Palestinians ‘Living Under Two Occupations’: Violence Spikes in the West Bank

SHARMINI PERIES: Welcome to the Real News
Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. Violence is spreading in the West Bank and
across Arab cities in Israel, reaching levels synonymous with previous uprisings from the
’80s and the early 2000s, leading some to refer to incidents as marking the beginning
stages of a third intifada. Some of you may have seen the point-blank shooting of a demonstrating
young Arab boy by Israeli plainclothes officers. These incidents were spurred following a September
13 raid on Temple Mount, located in Jerusalem’s old city, a sacred site for Arabs worldwide.
Leaders on both sides are attempting to curb any perception of a third intifada. Netanyahu
is saying, on Saturday in fact, that the attacks have been mostly unorganized and the Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling the clashes potential for an intifada, which
we don’t want. Now joining me from [the UK] to discuss all
of this is Jeff Halper. He is with the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions. He is
the author of many books. Among the most recent is War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians,
and Global Pacification. Jeff, I thank you so much for joining us today. JEFF HALPER: Thanks for having me again. PERIES: So Jeff, give us a sense of what’s
happening there. You just left a few days ago, but prior to your departure what was
actually happening on the ground that concerns you? HALPER: Well, in some ways it’s kind of a
lashing out on both sides. I mean, I don’t like this both sides analogy, because there’s
no symmetry of both sides. But I think simply the oppression and repression has gotten so
great that, that especially Palestinian kids–I mean, that’s one of the interesting things
about this. We’re talking about five-year-old kids, six, seven, ten, and teenagers, have
simply been kind of lashing out. It began, it’s true, with the Al-Aqsa mosque, and the
closing of the mosque and threats on the mosque on the part of Israel. But it spread all through
the country. And I think it’s a kind of, of desperation.
I mean, one of the interesting things is that it isn’t organized. And isn’t political in
that sense. It’s kind of a, almost a self defense, a resistance against, against the
final stages of this permanent occupation, permanent apartheid, permanent imprisonment,
being imposed on the Palestinians. And I think what’s significant is that it spread outside
of the occupied territories. It’s spread inside Israel. Because the condition of Palestinian
citizens of Israel, who are 20 percent of the Israeli population, isn’t really much
better than that of the people in the occupation. They’re also subject to all kinds of restrictions,
and more and more being seen as a fifth column, as an enemy of Jewish Israel. From the Israeli point of view I think this
is mopping up operations. Israel simply sees the conflict is over. It’s saying to the Palestinians
there’s no more political process, no negotiations. There’ll never be a Palestinian state. You’re
going to be imprisoned. And you either submit or you leave or you die. And I think the repression,
this repression on the part of Israel, you know, where mandatory prison sentences, hundreds
of kids being arrested, house demolitions increasing and so on, really shows that Israel
is in the final stages of repressing any kind of resistance and what it sees as pacifying
the Palestinian population permanently. PERIES: And what do you make of Netanyahu
saying on Saturday that their attacks have been mostly unorganized, trying to calm down
the population? This seems out of character for him, who in the past has sort of seen
these opportunities to escalate the violence against Palestinians. HALPER: Well, I mean, I think he sees that
opportunity. His messages are mixed, because what he’s also been saying–I mean, he said
it in the UN last week–is that this is incitement on the part of Abu Mazen, it’s incitement
on part of the Palestinian Authority, that it is organized. And you know, he’s been saying
that until just a few days ago the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security services, said
publicly no, there is no incitement on the part of the Palestinian Authority. And he’s
had to change his line a little bit and say it’s unorganized and so on. I mean, Netanyahu has a problem, because he’s
trying to explain violence and resistance. And really, self-defense. And despair, and
frustration, all these things, without dealing with the cause of it all, which is of course
occupation. Which is a word he would never utter. And so all he’s left with is somehow
blaming the Palestinians. So you’ve got to blame them individually, you blame them as
unorganized groups. You blame Abu Mazen. You blame the northern Islamic movement inside
Israel. You blame Arab Knesset members inside–I mean, you find all kinds of people to blame.
But he can’t really come out with a good, coherent explanation of what’s happening because
he can’t admit that the actual cause is repression and occupation. PERIES: So Jeff, what are we to make of all
of this now moving forward? Some people are warning that a third intifada might be in
the works. Do you think that is actually happening? HALPER: I don’t think so. It’s hard for me
to see that, because–not because it shouldn’t be a third intifada, and not because the anger
and the rage and the frustration isn’t there, but because Israel just has it too sewn up.
