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


To suggest that Palestinians are equally responsible for this state of affairs would suggest the two sides hold equal power to shape events. They don’t. No matter how many rhetorical checkpoints get thrown up, there are some basic facts you just cannot get around. Israel is the occupier; Palestinians are the occupied.

Solidarity activists have traditionally been embraced, virtually adopted even, by their host communities. That they should be killed by those they were trying to defend generated shockwaves that reached deep into the heart of Palestinian communities across the world.

We are left to speculate regarding the reasons for Abu Sisi’s detention. The number of possibilities includes … that he had helped refine a new fuel system that made the plant far less dependent on Israeli-supplied diesel fuel. This may not have sat well with the Israeli authorities, who wish to control the system’s operations should they want to limit or cut them off.

The US and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by U.S. polling agencies. [Most] Arabs regard the US and Israel as the major threats they face… Opposition to US policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons… If public opinion were to influence policy, the US not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of global dominance.

Former chief IDF rabbi: “A village like this, like Awarta, from which the murderers of the Fogel family and of the Shebo family emerged, must suffer as a village. A situation must be created whereby the inhabitants prevent anyone in this village from harming Jews. Yes, it is collective punishment. They must not be allowed to sleep at night, they must not be allowed to go to work, they must not be allowed to drive their cars. There are many ways.”

In this four-part video interview, British journalist Jonathan Cook talks about Nazareth and how it fits in within Israel’s ethnocracy; about Israel’s separate citizenship laws, one for Jews and one for non-Jews; and about where the Arabic language fits within Israel’s inherently discriminatory political system.

Cook’s position in the Arab heartland of Israel puts a different perspective on his reporting: namely that the post-1967 conflict over the occupied territories is best understood as a reflection and continuation of the larger conflict begun in 1948.

Vittorio Arrigoni, killed Friday, April 15 is the first international activist killed by Palestinian kidnappers in living memory of the conflict. Mystery surrounding his kidnapping and death leaves significant questions about the those allegedly responsible, the investigation, and the future of the region.

In memoriam: Moshé Machover remembers his close friend, Matzpen co-founder Oded Pilavsky.

UN recognition of a Palestinian make-believe state would be no more meaningful than this fantasy “institution-building”, and could push Palestinians even further away from real liberation and self-determination.

Hamoked director Dalia Kerstein: “There is clearly a policy to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem and Israel to reduce what is called here the ‘Palestinian demographic threat.’ It’s really a case of ethnic cleansing.”

I asked Goldstone to help point out even a single word in the two reports that could justify his vague statement about the non-existence of the policy on harming civilians – while both reports repeatedly criticize Israel for not having investigated this issue at all. Apologizing politely, the South African freedom fighter said he had imposed media silence on himself. A pity…

A recent ruling demonstrates the bureaucratic machinery the state has created to restrict the Palestinians’ ability to enter, live and work on land west of the separation fence.

IOA Editor: This is an important news story which points to the ultimate effect of Israeli supreme court decisions: supporting Israel’s methodical process of ethnic cleansing, bit by bit — as the old Zionist saying goes, “duman here, and dunam there” — this time 9.5% of the West Bank territory. Next time what?

The world knows that this is a battle between the Israeli Goliath and the Palestinian David, and its heart is with the underdog. The world heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak of a two-state solution and was filled with hope. But after two years of total deadlock, hollow talk, illusions, Israel’s unreasonable setting of conditions and the construction of more and more settlements, the world has condemned Israel. No hasbara can change that.

Paul Jay interviews Lia Tarachansky, The Real News Middle East correspondent. Tarachansky covers the political economy of the occupation, while also focusing on international law and its applicability to the conflict. Having grown up in an Israeli settlement in the heart of the occupied West Bank, Tarachansky speaks about how denial of narrative fuels a conflict where the two peoples, the Israelis and Palestinians, become further segregated, physically, socially, and psychologically.

Anyone who honored the first Goldstone has to ask him: What exactly do you know today that you didn’t know then? Do you know today that criticizing Israel leads to a pressure-and-slander campaign that you can’t withstand, you ‘self-hating Jew’?

Juliano was angry. His rage was the kind that only a Jew like him, who was born on the left and craved equality until the end, can allow himself to express as a way of life. Palestinians must conquer the anger, mellow it; they must tame it, repress it, sublimate it. That’s the only way to stay both alive and sane (without getting arrested, wounded or killed ) under the conditions of physical and non-physical violence dictated by Israel.

Most important, Israel has failed to investigate adequately the policy-level decisions that apparently lie behind the large-scale indiscriminate and unlawful attacks in Gaza. Those decisions are obviously the most sensitive because they involve senior officials, not just troops on the ground.

The past few years have seen an increase in calls for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This is part of a broader campaign to apply pressure on the Israeli state and its agencies. A recent initiative to suspend relations between the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Israel received much media attention in South Africa and gave rise to controversy.

Israeli leaders have barely hidden their jubilation at an opinion article … by the South African jurist Richard Goldstone reconsidering the findings of his UN-appointed inquiry into Israel’s attack on Gaza in winter 2008… Israel would certainly like observers to interpret Goldstone’s latest comments as an exoneration. In reality, however, he offered far less consolation to Israel than its supporters claim.

