Showing posts with label war crimes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war crimes. Show all posts

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Israel/Palestine as a 21st Century "Lawfare" Laboratory

Below, hear Lisa Hajjar, Professor of Sociology at UCSB, speak in Washington, DC, about her new paper that brings together the two concepts of "lawfare" -- Israel's litigation of warmaking practices -- and targeted killing, which Israel interprets as supported within its international legal rights and duties as occupier of Palestinian territory. Hajjar's presentation is followed by two other panelists named below.

In early December, the Institute for Palestine Studies was privileged to host the third Mansour Armaly panel on Palestine at the annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) held in Washington, DC. This year's panel was entitled "The "Humanitarian" Present in Israel/Palestine: Forensic Architecture, Estrangement, and Lawfare." It addressed the intersection of conflict, space and law in the politics of humanitarianism and war:

"Israel/Palestine as a 21st Century Lawfare Laboratory" 
Lisa Hajjar, professor, University of California, Santa Barbara.

"Forensic Architecture and the Politics of War Crime Investigation"
Eyal Weizman, professor, Goldsmiths College (UK)

"Spectres of Estrangement: the ‘ungovernable’ camp & the figure of the ‘irreconcilable’ refugee" 
Nasser Abourahme, graduate student, Columbia University.

The presentations can be viewed on this video player (if you cannot view the player, click on the links above to view on YouTube).


The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) is the only institute in the world exclusively devoted to research, analysis, and publication on Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict. IPS was established in Beirut in 1963 and also has offices in Washington D.C., an affiliate in Ramallah, and a small office in Paris.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Activists Mic Check the "Ethical Standards" of the IDF

Sergeant Nadav Weinberg of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is once again touring college and university campuses in the US absurdly promoting “the ethical standards of the IDF.” Weinberg conducted a similar tour last year, and you may recall the response his propaganda received from US Campaign coalition group ASU-SJP. Last week solidarity activists in Boulder, Colorado picketed and interrupted Weinberg’s presentation at the University of Colorado’s (CU) Chabad Jewish Student Center. US Campaign coalition member CU Divest! released the following the statement regarding their protest of Weinberg’s talk.

For Immediate Release

December 1, 2011

CONTACT: Michael Rabb, CU-Divest, 2002 18th Street, Boulder CO 80302 720-837-9674,,

Activists at University of Colorado Disrupt Israeli Military Presentation: White Phosphorous Is Not Ethical

On Wednesday evening, 6:30pm, November 30, about 15 activists gathered at CU Chabad Jewish Student Center, 909 14th Street, in Boulder, to picket and demonstrate against Israel’s pernicious and immoral crimes against humanity. CU Chabad was hosting a talk by Sgt. Nadav Weinberg, a representative of the Israeli Defense Forces. Sgt Weinberg’s presentation is part of a USA tour of several college campuses designed to inform students about the high ethical standards of the IDF.

Michael Rabb, local activist and one of the founders of a campaign to get the University of Colorado to divest from Israeli apartheid, says Weinberg’s presentation was perfectly timed: On the 3rd anniversary of “Cast Lead”, Israel’s slaughter of 1400 people in the Gaza Strip, including hundreds of children, it’s entirely appropriate that we, students, faculty and members of the CU community confront Israel’s crimes against humanity.

During the presentation, several of the protesters in attendance stood up and “mic checked” Sgt. Weinberg. Using call-and-response, occupy wall street human microphone technique the activists accused Israel’s military of murder, massacre and war crimes. Rabb was forcibly removed from the meeting hall. Other activists stayed for the presentation and a few were even allowed to ask questions, like, “Sgt. Weinberg, how does dropping 2000 lb. bunker buster bombs on schools and hospitals demonstrate IDF ethics?”

It’s sort of amazing, perhaps “chutzpa” is the right word, for the Israeli military to send someone to Boulder Colorado to try and explain or whitewash their war crimes. Cast Lead is where Israel bombed this little piece of land (about 20 miles long 5 miles wide): the most densely populated piece of land on earth (1.5 million people) - with white phosphorous, cluster bomb units, (these would be anti-personnel weapons), not to mention the bunker busters, 2000-pound bombs that crushed homes, schools and hospitals.

