© FATEFUL TRIANGLE, THE UNITED STATES, ISRAEL, & THE PALESTINIANS (South End Press, Updated Edition, 1999), by Noam Chomsky, pages 123-143, including footnotes 93-145.
Excerpt for Chapter 4 : Israel and Palestine: Historical Backgrounds
5. The Ways of the Conqueror
5.1 The West Bank
The religious settlers in the West Bank, operating freely with army support, take pride in creating a pogrom-like atmosphere among the Arabs, who must be trained not to ''raise their heads,'' this being the only way to treat Arabs, who "adore power" and will live in peace with the Jews only when "we show him that we are strong." How? "We enter a village, shoot a bit at windows, warn the villagers and return to the settlement. We don't kidnap people, but it can happen that we catch a boy who had been throwing stones, take him back with us, beat him a bit and give him over to the Army to finish the job." The same West Bank settler also explains how official investigators act to protect Jews who shoot to hit and to kill (including firing at children). This particular interview ended because the settler-a friend of the journalist-"was in a hurry to get back home before the Sabbath."93
The settlers are quite open about the
measures they take towards Arabs and the justification for them, which they
find in the religious law and the writings of the sages. In the journal of the
religious West Bank settlers
we find, for example, an article with the heading "Those among us who call
for a humanistic attitude towards our (Arab] neighbors
are reading the Halacha [religious law] selectively
and are avoiding specific commandments." The scholarly author cites
passages from the Talmud explaining that God is sorry that he created the Ishmaelites, and that Gentiles are "a people like a
donkey." The law concerning "conquered" peoples is explicit, he
argues, quoting Maimonides on how they must
"serve" their Jewish conquerors and be "degraded and low"
and "must not raise their heads in
…with complete submission." Only then may the conquerors
treat them in a "humane manner." "There is no relation," he
claims, "between the law of
A recent device for protecting settlers who attack Arabs is to transfer all investigation of the illegal use of arms by settlers from police to the military. Settlers simply refuse to cooperate with police, who do not "dare question or arrest Jewish suspects," even one "seen on television shooting directly into a crowd of demonstrating Arabs while soldiers stood behind him and were holding their fire" (the head of the district council of a Jewish settlement near Ramallah, in this case).95
When Palestinians are beaten or detained by settlers, Arab policemen are afraid to intervene. "Palestinian lawyers say; the settlements are so formidable that the Arab police and courts never dare to serve a Summons or make a search, leaving settlers beyond the law when it comes to conflicts with Arabs." The general character of the occupation is indicated by an incident in an Arab village in March 1982. Four settlers claimed that a stone was thrown at their car in this village. They fired "into the air," shooting one boy in the arm. Another boy was kidnapped, beaten, locked in the trunk of the car, taken to a Jewish settlement and locked in a room where he was beaten "on and off during most of the day," then taken to the military government compound in Ramallah, where the boy was held while the settlers went on their way.96 A standard bit of black humor in the occupied territories is that Arabs should stop flying and begin walking on the ground so they won't be shot so often when settlers fire into the air.97
Children and teen-agers are often the main victims, since they are
generally the ones involved in protests and demonstrations. Danny Tsidkoni reports from
who broke the leg of one boy and the hand of one girl in "retaliation."98 A soldier reports that 30 12-13 year-old children were lined up facing a wall with their hands up for five hours in Hebron one very cold night, kicked if they moved. He justified the punishment because they are not "all innocent lambs as they look now, with their hands up and their eyes asking pity... They burn and they throw stones and participate in demonstrations, and they are not less harmful than their parents." Afterwards, the children were taken to prison at an Army camp. Parents began to arrive to find out what had happened to their children, including one old man "with the dignity of a Christian saint." He did not ask to see his son, but only wanted to know whether he was there and to bring him a coat. "The guard at the gate simply looked him up and down, and cursing him, ordered him to leave." The old man stood all night waiting, in the freezing cold. In another case, a settler suspected of murdering an Arab boy "already had a criminal record for breaking the arm of an eleven-year-old boy who allegedly had thrown a stone at an Israeli vehicle."99
The aged are also not spared. "For five days an elderly Arab woman
has lain unconscious in a
One not untypical issue of a
Palestinian weekly contains two stories on the front page. The first deals with
the week-long curfew imposed on the Dheisheh refugee
camp after an Israeli observation post was burned and stones were thrown at an
Israeli vehicle. It reports that inhabitants lacked food and that Israeli
authorities raided houses, confiscating large numbers of books, magazines and
tapes with national songs, while the men were forced to stand outside the
police station during the cold nights. Soldiers searched the house of a man who
had died two months earlier and "burned his private library and the school
books of his children." The second story cites Ha'aretz (Zvi Barel,
Oct.31): "Two Arab youths were injured by an Israeli time bomb in the
(*) This testimony comes