You know, we have to understand that the IDF is there as a–and the police as a permanent
presence, not only in the occupied territories but again inside Israel. In addition you’ve
got the settlers, who are kind of a militarized force, semi-legitimate in Israel, that have
been increasingly attacking the Palestinians. And they’re part of the repression. And then in addition to that we have to be
honest, the Palestinian Authority itself, in my view, is a collaborationist regime.
The Palestinians are living under two occupations. And they’ll tell you that openly. And the
Palestinian Authority has been a repressive force. Its militias working for Israel, arresting
people, torturing people as well. And they’re a major source–I mean, ironically. Netanyahu
blames Abu Mazen, Abbas, for incitement. But in fact as the Shin Bet says, they’re actually
very close collaborators. Nothing, nothing has interfered with the security cooperation,
as it’s called, between the Palestinian Authority and the IDF. So you know, the Palestinians are really facing
not only an Israeli repressive force that’s trying to imprison them permanently and take
their country, but a Palestinian Authority that’s collaborating with that as well. So
it’s really a very desperate time, I think, for the Palestinians. PERIES: Now, how similar are these events
compared to, say, 2008-2010 events? HALPER: I think they’re different because
those were political. They were much more organized. There was a sense that, that in
a way the intifada is a push towards starting a political process or creating pressures
even internationally that would force Israel into genuine negotiations, and in fact you
could end the occupation. I think the difference is today that there
are no Palestinians, almost, I would say that think the occupation can be ended. I think
they see it as a permanent situation. Many are leaving, actually. And there’s really
a sense of despair among the Palestinians. And that’s why I think, I’m seeing that this
is more of a lashing out. Almost as self-defense, because the pressures put on the Palestinians
on the part, not only the army and police, but again of the settlers, is such that they’re
really living in a pressure cooker. But it’s not organized. It’s not political, in a way.
And the fact that it’s mainly young people and kids that are doing this kind of shows
that, in a sense. So the problem is that we’ve reached a place
in which Palestinians have nothing to lose, on the one hand. But on the other hand they
have nothing to gain. There’s no political process that’s possible today. And I think
personally we have to sit down, critical Israelis and our Palestinian partners, and begin to
formulate our own solution to this conflict that I think is, forget end the occupation,
forget the two-state solution, certainly, which is over. Forget negotiations. Forget
the PA, which I hope will leave the scene soon. We have to start talking about one democratic,
bi-national state in Israel-Palestine and start to move towards that in order to really
give a new sense of hope and possibility to both peoples. PERIES: Jeff Halper, I appreciate those comments
and that idea, and I thank you so much for joining us today. HALPER: Thanks for having me on. PERIES: And thank you for joining us on the
Real News Network.

The Dangers Caused by our Occupations

another release sneaky part of the the
bush-cheney a why age slash media manipulation
machine was embedding reporters that was a slick trick in bed reporters with the soldiers and you can be guaranteed they’re not going
to talk in the local folks asking their opinion I was on a I debate panel at the talkers Convention on
Friday after I got the award the Alan Collins and I were on this
panel with seven right-wing talk-show hosts and Bubba the
Love Sponge and who is kinda right-wing to and in-house it one of these guys I i think i think
was David Webb IEEE he’s he’s like I am a I’m a veteran you
know mmm I 0 somebody said something about the the way he the president had
released five terrorists in exchange for a traitor and Alan calm said you know the wars
going to be over at the end of the year and those guys would have to be released
anyway is no charges against them and then this and then this guy goes I
how do you not when did we start having wars on schedules you know it’s you
don’t have a war that has a scheduled and you win or you lose a war at which point I piped up and said we
won the war we won the war in band January February
March in the spring of 2003 we run we will we won that war about two
weeks after we started in Iraq just like Afghanistan when we
topple the government took over the country we took control the country you know it’s a it’s a bush won the war
and couple a weeks he won both wars in a couple weeks and then we had an occupation and at
that point I had five conservative screaming at me and so I never got a
chance to say anymore but just to continue with us occupations always have and dates are always should man you could argue
that there are places like you know to bat right now been occupied by China the really should be an end date on that
are there won’t be in all probability but and and their and this probably no shortage of Native Americans on
reservations who are you know looking out at the rest to the United States go on ones’
occupation of our land again and but this is a a huge apropos of Iraq and
Afghanistan just like with vietnam I mean you know gerry ford wanted wanted
more money for vietnam in congress said no and so we pull all our soldiers up and a comic shot of the helicopter on
top the US Embassy you know with people desperate to get into it that actually
wasn’t when we pull all our soldiers out that was like two and a half years later one week one saigon was falling I mean it took a
couple years for the North Vietnamese to take over all south vietnam their store
South Vietnamese Army there was still a civil war going on
between North and South Vietnam just like there’s you know a Shia Sunni heard allied wild insane battle going on in the
Middle East right now but there was there was a point where we
said okay we’re outta here and then we waited what Henry henry
kissinger referred to as a decent interval before we really really totally just got outta there altogether and been
the result of our intervention had been intervention that we were lied into for
no good reason and I’m not sure to this day I met maybe some %uh view our scholars at the
vietnam or I am NOT I don’t know if lyndon johnson knew that
the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was a lie or not there’s little doubt my mind the
George W Bush wanted to have his ward he didn’t care
how it got it and may well be the case with LBJ I just
don’t know and it’s something that I should
