An Incomplete List of Israel’s Violations of Human Rights

N.B. I haven’t updated this list since 2013. Instead, follow my daily documentation of Israel’s violation of human rights on Twitter and see the popular Israel and Palestine tags on my blog.

Zionists—of all stripes, conservatives and liberals alike—often insist they “just don’t get what Israel does wrong!” There’s nothing wrong with Israel that isn’t wrong with other countries, they insist. If it commits a crime that they acknowledge as problematic, or even bad, it’s simply because no state is perfect. “Israel makes mistakes, just like any other country; its crimes aren’t any worse,” the idea often goes. If you’re not Jewish and you criticize Israel, in this perspective, it’s not because Israel is some kind of violent, anomalous rogue state, it’s because you’re “anti-Semitic”; if you are Jewish and you harshly criticize Israel, it’s not because morally consistent human beings must do so, but because you are a so-called “self-hating Jew”—or so the ridiculous hegemonic myths go.

The fact of the matter is Israel is a leading violator of human rights—along with its closest ally, the U.S., which facilitates its crimes and affords it impunity. Israel habitually acts impetuously and unilaterally, with little to no international approval and support, often in complete violation of international law (once again, just like the U.S.). Israel is indisputably an apartheid state that has tortured the indigenous Palestinian population for three-quarters of a century.

It is absolutely critical to understand the following list in terms of Israel’s modern crimes. Israel’s crimes against humanity are nothing new. Since its earliest days—as Israeli historian Ilan Pappé so masterfully demonstrates in his 2006 magnum opus The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine—Israel has demonstrated, again and again, that human beings are mere tools in its quest for what Israeli scholar Oren Yiftachel calls an ethnocratic state, one built upon the skeletons of murdered indigenous peoples (yet again, like the U.S.).

Much of the ignorance surrounding these crimes (and the long history of these crimes) is rooted in the fact that the U.S. corporate media has very little (virtually nothing) bad to say about Israel. Israel is one of the U.S.’ only allies. Criticizing it would defy U.S. interests abroad—and particularly in the Middle East, a region of enormous economic and strategic importance for U.S. economic and military interests. Criticizing it is therefore almost entirely off the corporate journalist’s table, particularly egregious circumstances notwithstanding.

I hence decided to compile a non-comprehensive list of Israel’s human rights violations, so I won’t have to keep getting in the same argument again and again… and again and again and again.

A final note, for emphasis: Please don’t think that this list is comprehensive. This is by no means, whatsoever a complete list. Not even close. It would be impossible to document all of Israel’s crimes in one place; there are simply too many, and they multiply more rapidly than one could possibly document them.

Nevertheless, let us begin:

  • Starvation

– Business Insider: The Israeli Campaign To Starve Palestinians Into Submission Is A Crime

 … cruel, unnecessary, and vindictive military siege and naval blockade by the country of Israel.

The blockade is keeping out food and medicine, and makes the Palestinians prisoners in their own country. It needs to end. That’s not just me talking: that’s the take of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and many human rights organizations. Hell, even the British think the blockade is a cruelty that needs to end.

British prime minister David Cameron has criticized the blockade, saying “Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”

This week, it will be Israeli ships, not Hamas ships, who intercept, board, and harass peace activists who are trying to bring food and medicine to the beleaguered Palestinians. …

The people of Gaza have the human right to receive humanitarian aid, and all Palestinian people have the right to live free from illegal occupation, settler colonialism, and violent state terrorism under Israel.”

The worst part of all this nonsense? We now know, thanks to WikiLeaks and other hacktivist heroes, that Israel is purposefully keeping the Palestinian people in a state of abject misery. This isn’t an accidental starvation of people; this is a planned regime of torture against the Palestinian people.

“As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge,” one of the leaked cables read.

Israel wanted the coastal territory’s economy “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”, according to the Nov. 3, 2008 cable.

– Abu Dhabi’s The National: The starvation diet for Gaza shows the blockade will fall

Six and a half years ago [in 2006], shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian national elections and took control of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Gisha, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, the defence ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

The Israeli media has tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve”.

But a rather different picture emerges as one reads the fine print. While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed a daily average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition – requiring 170 lorries a day – military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle the number down to a fraction of the original figure.

The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 lorries – much less than half of the minimum requirement – entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 lorries before the blockade began.

