It’s not obvious what sort of state the Palestinians could have got by now had they really wanted it, as Sever Plocker argues. But the sort of state Israelis want is manifest in the structures, laws and practices of their state – and it is clear that continuing the Occupation is what they want.
In this new era of undiplomatic hostility between the US and Israeli governments, the President’s Chief of Staff tells the J Street conference that the occupation – yes, he used the word – must end and that negotiating with Iran was the best and proper way to contain Iran’s supposed ambitions.
“The restrictions are so pervasive and systematic that it almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. Under these circumstances – which I’m happy to say I have never encountered elsewhere – political and economic development is barely possible…”
Who Profits? is a brave and committed Israeli organisation – a research center dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land. It focuses on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation and control over population.
Here, just to remind readers of its wonderful work, are two reports from its October 2014 Newsletter
Daniel Levy, policy adviser and diplomat, answers Israel’s belligerent question – what would you – by saying self-defence does not include the right to kill civilians and upbraids Israelis for pushing Palestinians into a corner, for offering nothing but more occupation in return for their own demands for ‘security’.
For 47 years Palestinians have been living with a catastrophe (the 2nd one) – and Israelis with a curse. Unlike old colonisers, Israel denies it is an occupying power or that it has any duty to protect of provide for its subjects. JfJfP signatory Prof. Avi Shlaim reviews a thorough account of failed (US) efforts to get a peace deal and the consequences of that failure. Plus a more sceptical view from The Economist.
A word has been coined to step forward from the arguments about whether the governance of the Palestinians is apartheid, S. Africa-style, colonialism, European-style or occupation, war-time style. An editorial in the Abu Dhabi-owned The National calls it Occupartheid to name the unique means of dispossessing Palestinians.
Two writers from +972, one from Haaretz take up the debate on whether ‘apartheid’ is the correct name for Israel’s form of rule over non-Jews. In Israel, the separation is less absolute than it was in S.Africa; in the oPt the Palestinians are wholly alien, never to have their national political identity put into effect. Even colonialism – in which the ruled were thought to be in training for nationhood – is too kind a word. And occupation, as has been ruled, is assumed to be temporary. Lost for words?
It is a testament to the growth of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) that – if we leave aside the claim that it is by nature antisemitic – the arguments about the aims of the campaign have become more precise. Here we post a critique by Ran Greenstein and speeches by 2 JfJfP signatories for and against academic boycott. Jonathan Rosenhead checks off the objections, Bob Fine introduces nationalism into the mix.
A discussion of water discrimination in Israel-Palestine. Both the New York Times and Ha’aretz carried reports on the Palestinian water problem. Guess which one was impartial? And in case of doubt, we also reproduce B’tselem’s latest factsheet which asks: Is there discrimination in terms of the quantity of water available to Israelis and Palestinians? The answer is yes. Are there gaps in water consumption between Israelis and Palestinians? Absolutely.
A new report published by Al Haq – Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT – focuses on the control of water as an instrument of exploitation and subordination along colonial, racial lines in the Occupied Territories. It is – surprise, surprise – in violation of International Humanitarian Law.
A sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted a surprisingly direct headline about Palestine and took a screen shot of it; and then a few hours later noticed it had become unsurprisingly bland and euphemistic. Guess which word the New York Times readers may not read or hear? Ali Abuminah provides the evidence.
Oded Na’aman writes: “As you stand at the checkpoint, you must constantly consider the various ways in which you may be attacked: Where are they going to come from? What will their strategy be? Is that child as innocent as he seems, or is he smuggling a weapon? Is that ambulance really rushing a woman to the hospital to give birth, or are there enemies hiding inside? Is that old man harmless…
These are the instructions soldiers receive before beginning their principle combat mission in the IDF: enforcement of military rule in the West Bank.”
See our earlier posting “Defiance of law, case for one state, proof of apartheid: responses to Levy” (at http://jfjfp.com/?p=32416) which contains 9 items on the Levy report. Here we include a new statement from Acri (1); an analytical piece by Jonathan Cook suggesting that the report might open the way to annexation of Area C of the West Bank (2); and an opinion piece by human-rights advocate Sari Bashi, executive director of Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement in Israel (3).
Outrage, arguments for one state, silence. These are the responses to the Levy panel’s proposition that the West Bank is not ‘occupied’. The silence is from the Palestinian media, where there has been little reaction. The outrage is obvious. The arguments that this makes the case for one state, making West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizens, or Zionist apartheid, also follow. Nine reactions.
“I don’t want to continue through another summer of protest to be partner to the lie” writes Gershon Baskin, a negotiator for the release of Gilad Schalit. Fellow protesters don’t want to talk ‘politics’, meaning the occupation. But that refusal gives them the mere illusion of accomplishing something.
Delegates from the US Methodist Church are in conference this week. A decision they have to make is whether or not to divest from companies that profit from the occupation. Like the Co-op (see posting below) they have a history of ethical investment. Here they are urged, in Mondoweiss and The Magnes Zionist, to have the courage to divest.UPDATE: voted against divestment, e.i. and NY Times report
Democracies are frail systems for they always contain people who would rather get their own way than abide by principles of equality and inclusion. In Israel, democracy is under peculiar stress, argues David Remnick, because of the belligerent occupation – and protection of that occupation – of Palestinian territories.
The refusal by American author Paul Auster to visit Turkey because it lacked free speech, in contrast to Israel, has created a bloggers’ flurry. At heart is how one regards the occupation: an aberration which could be put right by serious negotiations, something that begun in 1967 since when it has been damaging Palestinians and Israeli politics or that ‘the Occupation IS Israel’ and has been since its foundation.
A film that won the best documentary prize at the 2011 Jerusalem film festival — shown last week at the Sundance film festival — tracks the laws and precedents discovered which turned temporary settlement into permanent colonisation. If Israel does live under the rule of law, it is either military or apartheid law as far as Palestinians in the OPT are concerned