probably look up one of these days but in any case we killed at least 2
million be Vietnamese many of them civilians probably most of
them we cover their country with dioxin in
agent orange they’re still there still suffering with
birth defects in DNA damage generations laters resulted in are bombing campaigns in Laos and
Cambodia the illegal ones that richard nixon did toppled those regimes and led to Pol Pot
rising to power in cambodia pol pot whose whose idea was reset the
calendar to the Year Zero and let’s start our culture and our
nation literally all over again and so he’d the literal and was like the
French Revolution the French Revolution they had this idea to you know a Maximilian Robespierre and
his buddies a change the names of the months change the names the day’s change
the calendar reset the cadre reset the year to zero start a new no religion the French Revolution a
Bandra the band Christianity no religion no no all culture no history the history will be pol pot was the
founding father of the country and that’s why had they won across the
country in anybody or glasses there been assigned literacy they executed they kill over a million
people louise and I were in in know that part
of the world back in the the back to me on the travel
agency this would have been between 83 86 and we had an opportunity to take a
cruise on one of these sailing ships but they’re the modern electronic ones
were the sales are computer-controlled all I can think hold of forty or fifty
passengers and it was one of these fam trips you know it a free trip from the cruise
line so that you could go back and sell it to your customers and we were sailing through the Straits
of Malacca which i think is between Malaysia and
Indonesia it’s in the neighborhood anyway and the
guy that way guy who is on the ship with us who have kept in
touch with over the years back to quote him in my book the my first book in a TD at some length arm all I can remember his name now but he knew he was a he was a position
with the Red Cross and he was pol pot’s doctor he was there
when pol pot died and it because the red cross doesn’t
discriminate they you know anybody who’s in a crisis they
go to help and that had been his last assignment
and he was them coverage it was a Canadian and then
he was K and retired news on this cruise ship you
know just enjoined his retirement but its it’s just amazing
the damage that we cause when we invade countries and then occupy the previews will be
better with your balls

Palestinians Say “Peace Talks” Only Benefits The Israeli Occupation

YOUSEF ALHELOU: In recent days, the Palestinian
Authority and Israel resumed a fresh round of negotiations to end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian
conflict based on the so-called two-state solution after a three-year hiatus. This sparked
protests in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as hundreds of people took to the streets
to voice their objection to the resumption of the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace
talks. The talks began with the signing of the Oslo
Accords in 1993 in what was the first face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel
and the Palestine Liberation Organization led at that time by the late Yasser Arafat.
It was hoped that the Oslo accords would set up a framework that can lead to a resolution
of the conflict. Since then, many Mideast peace conferences,
meetings, endless rounds of talks, direct and indirect negotiations mediated by the
American administration have failed to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people,
namely, self determination, an end to Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories,
the return of Palestinian refugees, and an end to Israeli apartheid. UNIDENTIFIED: Everybody knows that Israelis
are not interested in peace. They are not happy with Abbas, who made many concessions,
who is working against the interests of the Palestinian people. So the Zionists are exploiting
the weakness of the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah to buy time through the illusion
of peace talks. ALHELOU: Hamas movement, which took control
of Gaza in 2007, a year after it won the parliamentary elections in January 2006, says that the acting
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to return to the negotiating table
with Israel is not representative of the will of the Palestinian people and that “Abbas”
does not have the right to relinquish Palestinian national rights. This came after Israeli and
Palestinian negotiators held another round of U.S.-brokered talks recently in Jerusalem. This also comes as Israel continues to build
and expand its illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank and illegally besieging
the Gaza strip since 2007. It is worth mentioning that Abbas said repeatedly
that he will not resume negotiations if Israel will not freeze settlement construction, but
he agreed to go back to peace talks while Israel is ongoing with its settlement construction. SAMI ABU ZUHRI: People took to the streets
to express their rejection to the return of negotiations because the Palestinian negotiator
is not authorized to do so. Negotiations are against our national interests, and we call
the Palestinian Authority to stop these talks immediately and instead stick to our national
rights. KHADER HABIB: The vast majority of our people
reject the resumption of the so-called peace talks. The return to these futile talks on
part of the Palestinian Authority is totally against the consensus of the Palestinian people,
and we came out to reject it and demand Palestinian negotiators to stop wasting time and making
more concessions. ALHELOU: Palestinians are seeking to create
an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza
Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Israeli government, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling
to discuss the issue of Jerusalem. And while much of the international community regards
the Israeli settlements illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the
1967 Six-Day War, Israel continues to defy all calls to halt its settlement construction
and expansion policy. Despite the fact that the PA had previously
demanded that Israel cease all settlement activities before talks can be resumed, it
has bowed to American pressure to what Fatah officials said, to give a final chance for
the so-called peace talks to lead to any possible major breakthrough. Fatah’s vision for the Palestinian state is
based on the strategy of national, geographic, and demographic unity for a globally-recognized
Palestine. ATEF ABU SAIF: The Palestinian leadership
decided to resume negotiation to avoid the pressure from the international community.
