- This June will mark an anniversary that will live in
infamy for the people affected by the event it commemorates following a
far greater one 19 years earlier on May 14, 1948. On June 5, 1967, Israel
launched its so-called "Six-Day (preemptive) War" against three
of its neighboring Arab states - Egypt, Jordan and Syria - claiming it
was in self-defense to avoid annihilation Israeli leaders later admitted
was spurious and false cover for a large-scale long-planned, calculated
war of aggression it believed it could easily win and did.
- The New York Times quoted Prime Minister Menachem Begin's
(1977 - 83) August, 1982 speech saying: "In June, 1967, we had a choice.
The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove
that (President Gamal Abdel) Nasser (1956 - 70) was really about to attack
us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."
- Two time Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1974 - 77 and
1992 - 95) told French newspaper Le Monde in February, 1968: "I do
not believe Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai
on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offense against Israel.
He knew it and we knew it."
- General Mordechai Hod, Commander of the Israeli Air Force
during the Six-Day War said in 1978: "Sixteen years of planning had
gone into those initial eighty minutes. We lived with the plan, we slept
on the plan, we ate the plan. Constantly we perfected it."
- General Haim Barlev, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief
told Ma'ariv in April, 1972: "We were not threatened with genocide
on the eve of the six-day war, and we had never thought of such a possibility."
- Other Israeli leaders and generals voiced the same sentiment
that in June, 1967 Israel was under no threat, yet preemptively undertook
a war of aggression falsely telling the world it had no other choice.
It had a clear one. It could have chosen peace, but didn't and never did
earlier or since to the present because discretionary aggressive wars of
choice serve Israeli interests as they do its US imperial partner.
- In 1967, it was the Jewish state's third major aggressive
war that grew out of the founding of Zionism in 1897 by Theodor Herzl aiming
to establish a permanent Jewish state. He planned the first Zionist Congress
in Basle, Switzerland, became its first president, and envisioned a permanent
Jewish homeland in Palestine justified by what Professor Norman Finkelstein
called the "colossal hoax" Jews got there first establishing
their ancestral home on "a land without people for a people without
land." It became the state of Israel in May, 1948 during the new
Jewish state's first preemptive aggressive so-called "War of Independence"
Palestinians call "al-Nakba" - the catastrophe.
- From it, Jewish forces seized 78% of British Mandatory
Palestine establishing the state of Israel May 14 when the Mandate ended.
It was 40% more territory than UN Resolution 181 of November, 1947 allowed
with a 56 - 44% division that already gave Israel most of the fertile land,
nearly all urban and rural territory, and 400 of over 1000 Palestinian
villages their residents lost by UN mandate, with no right of appeal, to
the Jewish population comprising one-third of the total at that time.
- The 1948 negotiated cease-fire line became known as the
"Green Line." Egypt occupied Gaza, and Jordan controlled the
West Bank. It was Israel's moment of triumph. The war lasted six months,
expelling and killing about 800,000 Palestinians. It destroyed 531 Palestinian
villages, 11 urban neighborhoods, and was a clear case of ethnic cleansing
international law calls a crime against humanity. Guilty Israeli leaders
were never held to account for it or forced to admit what, in fact, they
indisputably did according to recently declassified Israeli archival material
Israeli historian Ilan Pappe used for his important new book, The Ethnic
Cleansing of Palestine. Noted British journalist and documentary filmmaker
John Pilger calls him "Israel's bravest, most principled, most incisive
- In his book, Pappe documented Israeli crimes including
cold-blooded mass-murder; destruction of homes, villages and crops; rapes;
other atrocities; and massacres of defenseless men, women and children
shown no mercy. It happened because British Mandate forces did nothing
to stop it, and when neighboring Arab states finally intervened, they acted
pathetically without conviction against a superior Israeli fighting force
easily able to defeat the small, ill-equipped and unmotivated token forces
matched against it.
- Israel's second war of aggression was launched along
with Britain and France October 29, 1956 against Egypt following President
Nasser's decision to nationalize the Suez Canal. Invading forces gave
in to US and Soviet pressure to cease fighting eight days later, and after
the Federal Reserve began selling large amounts of British pounds undermining
the dollar-pound exchange rate. It ended when Israel withdrew its last
troops March 8, 1957.