It does not need an expert to conclude that the consequence of this Weisglass-style “diet” would be widespread malnutrition, especially among children. And that is what happened, as a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found in 2008: “Chronic malnutrition is on a steadily rising trend and micronutrient deficiencies are of great concern.”

There can be little doubt that the diet devised for Gaza – much like Israel’s blockade in general – was intended as a form of collective punishment, one directed at every man, woman and child. According to the Israeli defence ministry, “economic warfare” would create a political crisis leading to the overthrow of Hamas.

Earlier, when Israel carried out its 2005 disengagement, it presented the withdrawal as marking the end of Gaza’s occupation. But the “Red Lines” formula indicates quite the opposite: that in reality Israeli officials intensified their control, managing the lives of Gaza’s inhabitants in almost-microscopic detail.

Who can doubt – given the experiences of Gaza over the past few years – that there exist in the Israeli military’s archives still-classified documents setting out other experiments in social engineering? Will future historians discover that Israel also pondered the fewest hours of electricity needed by Gazans to survive, or the minimum amount of water, or the smallest living space per family, or the highest feasible levels of unemployment?

Such formulas may be behind the decisions to bomb Gaza’s only power station in 2006; the refusal to approve a desalination plant, even though the Strip’s underground water supply is threatened; the declaration of large swathes of farmland as no-go areas, forcing the rural population into overcrowded cities and refugee camps; and the continuing blockade on exports, destroying Gaza’s business community and ensuring the population remains dependent on aid.

It is precisely these policies that led the United Nations to warn in August that Gaza would be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

In fact, the rationale for the Red Lines document and other measures can be found in an Israeli military strategy that reached its peak in Operation Cast Lead, the attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09.

This “security concept”, as the Israeli army termed it, involves the wholesale destruction of a community’s infrastructure to immerse it so deeply in the problems of survival and reconstruction that other concerns, including fighting back or resisting occupation, are no longer practicable.

On the first day of the Gaza offensive, Yoav Galant, the commander in charge, explained the aim succinctly: it was to “send Gaza decades into the past”. Seen in this context, Mr Weisglass’ diet can be understood as just one more refinement of the Dahiya doctrine: a society refashioned to accept its subjugation through a combination of violence, poverty, malnutrition and a permanent struggle over limited resources.

– Democracy Now!: “Document: Israel Calculated Number of Calories Needed by Gazans”

A newly released document shows Israel calculated the precise number of calories that residents of the Gaza Strip would need to eat in order to avoid malnutrition during a strict Israeli blockade that lasted until 2010. An Israeli military spokesperson said Wednesday a mathematical formula was created to avoid a humanitarian crisis, but denied it was used to restrict food into Gaza.

– Juan Cole, on AlterNet: Israeli Government Consciously Planned to Keep Palestinians “on a Diet”, Controlling Their Food Supply, Damning Document Reveals

An Israeli human rights organization, Gisha, sued in Israeli courts to force the release of a planning document for ‘putting the Palestinians on a diet’ without risking the bad press of mass starvation, and the courts concurred. The document, produced by the Israeli army, appears to be a calculation of how to make sure, despite the Israeli blockade, that Palestinians got an average of 2279 calories a day, the basic need. But by planning on limiting the calories in that way, the Israeli military was actually plotting to keep Palestinians in Gaza (half of them children) permanently on the brink of malnutrition, what health professionals call “food insecurity”. And, it was foreseeable that sometimes they would slip into malnutrition, since not as many trucks were always let in every day as the Israeli army recommended (106 were recommended, but it was often less in the period 2007-2010).

The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition.A recent report [pdf] by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers.

Although, under international pressure, the Israeli government eased its blockade slightly in 2010, and foodstuffs are no longer interdicted, it still limits imports into Gaza, and its wide-ranging ban on exports has thrown Palestinians into unemployment at Depression levels, imperiling their ability to afford food even when it is available.UN Report out last month predicts that if Israel does not change its policies toward Gaza, the strip will be uninhabitable by 2020, when the population will likely be 2.1 million (think Houston). The deterioration of the water, and the sharp downward mobility of the Palestinians, are only some of the problems the territory will face.

Note that the Israeli government did not voluntarily cease its policy of keeping Palestinians on a diet in 2010. It was forced to by Turkish and European aid activists, and 9 people, one an American citizen, were martyred for this change when Israeli commandos illegally boarded a civilian, unarmed ship in international waters and shot it up.

