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


[Netanyahu's] propaganda was sweet as honey dripping from his lips. It improves from speech to speech. But the prime minister promised that this time he would feed us the truth, not another campaign speech. A test of this promise seems apposite.

Amid the enthusiastic applause in New York and the celebrations in Ramallah, it was easy to believe — if only a for minute — that, after decades of obstruction by Israel and the United States, a Palestinian state might finally be pulled out of the United Nations hat. Will the world’s conscience be midwife to a new era ending Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians? It seems not.

In Qusra, deep among the terraced hills of the West Bank, fear is on the rise. “The settlers are provoking us continuously,” said Hani Abu Reidi, head of the village council. “They uproot olive trees, kill our sheep, burn our mosques and curse our prophet. They want to drag us into the sphere of violence. We do not want to go there.”

Reality Check: No celebrations were going on in the Jenin refugee camp this week, where families involved in the long struggle with Israel acknowledged that what concerns them now is economics – not empty declarations at the UN.

It goes without saying that Palestinians and Arabs are outraged by the idea that the United States is threatening to block recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations. What is less obvious, perhaps, is that some of the most vociferous critics of the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. recognition are Palestinians themselves. How could it be that advocates of Palestinian rights could be suspicious of, if not altogether opposed to, the U.N. gambit? Isn’t the creation of an internationally recognized independent state the goal shared by all Palestinians? Not exactly. The Palestinian cause concerns more than merely statehood.

Mouin Rabbani: I think it’s perfectly possible to go to the UN to seek the internationalization of the question of Palestine and do it in a way that not only strengthens your claims and preserves your rights, but increases the likelihood that you’re actually going to get somewhere.

Israelis and Palestinians express skepticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ UN move, while protests are taking place throughout the West Bank, facing Israel’s technology solution to anti-Occupation resistance: tear gas and a crowd dispersal weapon called “The Scream” which produces a high-pitch sound, disorienting and temporarily deafening the demonstrators.

[The Palestinian] argument is straightforward: If the idea behind a two-state solution is dividing land among the two peoples, how can Israel unilaterally continue to settle the contested land while carrying out negotiations? Israeli unilateralism, in other words, has driven the Palestinians to choose the unilateral path. The only difference is that the latter’s unilateralism is aimed at advancing a peace agreement, while the former’s is aimed at destroying it.

Today, for some Palestinians living under the 44-year occupation simply remaining on the land is a kind of moral victory. This summer, I started hearing a new slogan: “Existence is resistance.” If you remain on the land, then the game isn’t over. And if you can bring attention to the occupation, while you remain in place, so much the better.

Here is colonialism in all its glory. After all, the United States agrees that there should be a Palestinian state, it even twisted the arm of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a little bit, cautiously so it wouldn’t hurt, so that he would blurt out the necessary formula “two states for two peoples.” … After all, Arafat already recognized it. Palestine fulfilled all the threshold conditions. And still, this state has only one chance of being born the American way. Through negotiations that will lead to a consensual agreement and a handshake. And if Israel’s hand is missing, never mind, the Palestinians will wait until it grows.

On Friday, 24 June at 12:46 pm, the prison administration brought us, the prisoners, a watermelon. It was our first watermelon of 2011. According to the prison regulations, each prisoner gets 180 grams of fruit each day. It’s one of our basic rights.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that in his speech at the UN on Friday, he will “tell the truth”. This is no trivial matter when it involves a politician who invented an encounter with British soldiers that happened before he was born… The following lines are an attempt to formulate Netanyahu’s truth ahead of one more speech of a lifetime.

Dear Students, It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 2011 National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Conference at Columbia University in the City of New York from 14-16 October 2011.

A majority of Palestinians support the bid for Palestine’s membership of the UN, but expect a negative backlash, according to the results of a survey released Sunday and carried out in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip from July 13 – 17.