- On June 5, 1967, Israel launched its third major war
of aggression but hardly its last with another one always planned and ready
to unleash on the flimsiest pretext almost no other nation could get away
with. It did it for the usual reasons nations go to war when under no external
threat to do it - territory, resources (for Israel Golan's water was key),
and a desire for unchallengeable regional dominance. As it always did
since, Israel falsely claimed its security was threatened by creating myths
Syria was shelling Israeli farmers; legitimate, non-threatening Egyptian
military exercises masked a preparation for war; and that "incendiary
Arab rhetoric" proved it. With plans set and a date picked, Foreign
Minister Abba Eban flew to Washington May 26 to inform Lyndon Johnson of
Israel's intentions and was assured the US backed them.
- The war began preemptively June 5 and proved to be an
impressive display of overwhelming power with Israel destroying 90% of
Egypt's 300 + aircraft on the ground and two-thirds of the Syrian Air Force
the first day. After 24 hours of conflict, Israeli Air Force (IAF) Commander
Mordechai Hod announced the combined Arab air forces were destroyed, and
the devastating toll on them proved it. Israel lost a mere 19 fighter aircraft
while Egypt lost about 300, Syria 60, Jordan 35, Iraq 15, and Lebanon one
or more. The Palestinians were about to lose much more - the remaining
Gaza and West Bank parts of their nation leaving them stateless.
- On day 2, Israel invaded Gaza and the West Bank; on day
three Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) entered northern Sinai, devastated Egyptian
brigades, captured Jerusalem, and got Jordan to surrender. On day four,
the IDF invaded Haram Al-Sharif and central Sinai, and by day five had
advanced to the Suez Canal, taking all of Sinai and the Syrian Golan Heights.
The war was practically over before it began, but Israeli forces showed
no mercy using their unopposed air power to massacre thousands of defenseless
Egyptian troops on the ground. It was a turkey shoot made possible largely
because Washington supported it providing Israel with the latest munitions
including tarmac-shredding explosives preventing undamaged planes from
taking off making them sitting ducks to follow-up attacks. In addition,
a US carrier group provided intelligence and communications help standing
ready to intervene if needed.
- Though nothing like today, even then Washington showed
its commitment to Israel, and ignoring and covering up the USS Liberty
incident highlights it. The intelligence ship was in the Mediterranean
about 13 nautical miles off the Sinai Peninsula when Israeli aircraft and
torpedo boats attacked it with full knowledge it was a US vessel as the
senior Israeli lead pilot later admitted. Thirty-four on-board were killed
after which Johnson Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered an inquiry
that concluded the incident was a case of "mistaken identity"
despite knowing full well it wasn't. Later, retired Joint Chiefs of Staff
chairman Admiral Thomas Moorer said the incident was "one of the classic
all-American cover-ups" for a close ally Washington has made excuses
and allowances for ever since along with providing huge amounts of financial
aid and modern weaponry and munitions in near-limitless amounts.
- Israel used what it got then for its one-sided blitzkrieg
ending June 10 with Israeli forces completing the job left unfinished following
their 1948 "War of Independence." They took the remaining 22%
of ancient Palestine comprising Gaza and the West Bank, and on June 6,
2007 will have held the territories for 40 repressive years of the longest
continuous illegal occupation in the world under which Palestinians (including
Israeli citizens and Palestinian Christians) lost their personal, political
and economic freedoms under Israeli rule affording those rights only to
- Worldwide Solidarity Actions Opposing the Illegal Occupation
- To commemorate this infamous anniversary, the International
Coordination Network on Palestine (ICNP) was launched at the annual UN
civil society conference in 2006. It supports the inalienable rights of
the Palestinian people under their banner, "The World Says No to Israeli
Occupation." ICNP called for global days of protest June 9 - 10 demanding
an end to the occupation; the realization of the Palestinians' inalienable
rights including their right to self-determination; their Right to Return
to their homeland; and to establish an independent, sovereign Palestinian
state with its capital in Jerusalem where it rightfully belongs.
