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


Keeping culture alive in a conflict zone is a daunting challenge. The Israeli Occupation involves not only the destruction of Palestine as a political entity, but the dissolution of its social and cultural life. Resisting that process and fighting the occupation through creativity is what drives Ahmad al-Bakri and Abdel Merizar, two exceptional and enigmatic young actors from Hebron.

MK Ahmad Tibi: “Barak continues to permit the infestation of settlements and surrender to Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu. Barak’s decision will only spur the academic boycott of Israel in the world. The Labor Party proves once again that that it is a barrier to reconciliation between the two nations.”

Amir Nizar Zuabi: “I don’t draw the line between: you’re Israeli, he’s Palestinian, or Muslim or Christian. I draw the line in a different place completely. I draw the line between people who believe that all people were born equal, and hence deserve the same things, same rights, same duties, same everything, and people who say, ‘Yes, but I am more special.’”

In the early hours of the morning, dozens of soldiers invaded the village of alMaasara – a site of weekly peaceful demonstrations for over three years – and surrounded the houses of Popular Committee members Mohammed Barjiya and Mahmoud Zwahre. Both Barjiya and Zwahre were warned about that repercussions will follow if they do not stop organizing protests in the village. Zwahre was even threatened that a child may end up dead.

Leftist activists have held weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah for the past three months, in protest of the eviction of Palestinians from their homes and their replacement with Jewish families.

UPDATE: Jared Malsin, chief editor, English Desk, at Ma’an News Agency, and a US citizen, was detained upon arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. He was deported week later, as was his girl-friend, according to The Guardian: Israel deports US journalist.

IOA Editor: Israel, for “security reasons,” cannot accept Palestinian reporting. The US, for reasons it doesn’t care to explain, “does not recognize Ma’an as a news organization.” It seems that both the “world’s leading democracy” and the “only democracy in the Middle East” cannot independent reporting. Israel, following Soviet/Chilean/Iranian (pick your favorite dictatorship) tradition, decided to ban the journalist. And his girl-friend.

UPDATE: Guardian reports Israel deports US journalist.

Israeli soldiers raided the Ramallah home of Eva Nováková tonight at 3 am near the Manara square. The operation to apprehend Nováková, the ISM’s new media coordinator since three weeks ago, was carried out by a force of both soldiers and members of the “Oz” immigration police unit. Eva was subsequently deported, forced on a plane back to Prague the next morning.

I mark the beginning of the new decade imprisoned in a military detention camp. Nevertheless, from within the occupation′s holding cell I meet the New Year with determination and hope… The price I and many others pay in freedom does not deter us. I wish that my two young daughters and baby son would not have to pay this price together with me. But for my son and daughters, for their future, we must continue our struggle for freedom.

My husband is a school teacher and farmer from the Palestinian village of Bilin. When Israel built its apartheid wall here, it separated Bilin from more than half of its land, in order to facilitate the expansion of the illegal settlement Mattityahu East. In response, Abdallah and fellow villagers began a campaign of nonviolent resistance. Every Friday for the past five years, we’ve marched, with Israeli and international supporters, to protest the theft of our land and livelihoods.

I wondered: Were the [Hamas] restrictions an order from above, or an unwise interpretation by lower ranks? Does Hamas think it can entirely prevent the few visitors – clearly pro-Palestinian – from hearing non-official versions? Don’t the people giving the orders realize what a bad image they were creating? Or was there really a security concern?

John Pilger: This is a very fine book: both a loving tribute to the author’s father and the struggle and pain of Palestine seen through the witness and insights of two generations. Together, they beckon freedom.

I’m an inveterate optimist, so someday there will be peace, but a lot of things have to change before that happens. If the occupation were to stop overnight, it would make all the difference in the world. Israel is the fourth-largest military entity in the world. They have the newest equipment, and it’s used on the Palestinians. Also, if the U.S. stopped funding Israel, that would be another way of bringing about peace.

The Egyptian regime blocked access for the mission, citing “security” concerns, and refused to grant entry visas to the assembled group. Cairo’s position, undoubtedly backed by its masters the US and Israel, condemned most of the marchers as “hoodlums” and “criminals”. In fact, many participants were the elderly and the religious and non-violent, Gandhian tactics were the central ideology.

Gaza Freedom Marchers approved today a declaration aimed at accelerating the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli Apartheid.

Cairo is currently experiencing civil disobedience, Western style… The fight is now with the Egyptian government and, according to Code Pink, their own embassies’ intransigence.