primarily from Arab prisoners. MK Shulamit Aloni, one of irael's leading
civil libertarians, reported that Jewish prisoners in military prisons allege
lat condition', are so severe that some were driven insane. M K Charley Biton, a Sephardi, added that 90%
of those in military prisons are from the Oriental Jewish community. Davar,
The extensive reports of torture by Arab prisoners have generally been dismissed in the U.S., just as little notice is taken of reports of Palestinian refugees, or in general, of the travail and concerns of the Palestinians. Reports by prisoners or refugees of course have to be carefully evaluated; in particular, the conditions of transmission must be carefully considered, as well as the fact that they may have a stake in exaggerating or falsifying, or in suppressing the truth out of fear of their interrogators or guards. But surely such reports should be taken seriously. These remarks are truisms, characteristically disregarded in two cases: where refugees or prisoners have a tale to tell that is useful for ideological or propaganda purposes (e.g., atrocity reports about some enemy), in which case all caution is thrown to the winds; or where their stories reflect Badly on some revered state, in which case they are disregarded.104
In the case of Palestinian prisoners
Insight team which, after a lengthy investigation, found evidence of torture so widespread and systematic that "it appears to be sanctioned at some level as deliberate policy," perhaps "to persuade Arabs in occupied territories that it is least painful to behave passively."105 The study was offered to the New York Times and Washington Post but rejected for publication and barely reported. A study by the Swiss League for the Rights of Man (June 1977), presenting similar material, received no notice here. The same is true of the reports of torture by Israeli journalists.'105 Various Israeli rebuttals were published though not, to my knowledge, the devastating Sunday Times response.
More interesting than the attempt at
rebuttal, however, was the conclusion that torture of Arabs by Israelis is
legitimate, a position expressed, perhaps not surprisingly, in the New Republic, the semi-official journal
of American liberalism, where Seth Kaplan concludes that the question of how a
government should treat people under its control "is not susceptible to
simple absolutism, such as the outright condemnation of torture. One may have
to use extreme measures-call them 'torture'-to deal with a terrorist movement
whose steady tactic is the taking of human life."106 To my
knowledge, this is the first explicit defense of torture to have appeared in
the West(*) apart from the ravings of the ultra-right
(*) See also Michael Levin,
"The Case for Torture," Newsweek.
No less interesting was the response of the Israeli judiciary. Amnesty International raised the question whether the remarkably high level of confessions of Arab prisoners might suggest inhumane treatment. To this, Israeli Supreme Court Justice Moshe Etzioni responded that "the Arabs in any case -if they are arrested- do not take much time before they confess. It's part of their nature” -a comment that we may place along-side of Martin Peretz's "Arabs exaggerate" and others of the same ilk concerning Jews and other oppressed peoples over the years. It is perhaps of some interest to note that the genetic defect of Arabs noted by Justice Etzioni appears to be somehow contagious, since by now Jewish prisoners are confessing to crimes that they did not commit after police interrogation, including cases of interrogation by police investigators previously identified by Arabs as torturers. 107
Amnesty International, incidentally,
is not very popular in
Quite apart from alleged torture under interrogation, the conditions of Arab political prisoners are horrifying, not a great surprise, perhaps, when we consider the scale of arrests in the occupied territories: some 200,000 security prisoners and detainees have passed through Israeli jails, almost 20% of the population, which has led to "horrendous overcrowding" and "appalling human suffering and corruption."109
The occasional trials of military
offenders sometimes shed light on practices in the occupied territories. A
number of reserve officers connected with the Peace Now movement threatened to
make charges against soldiers public unless there was an investigation, leading
to a trial that "brought forth evidence of methodically brutal treatment
of the local townspeople last spring" (1982), at the peak of the
atrocities carried out under the Milson-Sharon
administration. Reuters reports that at the trial, Maj. David Mofaz, the deputy military governor of Hebron at the time
of the alleged atrocities, testified that "Israeli soldiers were given
orders to harass and beat up Palestinian residents" and that they
"viciously struck and kicked defenseless young Arab prisoners." He
testified that "he personally was ordered to beat up Arabs by the West
Bank military commander," but he knew that "the orders came from
higher up, from the chief of staff" He said that "the army had orders
to harass the West Bank population in general, not just those involved in
anti-Israeli demonstrations," giving examples. An Israeli captain
testified that he had personally beaten Palestinian detainees and that
"Israeli soldiers routinely beat up Palestinian detainees on the occupied
On the same day, another brief report in the same American journal describes how Turkish women, "suspected leftists," are placed in coffin-like boxes "in an attempt to extract information during questioning," One minor example of a systematic pattern of torture and repression that also evokes little interest here, though perhaps the same report from another military dictatorship (say in Poland), might have elicited some comment.