Aljazeera English has a video report, valuable because unlike CNN or other Western cable news channels, it actually interviews the Palestinians affected.

It is precisely because the Israeli blockade of Palestinian non-combatants in Gaza is considered creepy and evil not just by me but by any ethical person that a number of European members of parliament have boarded the aid ship Estelle, and will make another attempt to deliver food and other aid to Gaza, despite Israeli threats.

The blockade has medical as well as nutritional bad effects. Palestinians in Gaza have to get Israeli permission (!) to leave the strip for medical care. Palestinian hospitals, having been starved of funds and materiel by Israel, are dilapidated. A study published this month in The Lancet found that 10% of such requests were delayed or rejected by Israeli authorities (the rejection or delay rate for the Palestinian territories over all is nearly a fifth). Israel’s delays murdered 6 Palestinians in Gaza last year, as surely as though they had been taken out and shot twice behind the ear. How would you like to have to apply to an arbitrary foreign government for permission to go next door to a neighboring country for medical care?

The [pdf] Lancet article says,

“In 2011, 1082 (10%) of 10,560 applicants in the Gaza Strip had their access permits denied or delayed, with no reason given, and 197 (2%) were called for security interview. Patients aged 18–40 years had the highest rate of denied or delayed permits. Tracer interviews with Gazan families of patients who had their permits denied or delayed showed that six patients died while waiting for the permits.”

The Gaza Strip is a small expanse of land on the coast of the Mediterranean to Israel’s southeast, which also borders on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Some 40% of its 1.7 million people are victims of Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign, and many, having been chased off their farms and out of their homes by the military forces of the Yishuv (the Jewish settler community in British Mandate Palestine), still live, or their descendants do, in refugee camps. The territory was captured by Israel in 1967, and until 2005 Israelis were actually encouraged to colonize it. The Kadima government gave up on that enterprise, but did not let its Palestinian people go.

In January of 2006, Hamas won the elections for the Palestine Authority (it had been allowed to run at the insistence of Bush, who, however, backed down in a cowardly way from ‘democratization’ when the Israelis insisted that the outcome was unacceptable). The Bush administration and the Israeli government connived in staging a coup by Fateh in the West Bank. The coup failed in Gaza, where the elected Hamas government retained control.

From 2007, Israel imposed a blockade on the exports and imports of the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. It vastly limited the number of trucks that were allowed in from Israel and disallowed most exports. Dov Weinglass, an aide to then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, announced that the Palestinians would be ‘put on a diet.’ That is, the Israeli government had decided to wage economic and nutritional warfare against the Palestinians.

Obviously, allowing them to become malnourished would raise an outcry even in an international community that typically allows Israel’s settler colonialism to get away with murder toward the Palestinians. So the policy was to keep the Palestinians “food insecure.” That is, they wouldn’t be starved, but they’d be one step away from starving — if they lost a source of income, for instance.

Wikileaks revealed a US embassy cable that confirmed, “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to [U.S. embassy economic officers] on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge…”

  •  Discrimination against migrants and refugees

– In “Israel Begins Rounding Up and Interning Africans,” The African Globe notes Israel is deporting African migrants,  deeming them “a threat to the Jewish character of the state.”

The Israeli government wants to get rid of “60,000 African migrants, whose numbers are seen by many Israelis as a law and order issue and even a threat to the long-term viability of the Jewish state,” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

– The African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) keeps greatly details racist crimes committed against African refugees in Israel.

On 30 January 2012, ARDC submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

This report demonstrates that Israel continues to ignore its international obligations towards asylum seekers and refugees and that various laws, policies and practices are racially discriminatory at their basis against this vulnerable population.

ARDC documents, among other things, how Israel maintains its harsh policy of detention; tolerates segregation in the education system in Eilat; tacitly condones discriminatory edicts by state-employed rabbis; allocates temporary group protection to over 90 percent of the asylum seekers who arrive; and has reluctantly granted refugee status to only 140 individuals.

The root of this discrimination stems from the tension created by Israel’s sensitive political-demographic status as a Jewish state. Several of Israel’s high-ranking politicians have demonstrated an apparent lack of commitment in protecting the human rights of asylum seekers and eliminating racial discrimination. The coalition government, elected in 2009, is dominated by ethno-religious and extreme right wing parties and key positions are held by politicians openly hostile to asylum seekers.

