Palestine / Israel
anthology of useful articles on Palestine and Israel
from a variety of perspectives
December 25, 2013
Interview with Ilan Pappe: An Israeli 'New Historian' and BDS
activist December 26,
The Israeli Patriot's final
refuge: boycott With Israel entering into another round of diplomatic inaction, the call
for an economic boycott has become a patriotic requirement. By
Gideon Levy, Haaretz, July 14, 2013 (Free registration
Who Profits from
the Occupation Exposing the Israeli occupation industry
Newt Makes a Discovery On "invented peoples." By Uri Avnery,
December 16, 2011
Hopes of Gaza cast in lead
It is dismaying that during this dark
anniversary period two years after the launch of the deadly attacks
on the people of Gaza - code-named Operation Cast Lead by the
Israelis - that there should be warnings of a new massive attack on
the beleaguered people of Gaza. By
January 4, 2011
The Original Sin The
original sin of the State of Israel was the non-separation between
state and religion, based on the non-separation between nation and
religion. Nothing but a complete separation between the two will
save Israel from total domination by the religious mutation. By Uri
Avnery, November 27, 2010
Movement Boycott, Divestment, and
Sanctions against Israel, for Palestine.
UC Berkeley vote on divestment from Israel
Jewish letters in support of a
resolution recently passed by the Associated Students of UC
Berkeley. April 15, 2010
Boycott Israel An Israeli comes
to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his
country. "Putting massive international pressure on Israel is the
only way to guarantee that the next generation of Israelis and
Palestinians -- my two boys included -- does not grow up in an
apartheid regime." By Neve Gordon, Los Angeles Times, August
Minutes: Bob Simon Talks About Settlers in the West Bank CBS News
video, January 25, 2009
Molten Lead By Uri Avnery,
January 3, 2009
Thoughts on the Gaza attack and the background of Hamas. For years, the Israeli
occupation authorities favored the Islamic movement in the occupied
territories. All other political activities were rigorously suppressed, but
Hamas activities in the mosques were permitted. The calculation was simple
and naive: at the time: the PLO was considered the main enemy, Yasser Arafat
was the current Satan. The Islamic movement was preaching against the PLO
and Arafat and was therefore viewed as an ally.
We're not celebrating Israel's Anniversary Letter to The Guardian
(UK), April 30, 2008
In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the
founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of
centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are
Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the
narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism
and Hitler's genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust
is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.
Ben Dror Yemini By Tomer Gardi, March 19, 2008
The continuing Israeli project, whose essence is to push as many Arabs as
possible out of as much territory as possible, is a disaster not only for the
Palestinians who are being pushed out, but also for us who are doing the
How They Stole The Bomb From Us by Uri Avnery, December 8, 2007
The American intelligence community, comprising 16 different agencies, reached
a unanimous verdict: already in 2003, the Iranians terminated their efforts to
produce a nuclear bomb, and they have not resumed them since. Even if they
change their mind in the future, they will need at least five years to achieve
their aim. Avnery characterizes the Israeli reaction.
Starving Gaza by Chris Hedges,
Truthdig.com, August 20,
Gaza has become the Sarajevo of the Middle East. Israel, in an action similar
to that of the Serbs in Bosnia, has surrounded and cut off nearly a million
and a half Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the Islamic militant group
Hamas took control in June. Electric fences and watch towers manned by Israeli
soldiers keep the Palestinians trapped inside the strip. The land and sea
blockade, the halting of all but minimal humanitarian aid and the refusal to
allow Gaza to receive financial support are crushing Gaza’s industry, farming
[There are some parallels between Gaza and Sarajevo, with a major difference:
unlike the Serbs, the Israelis have US support. - RL]
Carter by Chris Hedges, The Nation, January 8, 2007
Jimmy Carter, by publishing his book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,
walked straight into the buzz saw that is the Israel lobby.
Worse Than Apartheid by Chris Hedges, December 18, 2006
Israel has rounded up hundreds of Palestinians, destroyed Gaza’s
infrastructure, including its electrical power system and key roads and
bridges, carried out huge land confiscations, demolished homes, and plunged
families into a crisis that has caused widespread poverty and malnutrition. The
question is not whether Israel practices apartheid. The awful question is
rather will Israel be able to unleash a policy so draconian and cruel that it
will obliterate a community that has lived on this land for centuries.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (book), by Ilan Pappe, November 2006
In his latest work, the renowned Israeli author and academic (A History of
Modern Palestine) accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and crimes against
humanity beginning in the 1948 war for independence, and continuing through
the present. Focusing primarily on Plan D (Dalet, in Hebrew), conceived on
March 10, 1948, Pappe demonstrates how ethnic cleansing was not a circumstance
of war, but rather a deliberate goal of combat for early Israeli military
units led by David Ben-Gurion, whom Pappe labels the "architect of ethnic
cleansing." The forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians between 1948-49,
Pappe argues, was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an
ethnically pure Jewish state. Framing his argument with accepted international
and UN definitions of ethnic cleansing, Pappe follows with an excruciatingly
detailed account of Israeli military involvement in the demolition and
depopulation of hundreds of villages, and the expulsion of hundreds of
thousands of Arab inhabitants. Pappe argues that the ethnic cleansing of
Palestine continues today, and calls for the unconditional return of all
Palestinian refugees and an end to the Israeli occupation. This volume
provides important inroads into the historical antecedents of today's
conflict. (See more reviews at
See more articles by Pappe below.
