2. Zionism is a political movement that supports Jewish self-determination in a Jewish national homeland. ‘Zion’ is one of the Biblical names for Jerusalem. If you are new to this subject, visit www.pamolson.org and click “A Brief History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” to read an overview of the Holy Land’s history from the First Zionist Congress in 1897 to the second Intifada, which began in September 2000.
8. The Israeli army claimed that the money the soldiers seized was being used to fund militant groups. Former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin told Haaretz he doubted the government could prove the money was earmarked for militant groups. Yuval Steinitz, a lawmaker from the ruling right-wing Likud Party, retorted, “We are in a war against the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority, it is not about proof.” See: “Israel raids four Ramallah bank branches,” Fox News / AP, February 25, 2004.
10. See: “Land Grab: Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank,” B’Tselem, May 2002 (Chapter 3). B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, is a well-respected Israeli NGO that works tirelessly to expose human rights violations (www.btselem.org).
13. Most Palestinian prisoners, whose numbers hover between 7,000 and 11,000, are held for political rather than criminal reasons. About 10% are held under ‘administrative detention,’ which means they haven’t been charged with anything. Many are community leaders or minors accused of throwing stones. Peaceful protest is often grounds enough to be detained. Various human rights groups claim that Israeli military courts violate international standards of fair trials by denying access to lawyers, using confidential evidence, and giving briefings in Hebrew without translation. See, for example: Martin Asser, “Palestinians languish in Israeli jails,” BBC, August 8, 2003.
14. Gideon Levy, “Twilight Zone: I punched an Arab in the face,” Haaretz, November 21, 2003.
15. Philip Zimbardo, “Power turns good soldiers into ‘bad apples,’” Boston Globe, May 8, 2004.
17. Nir Hasson, “Israel stripped thousands of Jerusalem Arabs of residency in 2008,” Haaretz, December 2, 2009.
18. “Israel turns up heat on prisoners,” BBC, August 16, 2004.
20. See, for example, Roane Carey and Adam Shatz, “Israel plays with fire,” The Nation, March 25, 2004. Extrajudicial assassinations, or ‘targeted killings,’ are a frequent tactic of the Israeli army.
21. Torture in Israeli jails has been documented by respected human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem. According to Human Rights Watch, prisoners reported “sleep deprivation, hooding, prolonged standing or sitting in unnatural positions, threats, beatings and violent whiplashing of the head… Applied in combination, these methods often amount to torture.” Prisoners also reported being given rotten food and inadequate medical care, being interrogated for ten or more hours a day, and interrogators making threats against their friends or family members, among many other types of abuse.
22. In 2009 Mohammad Othman would be arrested on his way home from Norway, where his testimony helped convince Norway’s Finance Ministry to divest from the Israeli security firm Elbit because its surveillance system was one of the main components of the Wall. “We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law,” said Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen. Mohammad was jailed for three and a half months without charge or trial.
23. The research explaining these human dynamics was first brought to my attention in an article by Daniel Gilbert, “He who cast the first stone probably didn’t,” New York Times, July 24, 2006.
24. Wael al Ahmad, “Violence erupts in Nablus,” Reuters, September 16, 2004.
26. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, to which Israel is a signatory, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited… Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.” According to the Wikipedia entry for ‘Fourth Geneva Convention,’ “By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World War I and World War II. In the First World War, Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to ‘intimidatory measures to terrorize the population’ in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices ‘strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice.’”
27. Jaime Holguin, “Fed-up Israel turns up Gaza heat,” CBS / AP, October 1, 2004.
28. Amira Hass, “Half an hour later, people were still collecting body parts,” Haaretz, October 1, 2004.
29. Chris McGreal, “Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child,” The Guardian, November 24, 2004.
30. “Israelis probe Gaza girl shooting,” BBC, October 11, 2004.