- ICNP is building nonviolent global action campaigns for
boycotts, divestment and economic and political sanctions. In addition,
it engages in a wide range of educational and cultural activities with
the same aims in mind. It insists governments across the world stop providing
Israel economic, political and military support and work instead together
to end an occupation that never should have been tolerated in the first
place. It wants it replaced with a "just and lasting peace."
- Hundreds of other organizations, networks and groups
across the world are also mobilizing for a global protest day June 9.
One of them is the "Occupation 40" coalition calling for "six
days" of actions (from June 5 - 10) marking 40 hellish years of occupation.
In addition, a Global Day of Action was called for on Saturday, June 9.
The coalition is comprised of grassroots Israeli groups and organizations,
peace activists, artists, student groups, internal Palestinian refugees,
anarchists, animal rights activists, and leftist groups including socialists
and communists. There will be a six-day convergence in Israel including
demonstrations, direct actions, discussions and cultural events.
- "Occupation 40" is also calling for international
direct actions against the illegal occupation from June 5 - 10 including
economic punishment against corporations profiting from an occupation that
cost Palestinians their homeland. The planned agenda for these days is
- -- June 5: An international action day against militarization,
wars and occupations in advance of the June G-8 summit in Germany.
- -- June 6 - 8: Protests against the G-8 by Palestinian
and Israeli activists and Palestinian Solidarity groups across Europe where
German authorities are already cracking down in advance of the June 6 -
8 summit of world leaders taking place at the German resort of Heiligendamm
in the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommen on the Baltic coast.
- Wherever George Bush travels, unprecedented levels of
security are needed the result of intense worldwide anger against him and
his administration showing up in mass public actions justifiably protesting
his presence. As a result, the Heiligendamm resort is being turned into
a luxurious armed military fortress with a huge protective wall around
it costing $17 million a German newspaper called "the equivalent of
a maximum security prison (in reverse) to keep people out."
- In addition, the Baltic Sea surrounding the resort will
be patrolled by nine naval vessels supplementing 16,000 local police and
1100 soldiers guarding the area to keep protesters several miles from the
meeting. Add to that the police state-style raids now ongoing targeting
global justice and leftist organizations across the country on the phony
pretext they're involved in the "creation of a terrorist organization."
- -- June 6 - 12: Protest action days against the occupation
in Palestine, Israel and internationally.
- -- June 9: A mass rally in London along with a Global
Day of Action Against the Occupation.
- -- June 10 - 11: A protest, teach-in and lobby in Washington,
- All these actions across the world are intended to send
Israel, G-8 governments and all nations around the world "a message
they cannot ignore."
- Life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)
- IDF occupation forces continue assaulting Palestinian
civilians and property daily in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT),
and while November 8, 2006 wasn't typical, it shows how horrific some attacks
have been. It began November 1 with Operation Autumn Clouds when Israeli
Defense Forces (IDF) attacked Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza launching their
largest assault on the territory since the late June Operation Summer Rains
deadly one killing at least 240 mostly civilian men, women and children.
In one November, 2006 week, 80 innocent civilians were dead, hundreds
wounded, and many bodies afflicted with terribly disfiguring cuts, burns
and hard to explain loss of limbs unseen before that had to have been from
experimental bombs and shells likely containing radiation or other chemical
materials able to burn human flesh. More on this below.
- The attack culminated November 8 when Israeli tanks shelled
Palestinian homes killing at least 20 and wounding 60 more in what's now
called the Beit Hanoun massacre. Ironically, or maybe intentionally, it
happened the day after IDF forces withdrew following the week-long Operation
Autumn Clouds operation that already devastated the town and its people.