According to the Jerusalem Post, "a military court has allegedly heard evidence
that Defence Minister Ariel Sharon urged Israeli
soldiers to beat Arab schoolchildren in the West Bank," referring to the
same trial of soldiers "accused of brutally mistreating Arab youths in
Hebron last March," a trial that "has attracted almost no publicity
in Israel"-though it did shortly after. The source is a major in the
reserves who told the court that the military governor had quoted
The Hebrew press reports the testimony
of the vice-commander of the
The trial of the soldiers did receive publicity later on, particularly when the defense established its claim that the orders to brutalize prisoners and impose collective punishments came directly from Chief of Staff Eitan. He was called to testify before the military court and confirmed that he had ordered such punishments as expulsion, harassment of inciters, the establishment of detention or exile camps "even without regular prison conditions" (which are grim enough), and a wide variety of collective punishments against towns where there had been resistance to the conquerors (primarily, stone throwing) and against families of pupils who "caused disturbances" (this device "works well with Arabs," he testified). The Chief of Staff opposed calling leaders in for warnings. "We demean ourselves," he said: "Instead of conversations, we should carry out arrests." He also said that Jewish settlers must travel armed and feel free to open fire when attacked, say, by children throwing stones. The military court sentenced four soldiers to several months imprisonment,(*) but ruled that Eitan's orders were legal.
(*) For comparison, "An
Israeli military court sentenced seven West Bank Arab teenagers to jail terms
ranging from six to nine months and fined them 1650 each yesterday for stoning
an Israel'. police chief in his car in the occupied
Maj. Mofaz, the highest ranking officer charged, was released; his lawyers had held -ccurately it appears- that he and others were "merely following the orders and guidelines laid down by their superiors," Edward Walsh reports. Apart from beating of Arab detainees and civilians, charges included forcing people to crawl on all fours and bark like dogs, laud Begin and Border Guards (who were allegedly responsible, though not punished), slap one another (children were ordered to slap their parents), along with other punishments that work well with Arabs. Maj. Mofaz ordered soldiers to write numbers on the arms of prisoners on the Day of the Holocaust, but the military court accepted his defense that this order was only given in jest (though it was carried out)."112 The New Republic, democratic socialists, Elie Wiesel and others have not yet rendered their judgment as to whether these practices fall within the range of those that are acceptable for dealing with terrorists; the same silence has held for many years in similar circumstances, though there has been no shortage of praise for Israel's remarkably high moral values and sympathy for its travail under the burdens of occupation imposed upon it by Arab intransigence.
Aharon Bachar writes of "the things that are being done in my
name and in yours: we will never be able to escape the responsibility and to
say that we did not know and we did not hear." He describes a meeting
between Labor Alignment leaders (including some of the most noted hawks, such
as Golda Meir's adviser Israel Galili)
and Menachem Begin, where they presented to Begin
"detailed accounts of terrorist acts [against Arabs] in the conquered
territories." They described the "collective punishment in the town
The men were taken from
their houses beginning at , in pajamas, in the cold.