31. According to B’Tselem, “Since the beginning of the [second] intifada, IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] soldiers have killed at least 1,656 Palestinians who took no part in the fighting. Of those killed, 529 were children. Many of these deaths result from changes in the Rules of Engagement, which now allow soldiers to open fire on Palestinians in a variety of non-combat situations, even when the soldiers are not in danger… Over the past four years, the IDF conducted only 89 military police investigations into deaths and injuries of Palestinians. Of these investigations, only 22 resulted in indictments. To date, one soldier has been convicted of causing the death of a Palestinian. Thus in the vast majority of cases, no one is ever held accountable.” See: “Rules of Engagement and Lack of Accountability Result in Culture of Impunity for Palestinian Civilian Deaths,” B’Tselem, November 24, 2004.
33. President Bill Clinton, in his last months in office, met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat at Camp David, Maryland, for a last-ditch effort to negotiate a two-state solution. The talks failed spectacularly. From the Israeli perspective, Barak made a ‘generous offer’—including more than 90% of the West Bank and parts of East Jerusalem—and Arafat walked away. In the view of the Palestinian delegation, Palestinians had already conceded 78% of their homeland by recognizing Israel in 1988. Barak’s ‘offer’ was to annex additional areas of the West Bank (including most of East Jerusalem), deny Palestinians genuine sovereignty, and ignore international law and the question of refugees. For a more nuanced explanation of these events, see Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, “Camp David: The tragedy of errors,” New York Review of Books, August 9, 2001.
36. In an address to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, DC on March 19, 2001, Sharon said, “I bring you greetings from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years, and of the State of Israel for the past 52 years and forever… [East and West] Jerusalem will remain united under the sovereignty of Israel—forever.”
37. Source: B’Tselem. According to Amnesty International, “The overwhelming majority of Palestinian children have been killed in the Occupied Territories when members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded to demonstrations and stone-throwing incidents with excessive and disproportionate use of force, and as a result of the IDF’s reckless shooting, shelling and aerial bombardments of residential areas. Palestinian children have also been killed as bystanders during Israel’s extrajudicial execution of targeted activists, or were killed when their homes were demolished. Others died because they were denied access to medical care by the IDF. At least three Palestinian children have been killed by armed Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories… Most of these children were killed when there was no exchange of fire and in circumstances in which the lives of the soldiers were not at risk… No judicial investigation into any of the cases of killings of Palestinian children by the IDF in the Occupied Territories is known to have been carried out.” See: “Killing the Future: Children in the Line of Fire,” Amnesty International, September 29, 2002.
38. Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
41. Conal Urquhart, “Israel accused of obstructing Palestinian election in East Jerusalem,” The Guardian, December 28, 2004.
43. Meron Rapoport, “The fruits of his efforts lie on the wrong side of the separation fence,” Haaretz, September 5, 2009.
44. Conal Urquhart, “Israel accused of obstructing Palestinian election in east Jerusalem,” The Guardian, December 28, 2004.
45. A few months earlier, when Palestinians were registering to vote, Israeli special forces had raided and shut down several East Jerusalem registration centers because, according to Gil Kleiman, a spokesman for the Israeli police, they were considered a challenge to Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem. See: Conal Urquhart, “Israel accused of obstructing Palestinian election in East Jerusalem,” The Guardian, December 28, 2004.
46. Amira Hass, “PA town gets female mayor,” Haaretz, January 23, 2005.
48. During the second Intifada (September 2000 until the end of January 2005), a total of 3,253 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, including 643 kids. A total of 958 Israelis were killed, 654 of them civilians, including 123 kids. Source: B’Tselem.
