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


Each of us, each of you, can draw the line through BDS and act as a caring, responsible citizen of the world. To end Israel’s 43-year-old occupation. To end the unacceptable, criminal siege of Gaza. To end racist laws and policies inside Israel, openly targeting the Palestinian citizens of Israel. To end more than sixty years of ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people.

No commission of inquiry into the killing of civilians on the Mavi Marmara is necessary. What is necessary is to end the siege, rebuild the Gaza Strip and implement viable border controls enabling people and goods to enter and exit the beleaguered strip without leading to violent outbursts that will re-impose a siege. Israeli policy has deteriorated to a virtual economic stranglehold of the Gaza Strip, with the international community accepting it.

Turkey had allowed Israel to use their air space for training because their terrain closely resembled areas of Iran that Israel planned to attack. However, Turkey was unaware that planes involved in this effort were being relocated to forward staging areas in the Republic of Georgia, making Turkey, technically, fully complicit in this planned illegal attack.

Citizens of Israel can leave the country for any length of time, and their citizenship and all their rights are theirs in perpetuity. But when it comes to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel applies draconian regulations whose covert intent is to bring about the expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible from their home city.

My story is that the Israeli intelligence, “the Shabak”, assumed something without knowing and without any evidence. I was requested and forced to explain to them in a very detailed way how exactly I did what I didn’t do, ever. In case of any logical problem for them to complete the puzzle, they have the legal tools to fill it in by so-called secret evidence, which my lawyers and I have no legal right to know about.

Both [South Africa and Israel] certainly needed friends. Settler colonies – which both these were, Israel no less than South Africa – invariably do. Usually their biggest friends are the colonial powers that planted them in the first place, on whom they depend… especially in places overwhelmingly populated by ‘others’, and even more especially when those ‘others’ have been crudely dispossessed. Left to their own resources, such colonies are bound to be terribly vulnerable, with most historical examples… being destroyed as a result.

Those who demand that I prepare students for [military] recruitment should know that my duty is also to tell them that they would enter a territory which was occupied 43 years ago, in which human rights are being shamefully violated on a daily basis by means of our military superiority. In [the] future, these children will have to account for themselves, and they will ask if their school has revealed to them the terrible secret called occupation. Yes, occupation. An occupation, not a liberation, not a return to an ancestral land.

An international inquiry should have a different mandate: to look into how Israel managed to sell its destructive policy to the countries of the world, how they agreed to the jailing of 1.5 million people without a UN resolution. They should look into the international significance of the fact that a member of the UN decides to take such a step, and the international organization that now wants to investigate can’t prevent that step, or forcefully act to cancel it.

[Schumer's] talk covered several foreign policy issues, including Iran and Israel/Palestine. When the topic turned to the Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla Schumer began by explaining that the “Palestinian people still don’t believe in the Jewish state, in a two-state solution”. But that is not all, he continued: “They don’t believe in the Torah, in David.”

IOA Editor: In a more-or-less decent society, free of racism, where basic concepts of justice form the foundation of thought and public speech of political leaders – none of this could happen without public apologies and resignation. Not so in the US, guardian of the “Free World” and champion of “Democracy.”

The latest gimmick of the Israeli occupation under the guise of “security considerations” has emerged. The test subject: Nasser Laham, a Palestinian journalist from Bethlehem who is close with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and who advocates peace with Israel.

IOA Editor: Yossi Melman is the Haaretz specialist on Israel’s intelligence services. In recent months, his writing has been turning increasingly more critical of the Occupation authorities.

Let’s give Barak himself the last word about what really happened during 2000; a few years later he wrote—boasted, actually—that he had given less to the Palestinians—in fact, “not a thing”—than did his predecessor, none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. In short, the major obstacle to a two-state settlement was—and remains—Israel, not the Palestinians, even under Arafat.

What to make of the rush of Jewish leaders — from AIPAC to a Los Angeles city councilman — coming forward in the past few weeks to divulge their role in genocide denial? … How to account for these sudden confessions? A pang of remorse? A cleansing of the soul? I’m afraid not. These aren’t confessions, at all. Rather, they are reminders of the debt Turkey owes Israel — and they come with teeth bared.

MORE: US Jewish groups skip meet with Turkish officials

At this time it is hard to convince the Jewish public in Israel that what happens at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a systematic injustice, if not worse. The ethnocentric panic undermines the principle of civil equality.

IOA Editor: Racial profiling is a well-established practice in Israel. Its contribution to “national security” is, at best, questionable. What isn’t is its purpose: it is a thoroughly planned and calculated method intended to harass Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, to ‘put them in their proper place.’

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, not all former foreign officials living in the United States can claim immunity from prosecution in U.S. Courts. Its decision could have an immediate impact on Israelis.

BDS initiative is a moral strategy which has demonstrated its potential for success. Most recently, German Deutsche Bank became the latest of several European institutions to divest from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems; two main Italian supermarket chains announced a boycott of produce from illegal Israeli settlements; performers Elvis Costello and Gil Scott-Heron cancelled appearances in Israel.

If a people who so recently experienced such unspeakable inhumanities cannot understand the injustice and suffering its territorial ambitions are inflicting, what hope is there for the rest of us?

IOA Editor: While Israel’s morality (inherent, past, other?) is a figment of Siegman’s imagination, this is an important article in that it makes a powerful connection between the Holocaust and Israel’s Occupation and Gaza crimes.