Libya is a different case. Libya is rich in oil, and though the US and UK have often given quite remarkable support to its cruel dictator, right to the present, he is not reliable. They would much prefer a more obedient client. Furthermore, the vast territory of Libya is mostly unexplored, and oil specialists believe it may have rich untapped resources, which a more dependable government might open to Western exploitation.

There is a genuine problem, and it would be unfortunate to appear callous and uncaring about the fate of those in Benghazi who were penned in and faced the terrible prospect of being massacred… There is world public opinion – civil society – which has real humanitarian concerns, and then there is the so-called ‘international community’, which is the nom de guerre of the US and its followers.

It used to be that when you counted off Israel’s top allies, the obvious names came to mind. Germany, the UK, and of course, the US. These days, Canada seems determined to soar to the top of that list. Taking it straight from the horse’s mouth – Avigdor Lieberman – Israel’s Foreign Minister. While visiting Canada in 2009 he said, “Canada is so friendly that there was no need to convince or explain anything to anyone… We need allies like this in the international arena.” In fact Canada’s arms trade with Israel, its military cooperation with the Israeli occupation and its political support make Canada a very dear ally for Israel indeed.

Let’s tell the generals, spooks, inquisitors and ideologues that we want to be first on the list to be investigated. I delegitimize Occupation. There. Now I said it. I feel better already. Now when can I be expecting that knock on the door in the middle of the night from someone from headquarters saying they just have a few questions?

The one-two punch of settler “price tag” attacks carried out under the watch of the army and with the encouragement of state-funded religious nationalist rabbis is common all over the West Bank. Most Jewish Israelis view the army with reverence, and are reluctant to criticize its conduct under any circumstance. And though settler violence is considered a matter of controversy in Israeli society, a new poll shows that a staggering number of Israelis support the pogroms meted out by fanatical settlers against defenseless Palestinians.

It is not just the settlements and the occupation, two sides of the same coin, which pose a serious obstacle to peace and infringe on the Palestinians’ human rights. It is everything that supports them – the government and its institutions. It is the bubble that many Israelis live in, the illusion of normality. It is the Israeli feeling that the status quo is sustainable.

It is possible to sum up Israel’s relations with its Palestinian citizens in one sentence: We are not only a minority that is discriminated against, we are a minority at risk. Over the past two years, the Knesset has brought forth dozens of laws designed to strengthen the Jewish character of the country at the expense of its democratic character. I fight for my rights in my homeland. Perhaps this is news to many of you, but I did not choose to live in the State of Israel; Israel has chosen to live among my people and I.

IOA Editor: Although originally written for International Women’s Day 2011, this commentary is directly related to the anti-Palestinian laws under consideration by the Israeli parliament, including the Nakba Law and the law enabling “admission committees” approval-requirement for would-be residents of towns of fewer than 400 families – both just passed by Israel’s parliament.

[Note also the summary of readers' reactions above article.]

As on previous occasions, a “spy” from the Israeli Embassy was sent to [my lecture] … an Israeli student who was asked to write down what I said and convey it to the embassy. The embassy quickly dispatched a report to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, and the Foreign Ministry quickly leaked it to a well-known newspaper, which published only my harshest statements, without context – and there you have it: the indictment of a dissident.

Can anyone claiming to belong to the left just ignore a popular movement’s plea for protection, even by means of imperialist bandit-cops, when the type of protection requested is not one through which control over their country could be exerted? Certainly not, by my understanding of the left.

So for all those who demonstrated in support of the Gazans when they were trapped under Israeli fire, all those planners of past and future flotillas, this is your moment to raise your voices and say clearly: The Qassams merely feed Israel’s madness. It is not the Qassams that will ensure the Palestinians, both in and out of Gaza, a life of dignity. It is not the Qassams that will topple the Israeli walls around the world’s largest prison camp.

Israel admitted this week that it was behind the abduction of a Gazan engineer who went missing more than a month ago while travelling on a train in the Ukraine… Victor Kattan, an international law expert at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, said Israel had broken several human rights laws in seizing him rather than invoking treaty agreements between the Ukraine and Israel and requesting his extradition.

Frank Barat asks Noam Chomsky six questions sent to him by Alice Walker, John Berger, Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, Amira Hass and Chris Hedges.

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.

I just wanted to look at Tanya –
how she stood tall in her coat
at the end of the hall
on her department’s floor
as I came out of the elevator;
how she lit her cigarette
at the entrance archway
as we walked out to Broadway…

IOA Editor: We remember Tanya Reinhart, a courageous anti-Occupation activist, great moral thinker, world renowned linguist, a comrade and a friend. (Born 23 July 1943, Palestine; died 17 March 2007, New York.)

Noam Chomsky speaking in Amsterdam (video) 13 March 2011.

“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reforms,” Frederick Douglass said in 1857. “The whole history of the progress of human history shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of struggle. … If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

IOA Editor: Chris Hedges, whose speech delivery may well rival that of Frederick Douglass, will be speaking at Barnard College (New York) 6:30pm on 30 March 2011 – James Room, Barnard Hall (4th Floor). Chris’ most recent book is Death of The Liberal Class (2010). More about Chris Hedges and the lecture…