The notables and other men were concentrated in the square of the mosque and
held there until morning. Meanwhile men of the Border Guards [noted for their
cruelty] broke into houses; beating people with shouts and curses. During the
many hours that hundreds of people were kept in the mosque square, they were
ordered to urinate and excrete on one another and also to sing Hatikva ["The Hope," the national
anthem of Israel] and to call out "Long Live the State of Israel."
Several times people were beaten and ordered to crawl on the ground. Some were
even ordered to lick the earth. At the same time four trucks were commandeered
and at daybreak, the inhabitants were loaded on the trucks, about 100 in each
truck, and taken like sheep to the Administration headquarters in
On Holocaust Day, the 27 of Nissan [the date in the Jewish calendar], the people who were arrested were ordered to write numbers on their hands with their own hands, in memory of the Jews in the extermination camps.
The report continues, detailing how
prisoners are beaten, tortured and humiliated, how settlers are permitted into
the prisons to take part in the beating of prisoners, how the settlers
brutalize the local inhabitants with impunity, even in the case of a settler
who killed an Arab, whose identity is known, but who is not arrested. 113 All
legitimate, presumably, by the standards of the
A week later, Yoram Peri again published sections of the report transmitted to Begin by the Labor Party delegation. There had been no question raised in the Knesset concerning it, he noted, and the matter had been passed over silently elsewhere. But, he added bitterly, why be surprised? "After all, who are they [the victims]? Araboushim, two-legged beasts" (the latter a reference to Prime Minister Begin's characterization of "terrorists"). He writes that the "frightening metamorphosis that is coming over us. . . places in question the justice of the Zionist movement, the basis for the existence of the state," but it receives no attention in the Knesset, the World Zionist Congress (then in session in Jerusalem), or elsewhere. It is time to recognize, he concludes, that "there is no such thing as an enlightened occupation, there cannot be a liberal military administration." The pretenses of the past 15 years are simply lies. By now, 3/4 of a million young Israelis who have served in the IDF "know that the task of the army is not only to defend the state in the battlefield against a foreign army, but to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim living in territories that God promised to us." 115
Writing identification numbers on the arms of prisoners is a practice that many have naturally found particularly shocking. It is apparently common, and the circumstances just described are not unique. Peace Now military officers describing the daily "brutality and violence" of the IDF and the settlers in the territories, the "repression, humiliation, maltreatment and collective punishment," report that soldiers regularly write the numbers of Arab IDs on the wrists of Arab prisoners, and one recalls a particularly "appalling incident" of this sort that he witnessed-again, on the Day of the Holocaust. Another describes an incident in which a group of fresh recruits were issued clubs and told: "Boys, off you go to assault the locals." He describes the treatment of Arab prisoners, who are required to clean the soldiers' rooms, mess halls and latrines. "At night, they are put into a small room and beaten up" so badly that "many of them cannot even stand up" -"youngsters, . . most of whom have not been tried, people who will be released due to lack of evidence." Aharon Geva writes in Davar that "Some of us Israelis behave like the worst kind of anti-Semites, whose name cannot be mentioned here, like the very people who painted a picture of the Jew as a sub-human creature..."115 In fact, what has been happening in the occupied territories for many years is all too familiar from Jewish history.
Stories such as these, which abound,
have constituted the daily lives of those subjected to Israeli rule for many
years. Outright murders by Israeli soldiers or settlers are sometimes reported
Until December 1981, the
The press reported many more details,
for example, the case of a three-year-old boy who was beaten with a club by a
soldier after he threw an Israeli ID card to the floor; his mother was shot
when she came to his aid. The national water company reduced water supplies.
Jewish settlements (including kibbutzim) complained because they were deprived
of their normal workforce of Golan Druze.118 A
lead article in Ha'aretz observed that there was no protest in the
Knesset apart from Rakah (Communist) and that editors
did not protest the prohibition of entry of journalists. "In the general
Israeli Jewish public the indifference is shocking. Only some few hundreds of
meters away from the besieged Druze village, young Israelis enjoy the sun, take
photos in the snow, eat and gossip. On one side, barbed wire and human beings
in a cage, on the other, people skiing, going up and down in lifts. In the middle, the Israeli Army."119 Subsequently,
former Supreme Court Justice Chaim Cohen described
the Golan Law as "the law of the barbarians.120 One reason for
objections of the Druze to the Golan Law was "the great fear of expropriation
of their lands." They "know well that most of the lands of the Druze
All of this, and much more, care of the American taxpayer, who be kept uninformed, and generally has been, quite successfully.