CU-Divest is a grassroots movement: We are students, faculty and staff of the University of Colorado, and members of the University community at large, who are deeply concerned that the University of Colorado invests in companies that profit from Israel's illegal and immoral occupation and apartheid of the Palestinian people. CU-Divest is part of part of a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel for its crimes of apartheid.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Urgent: Stop Home Demolitions in Al Hadidiye

Stop the Wall has issued an urgent call to action to stop nine fresh demolition orders issued by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye. The destruction of Palestinian homes and the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land is being carried out under the cover of US acquiescence and with the assistance of US companies like Caterpillar and Motorola. Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian families facing demolition and heed Stop the Wall's call to action!

Al Hadidiye to be demolished once again: Halt this new wave of ethnic cleansing!

Week against the Apartheid Wall (Nov. 9 - 16) - “Take Apartheid off the Menu” Action Day (Nov. 26)

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy through our email action!

While the international community discusses Palestinian statehood, on the ground Israel is continuing the ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine with a further displacement push in the Jordan Valley.

Al Hadidiye is a Bedouin community of some 112 permanent inhabitants and some 130 further inhabitants that during the two cold winter months return back to villages near Tobas as Israeli forces have destroyed their homes already and they have not found the necessary means to build shelters that can protect them from the winter cold. On Thursday November 10, the Israeli authorities served the community nine new demolition orders that target 17 structures and will affect 72 people , including women and children.

Since 1998, the Israeli occupation authorities have implemented a systematic and continuous drive to permanently expel the Palestinians residents of the Jordan Valley from their lands. Most of the people in al Hadidiye have had already their homes destroyed more than five times. Animal shelters and other property is regularly destroyed.

As the Palestinian residents are not allowed access the water from the pipes the Israeli water company Mekorot manages for the use of the settlements, and the digging of wells is prohibited, water has to be brought from a natural spring in the area. Especially in the summer months, Israeli authorities confiscate the water tanks in which the water is transported and stored.

The people in al Hadidiye are entirely dependent on rearing animals as they do not have sufficient water for agriculture. In the nearby Jewish-only settlements of Ro'i and Beqa'ot, agricultural produce is farmed using hi-tech methods and with an abundance of water. Much of this agricultural produce is exported to European supermarkets by Israeli agricultural export companies including Bickel, Mehadrin and Arava.

The Occupation authorities justify their demolition and expulsion order with the fact that the area has been designated a military zone since the 1970s. The 600 people of the communities of Mak’oul, Samra, Hadidiye and Humsa that have been living and grazing their cattle in the 300 000 dunums of the northern Jordan Valley for generations state that the area is not even used as a military zone.

In light of this renewed announcement of home demolitions and forced displacement we ask you to:

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy and urge them to pay the community a solidarity visit BEFORE November 18, the day the demolition order becomes executive, and to send a complaint to the Israeli authorities through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

Raise the issue in your actions during the Week against the Apartheid Wall and during November 26 “Take Apartheid off the Menu” European day of action against Israeli agricultural produce exporters

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Setting Sail for Gaza Again & You Can Help

Dear Friends,

One year ago today, as Israeli naval commandoes attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, I was on board The Challenger, a U.S.-flagged ship that was part of this international effort to break Israel's illegal blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. 

Israeli commandoes grabbed me by my hair and rammed my head into the deck. They then stepped on my head in order to cuff my hands behind my back and then put a sack over my head. Worse yet, the commandoes killed nine of my fellow passengers, including 19-year old U.S. citizen Furkan Dogan, on the Mavi Marmara.

An international fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Council concluded that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is "collective punishment"--a war crime--and that its May 31, 2010, attack on the flotilla in order to enforce its blockade was "illegal." The mission found that six passengers, including Furkan, were killed "in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution," and that survivors were subjected to "torture."

Rather than put pressure on Israel to end its illegal blockade of Gaza, investigate Israel's killing of a U.S. citizen and attack against a U.S. ship, and sanction Israel for misusing U.S. weapons to attack the flotilla, the Obama Administration shamefully has tried to shield Israel from accountability for its actions. 