One proposal would allow police to use force against those being detained – and not only against those being arrested, as they are now authorized to do. While currently the law mandates that a person arrested must be brought before the court in 24 hours from the time of arrest, the proposed regulations would allow the police to extend that to 48 hours. This would mean that for two full days there would be no judicial supervision of the police actions or decision to arrest.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store believes negotiations can ‘solve’ matters between Israel and the Palestinians, but that the Palestinians have a ‘right to go to the UN’.

Herein lie the most painful ironies of the PA’s 17-year existence, oft-stated, but still poorly understood in the West: As a non-sovereign entity, it must beseech its overlords for the trappings of autonomy. As the constable of its appointed domains, the PA must crack the heads of the Palestinians it claims to represent if they transgress the boundaries of official discourse. As a creature of the Oslo accords, it cannot transcend the terms of these agreements between an occupying power and an occupied people. No one can doubt who the arbiters of the agreements are: When Palestinians narrowly elected Hamas to head the PA in 2006, Israel and the US imposed a tight physical and diplomatic siege upon the Hamas-affiliated officers and their territorial seat in the Gaza Strip.

Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign: “Would the London Philharmonic Orchestra have punished musicians speaking out against apartheid South Africa, when a similar call for boycott was supported by artists, performers and sports people internationally? … If the LPO really wishes not to appear to be taking sides, and supporting an occupying nation against an occupied people, it must end the ridiculous suspension of these four musicians immediately.”

Israeli troops fired tear gas indiscriminately and sometimes dangerously to enforce a daytime curfew inside a West Bank village to stop Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration on their own land, a military whistleblower has told The Independent.

Bedouins in the Negev continue to be targeted by Israeli efforts to displace them. The Israeli government has now approved a plan that would uproot 30,000 Palestinians and place them in “recognized villages.”

A month after recent escalation between Israel and Gaza two Palestinian children in critical condition in an Israeli hospital.

Reform began after arrest warrant issued in 2009 against opposition leader Tzipi Livni; British Ambassador says change law ‘can no longer be abused for political reasons.’

IOA Editor: The change itself is an abuse of the law for political reason.

The truth is that the Palestinians have just three options: to surrender unconditionally and go on living under Israeli occupation; to launch a third intifada; or to mobilize the world on their behalf. They picked the third option, the lesser of all evils even from Israel’s perspective. What could Israel say about this – that it’s a unilateral step? But it didn’t agree to stop construction in the settlements, the mother of all unilateral steps. What did the Palestinians have left? The international arena. And if that won’t save them, then another popular uprising in the territories.

IOA Editor: Levy is the good, sensible and moral Israeli, addressing an Israeli audience. However, to state that for the Palestinians to mobilize the world on their behalf is “the lesser of all evils even from Israel’s perspective” is problematic, at best.

History shows that all Israeli governments — “Left” or “Right” alike — prefer violent Palestinian resistance to the Occupation over any non-violent protest because it provides Israel the best possible excuse to do what it knows and does best: attack and destroy Palestinian population centers, national infrastructure, agricultural and industrial employment centers — bring about as much destruction so as to crush Palestinian society, push back reconciliation and continue the land colonization process in order to make a Palestinian state physically and geographically impossible.

The experience of Gaza and the Second Intifada provide ample evidence to this assessment. One can only hope that the Third Intifada will be sophisticated enough, and very obviously non-violent, in order not to provide Israel with easy excuses.

This is also why Israel is at such a loss now on how to deal with the legitimate Palestinian demand for statehood, scrambling to deal with global pressure on the UN frontier: if it could only launch a missile-equipped drone to solve it all…

Noam Chomsky: “If the Palestinians do bring the issue to the Security Council and the US vetoes it, it will be just another indication of the real unwillingness to permit a settlement of this issue in terms of what has been for a long time an overwhelming international consensus.”

The Civil Administration is expected to begin forcefully moving Bedouin in the West Bank to a permanent location as part of a plan to remove all the Bedouin in Area C (under both Israel’s civilian and military aegis ) from lands they have been living on for decades.

