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

October 2009

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) new report, titled “Through Women’s Eyes,” highlights “the Gender-Specific Impact and Consequences of Operation Cast Lead” and the ongoing siege.

Sahar Francis, a Palestinian Israeli human rights lawyer: [T]he US and Israel, in the name of peace, were actually trying to push the point that any kind of accountability measures against Israel will affect negotiations. But how can you reach peace without giving justice to the people?

Israeli businessman Haim Saban is negotiating with Qatar’s emir the purchase of 50 percent of the Al Jazeera television network, the independent Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon reported earlier this week.

IOA Editor: We should rightly be concerned about media moguls: now an Israeli who reduces the Boycott Campaign to “anti-Semites” and “Jew haters.” There is every reason to worry about the future of Al-Jazeera’s independence and quality reporting. We call upon the Amir of Qatar not to go forward with the sale.

Appeal the Amir of Qatar NOT to sell any share of Al-Jazeera to Saban

A Response to Uri Avnery: No Israeli who claims to support the national rights of the Palestinian people can, decently, turns his or her back to that campaign: after having claimed for years that “armed struggle is not the way,” it will be outrageous that this BDS strategy will too be disqualified by those Israeli activists. On the contrary, we must all together join to “Boycott from Within” in order to provide Israeli support to this Palestinian initiative.

[Bil'in] residents say the IDF conducts nighttime raids up to four times a week, sometimes using percussion grenades and tear gas and sometimes also entering homes, which has led to Israeli activists staying overnight in village homes.

King Abdullah: “Is Israel going to be fortress Israel or is it going to be part of the neighborhood? Because if there is no two-state solution, what future do we all have together?”

The Campaign for Peace and Democracy: “This may be a turning point for the expanding U.S./NATO wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a time when speaking out clearly and unambiguously against war can make a crucial difference. Today we see signs all too reminiscent of the step-by-step deepening of the U.S. commitment to the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s. In response, we declare ourselves firmly against military escalation in the region and for the withdrawal of all U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Pakistan now. We also call for an end to drone attacks in both countries.”

In its Code of Conduct, the Volvo Group commits itself to support and respect the protection of human rights and to ensure that it is not complicit in human rights abuses. However, by providing construction and transportation equipment that facilitates Israel’s occupation, the company violates this Code of Conduct on a daily basis. With increasing calls for boycott of and divestment from companies that support Israel’s occupation, Volvo Group can expect activists around the world to put pressure on responsible investors to divest from the company and to call on public bus companies not to buy Volvo buses.

Watch What You Tweet

7 October 2009

A social worker from New York City was arrested last week while in Pittsburgh for the G-20 protests, then subjected to an FBI raid this week at home—all for using Twitter. Elliot Madison faces charges of hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime. He was posting to a Twitter feed (or tweeting, as it is called) publicly available information about police activities around the G-20 protests, including information about where police had issued orders to disperse.

“We weren’t going to cancel a serious ceremony regarding the construction of another Jewish residency in East Jerusalem just because a few Hooligans make some noise,” organizer Avichai Buaran told Army Radio. “Nof Zion is in the Arab town of Jabel Mukaber, but it remains a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem,” he added.

IOA Editor: The colonial project continues, “dunam here and dunam there,” as the old Zionist saying goes.

Banned from Al Aqsa

7 October 2009

Jonathan Cook covers the growing tension between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, culminating yesterday in warnings by Palestinian officials that Israel was “sparking a fire” in the city.

We have no interest or desire in a clash – the opposite is true. Popular protest is legitimate. However, we shall never accept a situation whereby one side feels like a knight while the other feels like the horse; one side is the master and ruler while the other is the servant and slave.

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies.

“We are here as flag-carriers for Israel at a time when evil forces are seeking to divide Jerusalem,” she said, her booming voice quivering with emotion.

Israelis headed the procession, with employees of weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defence Systems marching in the lead, in step to a drumbeat and holding up a model of a missile. Nearby a man was dressed up as a fighter jet.

IOA Editor: So help us God.

After years of total disdain for the international community, of violating laws and treaties while Israeli legal experts turn into a kind of public defense counsel for our generals, there are finally members of the military elite who can no longer travel to Switzerland to ski, or to the opera in Covent Garden, or to a high-tech exhibition in Spain, without first consulting their lawyers. And that’s a good thing.

A video tape made during a guided tour of the archaeological excavations at Silwan (the City of David) near Jerusalem’s Old City walls reveals how Elad, the association that runs the dig, works together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jerusalem municipality to dig under the homes of Arab residents.

ALSO: Court rejects Silwan residents’ petition against City of David archeological work

IOA Editor: As is often the case, Israel is acting as if the Palestinians do not exist. Or, treating them as ‘debris.’

In a single phone call to his man in Geneva, Mahmoud Abbas has demonstrated his disregard for popular action, and his lack of faith in its accumulative power and the place of mass movements in processes of change.