On Saturday, Egypt permanently reopened its border crossing with Rafah. This is an important step toward ending Gaza's isolation. But because Israel is still illegally blockading Gaza by land, sea and air, and because my country--the United States--is still enabling Israel to get away with it (in April, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice even publicly pressured governments to block future flotillas), in June I plan to sail for Gaza again with "Freedom Flotilla II -- Stay Human."

I need you to help us break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza, bring messages of solidarity to the 1.5 million Palestinians who are suffering Israel's collective punishment, and make sure that Israel does not repeat its illegal attack on us.

Here's how you can help today!

1. Tell President Obama to ensure safe passage of the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza.

2. Visit the website of US Campaign member group U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is organizing The Audacity of Hope, the U.S. component of this flotilla. There you can take action by writing a letter of solidarity to Palestinians in Gaza, sign up for email updates, and much more.

I am proud to be an Advisory Board Member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation because of all the amazing work we do together to change U.S. policy to support freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.  I'm so glad that the US Campaign has endorsed the U.S. Boat to Gaza.

Thank you for taking action with me to ensure the success of the Freedom Flotilla II!

In solidarity,

Huwaida Arraf
Member, US Campaign Advisory Board
Chair, Free Gaza Movement

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ADCRI Report on the "Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance"

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is a coalition member of the US Campaign. With chapters and members in all 50 states, ADC is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States.

May 16, 2011

In light of recent developments this past weekend, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute (ADCRI) is issuing this notice about the background paper entitled "Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance." The report, initially published in October 2010, is available for download and viewing here.

Click to view the report online.
Printed copies of the report
are also available for
$10 each from ADCRI.
On May 15, 2011, thousands of people were peacefully commemorating al-Nakba, or the catastrophe, near the Occupied Golan Heights. Israeli forces used deadly force against the commemorators, leaving dozens killed or injured. Read more

The report is intended to awaken the conscience of people to the relative neglect and lack of information in the West about the experience of the people of the Golan Heights. Like the Palestinians, they continue to affirm their national identity and defend their rights, despite nearly 45 years of Israeli military occupation.

The report gives an overview of the Israeli occupation of the Golan and the displacement of most of the indigenous Syrian population.  Its primary focus is on the experience of a people who have lived through war and occupation.  The report also examines the experience of those who were forced out of the Golan in the 1967 war, becoming internally displaced persons within Syria.

In addition, the report examines Israeli expansionism that led up to war and occupation, the Israeli settlement process, and the imposition of a system of control and exclusion over the Syrian community.   Through a nonviolent struggle in 1981, the Golanis successfully resisted attempts to force Israeli citizenship upon them.  Since then, their struggle has continued in opposition to Israeli policies designed to undermine their rights, independence, and identity. They are still Syrian citizens, living in the occupied territory of southwestern Syria.

ADC hopes that this background paper will enhance Americans’ understanding of the people of the Golan.  It is an acknowledgement of the enduring strength of the struggle of the Golanis.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Victor Kattan: Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty

Please write your letter to the editor today in response to Victor Kattan's op-ed below from Saturday's Providence Journal. It provides important reminders about the Goldstone report and Israel's 2008-09 invasion of the Gaza Strip, which, according to the Goldstone report:
"…was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."
Letters to the Providence Journal must carry the writer's name, address and daytime phone number. The newspaper strongly favors letters of 250 words or fewer. Letters can be emailed to Please be sure to write at some point in the letter that you are referring to "Victor Kattan: Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty" (April 30 opinion page).

Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty

By Victor Kattan
Saturday, April 30, 2011

The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission into the Gaza conflict in 2008-9, chaired by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, which produced "the Goldstone Report," has attracted so much opprobrium that one must wonder whether it would have attracted any attention at all had Israel and its supporters not embarked on a campaign to discredit it.

For those who have not read the 575-page report, it concluded that "what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."