The Beit Hanoun massacre wasn't typical. But it highlights how, on any
pretext at any time, Israeli forces freely attack defenseless Palestinians
with unrestrained viciousness maybe just to show they can get away with
- Mel Frykberg in the April 26 - May 2 issue of Al-Ahram
Weekly reports some of the worst of what Israel is doing (unreported in
the West) in his article called Israel's lab in Palestine. He wrote about
Gaza-based doctors recently reporting severe wounds clearly made by horrific
experimental weapons inflicting shocking damage with graphic web site pictures
painful to view:
- -- disfiguring burns caused by intense heat requiring
- -- legs sliced from victims' bodies "as if a saw
was used to cut through bone;"
- -- the absence of shrapnel in or near wounds but the
presence of a powder-like substance on victims' bodies and internal organs
identified by lab analysis as carbon and tungsten (microscopic shrapnel)
with many affected patients dying several days later; and
- -- internal organs severely burned in the absence of
- The article further explained Italian RAI News 24 satellite
TV reported on a laboratory analysis of substances taken from victims alleging
Israel used "dense inert metal explosives (DIME)" last summer
in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and that a high concentration
of carbon, copper, aluminum and tungsten points to a DIME weapon this time.
RAI News 24 indicated military experts said DIME weapons are "carbon-encased
missile(s) that shatter on impact into minuscule splinters (simultaneously
exploding with) blades of energy-charged, heavy metal tungsten alloy (HMTA)
powder (like) cobalt and nickel or iron, with a carbon fibre casing. It
turns to dust on impact....burning and destroying....everything within
a four-metre range."
- In addition to causing severe disabling and dismembering
injuries, DIME weapons leave carcinogenic fallout (like depleted uranium
- DU - or other toxic chemical pollutants) in areas targeted by them resulting
in environmental contamination with virtually certain large increases in
future cancers for people living close by and exposed.
- The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) on the
ground in the territories documents it all daily, and its weekly report
ending May 17 reads like all others depending on how horrific each week
is with some hugely more so than others as Palestinian victims can attest.
PCHR (and other groups) publish an account of daily incursions, assaults,
shootings, targeted assassinations, aircraft intrusions and attacks, arrests,
torture, home demolitions, restrictions on movement, crop destruction,
land theft, and countless other types of harassment and humiliations making
life in occupied Palestine repressive and unbearable for its residents
who somehow resist and endure.
- In nearly all cases, Israeli actions are unprovoked or
barely so like responding with overwhelming force to children throwing
rocks or Palestinians defending their homes, neighborhoods or communities
from repeated IDF incursions. Palestinians only have crude and light weapons
against the world's fourth most powerful military with nearly every imaginable
modern weapon including sophisticated nuclear ones and delivery systems
to use them effectively. Specifically during this one week, IDF ground
forces killed six Palestinians in Gaza and a baby in his mother's womb
in the West Bank. They also wounded 36 Palestinians and a French solidarity
- In Gaza on May 15, IDF border forces killed a Palestinian
National Security Forces officer fleeing Fatah-Hamas armed clashes with
US and Israeli fingerprints all over this renewed fighting aimed at toppling
the unity government. To do it, Fatah security forces were supplied with
millions of dollars in funding, weapons and Egyptian-based training for
this type operation ebbing and flowing with renewed fighting erupting on
any pretext when cease-fires break down.
- On May 16, Israeli forces killed three Executive Force
members of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. They also wounded 27
other Palestinians (including two journalists and a civilian bystander)
by Israeli air attacks on a Rafah Executive Force site. On the same day,
two Hamas members were killed and three others wounded by air attacks in
northern Gaza. Earlier on May 10, IDF forces near Khan Yunis burnt large
areas of Palestinian agricultural land in Khuza'a village in a deliberate
act of military vandalism.
- Also, on May 10, the IDF attacked Israeli solidarity
and Palestinian civilian and international activists' peaceful demonstration
protesting the construction of the Annexation/Apartheid wall in Bal'ein
village west of Ramallah wounding three Palestinian adults, one child and
a Swiss solidarity activist. On May 13, an Israeli settlement guard shot
from "zero range" wounding a Palestinian taxi driver.
- From May 10 - 17, IDF forces conducted at least 26 military
incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank arresting 41 civilians
including seven children. That brings the number of Palestinians arrested
in the West Bank alone this year to 1,164. Israeli forces also demolished
one home and arrested two Palestinians in Gaza. Throughout this period,
the IDF continued imposing a tightened siege on the OPT severely restricting
movement including in occupied East Jerusalem and at border crossings through
which essential humanitarian goods and services must have access but often
don't when most needed.
