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


As … Netanyahu knows very well, it is not “settlements” per se that are illegal. It is the transfer of an occupier’s population into the occupied territories that violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory. Such transfers are illegal irrespective of where they take place­—whether in settlements in the West Bank countryside or in apartment buildings in East Jerusalem.

In addition to the concession in the Jordan Valley and the [$3.00B] offer of combat jets that would effectively double the annual aid from the US, the deal is said to include a promise by Washington to veto for the next year any UN resolutions Israel opposes and to refrain, after borders have been agreed, from demanding any future limits on settlement growth.

According to a June 2010 fact sheet on the USAID Internet site, last year American taxpayers funded the paving of 63 kilometers of asphalt roads in the West Bank.

Lieberman reads the political map clearly and understands that the Zionist parties will not be able to stop the process of suppressing democracy for ethnicity… Netanyahu, it seems, won’t be taking a strong position and then it will only take the foreseeable economic crisis for Lieberman to come out as the leader of a fascist Israel.

That the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, not only is it possible, but there is near-universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognised (pre-June 1967) borders – with “minor and mutual modifications”, to adopt official US terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.

Throughout the Arab areas of Jerusalem, as in the West Bank, the government is pressing ahead with land expropriations, demolitions and settlement building, making the prospects of a Palestinian state ever more improbable. More than a third of the land in East Jerusalem has been expropriated since it was occupied in 1967 to make way for Israeli colonists, in flagrant violation of international law.

“The smokescreen called a medical school obscures an evil scheme: to establish a refugee camp for psychotic, sadistic and debased Arabs, whose deceptiveness is, and always has been, aimed at tempting [Jewish women] and cruelly abusing them. On orders of the great rabbis of Safed, may they be blessed with a long life, we declare our protest and vehement resistance, and reiterate that it is forbidden under the law of the Torah to offer these people apartments for sale, rent, work or any form of entry. Our city will not succumb to wanton behavior – go back to your own locales and do not defile our camp.”

When I envision Israel ending settlement expansion and living in equality with the Palestinians – while Netanyahu’s government confiscates more Palestinian land and builds more settlements every single day – I wonder who is misguided?

Asad Ghanem: “The core of the negotiations for Abbas is about ending the occupation, but he has progressively conceded to Israel its very narrow definition of what constitutes occupied land. The rights of the refugees and other Palestinians to be included in the Palestinian nation now exist chiefly at the level of rhetoric.”

Safed’s chief rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu: “When a non-Jew moves in, residents begin to worry about their children, about their daughters. Many Arab students have been known to date Jewish girls.”

Prof. Gilbert Achcar is in the US on a speaking tour for his latest book, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives. Tour schedule includes stops in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

New York event: A discussion with Gilbert Achcar and Amira Hass, moderated by Rashid Khalidi, at the International Affairs building, Columbia University – Tuesday, 9 Nov, 6:00 – 8:00pm.

The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state.

Haneen Zoabi: “We are struggling for a normal state, which is a state for all of its citizens, [in] which the Palestinians and the Israeli Jews can have full equality. I recognize religious, cultural and national group rights for the Israelis, but inside a democratic and neutral state.”

Israel’s apartheid movement is coming out of the woodwork and is taking on a formal, legal shape. It is moving from voluntary apartheid, which hides its ugliness through justifications of “cultural differences” and “historic neglect” which only requires a little funding and a couple of more sewage pipes to make everything right – to a purposeful, open, obligatory apartheid, which no longer requires any justification.

Under the guise of the deceptively mundane name “Amendment to the Cooperative Associations Bill,” an Israeli parliament committee finalized a bill intended to bypass previous rulings of the High Court of Justice. If this legislation is approved by parliament, it will not be possible to describe it as anything other than an apartheid law.

Protest met with rubber bullets: Israeli police shoot ‘hated’ Arab legislator in back.
MP Zoabi: “The police proved that they are a far more dangerous threat to me and other Arab citizens than the fascist group that came to Umm al-Fahm.”

It would be wrong to dismiss the wisdom of our leaders. Perhaps they’ve gotten exactly what they wanted – to strengthen Hamas in the Gaza Strip, both for perpetuating the intentional division between Gaza and the West Bank and to encourage perpetual low-intensity warfare (which sometimes escalates).

IOA Editor: Hamas, one of Israel’s most important – yet, invisible – allies, affords Israel the opportunity to conjure up “evidence” that an arrangement between Israelis and Palestinians is inherently impossible, particularly on account of Hamas, thus freeing Israel to colonize the little of historic Palestine that is still Arab – while dividing, ruling, and repressing Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself. (Lest we leave out Israel’s other excuses for not ending the Occupation, before Hamas it was Arafat who was “not a partner” for peace, and before him it was the Arab World, etc.)