Three weeks ago Goldstone published an op-ed in The Washington Post asserting that the Goldstone report would have been a different document "had I known then what I know now." But as John Dugard, a fellow South African lawyer, and close friend of Goldstone, noted in an article he published in The New Statesman, Goldstone failed to disclose any information in his op-ed that seriously challenged the findings of the U.N. report that bears his name. For this reason, Dugard described Goldstone’s op-ed as making "strange reading."


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our new online resource,, discussed in KPFK interview

Hear our National Advocacy Director interviewed for five minutes last Tuesday about Israeli military misuse of U.S.-provided weapons, plus the resulting financial strain on U.S. communities, plus our Tax Day 2011 launch of our awesome new online resource,, on KPFK Radio's Sojourner Truth program.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Tax Day, Learn Exactly How Israel Misuses U.S. Weapons


Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in a press briefing, organized by our friends at the Institute for Middle East Understanding, with two courageous and inspiring young adults who have been deeply affected by U.S. weapons transfers to Israel.

Amer Shurrab
’s two brothers—Ibrahim and Kassab—were shot in Gaza by Israeli soldiers during “Operation Cast Lead,” denied medical care and left to bleed to death. Emily Henochowicz, a U.S. citizen, lost an eye after an Israeli soldier fired a high-velocity tear gas canister at her during a protest against Israel’s deadly assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Amer and Emily’s heartrending stories remind us why it is so important to redouble our efforts to end U.S. military aid to Israel. After all, it is our weapons, paid for with our tax dollars, which are responsible for these tragedies and thousands more.

With Tax Day at hand, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation launches today a major, new resource to educate people about the weapons we provide Israel and the deadly impact they have on Palestinian civilians forced to live under Israel’s brutal, 43-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

Our new website documents in detail more than 670 million weapons, valued at nearly $19 billion, given to Israel by the United States in the last decade. We also document the weapons Israel misused during that period to kill at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians who took no part in hostilities.

When we compiled this data, which we’ve posted in a variety of slideshows and spreadsheets, we were shocked by the sheer magnitude of these weapons transfers and the degree of our complicity in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians.
For example, our research reveals that the United States gave Israel more than 47 million pieces of ammunition in just the last three years. That’s more than enough bullets to kill every Palestinian in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip ten times over! What a chilling statistic.

With more than 500 different types of weapons given to Israel over the past decade, our website shows that the United States is deeply, intricately, and comprehensively implicated in almost everything Israel does to maintain its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Check out today: I am sure you'll be as outraged as I am about how are taxes are being spent..


Josh Ruebner
National Advocacy Director
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

PS: If you’re as upset as I am that our tax dollars are funding Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians, then join me in “offsetting” the estimated $21.59 that you will provide in weapons to Israel this Tax Day, by making a tax-deductible contribution to support our work.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Goldstone's retraction turns laws of war into Israel's "surmountable nuisance," says Noura Erekat

Below, our former National Organizer, Noura Erekat, responds with insight on Justice Richard Goldstone's frustrating steps to distance himself from some of his own most crucial findings 24 months ago in his U.N. investigation of Israel's largest-ever attack on the Gaza Strip. Goldstone wrote a critical op-ed in last Friday's Washington Post. Erekat is currently an adjunct professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Georgetown University.

Goldstone: An act of negligence

Downplay of Israeli aggression towards civilians during the Gaza War, causes scholars to question Richard Goldstone.

Noura Erekat
April 4, 2011

In the wake of a monumental victory in the human rights community to move the Goldstone Report out of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to the General Assembly where it can be underpinned by actionable follow up, Justice Richard Goldstone’s recent editorial makes some human rights practitioners wish it had been left to languish in the HRC.

Goldstone sought to do two things in his op-ed: to amend the record by stating that Israel’s attacks may not have been deliberate and second, to emphasise Hamas’s culpability under the laws of war. In the best case scenario, Goldstone’s intervention is a problematic attempt to cajole Israel to participate in the international process for accountability.

However, even in that case, the editorial is counterproductive, short-sighted, and casts Goldstone's attempts as no less than curious. 

Just last week, I had the chance to speak to Goldstone at Stanford Law School where I participated in a debate on the report featuring him as a discussant.