America's Rottweiler by Uri Avnery, August 26,
The main product
of the Lebanon war is hatred. The pictures of death and destruction in Lebanon
entered every Arab home, indeed every Muslim home for 33 successive days. The
mangled bodies of babies, the women weeping over the ruins of their homes,
Israeli children writing "greetings" on shells about to be fired at villages,
Ehud Olmert blabbering about "the most moral army in the world" while the
screen showed a heap of bodies.
Reflections on the Disengagement from Gaza
by Sara Roy, Journal
of Palestine Studies, Summer 2005
Ruling Palestine - A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli
Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine Centre on Housing Rights
and Evictions, May 11, 2005 (PDF) Report summary
A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been made a practical impossibility
due to Israel's continuing expropriation of Palestinian property and denying
Palestinian refugees the right to recover their original homes and lands. A
new study reveals how Zionist leaders, and later successive Israeli Governments,
manipulated key Ottoman and British laws and the Israeli legal system to
dispossess Palestinians of their land and property. The report clearly
documents how Israel has built a domestic legal framework which seeks to
legitimize what are clearly discriminatory land and housing policies.
Letter from a Palestinian Mother to President George
by Bouthaina Shaaban, April 19, 2005
The core issue is occupation and
settlement. Two roads towards one goal: depriving us of our lands and waters,
after killing some and forcing the rest out. When you describe our struggle
for freedom as terrorism, and Israeli crimes as kin to your war on terrorism,
you are entrapping Americans in an unjust war. You are allowing Sharon to kill
Palestinians wherever and whenever he wants, even if they were only few
children playing football.
Khalid, my son, and his friends were killed
just because the Israeli government wanted the lands of their fathers and
Why tyrants rule Arabs By Gwynne Dyer, The Toronto Star, July
For 60 years, the West has propped up Arab despots, creating poverty and
illiteracy where education once thrived.
it were the reverse By Gideon Levy, Ha'aretz,
July 18, 2004
What would happen if a Palestinian terrorist were to detonate a bomb at the
entrance to an apartment building in Israel and cause the death of an elderly
man in a wheelchair, who would later be found buried under the rubble of the
Problem with Neutrality Between Palestinians and Israel
By Kathleen Christison, July 10, 2004
The level of Israeli violence against Palestinians is
now so great that a balanced approach to the two sides, the middle way
promoted by so many peace groups, has become totally untenable. Treading a
middle path between one utterly powerless party and another party with total
power effectively removes all restraints on behavior by the powerful party.
Turns on his Creator By Uri Avnery, May 4, 2004
Sharon's creation, the settlement movement in the occupied territories, has
turned on him and blocked, for the moment, his plan to give up the settlements
Square By Tanya Reinhart, March 30, 2004.
The Israeli army blocks all options of non-violent resistance from the
Palestinians. With the arrogant elimination of a leader and a symbol, as he
was leaving a mosque, the army knowingly created a new wave of violence and
terror. It is hard not to get the impression that terror is convenient for
Sharon and the army. It enables them to convince the world that the Geneva
protections do not apply to the Palestinians, because they have terrorists in
their midst, and that, therefore, it is permitted to do anything to them.
Israel's Separation/Apartheid Wall
Several articles. February 2004
Right of Return: Two-State Solution Again Sells Palestinians Short
By George Bisharat, Los
Angeles Times, January 25, 2004.
Palestine had to be "cleansed" of its native population to establish Israel as
a Jewish state. Ironically, those who today protest that the return of the
refugees would destroy Israel unwittingly confirm this viewpoint, for the
refugees are simply the Palestinians and their offspring who would have become
Israeli citizens had they not been exiled.
The Geneva Bubble
By Ilan Pappe, London
Review of Books, December 18, 2003. On the pre-history of the recent
Geneva talks. The author is an Israeli professor at Haifa University.
Personal perspective, by Grace Paley, Jewish Voice for Peace
newsletter, November 2003.
Origins of the Middle East crisis: Who caused Palestinian Diaspora?
By George Bisharat, Sacramento Bee, November 30, 2003.
Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, once candidly admitted to a
colleague: "We have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but
what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel,
it's true, but 2,000 years ago, and what is that to them? There has been
anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They
only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country."
Failed Israeli Society Collapses While Its Leaders Remain Silent By Avraham Burg, Forward, August 29, 2003.
Party Knesset member writes, "The time for illusions is over. The time for decisions has arrived. We love
the entire land of our forefathers and in some other time we would have wanted
to live here alone. But that will not happen. The Arabs, too, have dreams and
place for our dream
By Mustafa Barghouti, ZNet, July
As the wrangling over the
roadmap continues and the Palestinian people are subjected to unprecedented
new forms of horror, we may find it helpful to sketch a general overview of
How to Stop Hamas: First, End the Occupation
By Sara Roy, Daily
June 20, 2003.
Like the Oslo process before it, Bush's Road Map will fail for
one fundamental reason: the continuation of Israel's ongoing and brutal
occupation of the Palestinian people. It is impossible to stop the
violence if the primary condition that produces it - the occupation and the
oppressive policies that define it - remain unchanged, intact and in force. In
fact, in response to the December 2002 draft of the road map, the Israeli
government stated: "The purpose of the road map should be an end to the conflict
rather than an end to the occupation."
Clarifying the occupation lexicon
By Amira Hass,
June 11, 2003.
The author provides a helpful reality check, reminding us of
the vicious truths behind the seemingly benign terms used to describe the
institutions of occupation. While Israeli spokesmen talk about closure being
lifted, the truth is that all Palestinians in the territories have been under
closure for over a decade, with severely curtailed freedom of movement. The
checkpoints which seem so reasonable are tools of humiliation used to control
and harass Palestinians and endanger their lives. And the settlements are all
illegal, every one of them, not just the outposts, not just the isolated ones.
Israel: Time to Divest
Desmond Tutu, January 2003.
Cleansing: Past, Present, and Future
December 30, 2002.
Tutu calls for an
international campaign for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian
territories, comparing the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid.
Cleansing: Some Common Reactions
January 13, 2003.
Two articles by
There is a puzzling paradox about
Holocaust denial: those who deny it are precisely the ones who would have
supported it. I couldn’t help thinking of this paradox when I heard that
American university professors have recently been accused of anti-Semitism (!)
document warning against Israeli intentions to drive out masses of
Palestinians, possibly during an American attack on Iraq. It seems that those
likely to support such a crime are precisely the ones who so vehemently deny
that Israel might be contemplating it.
The Emperor's New Clothing November
24, 2002. By Edna Yaghi, Palestine Chronicle.
see in the news is only one side of the picture. We hear much
about Israeli victims of Palestinian suicide bombers. But we do not see
Israeli tanks enter Palestinian cities and attack unarmed civilians. We are not shown Palestinian tears or the bloodied corpses of
Palestinians shot down for no reason. We do not see the 24-hour curfews, the
bulldozed homes, children shot on the way to school, or young girls cut down
while hanging up the family wash.
Interview With Tanya Reinhart: Israel/Palestine: How To End The War Of
ZNet, November 8, 2002.
Ever since the Palestinian
territories were occupied in 1967, the Israeli military and political elites
have deliberated over the question how to keep maximum land (and water) with
minimum Palestinian population.
An ISM Volunteer Reports from the West
Bank September 2002.
Among other things, she observed an Israeli tank crush and destroy a
An Open Letter to President Bush
Enumerates the many UN Security Council resolutions on
Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territory that have been ignored
Seven Pillars of Jewish Denial By Kim Chernin, September 2002.
Examines why so many
American Jews have trouble being critical of Israel.
The growing clamor for ethnic cleansing By Ali Abunimah,
August 27, 2002.
An Israeli organization has published detailed plans for the
"complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel" by forcibly
expelling all Palestinians, including Palestinians in the occupied territories
and Palestinian citizens of Israel, from the area between the Jordan River and
the Mediterranean Sea within a 3-5 year period.
Whose Goals Does Violence Serve?
By Mitchell Plitnick, A Jewish Voice for
Peace, August 11, 2002.
On Sharon's bombing of Gaza City and the Palestinian
Water Inequalities By Kathy Kamphoefner,
Christian Peacemaker Team-Hebron,
July 30, 2002.
Most of the city of Hebron has been without water
for more than a month, since the most recent Israeli invasion, but some areas
have been waterless for as much as two months.