Racially discriminatory, provocative and even inciteful language by influential public figures—wholly adopted by the mainstream media—is at least partially responsible for generating a community-wide backlash against the asylum seekers. The rise of this community hatred, partly fueled Members of the Knesset and councilors, towards the new population is closely recorded in this report.

The report consist of two parts: the written report (available below) and the 55 minute video documentary (subtitled in Hebrew) that appears below.

– “Shocking Decline in Ethiopian Israeli Birthrate,” The Jewish Daily Forward, Renee Ghert-Zand, 10 December 2012

Israel is forcing Ethiopian women to take a contraceptive injection, to suppress the Ethiopian birthrate. The title of this article is misleading; this crime legally constitutes a form of genocide.

The birthrate among Ethiopians in Israel decreased by a dramatic 50% in the last decade, and Israeli journalist Gal Gabai wanted to know why. She investigated the issue for “Vacuum,” her documentary series on Israeli Educational Television, and she discovered some things that left her very uncomfortable — and will surely leave others equally so.

Educational Television posted Gabai’s 25-minute report, titled “Where did the children disappear to?” on YouTube on December 6, two days before it was scheduled to air on channel 23.

In her attempt to find out what the story was behind the shocking statistic, Gabai interviewed Ethiopian women immigrants and learned from them that they were given Depo-Provera (a contraceptive injection containing the hormone progestin administered once every three months) against their will. While some did not understand what the shots were for, others felt pressured into taking them in response to alleged threats that they would otherwise not be allowed to immigrate to Israel. The shots began in the refugee camps in Gondar, continued in the transition camps in Addis Ababa, and continued on after their arrivals in Israel. According to the women’s testimony, this continuity appears to have been a coordinated effort between the medical staff at the clinics in Ethiopia run by the JDC and doctors in Israeli hospitals and clinics.

The women, it seems, were never given proper family planning counseling outlining the various birth control methods, nor were they given the chance to choose the one with which they felt most comfortable. What were they given? The clear message that life would be very hard for them if they were to have large families in Israel.

  • Demolition of homes

– Israel demolishes the homes of innocent Palestinians with tractors.
Here’s a video: As distraught villagers watch, Israel destroys homes with Caterpillar, Hyundai equipment

  • Unnecessarily violent retaliation against Palestinians

Israeli minister vows Palestinian ‘holocaust’,” The Telegraph, Tim Butcher, 29 February 2008

In Feburary 2008, a senior Israeli politician told Palestinians firing rockets from Gaza, in response to Israeli provocation, would be punished with a “bigger holocaust” from Israeli armed forces. “Israeli minister vows Palestinian ‘holocaust'”

The tit-for-tat exchanges between militants firing rockets from Gaza and the Israeli armed forces trying to hit them and their commanders continued, with the Palestinian death toll reaching 31 since Wednesday. One Israeli has been killed in that period.

31-to-1 death toll. A typical ratio when Israel attacks Palestinians.

Even in armed conflicts (almost invariably started by Israel), the death disparity is amazing.

– In “Operation Pillar of Cloud”:

1 Israeli soldier & 4 Israeli civilians killed.
1404 Palestinians injured & 174 Gazans killed.

In speaking of the massacre, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai quite revealingly insisted “The goal is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.

Palestinian & Israeli Deaths: Timeline of violence from September 2000 - 2013

Palestinian & Israeli Deaths: Timeline of violence from September 2000 – 2013

  • Regularly killing unarmed civilians

– “Palestinian deaths raise concern over Israeli army use of live fire,” The Guardian, Harriet Sherwood, 27 January 2013

From 1-27 January, Israel had already killed at least 7 unarmed young Palestinians.

– “Palestinian Demonstrator Shot by Israeli Troops Dies from Wounds,” Democracy Now!, 8 March 2013

A Palestinian demonstrator shot by Israeli forces last month has died of his wounds. Twenty-two-year-old Mohammed Asfour was taking part in West Bank protests over the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner who died in Israeli custody. The Israeli government claims Jaradat died of a heart attack, but Palestinians say he succumbed to wounds sustained during a brutal torture. Asfour died from wounds sustained when Israeli troops shot him in the head with a rubber-coated bullet.

