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


Now there are not enough safeguards in the wording of the resolution to bar its use for imperialist purposes. Although the purpose of any action is supposed to be the protection of civilians, and not “regime change,” the determination of whether an action meets this purpose or not is left up to the intervening powers and not to the uprising, or even the Security Council. The resolution is amazingly confused. But given the urgency of preventing the massacre that would have inevitably resulted from an assault on Benghazi by Gaddafi’s forces, and the absence of any alternative means of achieving the protection goal, no one can reasonably oppose it.

[T]he UN security council resolution is an extraordinary achievement. It is unrelenting in its commitment to saving lives, yet nuanced enough to take into account Libya’s sensitivity to foreign intrusion – a result of its exceptionally brutal colonial experience under the Italians – and seems committed to Libyan sovereignty and political independence. Its authors would do well to remain true to these sentiments.

The central slogan in the Egyptian movement is “the people want to overthrow the regime”; the equivalent that has been put forward by some forces in Palestine is: “the people want to end the division”… It means they want a democratic solution to the dead end that they have reached; it would mean elections in both the West Bank and Gaza, and deciding political issues through elections, instead of these two governments holding onto power, each in its “own” territory.

[T]he abhorrent and draconian control that Israel wields over the besieged Palestinians in Gaza and the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem), coupled with its denial of the rights of refugees to return to their homes in Israel, demands that fair-minded people around the world support the Palestinians in their civil, nonviolent resistance.

The sigh of relief in Israel after it turned out that for the time being the Egyptian people are making do with military rule could be heard all the way to Cairo’s Tahrir square. The democratic threat had been removed from the agenda for the time being.

Massive public protests continue to sweep the Middle East and North Africa in countries including Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Iran—many being met with violent government crackdowns. Democracy Now! speaks to Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at Al Jazeera English, and MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky.

The scenes coming from Egypt in the last 18 days are testimony to peoples’ ability to overcome fear through collective action and organization. Against state intimidation and killings, popular self-organization was resilient and steadfast.

On January 29, Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s top spy chief, was anointed vice president by tottering dictator, Hosni Mubarak. By appointing Suleiman, part of a shake-up of the cabinet in an attempt to appease the masses of protesters and retain his own grip on the presidency, Mubarak has once again shown his knack for devilish shrewdness. Suleiman has long been favoured by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism, his willingness to talk and act tough on Iran – and he has long been the CIA’s main man in Cairo.

In discovering their power to determine their future, north Africa’s protesters have already opened a new age in world history.

With US-made tear gas canisters fired on protesters in Cairo, Washington’s role in arming Egypt is under the spotlight.

Robert Fisk on Egypt

3 February 2011

Amy Goodman interviews Robert Fisk, who is in Cairo, on Democracy Now!

Mubarak is taking his cues for impudence from the far rightwing government of Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu, which began the Middle Eastern custom of humiliating President Barack Obama with impunity… Israel was founded on the primal sin of expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel, and then conniving at keeping them stateless, helpless and weak ever after… The policy of the United States has been for the most part to accommodate this Israeli policy and to collaborate in the maltreatment of the Palestinians.

Livni to Ahmed Qurei and Saeb Erekat: “Israel was established to become a national home for Jews from all over the world. The Jew gets the citizenship as soon as he steps in Israel, and therefore don’t say anything about the nature of Israel… The basis for the creation of the state of Israel is that it was created for the Jewish people. Your state will be the answer to all Palestinians including refugees. Putting an end to claims means fulfilling national rights for all.”

The ‘diplomatic holding action’ that Israel is conducting has enjoyed partial success, but the world is gradually becoming accustomed to the idea that Palestine will join the family of nations this summer.

IOA Editor: A centrist Israeli view about the impending Palestinian statehood. Maybe. Unclear just how any Israeli government — Netanyahu’s or other — would respond. And what kind of state? On that, read Aisling Byrne’s Building a Police State in Palestine.

“If we are building a police state — what are we actually doing here?” So asked a European diplomat responding to allegations of torture by the Palestinian security forces. The diplomat might well ask. A police state is not a state. It is a form of larceny: of people’s rights, aspirations and sacrifices, for the personal benefit of an élite. This is not what the world meant when it called for statehood. But a police state is what is being assiduously constructed in Palestine, disguised as state-building and good governance.

It was once widely assumed that creation of the Palestinian state would be negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians. No more. The final nail in the direct-negotiations coffin was driven by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he coldly rejected President Obama’s offer of an extra $3.5 billion in U.S. aid in exchange for a 90-day settlement freeze.

IOA Editor: Just when was the last time such an assumption could be made? Twenty years ago? If then. Netanyahu’s predecessors, of the Likud and Labor alike, drove many earlier nails into the negotiations coffin. While Rosenberg is correct in calling for a US recognition of a self-declared future Palestinian state — a theoretical entity lacking borders, authority, or substance — he neglects to mention the historical role of all US governments in the burial of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations: it is US support of Israel — militarily, financially, and diplomatically — that enables the Occupation to continue unabated, now on the Nobel Laureate’s watch.

Israeli Occupation soldier: “You don’t want to get into a confrontation with a Jewish settlement. They are the people that are closest to you, they are like your operations branch officer, that’s how it works.”

When people comment on [Israel] venomously around the world, we object almost instinctively and say, no, that is too much already. It is only anti-Semitic hate propaganda. But with a hand on the heart — are we not becoming, from year to year, more and more like our monstrous caricature, which is drawn by our worst enemies? For really, where are we going? Think for yourselves, as unpleasant as this may be: Are we becoming more or less racist? More or less democratic? More or less decent?

IOA Editor: It is good that Mr. Dankner has finally awakened from his self-inflicted vacuous state of mind, as former editor of Maariv, one of Israel’s two most popular rags. Unfortunately, the extent of his appreciation of Israel’s decline is remarkably limited. Indeed, very little and very late. Yet, the fact that a figure who spent decades at the heart of Israel’s propaganda machine expresses regret and disappointment in the state of Jewish State is somewhat reassuring, despite the repulsive feelings one is overwhelmed by when reading his statement.

Once you are labeled and stereotyped – especially if you are denounced as an anti-Semite – you are relegated to the fringes, pronounced a hater beyond redemption, and even beyond explanation.

As 2010 came to a close in the West Bank under the regular, weekly cloud of teargas experienced among the villages bordering Israel’s 1967 Green Line, 2011 started with the death of Palestinian woman from the village of Bi’lin and the arrest of 19 Israeli activists in the Tel Aviv area.