Although the Zabeidats’ petition raised the issue of the legality of the committees in general, the court in its ruling on the case chose not to address the issue directly and instead is awaiting the attorney general’s opinion on the issue. The step was also taken because there is a case pending before the court challenging the propriety of the committees.

IOA Editor: The admission-committees system enables hundreds of Israeli Jewish towns and villages to reject individuals seeking to reside in them based on “incompatibility” – a sufficiently general term used to reject Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Israel Lands Administration’s reversal of a long standing policy of systematic discrimination against Israel’s Palestinian citizens, in this instance only, is merely a tactical move designed to deal with this potentially precedent-setting legal case: All discriminatory laws and practices remain unchanged, continuing a long history of ethnic cleansing efforts on the part of all Israeli governments, “Right” and “Left” alike.

Ten years after 9/11, Noam Chomsky has just released an updated version of his book titled, “9-11: Was There An Alternative?,” which refers to the US assassination of Osama bin Laden and the continuity Chomsky sees between the Bush administration’s foreign policy and President Obama’s. “The policies change, but they are hostile. We should understand where atrocities come from. They do not come from nowhere. If we’re serious, we should try to do something about what is the basis for them.”

[N]ew evidence has surfaced that raises serious doubts about whether Oren even intended to deliver a question and answer session, and suggests he may have rushed out of the University of California-Irvine auditorium for reasons entirely unrelated to the student protest. In light of the evidence, there is good reason to believe that Oren’s speech was not “shut down” by anyone but himself.

Campaigners for Palestinian rights are celebrating after the primary Israeli agricultural produce export company Agrexco, which has been a key target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights, has been ordered into liquidation after being unable to pay its creditors… Agrexco is a partially state-owned Israeli exporter responsible for the export of a large proportion of fresh Israeli produce, including 60-70% of the agricultural produce grown in Israel’s illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

A new website honouring the life of Shimon Tzabar (1926, Palestine – 2007, London), an artist, writer, poet, satirist and a vocal fighter against the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. Examples of his paintings and drawings, his journalistic output, plays and poetry, and excerpts from his memoirs and from writings by others about him are reproduced here, some in English and some in Hebrew.

IOA Editor: Do not miss this important website honoring the life and work of Shimon Tzabar: an outstanding artist and a vigorous opponent of the Israeli occupation, starting immediately after the 1967 war.

Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, formerly acting Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), permitted bringing processed hummus into the Gaza Strip in July 2009, for the first time in two years. However, Gilad did not permit bringing hummus with extras, such as pine nuts or mushrooms, into the strip.

A group of pro-Israel activists has filed a lawsuit against the Olympia Food Co-op (OFC) [Washington State, US] to try to force it to end its boycott of Israeli goods.

[T]he Palmer Report seems to fault seriously the manner by which the Israeli enforced the blockade, but unfortunately upheld the underlying legality of both the blockade and the right of enforcement, and that is the rub.

Peace Now research has revealed that while in Israel the pace of construction since the so-called “settlement freeze” (Oct 2010) was one housing unit for every 235 residents, in the settlements the pace of construction was a housing unit for every 123 residents — nearly twice.

Thanks to more than 5,300 individuals and 55 organizations asking the National Building Museum to rescind its annual prize to Caterpillar for “innovation in construction technology,” the museum has cancelled its public award ceremony… However, we can’t be content with the National Building Museum’s decision because they have not yet completely agreed to rescind the award. Next week, Cindy and Craig Corrie (Rachel’s parents), will hand-deliver the petition to the National Building Museum urging them to rescind the award to Caterpillar. Let’s help them meet their goal of delivering 10,000 petition signatures.

Ban Ki-moon: “The two state vision where Israel and Palestinians can live… side by side in peace and security — that is a still a valid vision and I fully support it… And I support also the statehood of Palestinians; an independent, sovereign state of Palestine. It has been long overdue…”