- The important Rafah International Crossing Point has
been closed since June 25, 2006 except for three days. Because of this
and other crossing point restrictions, markets aren't getting food, stores
aren't getting goods, and hospitals don't have vital medical supplies,
with most Palestinian patients unable to travel to them in Israel or the
OPT anyway as needed. In addition, Palestinians have been prevented from
fishing in the Mediterranean for nearly one year depriving them of their
livelihood and the people of the food they harvest from the sea.
- In recent days, Israel launched heavy air strikes against
Hamas government Gaza targets killing 36 mostly Palestinian civilians and
wounding 97 others through May 21 as well as destroying dozens of homes
and parliamentary sites. This is on top of renewed Israeli-instigated
Fatah-Hamas armed clashes in Gaza killing 47 and injuring scores more through
May 19. On May 18, independent Palestinian writer Laila El-Haddad wrote
on the Electronic Intifada web site of a recent "terrifying 24 hours
(with) sporadic gunfire and ghostly streets."
- She mentioned a phone call from her father describing
a (US-supplied F-16-caused) "tremendous explosion (sending) intense
shockwaves through our house....so powerful....it blasted off the windows
from my cousin's home in the neighbourhood behind us. This attack was
followed by another then another, and then another." There were six
Israeli (F-16) air strikes in one morning with "Israeli tanks....amassing
at Gaza's northern border, and unmanned Israeli drones whirring menacingly
overhead in great numbers patrolling ghostly skies....preparing..for yet
another strike against an already bleeding, burning, and battered Gaza"
from Israeli terror attacks.
- Tony Karon, writing in the Electronic Intifada May 15,
notes the current conflict "has assumed a momentum of its own"
Palestinian leaders are unable to contain because Washington and Israel
want it that way in the wake of Hamas' victory in the January, 2006 elections.
He then adds ominously this may end up "turning Gaza into Mogadishu"
just the way the Bush administration is now "busy turning Mogadishu
into Mogadishu all over again."
- The "If Americans Knew" web site also publishes
and keeps current shocking information on the daily toll in the OPT. Some
of its disturbing figures affecting Palestinians from September 29, 2000
(the first day of the Second Intifada) to the present at the hands of Israeli
forces are as follows:
- -- 934 Palestinian children have been killed in most
cases while engaging in normal daily activities like going to school, playing,
shopping, or being in their homes. PCHR reports a total of 4284 Palestinian
deaths through March 23, 2007.
- -- A known total of 31,307 Palestinians have been injured,
mostly civilians, and mostly under the same circumstances children were
killed. The B'Tselem Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
reports these numbers are extremely conservative while the internationally
respected Palestine Red Crescent Society reports much higher totals that
are likely more accurate. In addition, these figures exclude large numbers
of Palestinians who die when unable to reach medical care in time because
of Israeli checkpoints, road closures, curfews and other restrictions on
mobility in the OPT. Also, no accurate records are available on the large
number of avoidable Palestinian deaths resulting from deprivation and/or
disease following the first time ever imposition of sanctions on an occupied
people from early 2006 to the present.
- -- The cite reports US financial aid to Israel is $7,023,288
per day, but the true number is far higher including:
- - around $3 billion or more annually in direct aid;
- - billions more in loans as needed;
- - millions annually for immigrant resettlement;
- - multi-billions in waved loan repayments;
- - billions more in military aid, financial help to develop
Israel's defense industry, transfer of state-of-the-art technology and
the latest US weapons, and US guarantees for Israel's access to oil;
- - $22 billion Israel got over the past 50 years through
the sale of its below-market paying bonds that have financed half its development
- meaning the colonization of annexed Palestinian land; military aid for
its imperial aggressive wars; and still more as needed and requested.
- Tiny Israel today (with six million Jews) gets more US
financial aid (in all direct and indirect forms) than all other countries
in the world combined.
- In addition, a 2006 "Washington Report" piece
by Shirl McArthur estimated the minimal amount of US aid to Israel since
1948 in an article titled "A Conservative Estimate of Total US Aid
to Israel: $108 billion." Again, the true number is far higher. Over
the same period to the present, US aid to the Palestinians was "zero"
except what's supplied for "security" for Israel and now to aid
quisling Fatah forces fight the democratically elected Hamas government
Israel, Washington and the West won't recognize.