5.3 The Attack on Palestinian Culture
Throughout this period, the Arab intelligentsia have been a particular target of attack, in accordance with "the clear plan of Sharon to drive out and destroy any sign or element with an Arab national character to bring about full Israeli control in the territories.122 Bir Zeit university in the West Bank has been one of the favorite targets, with "night raids on women's and men's dormitories, and on student and faculty apartments," disruption of classes by military checkpoints, confiscation of students' ID cards making it illegal for them to travel, and in general, "daily humiliation inflicted on students [which] placed them under psychological pressure that made the normal functioning of the University difficult"123 -an understatement, as more detailed reporting shows.
More recently, much of the foreign
faculty has been expelled for refusing to sign a statement that they will not
offer support for the PLO (as does the overwhelming majority of the West Bank
population), eliciting a protest from the State Department.124
Secretary of State George Shultz condemned the Israeli loyalty oath as "an
abridgment of academic freedom" and as "totally unnecessary" for
Israel's security, a clear infringement "of freedom, freedom of
thought," and called upon "people in the intellectual community
particularly... to speak up" in protest. That American intellectuals
should suddenly become exercised over violation' of academic freedom under Israeli
occupation seems unlikely, given their dismal record of "support for
One aspect of the problem, noted by
David Richardson, is illustrate126 by the case of Mohammad Shad id,
an American-trained political scientist at
is no unique case. President Salah of aI-Najah University, who was expelled in October, is also a
native of the West Bank, born in Nablus, who was
studying abroad in 1967 and is therefore considered a "foreigner" by
the Israeli government; in its brief story on the expulsion, the New York Times refers to him as "a
Jordanian national," technically correct but missing a rather important
point. In a press conference on the morning of his expulsion, unreported here
to my knowledge, Dr. Salah stated that
strategy is to destroy the infrastructure of the universities, as it is to destroy the infrastructure of Palestinian society. This started with the municipalities. Now they've come to a second attempt after the first one failed. Their ultimate aim is to destroy any Palestinian infrastructure in the homeland.130
Danny Rubinstein reports that most of
the "foreign lecturers" at the University "are not really
'foreigners,' but rather Palestinians, natives of the West Bank, who do not
have Israeli identity cards (from the military administration) so that the
authorities can revoke their residence permits and expel them from the
country." He also notes that the harassment of the
The former acting president of
In his article "A threat to
freedom" (note 127), David Richardson observes that just as the Israeli
academic community has by and large showed "indifference" to the treatment
of their Arab colleagues under the military occupation, so Israeli journalists
have for the most part remained (purposefully) "ignorant of the fact that
three West Bank editors have been confined to their places of residence for
almost two years and thereby prevented from pursuing their professions
properly." Boaz Evron investigated this matter,
visiting the three editors in violation of his resolve not to enter the
occupied territories. The three editors were confined to their
The treatment of the editors of the Jerusalem journal Al Fajr illustrates what Arab intellectuals may expect if they "raise their heads," in the terminology of the West Bank settlers-if they try to act with a measure of intellectual independence.(*) One was picked up by the police and kept in
confinement for 17 days. He was made to stand for 24 hours with a bag over his
head and his arms bound, until he fainted. He was then charged with possessing
two copies of a PLO journal. A second has been prevented for a year from
visiting the occupied territories, where his family and friends live and where
his professional responsibilities are focused. A third was kept in jail for a
week for failure to change the license on a new car. A fourth was confined for
two and a half years in Ramallab. The journal is
subjected to heavy censorship, often not permitted to republish materiM from the Hebrew or more conformist Arabic press. It
is even prevented from publishing factual information about such matters as the
opening of a school that had been closed, or events in the occupied
territories. Journalists from Al Fajr are continually taken for interrogation,
degraded, threatened, arrested. "lf things like this happened to your journalists," one
editor said to an Israeli reporter, "all the world would respond with
great anger. You shout about the suppression of intellectuals in the
(*) For an account of harassment and arbitrary arrest, detention and alleged beatings of journalists from Al Fqjr, harassment of other Arab journals, and the forms taken by Israeli censorship. See Robert I. Friedman, "No Peace for West Bank Press CPJ Update, Committee to Protect Journalists, January 1983 Israeli officials defend the censorship on the grounds that "It's no secret that Palestinians in general and the Arab press support the PLO" (it is kept a secret in some circles in the U S where the fact is constantly denied e.g., in the New Republic; see p.63), and Israel is “in a state of war with the PLO.” Israeli journalists who have investigated the censorship allege however that it is politically motivated, and often entirely arbitrary (e. g., love poems have been censored though they had no reference to the national question) Words are censored that Israeli officials find objectionable. e.g., the word "sumud," referring to the steadfastness of the samid who chooses the "third way," neither resistance nor capitulation; see below, section 6.