Ya’alon was asked to attend the dinner by the British branch of the Jewish National Fund.

IOA Editor: Ya’alon is the former IDF chief of staff and a life-long career officer who, in different capacities – including the commanding officer of Israel’s Central Command, responsible for the West Bank during the Second Intifada – was responsible for the death of possibly thousands of innocent Palestinians.

The Jewish National Fund, which predates Israel’s existence, is the foremost national institution responsible for the acquisition of lands, ultimately bearing a significant part of the responsibility for the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

There couldn’t be a more deserving person, or institution, to stand before the International Criminal Court.

See also Tiptoeing between lawsuits: Senior officials stay in Israel

Iran’s crime is its independence. Having thrown out America’s favourite tyrant, Shah Reza Pahlavi, Iran remains the only resource-rich Muslim state beyond US control. As only Israel has a “right to exist” in the Middle East, the US goal is to cripple the Islamic Republic. This will allow Israel to divide and dominate the region on Washington’s behalf, undeterred by a confident neighbour. If any country in the world has been handed urgent cause to develop a nuclear “deterrence”, it is Iran.

But what will we do if the Iranians surprise Obama with an offer to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons and to help establish peace throughout the entire region? It is so convenient for us to remain tied to the policy of ambiguity on both issues.

“Anyone who thinks that peace is possible with the current Israeli government and was not possible with the previous governments is being delusional.”

“[A]fter deliberations among President Abbas and members of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad [and] President Abbas issued a decree to form a committee to find the reasons behind postponement of the debate on Goldstone’s report at the UN Human Rights Council.”

IOA Editor: Why does this smack of a Whitewash Committee?

When the world said in near unison, “War crimes,” Kasher said, “We are the most moral army in the world, no one is better than us.” If this is how a philosopher of ethics speaks, who needs propagandists?

“This is the core of the Arab peace initiative, which proposes normalisation by Arab states of relations with Israel in exchange for a comprehensive peace which establishes an independent Palestinian state linked to the withdrawal by Israel from all Arab lands it has occupied since 1967.”

IOA Editor: Entirely reasonable. As is “No normalization under Occupation.”

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that the move “was totally unacceptable, unjustified… There is no justification for postponing the approval of that report and all human rights organisation, most political organisations in Palestine are against that decision.

IOA Editor: It’s the American way – Occupation-as-usual…

See also Washington Post: UN Panel Defers Vote On Gaza Report

Amnesty, HRW: US intervention to quash a vote on the report “obliges the United States and other governments blocking action at the council to press Israel and Hamas to commence credible investigations.”

The Palestinian leadership—under heavy international pressure lead by the United States—deferred the draft proposal at the Human Rights Council endorsing all the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission (the Goldstone Report). This deferral denies the Palestinian peoples’ right to an effective judicial remedy and the equal protection of the law. It represents the triumph of politics over human rights. It is an insult to all victims and a rejection of their rights.

Under the understanding, the U.S. has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs.

Obama was right in speaking out against the delay in movement in the peace process. Instead of this false symmetry in which charges are fabricated to appear balanced, the US president should simply lay out who was responsible for the delay. Only by chiding the right party can there be hope of real progress in this decades-old conflict.

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.

[O]nly 1.7% of the planned produce exports from Gaza have actually left the Strip. The report also notes that the “monthly average exports in the period before the crisis was 1,380 truckloads per month (70 truckloads per day), composed of furniture, garments, cash crops, vegetables, processed food, metal products, handicrafts, and other cargo types.”

[T]he Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People [calling] to boycott the participation of an Israeli archaeologist from a UNESCO event next month.

Israel should consider ousting Norwegian monitors from Hebron due to Oslo’s “hostility” toward Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the cabinet Thursday.

IOA Editor: Israel is preparing to remove the Norwegian threat to its colonial program. The Baruch Goldstein massacre is nearly forgotten, overshadowed by mass killings on a far grander scale. And, Norway has been showing too much independence from the US-Israeli Occupation-as-usual view.

According to the Saban Center poll, 55% of Israeli-Arabs surf the Internet on a near daily basis, 14% go online a few times a week, and only 24% do not use the Internet at all.

On Iran: Asked if they would support American military action, 56% of American Jews said they would, while just 36% opposed it…
On the Occupation: While 51% oppose the American freeze demand (though a substantial 41% agree with it), fully 60% said Israel should dismantle all (8%) or some (52%) of the West Bank settlements in the context of a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.

The board of directors of Al-Ahram, the most powerful media body in Egypt, has reportedly decided to boycott Israel and Israelis of all positions.

IOA Editor: It is encouraging that such an important Egyptian institution has taken a principled stand, refusing to reward Israel for its aggressive Gaza attack, and for continuing the Occupation, settlement program, and the subjugation of the Palestinian people. Al-Ahram is saying: No normalization under Occupation. Rightly so.

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