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


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.

Uri Avnery: A Jeremiad

1 August 2009

“Therefore I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons… and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel, [d]eclare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions…”

IOA Editor: Avnery’s view of history is founded largely on his own imagination: Post-1948 Israel was a natural outcome of pre-statehood, and post-1967 Israel was a continuation of earlier years. But it fits with Avnery’s retrospective view of his life in Palestine/Israel. The key question conveniently left out by Avnery, and by the Dalia youth of 1947, was “what was to become of the Palestinian natives,” once the dancing stops and the fighting begins. However, the article reflects the internal tension in certain segments of Zionism, and this is why it is of interest.

Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza at the beginning of the year was a “proportional response” to attacks by the Islamist group, the Foreign Ministry said in a defense brief on Operation Cast Lead released Thursday.

Far-right activists distributed fliers to fresh draftees at the Israel Defense Forces induction center in Tel Hashomer on Tuesday urging them not to confide in their commanders and to refrain from cooperating with investigators if they physically abuse Palestinians in the territories.

Alan Solow, the chairman of American Jewry’s powerful umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, raised eyebrows among political observers after his organization issued a statement criticizing President Barack Obama over his stance on Israeli construction in East Jerusalem.

There are now more than 300,000 residents living in Jewish West Bank settlements, according to a Israel Defense Forces Civil Administration report covering the first half of 2009.

As of June 30, the settlements had 304,569 residents, an increase of 2.3 percent since January.

Breaking the Silence added: “The attempts to silence voices from Israeli civil society are dangerous. As opposed to reports, the IDF has never denied the [validity of the] testimonies and it and the foreign ministry’s virulent reaction… only strengthens the position of the testifying soldiers, who are not willing to be exposed.”

The US administration has issued a stiff warning to Israel not to build in the area known as E-1, which lies between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Any change in the status quo in E-1 would be “extremely damaging,” even “corrosive,” the message said.

IOA Editor: As the seeming confrontation between the Obama Administration and the Israeli government is presented in a crisis-like light, it is worth noting that, so far, no actions were taken by the US to restrain Israel’s on-going colonization efforts on the West Bank. Clearly, the Administration understands how crucial Israeli development of Area E1 would be to a future Palestinian state – essentially, making it no longer viable. Now, the responsibility for preventing such development from happening falls squarely on the White House.

It would seem that as long as Arab educators, academics and policymakers are excluded from planning, there will be no improvement. The Arab minority constitutes nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population, but has little to no real influence over its own education policy, budgets, standards or curricula.

The performances of Amos Kenan’s play “Friends Talk about Jesus,” scheduled for next week at the Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa, have been canceled due to opposition from Jaffa residents.

Diskin told the cabinet Hamas rhetoric had changed somewhat in recent weeks. “Public statements by leaders attest to efforts by Hamas to appear interested in ending the conflict with Israel, based on the model of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in exchange for a long-term hudnah [cease-fire],” Diskin said before Netanyahu silenced him.

IOA Editor: Almost lost in the discussion about Netanyahu’s obnoxious behavior while running a cabinet meeting is the following small detail: According to Israel’s Shin Bet, Hamas appears to be ready for a Hudna (extended cease-fire). Readers of this website might remember that this is not the first time an Israeli government source reports on such willingness. Unfortunately, neither Netanyahu nor his predecessors were interested in pursuing such a possibility.

British diplomats touring the Shepherd Hotel recently in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah expressed concern about Israeli construction plans there, particularly in light of the site’s close proximity to the British consulate in East Jerusalem. The tour, which also included American diplomats, was led by Jerusalem city councilman Meir Margalit of Meretz, who is also active in the Committee Against House Demolitions. During the visit, Margalit said, the British diplomats asked their American colleagues to pressure Israel on the issue and take the lead in applying international pressure to stop settlement building. “The British said explicitly – the Israelis don’t pay attention to us, but if you apply pressure, there is a chance,” Margalit recounted.

The United States views East Jerusalem as no different than an illegal West Bank outpost with regard to its demand for a freeze on settlement construction, American sources have informed both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This clarification came in the context of a growing crisis in U.S.-Israel relations over the planned construction of some 20 apartments for Jews in the Shepherd Hotel, in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The U.S. has demanded that the project be halted, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet meeting Sunday that “Israel will not agree to edicts of this kind in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials said yesterday they were worried the U.S. administration was close to an interim agreement with Israel on settlement construction. According to information that has reached the Palestinian Authority, Israel will not completely halt construction in the settlements but will limit it drastically to the point of almost stopping it. In exchange, Arab countries will implement previously discussed concessions – among them, allowing Israeli planes to cross their airspace and opening diplomatic missions.

The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade.

[Israel’s] Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has told police to investigate workers from the Jewish Agency’s settlement division on suspicion of knowingly allocating private Palestinian land for construction in the settlement of Ofra, [Israeli television] Channel 2 reported on Friday.

A ministerial panel approved Sunday a bill to ban funding by the state of groups that mark the Palestinian Nakba, which commemorates Israel’s independence as a day of mourning… The bill is the revised version of a proposed law scrapped two months ago – after opposition from several ministers – that would have forbidden Israeli Arabs from commemorating the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” on Independence Day.

The proposal by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to redo all signs so that even names written in Arabic will be transliterations of Hebrew (for example, the city known as Jaffa in English will now be written as Yafo on signs in Arabic, not Yaffa), was received like all other injuries to Arabs: easily – like Arab high-schoolers’ matriculation results or Arab infants’ high mortality rates.