- -- Israel has been targeted by at least 65 UN resolutions
ignoring them all. The Palestinians have been targeted by none.
- -- One Israeli corporal is held prisoner by the Palestinians.
At least 10,756 Palestinians are now imprisoned by Israel, most held on
"administrative" or no charge, and according to the B'Tselem
Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories the great majority
of them are abused or tortured. PCHR reports from 1967 through 1994 alone,
775,000 Palestinians were imprisoned for periods ranging from one week
- The Israeli human rights organization HaMoked Center
for the Defense of the Individual confirms this in an April, 2007 report
it jointly published with B'Tselem titled "Utterly Forbidden - The
Torture and Ill-Treatment of Palestinian Detainees. It's based on testimonies
of dozens of Palestinians arrested, interrogated and tortured by Israel's
ISA, formerly known as the General Security Service. In addition, even
Israeli authorities openly admit using "exceptional" interrogation
methods and "physical pressure" against Palestinian detainees
that translated means "torture." However, B'Tselem reports the
State Attorney's Office "covers up these illegal acts, thereby assisting
in the breach of international law and of High Court of Justice's prohibitions."
- It hardly needs mentioning international laws ban torture
for any reason, but it never deterred Israel or the US from using it freely.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlawed it in 1948. The Fourth
Geneva Convention banned any form of "physical or mental coercion"
in 1949 requiring detainees at all times to be treated humanely. The European
Convention affirmed this in 1950, and in 1984, the UN Convention Against
Torture became the first binding international instrument dealing exclusively
with banning torture in any form for any reason. Israel and the US both
have contempt for international law mutually affirming the other's right
to act as it pleases with no protests heard in the West or hardly anywhere
- -- 4170 Palestinian homes have been demolished according
to a B'Tselem November 15, 2004 report titled "Through No Fault of
Their Own." The Israeli Committee Against House Demotions (ICAHD)
reports a far larger number calling them "the hallmark of the Occupation."
It cites the demolition of around 12,000 Palestinian homes (on their own
land in their own country) since June, 1967 to the present, leaving about
70,000 Palestinians "without shelter and traumatized."
- B'Tselem reports three types of demolitions:
- -- 1. As "clearing operations" to meet Israeli
- -- 2. Administration demolitions of houses built "without
a permit" meaning Israel won't let Palestinians build homes on their
- -- 3. Demolitions for punitive reasons against Palestinians
"suspected" of attacking Israeli (occupying) soldiers or civilians.
In many cases, adjacent homes are destroyed as well.
- PCHR reports other destruction of land and property from
September 29, 2000 through June, 2005 including 31,500 dunums (31.5 million
square meters) of mostly agricultural land in Gaza or 10% of the territory's
arable land total. Israel seized the land for illegal settlement development.
In addition, 656 businesses, factories and schools were either destroyed
or damaged over this period.
- -- World Bank data estimates Palestinian unemployment
at 40%. The true figure, however, is much higher, at least 70% and likely
higher still, while available employment is grossly inadequate to meet
essential human needs in most cases. It's the result of Israeli and western
political and economic sanctions imposed on the democratically elected
Hamas government after January, 2006. It was the first time ever an occupied
people were put under a virtual midieval siege in violation of the Fourth
Geneva Convention obligating the international community to protect an
occupied civilian population. Instead, a state of belligerency was imposed
causing chaos and mass human misery, deprivation, starvation, illness and
disease so far unaddressed and worsening. Almost none of this is reported
in the dominant western media.
- As early as June 28, 2002, PCHR reported 40 - 50% of
Palestinians were living below the internationally recognized poverty line
of $2 a day with the figure in Gaza 81%. Two-thirds of them were called
the "new poor," having been impoverished since the outbreak of
the Second Intifada September 29, 2000. Nearly five years later, the figures
are far higher.
- -- Israel currently has over 400,000 Jews living in 121
Jewish-only settlements and 102 "outposts" on stolen Palestinian
land violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stating "The
Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian
population in the territory it occupies." The number continues growing
with deputy Jerusalem mayor Yehoshua Pollack announcing in May 20,000 new
homes will be built in Arab East Jerusalem on more land annexed from its
legal residents Israel is systematically ethnically cleasning toward making
the entire city 100% Jewish.