Activists, both from Gaza and abroad, have held demonstrations on either side of an Israeli border crossing to the Palestinian territory, protesting against its continued siege by Israel.

Gaza’s writing on the wall

29 December 2009

[W]hen it comes to the Israeli occupied and blockaded Gaza Strip, local government not only tolerates graffiti, but actually provides workshops on how artists can improve their technique.

Would you email the editors at the New York Times and the Washington Post and ask them why they are not covering these incredibly important events?

Egyptian security forces on Tuesday prevented dozens of American activists from reaching the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where they hoped to ask the ambassador to help them reach the Gaza Strip.

Anna Tinsley: “I’ll be with people from all over the world who want to show humanity and show Palestinians that we haven’t forgotten them.”

Cairo blocks Gaza aid convoy

28 December 2009

Egypt has… barred more than 1,000 international campaigners from visiting the territory… Some 150 aid trucks organised by the Viva Palestina campaign led by George Galloway, a British member of parliament, are stuck in the Jordanian port of Aqaba, because the Egyptian authorities have refused to grant them permission to enter the country through the nearby Red Sea port of Nuweiba.

Magda Bayoumi, of Syracuse, said Israeli forces block shipments of food and medicine, and keep people from going to hospitals. Children have died as a result.

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy’s entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey’s main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The Egyptian government has denied entry to the Viva Palestina aid convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

One of the disturbing features of the persistent use of torture by many countries in conflict situations around the world is the role some doctors play in condoning it…. [Dr Ruchama Marton, head of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel] was thinking about what some regard as the very unsatisfactory situation in Israel.

There is an internal document that has not been leaked, or perhaps has not even been written, but all the forces are acting according to its inspiration: the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces, Border Police, police, and civil and military judges. They have found the true enemy who refuses to whither away: The popular struggle against the occupation.

Hundreds of Palestinians have rallied in the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border to protest against Egypt’s construction of a steel wall aimed at blocking smuggling tunnels to Gaza.

The demonstrators were protesting the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes. The protesters on Friday marched from the city center to Sheikh Jarrah, where they tried to enter a home that is partly occupied by Jews before being stopped by police.

New billboard says: We Should Spend Our Money at Home Instead. Similar billboards were erected in April, but were unilaterally removed by [ad] company after being pressured by persons who didn’t want Israel held accountable for its war crimes.

The recommendation is not binding, but this step marks an escalation in the country’s attitude toward Israel’s settlements… The government recommendation goes further to say that labeling a product from a settlement as having been manufactured in Israel would be considered a criminal offense as it is misleading to the consumer public.

[Attorney Gaby Lasky]: “The Bil’in demonstrators are being systemically targeted while it is the State [of Israel] that is in contempt of a High Court of Justice ruling; a ruling which affirmed that the protesters have justice on their side and instructed 2 years ago that the route of the Wall in the area be changed, which has not been implemented to date.”

Over 1,000 delegates from 42 countries have signed up to participate in the December 31 Gaza Freedom March that will mark the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion and call for an end to the siege that has brought 1.5 million people to the edge of disaster.

The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious coalition working to “end to the ten year commitment of $30 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid pledged to Israel in 2007 by the Bush administration,” reports they have a new set of billboards with a new company and slightly altered message. Seventy-five percent of US military aid to Israel is, by law, given to US arms manufacturers.

Lifta, a most picturesque Palestinian village, lies on the slopes of West Jerusalem below the highway linking it to Tel-Aviv. It has been abandoned since the invading Hagana underground forces backed by the Stern Gang drove the last of its Palestinian inhabitants in 1948 during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine… Now the Jerusalem Municipality has produced plans to turn Lifta into a luxurious and exclusive Jewish development – reinventing its history in the process.

IOA Editor: The Nakba continues: the few recognizable bits of pre-1948 Palestine will be joining their post-1967 counterparts: master-planned for extinction.

A Holocaust survivor, a retired military officer wife and I issued an invitation to Elie Wiesel to come to Gaza with us. This invitation was extended as he spoke before a standing-room crowd of around 2800 people on Tuesday evening, December 1, at St. Louis University… He responded with an immediate and dismissive “I heard you.” He then turned and looked in the other direction.

The international campaign to boycott Ahava beauty products has recently won the support of a Dutch parliamentarian and an Israeli peace group. During the past few months, activists in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Israel, the United States and the Netherlands have campaigned against the sale of Ahava products because of the company’s complicity in the Israeli occupation.