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

August 2009

Thus the excuses are running out one after another and the naked truth is being revealed: Netanyahu’s promise – “if they give they’ll get, if they don’t give they won’t get” – was based on the assumption that we would continue to be on the receiving end of Palestinian terror, which would release us from the need to allow them to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. If even U.S. President Barack Obama does not ensure that they get what they deserve, we will all get what we deserve.

Loud applause broke out Saturday evening as it was announced that “brother” Dr Uri Davis had been elected to the Fatah movement’s largest governing body. Fatah conference spokesman Fawzi Salamah announced that the Jewish professor, who teaches Judaic studies at Al-Quds University in the West Bank, won 31st place out of 81 new members of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.

“The new domain will give Arabic-speaking users in the Palestinian Territories, who use Palestinian ISPs, access to Google in Arabic and eventually, access to more locally relevant content,” the company said on its Arabia blog.

IOA Editor: Not surprisingly, we’re not hearing about Google filing a protest with Israel about disallowing the use of its new Palestinian service as a default by East Jerusalem residents.

Israel’s character is it’s own business. It is not up to the Palestinians to define it, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday, when asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

He came into office amid much hoopla. The Cairo speech ignited half the globe. Making settlements the top priority gave rise to the hope that, finally, a statesman is sitting in the White House who understands that the root of all evil is the occupation, and that the root of the occupation’s evil is the settlements. From Cairo, it seemed possible to take off. The sky was the limit. Then the administration fell into the trap set by Israel and is showing no signs of recovery.

Forty Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were incarcerated in Israel Prison Service facilities during Operation Cast Lead at the beginning of this year, and 21 are still in prison. That’s a very small number, compared to the many hundreds the Israel Defense Forces arrested in Gaza, and as compared with the hundreds who were transferred for interrogation to various detention facilities in Israel before being released.

Fatah has changed over the years. It started as a resistance movement of well-intended members, mostly students and young professionals in the 1950’s and 60’s. The young leadership was motivated by various factors, chief amongst them were the plight of the refugees, the lack of a truly independent Palestinian leadership and the failure of Arab governments to deliver on their promises to liberate Palestine. Resistance was in fact the core of Fatah’s liberation program.

Yesh Din, Palestinian village council head file petition to High Court of Justice demanding interim order against construction in nearby settlement on what they say is private Palestinian land be halted immediately.

More than two-third of Americans regard Israel as an ally despite recent diplomatic tensions, a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. polling firm Rasmussen Reports has revealed.

“The Israeli military is stonewalling in the face of evidence that its soldiers killed civilians waving white flags in areas it controlled and where there were no Palestinian fighters. These cases need thorough, independent investigations.”

Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch

The doctors of the Israel Medical Association have now been enlisted into the ranks of mouth-shutting patriots. The IMA announced this week that it is severing ties with Physicians for Human Rights. The announcement was preceded by a letter from the IMA chairman, Dr. Yoram Blachar, who also serves as president of the World Medical Association. In it, he states that “the outrageous situation is that PHR’s activity serves as fertile ground for anti-Semitism, anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.”

Israel has recently been putting up more obstacles for foreign nationals who enter [Israel] if they have family, work, business or academic ties in the West Bank. It now restricts their movements to “the Palestinian Authority only.” The people concerned are citizens of countries that have diplomatic ties with Israel, mainly Western countries.

It is difficult to increase honey production inside Israel. Ongoing urbanization and the destruction of natural forests have resulted in a dearth of land suitable for bee cultivation. The West Bank, by contrast, contains a great deal of relatively virgin land. It is very easy to plant it with vegetation that consumes little water while making the land suitable for bee cultivation

IOA Editor: Now that 100 years of Zionist settlement has greatly destroyed the natural environment in pre-1967 Israel, the reliance on the natural resources of the Occupied Territories is more important than ever. Unfortunately, West Bank-made honey for Israeli consumption is not likely to be boycotted by many.

Naturally, no mentioning of Palestinian beekeepers… On that, see story on West Bank economy

A fierce debate has erupted among senior Israeli politicians over whether the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti – regarded by some Israelis as an “arch-terrorist” and by others as the only man who can deliver a lasting peace – should be released from prison after his election to Fatah’s key central committee.

“The fact that the Palestinians elected him or that someone here in Israel thinks that he can be a partner is not a sufficient excuse for his release,” Livni said.

IOA Editor: So much for “moderate” Israelis being more open to finding a basis for compromise with Palestinians as equal partners. Yet another ‘missed opportunity’ for the Occupier to reconcile with the Occupied: ‘Missed’ as a direct result of a calculated policy, not an oversight.

Several new delegates speaking Tuesday pointed out the first task that lies before them is rebuilding Palestinian faith in Fatah. The new leadership will proceed carefully to see whether it faces the same corruption accusations as its predecessor. If it avoids such pitfalls, Fatah is very likely to gain support in Gaza and the West Bank.

There is growing support in the [Israeli] cabinet and in the Knesset for the release of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is a top contender to replace Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the future, and who may be the most popular figure on the Palestinian street.

With 90% of the votes counted, Fatah’s old guard appears to have suffered major upsets in an election for the movement’s highest decision-making body, the Central Committee.

