, is the old adage. On “everything but Israel,” is the present reality. Despite its belief to the contrary, neither the Jewish community nor Israel is well-served by that reality. Mainstream Jewry is dishonored by having the likes of Wiesenfeld and Hikind be its public voice on such matters, and by insisting that unquestioning and irrational loyalty to Israel substitute for rational debate and a commitment to what is just.

[Cornel West] now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

The US and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by U.S. polling agencies. [Most] Arabs regard the US and Israel as the major threats they face… Opposition to US policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons… If public opinion were to influence policy, the US not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of global dominance.

Francis Boyle: Basically, the resolution as currently drafted authorizes a war across the board against Libya — air-strikes, naval blockade, even a land invasion. The only exception in there is against a foreign military occupation force. But under the laws of war, there is a distinction between a land invasion and an occupation force.

“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reforms,” Frederick Douglass said in 1857. “The whole history of the progress of human history shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle. … If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

IOA Editor: Chris Hedges, whose speech delivery may well rival that of Frederick Douglass, will be speaking at Barnard College (New York) 6:30pm on 30 March 2011 – James Room, Barnard Hall (4th Floor). Chris’ most recent book is Death of The Liberal Class (2010). More about Chris Hedges and the lecture…

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.

Suddenly, to be an Arab has become a good thing. People all over the Arab world feel a sense of pride in shaking off decades of cowed passivity under dictatorships that ruled with no deference to popular wishes. And it has become respectable in the West as well. Egypt is now thought of as an exciting and progressive place; its people’s expressions of solidarity are welcomed by demonstrators in Madison, Wisconsin; and its bright young activists are seen as models for a new kind of twenty-first-century mobilization.

don’t mention Zionism
if you mention Zionism
they’ll call you anti-Semitic
and people will believe them

don’t cite Palestinian sources
no one will believe you
I won’t believe you
trust Israeli sources…

IOA Editor: It was a thrill watching Remi Kanazi in action last night at a Columbia University book release party for his latest book Poetic Injustice. It was poetry of defiance at its best. We wish him well, and know he’ll do well.

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.

Demand Al Jazeera in the US

14 February 2011

Al Jazeera English’s correspondent in Cairo, Ayman Mohyeldin, tells our American viewers that we appreciate your enthusiastic support. Largely unavailable through US cable and satellite providers, Al Jazeera has recently received a large amount of attention in the American media.

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.

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