- In addition, 500 more houses will be built in Abu Dis
village, southeast of Jerusalem with new home construction aimed at creating
territorial continuity between Jerusalem and "Gush Etzion" settlement
bloc, south of Bethlehem, and between Jerusalem and "Beit Eil"
settlement, north of Ramallah. Toward the same end, the Israeli government
allocated $1.5 billion in US taxpayer aid May 13 to developing Jerusalem
settlement neighborhoods to reduce an increasing Palestinian population
in the city.
- At the same time, Palestinians in Salama and Fqaiqees
villages, east and south of "Noghohot" settlement, west of Hebron,
were ordered to stop building 10 houses and a mosque on their own land
in their own country. Then on May 11, Israeli settlers in "Sousia"
setttlement, south of Hebron, attacked Palestinian farmers on their agricultural
land near the settlement without provocation.
- End the Illegal Occupation Now
- For 40 years under occupation on one-fifth of their original
land and nearly 60 years after the "Nakba," Palestinians are
forced to endure the most appalling repression no one should have to face
for a single day. Five million of them, including 1.4 million Israeli
citizens, are denied all rights afforded Jews only and are subjected to
daily abuse and neglect along with regular IDF assaults against which they're
defenseless. The Palestinians suffer for it, and the world community is
silent except, like Israel, to shamefully call the victims the victimizers.
- Then there are the five million refugees in the Palestinian
diaspora (by some estimates the number is seven million) including 260,000
internally displaced and living inside Israel. Those outside the country
are denied the absolute universal "Right of Return" affirmed
in UN Resolution 194 passed in December, 1948 resolving that "refugees
wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors
should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that
compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return
and for loss of or damage to property....made good by the Governments or
- This "Universal Right" was also established
in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as various
Geneva Conventions Israel won't recognize just as it ignores over five
dozen UN resolutions condemning or censuring it for its actions against
the Palestinians or other Arab people, deploring it for committing them,
or demanding, calling on or urging the Jewish state to end them. One of
them was UN Resolution 273 passed May, 1949 giving Israel UN membership
conditional on its implementing Resolutions 181 of November, 1947 partitioning
Palestine 56 - 44% in its favor and 194 passed December, 1948 giving Palestinians
their absolute universally accepted "Right of Return."
- From 1948, when Palestinians lost 78% of their homeland,
to 1967 when they lost the rest to a hostile foreign occupier, to the present,
life in the OPT has been oppressive, intolerable and criminally imposed
on a defenseless people helpless against it and unsupported ever since
in their courageous struggle for liberation one day they'll achieve because
they'll never give up till they have what they rightfully and legally deserve.
For 40 years under occupation they have no recognized state of their own,
no right of citizenship, and no power over their daily lives.
- They live in a constant state of fear in the virtual
open-air prisons of Gaza and the West Bank under Israel's racist apartheid
laws even the Israeli High Court shamefully upholds. They're strangled
economically and politically; denied free movement in their own country
from a structure of roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences and a land-grabbing
"Apartheid Separation wall" the World Court in the Hague ruled
(14 - 1) is "contrary to international law" because it "destroyed
and (illegally) confiscated" property, it greatly restricts Palestinian
movement, and it "severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian
people of (the) right to self-determination."
- For its Jewish citizens, Israel is nominally democratic,
although far from perfect at the least. For its Arab Muslim and small Christian
population, it's a daily struggle for survival under the harshest conditions
of all kinds imaginable those outside the territories and most Jews in
Israel can't possibly understand and too few even try. For 40 brutal years,
Israel has illegally controlled all aspects of Palestinian life in the
OPT with an iron fist it freely swings on the slightest pretext. It cantonized
the indigenous population under deplorable conditions in refugee camps
and bantustans surrounded and cut off from all other ones. It rules defenseless
people by intimidation and repressive military might. It denies Palestinian
people their right to a truly sovereign independent state and won't allow
Muslims, Christians and other non-Jewish legal residents in greater Israel
the same rights as Jews including the right of citizenship and safety under
one sovereign nation for everyone entitled to it.