49. Uzi Benziman, “Not the time for chest beating,” Haaretz, January 26, 2005.
50. Conal Urquhart, “Tel Aviv bomber’s family shunned,” The Guardian, March 1, 2005.
51. Anna Baltzer, “The twisted Easter egg hunt,” Anna’s Eyewitness Reports from Palestine, March 27, 2005.
52. Steven Erlanger, “Militants’ wild west night leaves West Bank town dismayed,” New York Times, April 1, 2005.
53. Jeffrey Goldberg, “Among the settlers: Will they destroy Israel?” The New Yorker, May 31, 2004.
55. Chris McGreal, “Snipers with children in their sights,” The Guardian, June 28, 2005.
56. Near the beginning of the second Intifada, two Israeli soldiers took a wrong turn and ended up in Ramallah. The soldiers were lynched by a mob enraged by the million-plus bullets that had been fired at Palestinians during the first few days of the Intifada. (See: Reuven Pedatzur, “More than a million bullets,” Haaretz, June 29, 2004.) When most Israelis think of Ramallah, the only image that comes to mind is a triumphantly screaming man with the blood of an Israeli soldier—an Israeli son—on his hands.
58. Lital Levy, “A descendant of the city’s 500-year-old Jewish community starts a movement to restore a tradition of coexistence between Muslims and Jews,” Christian Science Monitor, May 20, 1997.
60. “Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre,” BBC, March 21, 2000.
61. “Police, soldiers and military officers prefer to ‘turn a blind eye’ instead of handling incidents in which settlers attack Palestinians in the West Bank.” See: Uri Blau, “Behind closed doors, police admit ‘turning a blind eye’ to settler violence,” Haaretz, August 15, 2008.
62. Aviv Lavie, “Hebron diaries,” Haaretz, June 18, 2004.
63. “Backgrounder: Hamas,” Council on Foreign Relations, August 27, 2009.
64. Ilan Pappe, “In Upper Nazareth,” London Review of Books, September 10, 2009.
65. Anat Balint, “Let the journalists suffer,” Haaretz, July 21, 2003.
66. Ken Ellingwood, “Israel frees nearly 400 Palestinians,” LA Times, June 3, 2005.
67. Steven Erlanger, “Israeli cabinet backs release of 400 Palestinian prisoners,” New York Times, May 30, 2005.
68. “Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Military’s Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing,” Human Rights Watch, June 21, 2005.
69. Nehemia Strasler, “You have to read Sharon’s speech,” Haaretz, August 18, 2005.
70. Ari Shavit, “Weisglass: Disengagement is formaldehyde for peace process,” Haaretz Magazine, October 8, 2004.
71. Shahar Ilan, “Sharon against the haters from Tel Aviv,” Haaretz, August 25, 2005.
73. Around 60,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are living under threat of having their homes demolished. See: Akiva Eldar, “UN: Israel must freeze East Jerusalem home demolitions,” Haaretz, May 1, 2009.
74. To view a map of the Wall’s path in East Jerusalem, see Appendix I: Map 5.
75. Ben Lynfield, “Settlers vie for East Jerusalem,” Christian Science Monitor, December 12, 2003.
76. A report was published jointly in December of 2005 by two Israeli organizations, B’Tselem and Bimkom (Planners for Planning Rights), entitled “Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable Israeli Settlement Expansion in the West Bank,” which laid out the case in detail.
77. “The battle for the ‘fingernails’,” Haaretz, April 20, 2005.
78. When the James Cameron movie Avatar came out in 2009, the people of Bil’in donned blue face and body paint and dressed up like the Na’vi people: http://wp.me/pExvW-7T. You can view my photos from another Bil’in protest in 2009 here: http://wp.me/pExvW-5g.
79. Ethan Bronner, “Bil’in Journal: In village, Palestinians see model for their cause,” New York Times, August 27, 2009.