Israeli banks provide the financial infrastructure for all activities of companies, governmental agencies and individuals in the continuing occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights. The services provided by the banks support and sustain these activities. Additionally, as this report shows, it is evident that the banks are well aware of the types and whereabouts of the activity that is being carried out with their financial assistance.

Over the past two years, we have been increasingly troubled by expanding tendencies to harm Israel’s democracy… In anticipation of Israel’s Knesset’s Winter Session 2010-11, we wish to warn against the troubling trend of infringement against democracy in Israel as expressed through the persistent promotion of anti-democratic bills, decision-making process, and conduct by Members of Knesset (MK).

The [Israeli] right … is well on its way to negating Israel’s earlier achievements in crushing the Palestinian people, and it will bring about their reunification. The Israeli left and center did quite a lot to split the Palestinian people and to transform them into distinct groups: Palestinians in Israel, Palestinians in the West Bank, Palestinians in Jerusalem, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians in the diaspora.

My nearly 25 years of covering the Israeli occupation and expressing my controversial opinions have indeed stirred up wrath in some circles. But I have always taken pride in the fact that after hundreds of reports from the field – this entire modest documentation enterprise – none of the facts have ever been refuted despite the efforts of many.

If Israel is the Jewish state, then what right do we Palestinian interlopers have to be here at all? None. And so it should be little surprise that Lieberman is simultaneously pushing a plan to trade Palestinian citizens of Israel into a rump state in the West Bank.

“My biggest struggle,” he says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard to break. That we Israelis are the ultimate and only victims. That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational. That the Palestinians are not human beings like us? So you get a society without any moral doubts, without any questions marks, with hardly public debate. To raise your voice against all this is very hard.”

Let us be clear: Palestinians long ago recognized Israel and its right to exist in peace and security. Twenty-two years ago, to be precise. The peace process that began 17 years ago has repeatedly reaffirmed Palestinian recognition of Israel and its right to exist over 78 percent of our historic homeland. The internationally recognized obstacle to peace is the ongoing Israeli occupation.

Director of Mossawa advocacy center for the Palestinian minority: “The police have already repeatedly demonstrated their hostility to Palestinian citizens, but this move proves that the authorities want to extend and deepen our oppression.”

In all likelihood, I will be one of the very first non-Jews expected to swear loyalty to Israel as an ideology rather than as a state. Until now, naturalising residents, like the country’s soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority’s presumption that Israel is a “Jewish and democratic state”.

Underneath everything is hatred – hatred and contempt for Arabs … Manifestations of hatred are received with sympathy or indifference, even by those who should be standing in the breach: the opposition, the media and the education and judicial systems.

Dov Chenin: “A few years ago, only the extreme right-wing parties talked about transferring Arab citizens, but now we see that even the security forces are preparing concrete plans for carrying out such a scenario.”

A ghost of the Camp David talks of summer 2000 haunted the meeting of the Arab League in Libya, as its foreign ministers decided to give a little more time to the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians – not wanting to expose Mahmoud Abbas to the responsibility for the breakdown of the negotiations.

“This is clearly a serious criminal attack,” he said. “It is hijacking in international waters and there were quite brutal murders.” But, although this case is more extreme than others, he said, Israel’s “hijacking ships in international waters, kidnapping people, killing them sometimes, bringing them to Israel, keeping them hostages in prisons for long periods” have been going on for at least 30 years, and Israel can continue those actions because it is tolerated by the United States.

From now on, we will be living in a new, officially approved, ethnocratic, theocratic, nationalistic and racist country. Anyone who thinks it doesn’t affect him is mistaken. There is a silent majority that is accepting this with worrying apathy, as if to say: “I don’t care what country I live in.”

[M]ost Israeli leaders genuinely wish for peace – peace on Israel’s terms: their cherished wish is that the Palestinian people, dispossessed and subjugated, should peacefully accept their lot and give up the struggle… The key to a proper understanding of the conflict is that it is an extremely asymmetric one: between settler-colonisers and the indigenous people. It is about dispossession and oppression.

What is delaying treatment of a 47-year-old Palestinian woman, if not punishment of someone who opposes her foreign rulers?

In fact, the terms of Obama’s letter were drafted in cooperation with Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister and leader of the supposedly leftwing Labor party. When he was prime minister a decade ago, he insisted on a similar military presence in the Valley during the failed Camp David talks…

Architecture and planning are instruments of the occupation, and constitute part of a continuing war against a whole people… Since this involves dispossession, discrimination and acquisition of land and homes by force, against the Geneva conventions, it can be classified as participation in war crimes.