Penal Colonies By Tanya Reinhart, June 30, 2002.
noted Israeli linguist and outspoken commentator describes the current Sharon
government program of turning first Gaza and later, she contends, Palestinian
areas of the West Bank into nothing more than giant prisons. We are by now
familiar with the Israeli incursions, closures, and other forms of repression,
especially on the West Bank. In recent weeks, however, we have heard very
little about Gaza. The Gaza Strip is now completely isolated from the outside
world and, as Reinhart points out, most of the Palestinian inhabitants are now
completely dependent on aid supplies for their survival. Israel has now
launched a campaign to attack even these supplies, from UNRWA, the EU, and
other sources. Reinhart points out that, while the Israeli government portrays
these actions as spontaneous reactions to Palestinian terror attacks on
Israeli civilians, in reality these are long-held plans. This policy continues
the Sharon tradition of escalating violence, without any consideration of the
fact that, in the long run, this serves only to perpetuate the conflict,
costing many more lives on both sides.
History Tied to Israel By Richard Sale, UPI, June 18, 2002.
helped fund Hamas "over a period of years" starting in the late
1970s, with the intention of undermining the peace process. Apparently, the
funding "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong,
secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative." According to a
US government official, "The thinking on the part of some of the
right-wing Israeli establishment was that Hamas and the others, if they gained
control, would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo
any agreements put in place." According to former State Department
counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson, "the Israelis are their own
worst enemies when it comes to fighting terrorism. ... The Israelis are like a
guy who sets fire to his hair and then tries to put it out by hitting it with
Report From Balata By Jessica Azulay, June 14, 2002.
description of the Israeli army's occupation of a Palestinian refugee camp.
Rabbis-to-Be Sign in Sympathy With Palestinians
The New York
Observer, May 16, 2002
of the Nakbah By Ilan Pappe, University of Haifa, May 16, 2002.
Nakbah was the 1948 Israeli expulsion of Palestinians from their
The author, a
well-known Israeli historian who is currently facing serious disciplinary
charges from his university, says, among other things: "When Israel took
over almost 80 per cent of Palestine in 1948, it did so through settlement and
ethnic cleansing of the original Palestinian population." He and his
students have been involved in uncovering the details of violence and
mistreatment of the Palestinian population during the 1948 war.
A second article on the same page describes recent efforts to expel him from
the University. In return he calls for support of the academic boycott of
Israeli institutions of higher education, which is being organized primarily by
Grab: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank
By the Israeli
organization B'Tselem, May 13, 2002
Since 1967, each Israeli government has invested significant resources in
establishing and expanding the settlements in the Occupied Territories, both
in terms of the area of land they occupy and in terms of population.
Conversation with Ali
May 8, 2002.
Abunimah, vice president of Arab
American Action Network and co-founder of Electronicintifada.net,
discusses the latest developments in the Middle East. He is a model of clarity in
discussing Middle East issues, and it instructive to see how he handles the
questions that arise. Consumers of American media are generally taught to
focus on the horrific nature of Palestinian violence and see this as a root
cause in the conflict. While clearly condemning suicide attacks on
civilians, Abunimah deftly encourages his audience to focus instead on the
background context of the illegal Israeli occupation, which has claimed more
innocent victims as well as being the immediate provocation for violent
Palestinian reactions. He then sets to work debunking a variety of
common myths: that Barak made a "generous offer" at Camp David, that
Sharon is "combating terrorism," that Israel is threatened by its
neighbors, that Palestinians cheered the events of Sept. 11. Perhaps Abunimah
is at his best in dealing with people who are tempted to say either
"nothing can be known" or "nothing can be done."
the U.S. Supports Israel By Steven Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus,
With The Hawks - President Bush Ignores CIA, State Department Experts
Jim Lobe and Tom Barry, April 30, 2002
Palestinians Are Blurry in the Editorial Frame
By Norman Solomon,
April 4, 2002
Report From Ramallah
By Tzaporah Ryter, April 2, 2002
Chomsky on the Current Situation in The Middle East
interview, April 2, 2002
can't press a button to turn off the bombers
By Uri Avnery, International
Herald Tribune March 28, 2002
Jew to Jew: Why We Should Oppose the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and
By Jewish Voice for Peace, March 2002
Schwarzschild's Letter of Resignation from Sh'ma "I now conclude and
avow that the price of a Jewish state is, to me, Jewishly unacceptable and
that the existence of this (or any similar) Jewish ethnic religious nation
state is a Jewish, i.e. a human and moral, disaster and violates every
remaining value for which Judaism and Jews might exist in history. The lethal
military triumphalism and corrosive racism that inheres in the State and in
its supporters (both there and here) are profoundly abhorrent to me. So is the
message that now goes forth to the nations of the world that the Jewish people
claim the right to impose a holocaust on others in order to preserve its
Reprinted in Wrestling with Zion, Tony Kushner & Alisa Solomon, eds.
Crimes in Jenin, Occupied Palestine Reports
International Solidarity Movement to End the Occupation (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian
and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for
Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. It utilizes nonviolent,
direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli
occupation forces and policies.