Friday, April 30, 2010

More CAT Crimes: "Caterpillar equipment used in extrajudicial killing near Hebron"

Electronic Intifada passes along the following press release from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:
"On Monday 26 April 2010, Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian man, Ali Ismael Ali Swaiti, 45, in Beit Awwa in the West Bank district of Hebron, after demolishing a house while he was inside. Israeli occupation forces claim that Ali Swaiti had been wanted for several years. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns this crime -- which constitutes an extrajudicial execution -- and calls upon the international community to work towards bringing to trial those Israeli politicians and commanders suspected of committing war crimes."
You can read the rest of the release here, which confirms that Caterpillar equipment was involved in this extrajudicial assassination and that "the bulldozer lifted the body of Swaiti out of the rubble and dropped it onto a road close to the demolished house before moving it another 10 meters away." Caterpillar bulldozers are specially adapted (with the cooperation of Caterpillar) for house demolitions like this one. Caterpillar bulldozers have also been used to destroy houses with occupants still inside in Jenin and Gaza. Join the fight to stop Caterkiller by ordering an organizing packet and sending a message to CAT management today. (Also check out this report from a direct action at a Caterpillar distribution center organized by students at Macalester College in MN.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's hard out here for a war criminal: Ehud Olmert's speaking tour met with protest, citizen's arrest attempts

Poor Ehud Olmert. Being a world-renowned war criminal just isn't what it used to be. After facing protests and disruptions at speaking stops at the University of Kentucky and the University of Chicago, Olmert was the target of an attempted citizen's arrest during a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. The Electronic Intifada reports:
Twenty-two people were arrested for challenging Olmert directly and demanding he be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Olmert has faced protests at Tulane University, University of Kentucky and the University of Chicago. The recent International Independent Fact-Finding Mission, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, found evidence that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during a three-week long attack on the Gaza Strip last winter, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and destroying much of the area's infrastructure. In 2006, similar Israeli attacks on Lebanon killed 1,200 people. Olmert has refused to be held accountable.
The organizers of the San Francisco protests include US Campaign member organizations and supporters. Check out this video of the action: As the U.S. and Israeli governments continue to oppose the Goldstone Report, the need for civil society to hold those responsible for attacks on Palestinian civilians is becoming increasingly evident. Get involved in the citizen's movement for accountability by participating in our November Weeks of Action and by joining the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine creates incentives for the continuation of occupation and apartheid. We need to create incentives to end occupation and apartheid. It's up to us to make sure that it's hard out here for a war criminal. Update: Chicago Olmert protesters comment on their decision to participate here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Richard Goldstone talks about report on Gaza war crimes

Watch video of Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who authored the UN Human Rights Council-sponsored report on violations of human rights and international law during Israel's December-January attacks on the Gaza Strip. Here, Goldstone is interviewed by Al Jazeera English: And here is video of Judge Goldstone's press conference at the United Nations: (Thanks to Palestine Video) And here's Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Norman Finkelstein discussing the Goldstone Report: Take action to support the recommendations of the Goldstone Report by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another "Your Tax Dollars at Work" Moment: Free Gaza Movement reports that Israeli Navy incinerates Gaza fishing boat

From the Free Gaza Movement: U.S. military aid and arms transfers to Israel include warships and ammunition. To learn more about the details of U.S. arms transfers to Israel, check out the Capitol Hill briefing we did on the subject by clicking here. Meanwhile, check out these two items from today's headlines on Democracy Now, first on settlements:
"Israel has announced plans to build 455 more housing units in the West Bank, defying demands from the Obama administration for a freeze on settlement construction. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama regrets Israel’s decision. Gibbs said, “the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop.""
And then on the United States' role in the global arms trade:
"A new study has revealed the United States is quickly expanding its role as the world’s largest weapons supplier. In 2008, the US signed weapons agreements worth nearly $38 billion. That’s ten times as much as Italy, the world’s second largest arms dealer. The US is now responsible for 68 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar."
Help us end the madness. Take action to oppose military aid to Israel by clicking here.