And there was much skepticism that these negotiations would have produced something for this. The
Palestinian leadership gave a limit, time limit nine months, after which we expect that
if negotiation didn’t produce or doesn’t produce any result, then these negotiations should
end forever. There is much widespread opinion among the Palestinians, including Fatah leadership
as well, that negotiations are not going to produce anything, given the Israeli settlement
expansion and the killing of the Kalandia Palestinian boys. So I believe the Palestinian
leadership, at certain moment in the near future, will give up the idea of resuming
negotiations. ALHELOU: Palestinians in the diaspora are
calling for Palestinian National Council elections for Palestinians living in the Diaspora and
in the occupied Palestinian territories. SAMAH SABAWI: This peace process is only there
to allow for Israel to have more time to build more facts on the ground, to continue to expand
on Palestinian land, while at the same time it punches the wind out of the sails of Palestinian
resistance. The priorities for the Palestinian people today should be to try to build a liberation
movement that is not beholden to the U.S. dollars. When you consider that the PA was
forced back to negotiate with Israel because the U.S. threatened that it would cut its
funding if it didn’t do so, then you realize that you can’t really have a liberation movement
that has its own survival dependent on a very powerful ally that supports the occupation. ALHELOU: For their part, Palestinian left-wing
factions, the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine, oppose talks and demand that the Palestinian leadership
act as a guardian for Palestinians and their rights. ZULFIQAR SWIRGO: The returning to negotiation
is a waste of time, and there is no consensus among the different Palestinian parties and
people. Mr. Abbas decided to resume the so-called peace talks without consulting other bodies
within the PLO. Halting the construction of illegal settlements
in the West Bank is the first condition that should be met in order to go back to the negotiation
table. What the current extreme Israeli government
led by Netanyahu achieved when it released a number of Palestinian prisoners from its
jails in order to encourage Abbas to resume talks was aimed at blackmailing the weak Palestinian
leadership. We have tried peace talks for 20 years in
the hope to [incompr.] over the military occupation of our occupied land, but what we see on the
ground is more illegal settlements and colonization. ALHELOU: Haidar Eid, an independent political
analyst, says that the past 20 years have led Palestinians nowhere. Instead, settlements
have expanded and Gaza has been transformed into what some human rights organizations
call the largest open-air prison. HAIDAR EID: I think 20 years of futile negotiations
between Fatah and Israel have led us nowhere. In fact, they’ve led us to the expansion of
the existing settlements in the West Bank and greater Jerusalem. They’ve led us to the
erection of a monstrous apartheid wall in the West Bank and the besieging of the Gaza
Strip. And I think that negotiations have only been about security of the state of Israel. And I think the only alternative that we can
offer to the Palestinian leadership right now is a boycott, divestment, and sanctions
against apartheid Israel after the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, because the
Palestinian Authority has been futile and has led us nowhere and to no liberation or
sovereignty of independent Palestinian state. ALHELOU: Some Palestinians describe the return
to negotiations as a “catastrophic option” which lasted for 20 years as the Palestinian
people reaped nothing from negotiations but more harm to the Palestinian cause. An end to the division between Fatah and Hamas
and putting the national interests above all factional considerations is demand number
one for the ordinary Palestinians who do not believe the U.S.-mediated peace talks would
ever bear fruit. Yousef Alhelou, in Gaza for The Real News