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

September 2010

Israel reiterated its refusal to to extend curbs on settlement building that expire this month, despite US pressure and Palestinian threats to walk out of peace talks. “The prime minister has not changed his position on this issue, there is no question of extending the moratorium,” a senior government official told AFP.

IOA Editor: The use of the term “US pressure” is worthy of a reality check. The US has just concluded an arms deal in which it gave Israel, $2.75 billion worth of F-35 fighter jets. In view of Israel’s insistence on continued settlement construction, the US could have put that deal, or other military aid, on hold. Not doing so renders such reported “pressure” meaningless. This is part of a continuing Israeli-American game of appearances: a colonization process masquerading as a peace process.

Adam Shatz: Short cuts

17 September 2010

The more people in the West worry about Iran’s weapons, sceptics claim, the less they’ll worry about Israel’s siege in Gaza, or its own extremist clerics, one of whom – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, a member of Netanyahu’s coalition – recently called for the annihilation of the Arabs.

The entire deal will be funded by American military… In a bid to maintain Israel’s technological gap ahead of Arab states, the F-35 deal was pushed through instead of upgrading the air force’s F-15s and F-16s. This approach sticks to the principle that Israel is the first country in the Middle East to receive the newest fighter aircraft.

IOA Editor: It is unclear why this is treated as though “Israel decided to buy…” while the story states that the “entire deal will be funded by American military.” Another whopping gift to Israel, and to corporate America, from the US taxpayer.

No one thinks to ask about the consensus among the residents of Palestinian cities and villages on whose land the settlements have been built. The millions of Palestinians don’t count at all.

The motion called for the General Council to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the Occupation and construction of the Apartheid Wall.

In a move that could strike a blow at already fragile peace talks, Jerusalem city planners will in the coming weeks discuss a scheme to build over a thousand housing units beyond the Green Line.

Israel does not want to recognize the Palestinian minority within its borders because it seeks to continue to grant privileges to Israeli Jews and to Diaspora Jews, at the expense of the cheap labor, land and water of its Palestinian citizens.

In a recent, quietly circulated letter from the desk of Yaacov Ellis, CEO of Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories—a company at the center of a growing international boycott campaign—and directed at the company’s retail partners, Ellis deploys specious information about his own company’s business practices, contradictory claims about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and unfounded innuendo about boycott campaign supporters.

Folk music icon Pete Seeger has been urged by over 40 organizations, along with musicians close to him, to cancel his participation in a November internet event organized by Israeli groups, including the Jewish National Fund.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has asked senior EU officials to renew the process of upgrading Israel’s relations with the organization, in view of the renewal earlier this month of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In April 2009, the EU suspended the upgrade process after PM Netanyahu announced a reassessment of the peace process and Israeli-PA talks were subsequently suspended.

8% of Jewish Israeli adults define themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 12% as religious, 13% as traditional-religious, and 25% as traditional but ‘not very religious,’ according to [Israel's] Central Bureau of Statistics survey.

New report indicates an overall of 13,000 previously authorized West Bank housing units, construction sites could be built after the Sept. 26 freeze expiration date.

A conversation with Noam Chomsky on Palestine/Israel, covering Zionism, the nature of statehood, bi-national / one-state / two-state solutions, the right of return, and the BDS movement – its actions, and their impacts on the Palestinian people. Filmed September 2nd, 2010.

Zionism in its present meaning, in its common meaning, is contradictory to human rights, to equality, to democracy, and [Zionist leftists] don’t recognise it. It’s too hard for them to recognise it, to realise it. And therefore their position is an impossible position, because they want everything: they want Zionism, they want democracy, they want a Jewish state, but they want also rights for the Palestinians… it’s very nice to want everything, but you have to make your choice and they are not courageous enough to make the choice.

I have often spoken out in opposition to cultural boycotts … but in the political arena, artists make a statement by their presence or their absence.

[Netanyahu's] rhetoric has changed, but his policy can still be summed up in one ominous word: politicide – to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence in Palestine. This world view identifies him not as a genuine partner to President Abbas on the road to peace but as the proponent of permanent conflict.

It’s thrilling to think that these Israeli theatre artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong, which violates international law and which is impeding the hope for a just and lasting peace for Israelis an Palestinians alike. They’ve made a wonderful decision, and they deserve the respect of people everywhere who dream of justice. We stand with them.

More than 150 American actors, writers, directors and other artists signed a letter of support for the Israeli actors who declared they would not perform in the West Bank.

IOA Editor: Read letter and view list of signatories HERE.

Imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat will be returning to court in
mid-October 2010 challenging his isolation and the isolation of Palestinian
political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Write letters today and take action
from October 5-15, 2010 in support of Palestinian prisoners’ struggle for
freedom – demand an end to isolation!

Sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights … 96 percent of the respondents want Israel to be a Jewish and democratic state, but 27 percent believe that those who object should be tried in court, and 41 percent support stripping them of their citizenship.

It should be perfectly obvious that talks aimed at the creation of a Palestinian state cannot possibly prosper while Israel continues its strategic colonisation of the land on which that state would be built. The US and its international partners must insist on a cessation of settlement-building.

The base … is central to the [global] activities of the main Israel Defense Forces signals intelligence unit, 8200, according to report in Le Monde Diplomatique.

27-28 Sept 2010 Conference on the geographies of aid intervention in Palestine – Birzeit University. The aim of the conference is to critically explore the ways in which aid intervention reshapes the socio-political, spatial, economic, and environmental relations, in addition to thinking about alternatives forms of aid that respond to Palestinians needs and rights not only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but also elsewhere.

I am doing a lot of efforts to bring hope and steadfastness to freedom prisoners. It is one of my missions inside prison. I have to keep in contact with Ittijah and the community and all solidarity movements, groups and persons, but most of all I have to correspond intensively as much as possible with my daughters Hind and Huda, who have become mature fighters for freedom, justice and dignity and mostly bringing back the happiness of life which was hijacked on 6 May at 2:30am. My wife Janan is leading in a heroic way the whole campaign as well as facing huge tasks at home.

Amr Moussa: “Let us see what kind of compromise Netanyahu is offering, we have never heard from the Israeli side any initiative or any concrete position.”

The only way out of the impasse is for Jews to recognize Palestinians as their equals and negotiate with them on that basis. A fair two-state solution requires the abrogation of all laws, both in Israel and the occupied territories, that raise Jews above Palestinians. This is a point the US, notwithstanding the recent dangerous demagoguery of some of its politicians in seeking to elevate Christian and Jewish religious rights over those held by Muslim Americans, should still understand.

An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by [an Israeli] military court yesterday.

Lifta must be preserved and rebuilt by/for its original owners to raise awareness about the history of 1948. Lifta, in its new image, should pave the way for establishing a determined campaign for truth and reconciliation between two historic peoples. Lifta, in our view, represents the traceable genealogy which gives insight into the origins of the conflict. Peeling the layers of conflict would lead to an acknowledgment of the tragedy and an understanding of its implication on people’s identity.

[A] strategy predicated on the belief that a few more humanitarian truckloads will make the problem of Gaza go away is as deeply flawed as the notion that Ramallah’s surfeit of new high-street cafés will be a sufficient sedative for the aspirants to a Palestinian state. Gaza is a political, not a humanitarian, problem.

Thirty nine percent … said they favour construction resuming in all the settlements from September 26, when a partial 10-month moratorium imposed by the Israeli government under US pressure expires. Another quarter said they thought construction should only restart in the larger settlement blocks and not in smaller, isolated settlements.

The time has come for those planning the red-roofed facts on the ground to refuse to design any more buildings in the settlements.

The occupation did not turn us into lawless criminals, you write with a pure heart. Really? You handcuffed thousands of people for no reason, without trial, in humiliating conditions, causing them pain that made them scream, according to your testimony. Is this not a loss of humanity?

MORE by Gideon Levy

Puppet theater
“Arabs, get out”
Missing the forest

And what about the sexual assault?
“I caressed his leg? He’s a liar. I would never touch him. On the contrary, I took the picture from a distance so as not to be close to them, because they stink. It’s a simple as that…”
So, you didn’t kiss him, you didn’t touch his leg?
“They are ingrates and of course they wouldn’t say that I gave them food. Of course they would slander me.”

Israeli historian Tom Segev: “Who does this country belong to?”

Should Mr al-Uqbi win his case, tens of thousands of Bedouin … could be entitled to repossess their agricultural lands… Theoretically, it might also open the door to claims by millions of Palestinian refugees scattered across the Middle East.

[I]t is not at all surprising that Mahmoud Abbas, speaking on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, comes forward and declares that the PLO has accepted such talks when they haven’t. And declares that the Palestinian people are welcoming such talks when they are not. And has the audacity to speak on behalf of Palestine and the Palestinians when he is neither elected nor legitimate any longer.

Israeli academe, which was once considered a bastion of free speech, has become the testing ground for the success of the assault on liberal values. And although it is still extremely difficult to hurt those who have managed to enter the academic gates, those who have not yet passed the threshold are clearly being monitored.

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