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


“Israel is transparent,” Ya’alon said. “The IDF has recently conducted five serious probes, the criminal investigation division opened an investigation into credit card theft. There is a team that will respond to the report without having to stop the army in order to do so.”

IOA Editor: Israel’s most transparent liar. Will not stop “the army,” but will he be stopped by by global activists?

In August, police evacuated two extended families — 53 people, including 19 minors — from their homes after the Israeli supreme court upheld a settler organisation’s claim to the properties.

“Ma’aleh Adumim was built on lands of the Jahleen; these people were pushed to the edges of the community,” [attorney] Lecker said. “This is not a hostile population and the city should be interested in ensuring that this community is not hungry.”

I want to know how and why it was decided to embark on Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip and to expand it into a ground offensive… I want to know if those who gave orders to the Israel Defense Forces assumed that hundreds of Palestinian civilians would be killed, and how they tried to prevent this.

A country’s conditions do not remove its obligations under international law… Whether a state is an aggressor or acting in self-defense, whether it faces a regular army or insurgents that commit abuses, the laws of war apply, imposing a duty to minimize civilian harm. And being a democratic country prevents Israel from committing wartime abuses no more than it stopped the United States from torture and unlawful detentions at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against these officers if they enter those countries.

-450,000 West Bank and E. Jerusalem settlers consume as much as or more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank.
-Palestinian per capita consumption of 70 litres per day compares with the WHO recommended level of 100 litres and Israeli consumption of 300.
-180,000 to 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities, especially in the Israeli controlled “Area C” (60% of the West Bank), have no running water.
-The Israeli military “often” prevents them from accessing rainwater by destroying water-harvesting cisterns or even confiscating water tankers.

I believe we should be amending the Basic Law: Human dignity and Liberty, and decide that the State of Israel is committed to maintaining the liberty and dignity of a person only if he’s Jewish; Just like we have land that is only for Jews and roads that are for Jews only. By modifying the Basic Law as suggested, we will know that “dignity and liberty” in the Jewish state are only reserved for Jews.

VIDEO: Free Gaza Movement

26 October 2009

Watch this short film detailing the Free Gaza Movement mission, the ideas behind the Movement and the kinds of action and witnessing International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza activists have undertaken in Gaza.

During the discussion, Tibi added that the proposed law reminded him of the “thought police” in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

The Bahraini parliament and government are in dispute over a proposed bill that could sentence a person to five years in jail for cooperating with Israel.

Goldstone uses the term “continuum,” assessing [the Gaza attack] as part of a chain of events, which also includes the complete closure of the Gaza Strip for three years, the policy of razing homes, the arrests, the interrogations and torture, not only in the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In short, Operation Cast Lead is not an “incident.” It is a link in a chain as old as the occupation itself… Goldstone puts the symptom under the microscope and derives the illness. The result is a textbook whose title should have been “A manual for the occupier in the fifth decade.”

IOA Editor: Ground breaking commentary.

In praise of… Amira Hass

24 October 2009

Only Amira Hass could have received the International Women’s Media Foundation lifetime achievement award by saying her life as a journalist had been a failure. By her standards maybe, but then she sets them high… But make no mistake, the Haaretz columnist fully deserves this award.

Labour, the dominant party for the first three decades of Israel’s existence, would only get seven MPs in the 120-strong parliament if elections were held today, according to a public opinion poll published on Friday.

Israeli governments have avoided dealing with Hamas not because they fear that engaging the organization might not produce a peace agreement, but because they know they could not manipulate Hamas the way they have been able to manipulate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – namely, by using content-less peace talks as a fig leaf for the continued expansion of the settlement enterprise.

Israeli senior defense official: “The settlers are very much in tune with the ticking political clock… You can sense it on the ground, with the infrastructure work that is being done, but also in more minor things. They are acting without any legal authorization and are ignoring the state… whoever can, goes ahead and builds… It begins with the official leadership of the Yesha Council [of settlements] and ends with the hilltop youth.”

Indyk: The “all-purpose solution to every problem that has to do with Israel – make peace, and everything will be all right.”

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators disrupt former prime minister’s speech, week after similar incident in Chicago. Woman identified as a Jews shouts at him, ‘No more genocide in my name.’ WATCH VIDEO.

Turkey was shocked by Goldstone’s report on the Gaza conflict, but Israel is seeking other explanations for deteriorating ties.

The International Women’s Media Foundation honoured Israeli journalist Amira Hass with 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Amira Hass is a regular columnist with Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper and the only Israeli journalist to have spent several years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank.

A leading Israeli defense analyst said the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has decided to end defense and military cooperation with Israel. Analyst Ron Ben-Yishai said the Turkish Defense Ministry has shelved a range of proposed Israeli projects.