81. Ari Shavit, “Listen to the calls of distress,” Haaretz, January 27, 2005.
82. Gideon Levy, “Settlers, tell us, what do you think will happen?” Haaretz, January 3, 2010.
83. Jaime Holguin, “Israelis protest with human chain,” CBS, July 26, 2004.
84. Sani Meo, “The last word: A Jew in Ramallah,” This Week in Palestine, August 2005.
85. Noam Ben Zeev, “Next year in Damascus,” Haaretz, August 24, 2005.
86. Arnon Regular, “IDF chief to probe Tul Karm raid that killed five Palestinians,” Haaretz, September 7, 2005.
87. Greg Myre, “Abbas says raid in West Bank undermines peace efforts,” New York Times, August 25, 2005.
88. Henry Siegman, “Israel is still blocking the road to peace,” International Herald Tribune, July 25, 2005.
89. “Israeli officials have drawn the line at providing lethal weapons to the Palestinian security. They have pointedly told their Palestinian counterparts that if they need weapons, they should simply collect the illegal ones on the streets.” See: Glenn Kessler, “Security forces weak as withdrawal looms,” Washington Post, July 1, 2005.
90. Conal Urquhart, “Israeli soldiers tell of indiscriminate killings by army and a culture of impunity,” The Guardian, September 6, 2005.
91. “Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip,” Human Rights Watch, October 17, 2004.
92. Gideon Alon, “Prominent Israeli denounces home demolitions in Gaza,” Haaretz, May 24, 2004.
Note: My link to this article no longer works, but I found the story also referenced here: M. J. Rosenberg, “A powerful voice from the center,” LA Times, May 30, 2004.
93. Chris McGreal, “The day the tanks arrived at Rafah Zoo,” The Guardian, May 22, 2004.
94. Kimberly Dozier, “Real surprise in Gaza yet to come,” CBS News, August 26, 2005.
95. Amos Harel, “Shin Bet: Palestinian truce main cause for reduced terror,” Haaretz, January 2, 2006. Of the 75 Israeli soldiers who died on duty in 2005, 33 of them committed suicide. Most of the rest died of traffic accidents and illnesses. See: Gideon Alon, “Fewer officers to be armed as suicide becomes IDF’s top killer,” Haaretz, December 14, 2005.
96. Chris McGreal, “Ahmed’s gift of life,” The Guardian, November 11, 2005.
97. Christian Zionists are mostly American Evangelicals who believe all the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean must be brought under Jewish sovereignty so Jesus can return and the Jews will be forced to convert to Christianity or perish. They represent a vocal and moneyed political constituency in America with strong ties to Congress and the White House. They oppose any compromise with Palestinians because they believe it might forestall the coming battle of Armageddon, in which the Antichrist will be defeated. For more information about Christian Zionists, their ideology, and their influence on American foreign policy, see this astonishing article: Jane Lampman, “Mixing prophecy and politics,” Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2004.
98. Amos Elon, “Israelis & Palestinians: What went wrong?” New York Review of Books, December 19, 2002.
99. “No one knows full cost of Israel’s settlement ambitions,” USA Today, August 14, 2005.
100. Talia Sasson, “Summary of the Opinion Concerning Unauthorized Outposts,” Office of the Israeli Prime Minister, March 10, 2005.
102. “No one knows full cost of Israel’s settlement ambitions,” USA Today, August 14, 2005.
103. “The battle for the ‘fingernails’,” Haaretz, April 20, 2005.
104. Chris McGreal, “Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinian schoolgirl,” The Guardian, November 16, 2005.
105. Arnon Regular, Nir Hasson and Aluf Benn, “Mohammed Zahar: No truce beyond 2005 if PA reneges on January elections,” Haaretz, October 31, 2005.
106. David Rose, “The Gaza bombshell,” Vanity Fair, April 2008.
107. Sources: B’Tselem and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
108. See, for example: Naomi Klein, “Enough. It’s time for a boycott,” The Guardian, January 10, 2009. See also: whoprofits.org (a list of companies that profit from the occupation) and bdsmovement.net.
109. See Marc Hauser’s book, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, to learn about one fascinating theory of a universal ‘moral grammar’ imprinted in us by evolution. For an overview see: Josie Glausiusz, “Discover Interview: Is morality innate and universal?” Discover Magazine, May 10, 2007.
110. Paul Vallely, “Faith & Reason: How Joshua claimed a 20th-century victim,” The Independent, December 13, 1997.
111. The Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Israel is a signatory, reads: “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”