“The aim of the flight was to stop the pandemic so people will stop dying from it,” Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri was quoted as saying in the mass-circulation daily Yedioth Ahronoth. “We are certain that, thanks to the prayer, the danger is already behind us,” [he] added.

IOA Editor: The most scientifically-advanced country (and The-Only-Democracy) in the Middle East now has God on its side, yet again, as an added measure of protection – this time against the swine flu. Beware, Swines!

“Out of 20 percent of the population of the state, not one Arab could be found who would be qualified to be honored with serving on the committee?”

Israeli Interior Minister and Knesset chairman call for Israel to continue to divide, and rule, the West Bank – expanding East Jerusalem to the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement by developing Area E1.

While the MKs were touring the neighborhood, a member of the Gawi family yelled at them “you learned the Apartheid laws from South Africa. East Jerusalem will be free, this is our land. We didn’t expel you, why are you expelling us?”

Bethlehem – Ma’an – A Jewish member of Fatah was nominated for a spot on the movement’s Revolutionary Council on Saturday.

On the morrow of the Six-day War, Amos Kenan came to my editorial office. He was in a state of shock. As a reserve soldier, he had just witnessed the emptying of three villages in the Latrun area. Men and women, old people and children, had been driven out in the burning June sun on a foot march in the direction of Ramallah, dozens of kilometers away. It reminded him of sights from the Holocaust.

IOA Editor: Kenan’s checkered past should be obvious to any reader of these pages (and Avnery’s account of history often leaves one wondering). This piece is included here because of Kenan’s role in revealing Israel’s conduct in 1967, specifically, the war crimes and ethnic cleansing that took place in the Latroun area. On this, see Imwas: occupied and destroyed by Israel in 1967, elsewhere on the IOA website.

The stunning actress is no longer working as a spokeswoman for human rights/relief organization Oxfam International because she also endorses the Ahava cosmetics line — which is manfactured in what Oxfam regards as “disputed” territory.

This week’s reports by The Times of London give the impression that Israel is raising the bar in the war of nerves against Iran and Hezbollah. On Monday the newspaper reported that Iran had completed its nuclear research program, and that its progress toward building a nuclear bomb depends only on the decision of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The following day, it warned of the danger of escalation between Israel and Hezbollah on the Lebanese border.

It is impossible to ignore the injustices of 1948 while hundreds of thousands of refugees rot in the camps. No agreement will hold water without a solution to their plight, which is more feasible than Israel’s strident scaremongers suggest. But rulings like the current one make it harder to distinguish clearly between Sheikh Jarrah and Sheikh Munis, between the conquest of 1948 and the conquests of 1967. My house stands on land stolen by force, and it is the obligation of Israel and the world to redress the injustice without creating injustice and new dislocation.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman summoned… Israel’s ambassador to Washington, to tell him that the United States views Sunday’s eviction of two Palestinian families from homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as a “provocative” and “unacceptable” act that violates Israel’s obligations under the road map peace plan.

“Israel must understand that to achieve quiet and security, real peace is needed. It’s true, the armed struggle isn’t the only solution, but if there’s no other solution, what choice do we have? What do you want, to build more and more settlements and for me to kiss your hand? If there is a diplomatic solution, there will be no need for violence.”

[T]he prosperity in Ramallah and Nablus is misleading, just as it was misleading between 1996 and 2000, when the Israeli media and the Oslo spin doctors were impressed by all the coffee shops and high-tech companies. Today, as back then, the people so impressed are visitors-for-a-moment who engage in occupation denial.

Human rights groups in the European Union are reportedly preparing to launch a public campaign lobbying EU governments as well as the European Commission to stop funding Israeli non-governmental organizations.

[T]he IMF says that if Israel does not continue to remove the restrictions on internal trade, the gross domestic product per capita will decline later in the year. Incidentally, according to the report the unemployment rate still stands at an extremely high 20 percent (less than Gaza’s 34 percent).

“These actions are contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions related to occupied territory. They also contravene the united calls of the international community, including the Quartet’s, which in its recent statement urged the Government of Israel to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including house demolitions and evictions. The UN rejects Israeli claims that this is a local matter dealt with by the courts.”

Instead of paying the political price for the changes in the government’s positions, [Netanyahu] is passing the burden of proof onto the Arab side and is demanding that they alter their position. When terrorism is at a low, they raise the issue of a Jewish state; when the Americans demand that the Jews cease construction in the settlements, he demands that the Arabs embark on normalization.

The report found that 77 percent of Russian immigrants support promoting Arab migration from Israel, as opposed to 47 percent of native Jews who say they would support such a policy. 33 percent of the native Jews accept the existence of Arab political parties within the Knesset, while only 23 percent of the immigrants accept this fact. 27 percent of Israelis oppose the statement “a Jewish majority is necessary for fateful decisions for the country” ? in comparison with 38 percent who opposed the same statement in 2003. These figures indicate a growing support for the stripping of political rights from Israel’s Arab minority.

Club-wielding Israeli riot police evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area. Clashes erupted after police moved in at dawn around the homes in the upmarket Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah following an Israeli court decision ordering the eviction of the 53 Palestinians, including 19 minors.

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