Richard Goldstone: “I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they have identified are. I would be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are.”

ADC has filed multiple administrative complaints with the US Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the US Tax Code yet allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Gideon Levy: A nation alone

22 October 2009

Any legitimate criticism is immediately labeled here as anti-Semitism, including Richard Goldstone, the Jewish Zionist. We are pushing everyone into a corner roughly and hope they will change their opinions and suddenly be filled with a deep understanding for the killing of children in Gaza.

A representative of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission and a senior Iranian official met last month to discuss the chances of declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone, Haaretz has learned. This is the first direct meeting between official representatives of the two states since the fall of the Shah in 1979.

IOA Editor: As the leading Israeli strategic analyst Zeev Maoz shows convincingly in Defending the Holy Land, having nuclear weapons only harms Israel – without them, Israel would have found it much preferable to accept a peaceful diplomatic settlement.

Nicolas Pelham: Gaza Diary

22 October 2009

While a new entrepreneurial class dines in restaurants, four out of five Gazans… live in poverty; 20,000 war victims are still displaced. Gazans in rural areas continue to scavenge for basics, and mercantile families have begun to collect UN food rations. Short of gas, old men bent double haul bundles of wood. It’s not just the loss of their savings: Gazans complain that their leaders sheltered underground during the war, leaving their people exposed to the shelling.

Ezra Nawi: “The court has been permitting the occupation for years, they are trying to stop me at all costs. The judge doesn’t scare me, and neither does the 30-day sentence. This is testimonium paupertatis to the court, I tried to stop criminal activity, and I ended up having to pay two officers who acted brutally. This is the Israeli reality.”

The hawks seem to think that if only J Street is crushed, American Jews will obediently fall back into line behind Israel’s every action. But I think they misread the mood of the Jewish community, the changes it has undergone in recent years, and the extent to which J Street is designed to play a moderating, rather than a radicalizing, role on Jewish public opinion.

IOA Editor: Indeed, a moderating role – AIPAC-lite. Moderately against the Occupation? Perhaps an Obama-like Occupation policy? Only time will tell. In the meantime, already behaving much like AIPAC, J Street Booted a Poet from its conference program. This after having pleaded with right-wing Israeli ambassador Oren to speak there (“what J Street shares in common with you far outweighs that on which we disagree”)… Alas, they were snubbed by Mr. Ambassador – maybe for being Occupation-lite?

“Israel has begun to use the same methods internally as it does outside its own territory,” said Reporters Without Borders, adding that journalists had been arrested and imprisoned and that military censorship also posed a threat.

Israeli democracy is being administered by four elites: the political elite (which includes influential journalists), the financial elite (which excels in extraordinary cowardice when it comes to opposing the powers that be), the military elite (whose power is greater than anyone would like to admit), and the academic elite (whose role is to legitimize the other three elites).

Not much of an olive branch

20 October 2009

West-Bank village of Al-Mughayir – Some 200 Palestinian-owned olive trees cut down by settlers (The Economist, 15 Oct 2009). Palestinian Agricultural Ministry: “nearly 500,000 olive trees have been bulldozed, burnt down or uprooted in the territories since the second intifada.”

West-Bank village of Al-Mughayir – Some 47 Palestinian-owned olive trees cut down by settlers (YNet News, 20 Oct 2009). “… complaints are of no use… Only several weeks ago that same farmer filed a complaint with the police and nothing helped. We filed at least 20 complaints over the last two years to no avail.” Rabbis for Human Rights organization said that IDF and the police, which have promised to deal with the offenders were not doing anything to stop the sabotage.

J Street’s poetic injustice: “I told [J Street] I don’t think it’s the legitimacy they want, because it’s not the legitimacy that makes change. When you’re trying to make change, you must expect that some people will push back. But they kick out their allies – and I still consider myself an ally. I’m not personally offended – I’m politically disappointed… The Jewish community acts like children, with smear campaigns and name-calling.”

IOA Editor: J Street – more change you cannot believe in.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not grant French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner permission to visit the Gaza Strip, an Israeli official said on Tuesday. Kouchner had requested to travel to the coastal territory during his upcoming visit to Israel and the West Bank.

[Professor] Abu Hein sees the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip as the main reason behind the rising rate of suicide attempts. “Every aspect of their lives is affected by the blockade. They became enclosed upon themselves and unable to communicate with the outside world. They cannot travel, marry, get an education, or buy basic goods from outside the strip.”

“In response to the question about J Street’s invitation to participate in its conference, the Embassy of Israel has been privately communicating its concerns over certain policies of the organization that may impair the interests of Israel,” the embassy said in a statement.

IOA Editor: No matter how “pro-Israel” you declares yourself to be – question the Occupation, however slightly, and you’re out.