- Israel claims it wants peace but never negotiated in
good faith to get it. The current so-called "road map" is a
cruel hoax going nowhere. It's as fraudulent as all other phony peace
efforts before it. Beginning with Camp David in 1978, the US bribed Egypt
with billions in "baksheesh" in return for peace with Israel
leaving Palestinians out in the cold. The predictable result was festering
anger that exploded in what became the First Intifada in 1987 killing hundreds
of Palestinians that finally led to the Oslo Accords and their so-called
Declaration of Principles in 1993. Under them, Israel got what it wanted
giving back nothing more in return than the right of Palestinians to be
Israeli enforcers in their own land. So highly touted and praised when
signed, it offered no Right of Return, no independent Palestinian state,
no portion of Jerusalem as a capital, and no Palestinian control over their
own daily lives free from a foreign occupier. From then till now, things
only got worse.
- Oslo I led to Oslo II in 1995 that divided the West Bank
into the way it exists today in Areas "A," "B," "C,"
and "D"; "H-1" and "H-2" in Hebron; nature
reserves (in the OPT) for Jews only; closed military areas; security zones;
and "open green spaces" for Jewish-only housing developments
in over half of Arab East Jerusalem (slowly being stolen entirely) leaving
Palestinians confined to unconnected cantons surrounded by growing Israeli
settlements, restricted roads, and all kinds of impediments restricting
free movement preventing any semblance of normal daily life.
- So-called "permanent status" talks then began
in July, 2000 at Camp David resulting in another insulting betrayal. Portrayed
in the West as a generous offer in good faith, it was, in fact, just another
example of US-Israeli duplicity leaving out entirely what Palestinians
most want - a free and sovereign state or a single multi-ethnic one with
Jews and Palestinians having equal rights, the Right of Return, a portion
of Jerusalem as a capital or the entire city as capital for both, and an
end to foreign occupation. All that was offered in exchange for "peace"
Israeli-style is what they now have - life locked down in unconnected cantons
on mostly scrub land in virtual open-air prisons surrounded by expanding
Israeli settlements continuing to encroach on Palestinian lands fast disappearing
as Israelis take what they want dunum by dunum.
- Again justifiable festering anger erupted into the Second
(al-Aqsa Mosque) Intifada in September, 2000 following former Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to the holy al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied
East Jerusalem (the Noble Sanctuary for Muslims and Temple Mount for Jews
and Christians). It became far worse following elections for Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC) seats on January 25, 2006 when, fed up with years
of Fatah-led corruption and betrayal, Palestinians democratically elected
a Hamas government Israel, Washington and the West acted savagely against
since to destroy because its leaders won't act as a quisling government
the way Fatah's Yasser Arafat and current Fatah Palestinian President,
Mahmoud Abbas, and his powerful National Security Advisor and "Gaza
warlord," Mohammed Dahlan (controlling Fatah security forces), were
always willing to do and Abbas and especially Dahlan still are. For Hamas'
courage and dedication to their people, the Palestinians have paid dearly
ever since and still do. This must end.
- It's long past time people of conscience everywhere take
a public stand and demand 40 years of illegal repressive occupation end
so Palestinians can finally have what all people have a right to expect
and demand - to live freely in their own land the way international law
mandates with nations supporting it accepting nothing less.
- Palestinians and their legions of supporters worldwide
aren't waiting for conflict resolution that won't ever come unless enough
committed people everywhere demand their leaders act on it. A growing
effort is building to convince them by calling for an organized global
campaign for boycott, divestment and political and economic sanctions against
Israel the same way they developed in the 1980s against the South African
apartheid state that finally brought results.
- It must include a demand that the world community of
nations ends the "last taboo" of silence when it comes to Israel.
It must be willing to expose and denounce what no longer can be tolerated
that current South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils calls worse
than apartheid saying Israel "behav(es) like fascists when they do
certain things (like attacking Palestinians with helicopter gunships and
tanks)." What better time to do what Kasrils is surely calling for
than on the 40th anniversary of the longest continuous occupation in the
world that no longer can be tolerated.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen each Saturday to the Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on
TheMicroEffect.com at noon US central time.