  • Racism

– “Israel’s Land Injustice Perpetuated by a Racist Discourse,”

Great 7-minute segment from The Real News

  • Killing unborn children at checkpoints

– “Born at Qalandia Checkpoint,” Visualizing Palestine

Forced Palestinian births at Israeli checkpoints: 67 from 2000-2005; 36 babies DIED

Forced Palestinian births at Israeli checkpoints: 67 from 2000-2005; 36 babies DIED

  • Arresting and torturing children

– “Israel arrests 700 Palestinian children every year and tortures 90% of them,” Middle East Monitor, 19 July 2012

– “Israel subjects Palestinian minors to solitary confinement,” Middle East Children’s Alliance, 17 April 2013

Evidence collected by Defence for Children International Palestine since January 2013 suggests that Israeli authorities increasingly subject Palestinian teenagers to solitary confinement for interrogation purposes.

Since January 2013 [until April 2013], Israeli authorities have held at least seven Palestinian youths, ages 16 to 17, in solitary confinement for periods ranging from 2 to 21 days, according to DCI-Palestine research. This amounts to one-third of the number of solitary confinement cases documented by DCI-Palestine in 2012, during which a total of 21 Palestinian youths, ages 14-17, were held in solitary confinement for anywhere from 4 to 29 days.

Israeli interrogators isolate Palestinian kids in a small, filthy cell and shuffle them back and forth to interrogation over a period of several days, where they are pressured and coerced into providing a confession,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCI-Palestine. “Israeli authorities must ban the use of solitary confinement for anyone under 18, no matter what the alleged conduct.”

Since 2008, DCI-Palestine has documented 66 cases of solitary confinement used on Palestinian children. In the overwhelming majority of cases, children are held in solitary confinement while being subjected to repeated and prolonged interrogations, with the apparent purpose of obtaining a confession. During these interrogations, children report being forced to sit in a low metal chair secured to the floor of the room, with their hands and feet cuffed to the chair, often for several hours.

The detrimental psychological and physical effects of detaining persons in solitary confinement are well documented and include panic attacks, fear of impending death, depression, social withdrawal, a sense of hopelessness, unprovoked anger, short attention span, disorientation, paranoia, psychotic episodes, self-mutilation, and attempted suicide.

For these reasons, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez called for a complete ban on the use of solitary confinement for children in a report submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2011. He concluded that the use of solitary confinement “can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, during pretrial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged period, for persons with mental disabilities or juveniles.”

– Defense for Children International – Palestine, “Case Summaries 2013-2014,” Conclusion: Israel arrests, sometimes tortures, children

Video of a 13-year-old white phosphorus victim in Gaza, whose sister, grandfather, and cousin were all murdered in an Israeli bomb attack on 14 January 2009. Five days later his wounds still will not heal. (CAUTION: GRAPHIC; this boy’s skin has melted off of his muscles)

– “UNICEF: Israel Abusing Detained Palestinian Children,” Democracy Now!, 7 March 2013

The United Nations Children Fund, or UNICEF, is accusing Israel of systematically abusing Palestinian children in military custody. In a new report, UNICEF says Israeli forces have subjected detained Palestinian youths to “to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” as defined by the U.N. Convention Against Torture. UNICEF special representative Jean Gough unveiled the report’s findings.

Jean Gough:

We identified a pattern of ill-treatment when children are in military custody, and what we see is that this happens in the first 48 hours. Imagine a child sitting in front of an interrogator without sleeping. So that’s very hard on the child, and that’s difficult for him. So this is where we want to make the changes to make sure that that doesn’t happen.

According to UNICEF figures, Israel arrests and interrogates around 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17 each year.

– “Video: As Obama lands Israeli soldiers violently arrest Palestinian 8-year-olds on their way to school,” The Electronic Intifada, 20 March 2013

– “Israeli Police Raid Palestinian Protest Camp After Obama Leaves,” Democracy Now!, 25 March 2013

– “Israelis Torturing Palestinian Children,” The Electronic Intifada, Nora Barrows-Friedman, 10 April 2007

–  “Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody,” Al Jazeera, 24 Feb 2013

Innocent Palestinians regularly die in questioning.

