Eyewitness reports

Rae Levine's Reports from Occupied Palestine (June 2002)

Carla Curio's Report from Rafah, Gaza, Occupied Palestine (Dec. 2002)

Dave Lippman's Palestine/Israel Report (August 2004)

Rachel Corrie, US ISM volunteer, killed by Israeli bulldozer in Gaza (March 2003)


 Palestine / Israel

 An anthology of useful articles on

Palestine and Israel

 from a variety of perspectives

 Updated September 15, 2022


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The State of Israel vs. the Jews This new book by Sylvain Cypel shows how bereft of human decency Israelis have become in their treatment of Palestinians, and how much Jewish moral patrimony has been given up in creating, supporting, and tolerating a Jewish State. Most significant is the spiritual, moral and religious threat the current Israel presents to the Jewish people and Judaism itself. Reviewed in Mondoweiss, January 10, 2022

Inside the Unraveling of American Zionism How a new generation of Jewish leaders began to rethink their support for Israel. A group of 93 students from virtually every U.S. institution (excepting Orthodox) that trains future rabbis and cantors signed a letter urging American Jews to rethink their support for U.S. military aid to Israel, which totals roughly $3.8 billion annually. By Marc Tracy, The New York Times, November 3, 2021

 Antisemitism is real, but it cannot be weaponized to ignore persecution of Palestinians Anti-Semitism is one particular form of racism, to be denounced and fought. Itís not okay to weaponize it to deflect from the persecution of Palestinians. Instead, letís commit to the principle that safety for any group depends on safety for all. By David L. Mandel, Sacramento Bee, June 30, 2021  

"Likudism" invades the academy: continued Zionist attacks on activism and scholarship at San Francisco State University Israel's apologists attempt to pressure SFSU into shutting down the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora Studies program. By Mark Kleiman and Behnam Gharagozli, Mondoweiss, May 21, 2018 

This Palestinian village had solar power - until Israeli soldiers took it away Soldiers shut down the $400,000 Dutch-funded project, ripping out its electrical components and driving away with 96 solar panels. Washington Post, July 7, 2017  

The Tallest Man in Ramallah One man's experience of life under Israeli occupation. By Michael Chabon, May 2017 

Israeli Supreme Court rules against exposing Israel's role in Bosnian genocide The Israeli government's arms exports to the Serbian army took place long after the UN Security placed an arms embargo on various parts of the former Yugoslavia, and after the publication of testimonies exposing genocide and the creation of concentration camps. 972 Magazine, December 5, 2016 

Palestinian offers one-state vision to NY temple A suburban New York temple hosted a Palestinian leader making the argument for one democratic state between the river and the sea. The Jewish audience did not contest his description of human rights atrocities, and his Jewish hosts thanked him for opening their eyes to new ideas. By Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, November 30, 2016 

Letter to the New York Times The writer takes the Times to task for its pro-Israel slant on the conflict between Palestine and Israel supporters on campuses. By Dave Lippman, August 10, 2016 

The New York Times marginalizes Jewish anti-Zionism By Philip Weiss, August 3, 2016  

Sleeping with apartheid, courtesy AirBnB May 31, 2016  

Michael Chabon Talks Occupation, Injustice and Literature After Visit to West Bank Forward, April 25, 2016

Related: Literary Stars Learn "Occupation 101" Firsthand in Tense Tour of West Bank Forward, April 25, 2016

Nakba The Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine: a concise guide to history and issues. By  the Palestine Information Project, updated May 2015

9 Reasons why Israel is under rocket attack By Waleed Ahmed, July 23, 2014

Interview with Ilan Pappe: An Israeli 'New Historian' and BDS activist December 26, 2013

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 required.)

Who Profits from the Occupation Exposing the Israeli occupation industry

Newt Makes a Discovery

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 Richard Falk, 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  

Global BDS 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 20, 2009

60 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.

Dear 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 pushing. 

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, 2007
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 Gazaís industry, farming and infrastructure.
[There are some parallels between Gaza and Sarajevo, with a major difference: unlike the Serbs, the Israelis have US support. - RL]

Get 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 Gazaís 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 Amazon.com.)
   See more articles by Pappe below.

America's Rottweiler by Uri Avnery, August 26, 2006
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 W. Bush 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 forefathers.

Why tyrants rule Arabs By Gwynne Dyer, The Toronto Star, July 20, 2004
For 60 years, the West has propped up Arab despots, creating poverty and illiteracy where education once thrived.

If 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 building?

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.

The Golem 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 in Gaza.

As in Tiananmen 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.

Afraid 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."

A Failed Israeli Society Collapses While Its Leaders Remain Silent By Avraham Burg, Forward, August 29, 2003.
The Labor 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 needs."

A place for our dream By Mustafa Barghouti, ZNet, July 30, 2003.
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 our situation.

How to Stop Hamas: First, End the Occupation By Sara Roy, Daily Star (Lebanon), 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, Ha'aretz, 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 By Desmond Tutu, January 2003.
Tutu calls for an international campaign for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, comparing the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid.

Ethnic Cleansing: Past, Present, and Future December 30, 2002.
Ethnic Cleansing: Some Common Reactions January 13, 2003.
Two articles by Ran HaCohen.
    There is a puzzling paradox about Holocaust denial: those who deny it are precisely the ones who would have supported it. I couldnít help thinking of this paradox when I heard that American university professors have recently been accused of anti-Semitism (!) for signing a 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.
What we 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 1948 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 Palestinian ambulance.

An Open Letter to President Bush September 2002.
Enumerates the many UN Security Council resolutions on Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territory that have been ignored by Israel.

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 response.

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.

The Penal Colonies By Tanya Reinhart, June 30, 2002.
The 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.

Hamas History Tied to Israel By Richard Sale, UPI, June 18, 2002.
Israel 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 a hammer." 

Eyewitness Report From Balata By Jessica Azulay, June 14, 2002.
A description of the Israeli army's occupation of a Palestinian refugee camp.

108 Rabbis-to-Be Sign in Sympathy With Palestinians The New York Observer, May 16, 2002

Demons of the Nakbah By Ilan Pappe, University of Haifa, May 16, 2002.
    (The Nakbah was the 1948 Israeli expulsion of Palestinians from their lands.)
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 Europeans.

Land 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.

A Conversation with Ali Abunimah, Washington Post, 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."

Why the U.S. Supports Israel By Steven Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus, May 2002

Flying With The Hawks - President Bush Ignores CIA, State Department Experts By Jim Lobe and Tom Barry, April 30, 2002

Palestinians Are Blurry in the Editorial Frame By Norman Solomon, April 4, 2002

Eyewitness Report From Ramallah By Tzaporah Ryter, April 2, 2002

Noam Chomsky on the Current Situation in The Middle East  Z Magazine interview, April 2, 2002

Arafat can't press a button to turn off the bombers By Uri Avnery, International Herald Tribune March 28, 2002

From Jew to Jew: Why We Should Oppose the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza By Jewish Voice for Peace, March 2002

Henry 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 State." 1982.
Reprinted in Wrestling with Zion, Tony Kushner & Alisa Solomon, eds. (2003)

Israeli War Crimes in Jenin, Occupied Palestine Reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

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.

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