Mainstream politicians, civic leaders, university presidents and others in this country routinely express their support for Israel as a Jewish state, despite the fact that such a state only could have been created in a multicultural land by ethnically cleansing it of as many non-Jews as possible. Today, Israel is only able to maintain its Jewish identity because it has established an apartheid regime, both in the occupied territories and within its own borders, and because it continues to reject the Palestinian right of return.

The very idea that pacifist, feminist, Jewish, and Christian organizations like CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the American Friends Service Committee would ally with a violent, misogynist, Islamic group like Hamas — much less any group that engages in terrorism — should be recognized as absurd on face value. When prominent Democrats — including the head of the House subcommittee on terrorism — imply that leading American and Israeli peace groups are linked to terrorism, it is no longer simply heated rhetoric in defense of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, but a dangerous attack on civil liberties.

[Emily] Henochowicz became critical of Israel in the spring, after accompanying a friend to a demonstration in East Jerusalem against the eviction of Palestinian families. Very quickly, she began participating regularly in protests against Israeli policies, especially the expansion of Jewish settlements on the West Bank. … The dangers caught up with her on May 31. During a demonstration at the West Bank checkpoint at Qalandia, Henochowicz was struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli security forces. She lost her left eye, and her jaw and cheekbone were fractured.

One of this country’s most important and courageous journalists said something terribly wrong, was massively criticized, apologized for it, and was forced into retirement. Exactly the way it should be, right? Wrong. It’s hard to even chart out the hypocrisy of the whole affair.

Although Israel successfully controlled news of its deadly commando raid on the Freedom Flotilla during the first crucial 48 hours of media coverage, emerging evidence from witnesses and survivors is challenging the Israeli government’s version of events.

The real, unlike the declared, strategy is to continue this state of affairs. As long as the international community is complacent, the Arab world impotent and Gaza contained, Israel can still have a thriving economy and an electorate that regards the dominance of the army in its life, the continued conflict and the oppression of the Palestinians as the exclusive past, the present and future reality of life in Israel.

[T]he Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a provocation… in the sense that civil rights protesters in the American south who sat at segregated lunch counters represented a provocation to segregationists, or in the sense that all nonviolent protests against the illegitimate acts of a government are by definition provocations. Under an illegal siege, the delivery of aid to civilians is a prohibited act; the intent of our humanitarian convoy was to violate this unjust prohibition.

IOA Editor: Iara Lee held a press conference at the UN on 10 June 2010, presenting her raw video footage from the Mavi Marmara and answering questions. Her article about the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was published earlier.

UPDATE: UN screening of ‘one-sided’ Gaza flotilla film spurs Israeli complaint

[T]he blockade has been a colossal moral, political and diplomatic failure. Not only has it wrought a humanitarian catastrophe on Gaza’s 1.5 million people: it has so strengthened Hamas that it alone could claim the high ground in the wake of the flotilla debacle. It was that moral weight that compelled Egypt to open Gaza’s Rafah crossing into the Sinai on 1 June.

The revelations in my book, “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Alliance with Apartheid South Africa,” have angered Israelis across the political spectrum… President Shimon Peres has said “there exists no basis in reality for the claims” put forward in my book. Beilin… has decided to stand by his former boss… as he told The New York Times: “The president’s denial puts an end to the subject.” It does not.

Israel’s entrenchment is so deep-seated that it has announced it will certainly not lift the blockade on Gaza. Its blindness means that there is sure to be another round… There is nothing to investigate. This is the situation; everyone knows it. We just have to decide whether to go on like this, or take a deep breath and choose a different path.

Will the rule of law be applied to Israel this time? In principle, it is unlawful for a state to enforce a blockade against ships that are flying the flag of another state on the high seas. The only exceptions to this would be if the blockade were mandated by the UN security council acting under chapter VII of the UN charter.

Is NATO genuinely a mutual defence organisation, or is it just an instrument to carry out US foreign policy? With its unthinking defence of Israel and military occupation of Afghanistan, is US foreign policy really defending Europe, or is it making the World less safe by causing Islamic militancy?

I was a passenger on the first effort to break the Gaza blockade. Our mission was to show that normal people cared.

A legal analysis of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by the London-based Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR).

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk: the raid is “clearly a criminal act, being on the high seas.” Storming a peaceful boat is akin to a home invasion, with the aggravating circumstance that the invaded space in this case was packed with goods intended to alleviate human suffering.

Israel’s government has been pretending it is ready to negotiate for peace, but that there is no one to negotiate with on the other side. The attack on the blockade-busters lays bare the country’s slide into contempt for international law, intolerance of dissent and wilful sabotage of viable representation for Palestinians.

The Palestinian Human Rights Council condemns the unlawful assault by the Israeli navy on a flotilla of international ships bringing aid to Gaza early this morning. The assault is unprecedented and illegal under international law.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the crime perpetrated by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) earlier this morning, 31 May 2010, when Israeli Naval Forces attacked the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” in international waters as it was sailing towards the Gaza Strip. IOF used excessive and lethal force in its attack on the ships, which left dozens of international civilian solidarity activists who were on board dead or injured.

The Alternative Information Center (AIC) places complete responsibility with the Israeli government and we request that the international, legal, political and humanitarian bodies move immediately to condemn this crime and to hold Israel accountable for its harsh actions. We also request the immediate lifting of the siege on Gaza so supplies can enter without any conditions.

The word “Arab” is not mentioned in the legislation, but the bill is directed against the Arabs. Will anyone consider stripping Anat Kamm of her citizenship if she is convicted of espionage? … The problem is a viewpoint that considers a community, by its mere existence, ethnic origin, language and links with what are described as enemy states as the target for this legislation. Without Arabs there would be no need for such obscene bills, because only Jews can be loyal to the state.