  • Sexual Assault

Haaretz: “A Palestinian woman’s reaction to sexual harassment lands her in jail

[20-year-old Palestinian] Muntaha al-Khekh spent four weeks in in jail – some of it in isolation – for striking back after being sexually harassed by an Israeli policeman.

  • Segregation

– “West Bank and East Jerusalem buses are already segregated,” Mya Guarnieri, +972 Magazine, 29 November 2012

Yes, the suggestion to segregate buses is disgusting. But it shouldn’t overshadow the fact that, if we consider Israel/Palestine as one continuous territory under a system that privileges Jewish Israelis, there is already de facto bus segregation on the ground in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

-“Israel’s Transportation Ministry mulling separate buses for Palestinians,” Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine, 27 November, 2012

Bus lines created exclusively for Palestinians is another step in the fortification of the de facto system of segregation imposed by the Israeli government between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.

– Former Israeli soldier, through the group Breaking the Silence, describes apartheid against Palestinians.

  • Draconian Crackdowns

– In just the month of March 2013, Israel detained 330 Palestinians, including 90 children, 6 women, 8 journalists, and 1 parliamentarian.

– “Israeli Troops Shoot Palestinian Journalist in Face for Filming Raid,” April 2013, exemplifying the “Freedom of the Press” in this amazing “democracy.”

  • Forced Poverty

– Over 750,000 Palestinians were displaced in 1948, the year Israel was founded. Israel denies them their right to return.

– Because of the brutal, U.S.-backed Israeli blockade, 800,000 people, or c. 2/3rds of Gaza, rely on U.N. aid in order to survive.

– “Israeli Property Theft is Nothing New” (it goes back to 1947, and even before)


*****
In the Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers, former heads of Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet, denounce Israel’s illegal, brutal occupation of Palestinian land, and even go so far as to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.

Even early Zionists, even Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, admitted they “are the aggressors.”
Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, on Palestine

(Related fact, Einstein, who was asked to be the first president of Israel, but denied it for various reasons, later rejected the state, because of its brutal ethnic cleansing policies.)

The funny thing is Israel doesn’t even pretend that it cares about human rights. In January 2013, Israel “become the first country to boycott a U.N. Human Rights Council review of its record on human rights.” “Israel Makes Landmark No-Show at U.N. Human Rights Council Session“:

The acting president of the Human Rights Council convened the session in Geneva on Tuesday [29 January 2013], only to see that no Israeli representatives had shown up.

Remigiusz Henczel: “We were to convene this afternoon to proceed with the review of Israel; however, I see that the delegation of Israel is not in the room.”

Israel severed contacts with the council last year after the body launched an investigation of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

It’s about time that it admitted it doesn’t care about human rights. Everyone in the world (except for Americans) already knew. It goes without saying that this was implicitly admitting guilt, and saying pretending is not even worth the time.

Meanwhile, nonetheless, “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” the 111 April 2014 Congressional Research Service “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel” report noted.

Hegemony is expensive.

The United States gives $3.5 billion to Apartheid Israel every year, enough to feed half the world’s hungry children.

And we are alone in this support for an apartheid state.

This is a map of the global community that voted for Palestinian statehood.
World map of votes for Palestinian statehood

And things are getting worse.

– “Noam Chomsky: The responsibility of privilege,” Al Jazeera, 12 Jan 2013

As Chomsky notes,

[Obama’s] telling Netanyahu and the other Israeli leaders: I’ll tap you on the wrist but go ahead and do what you like . … So in fact, Obama is actually the first president who hasn’t really imposed restrictions on Israel.

As Ali Abunimah most, ahem, eloquently puts it:

There’s not a thing Israel has seriously wanted that Obama has not done with balls on from Palestine on a silver plate to starving Iranians.


Meanwhile, “CNN doesn’t count dead of Palestinian un-people.”


As Leila Khaled says,

It’s not a peace process. It’s a political process where the balance of forces is for Israelis and not for us.

Many complain the Palestinian Authority has done “little to no economic development.” And although there are serious criticisms to be made of the Palestinian Authority, we must look at the reasons for this lack of development: persistent sanctions, attack, torture, and terrorism from without, certainly not a dearth of effort from within.

There are plethoric other examples.

As Chomsky notes,

[Obama’s] telling Netanyahu and the other Israeli leaders: I’ll tap you on the wrist but go ahead and do what you like …. So in fact, Obama is actually the first president who hasn’t really imposed restrictions on Israel.