Michal Meron, who reports these facts, writes that Al Fajr "is not an example of what it is possible to
call free journalism." The reason is that those who participate in the journal
"see in their task a national mission, and their pen is ready to serve
only the Palestinian interest." The editors, in fact, are outspoken about
their political commitments. One states to Meron that
"we see in the PLO our sole representative and therefore we support its
point of view. We are in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state
alongside of the State of Israel." Perhaps some might see in this a
justification for the constant harassment of a journal that does not really
merit the appellation "free press." One might ask how such a stand
differs in principle from that of Soviet authorities with regard to Zionist
publications within the
Other questions arise as well. While Meron was disparaging Al
Fajr because of its commitment to "the
Palestinian interest," the Jerusalem
Post, highly regarded within
A few days earlier, the Congress of
Jewish Journalists from the Diaspora opened, with 60 journalists from 14
countries. The deputy chairman of the Zionist Congress in
The constant and sometimes almost
fanatic harassment of
Israeli Arab citizens are,
incidentally, also frequently denied the right of cultural expression. To cite
one recent example, the High Court of Justice upheld the government's refusal
to permit Najwa Makhoul, a
lecturer at the Hebrew University with a Ph.D. degree from MIT, to publish an
Arabic political-literary journal, citing undisclosed "security
reasons." "The security of the state has silenced yet another
Arab," B. Michael observes, adding that Israeli intellectuals, professors,
writers and poets have nothing to say. The journal was "envisioned as a
forum for serious analyses of Palestinian-Israeli society, as well as more general
articles written [in] a
As for the lack of interest here, that
should be no more surprising than the fact that there is no protest when the
well-known Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, invited to take part in a UNICEF poetry reading,
is denied a visa under a section of immigration law that allows the State
Department to bar people for certain ideological reasons"-as the State
Department confirmed. If an Israeli poet were denied entry to the
As one might expect, the experiences
of those who enjoy "the opportunity given to them to work in
The same regulation leads to other
problems. Two moshavim (semi-collective settlements)
were recently condemned by the Moshav movement for
arranging "decent housing" for seasonal agricultural workers, instead
of bringing them from their homes in the Gaza Strip 200 km away every morning
and returning them there in the evening, as required by law. Their work day
thus ran from to , and they were found to be tired,
strangely. The phrase "decent housing" appears in the
English-language press account. The Hebrew press tells a different story, with
pictures to illustrate: the "decent housing" consisted of barns, storehouses,
abandoned buildings where they are crammed into rooms, old buses; the headline
in Haolam Haze reads: "Too far away for any
eye to see, hidden in the orchards, there are the sheep pens for the servants,
of a sort that even a state like South Africa would be ashamed ofl" Amos Radar, Secretary General of the Moshav movement, strongly opposes providing housing for the
workers, which is in any event illegal. If they are given housing, he says,
"after a short while the workers from the
territories will bring their families and house them in camps. That would be
Arab settlement on land of the Jewish National Fund. That cannot be." Journalist
Aryeh Rubinstein adds sarcastically: "his
children will help with the picking and his wife will clean the 'master's'
house." Radar is asked whether he agrees to the use of Arab labor,
"but only on condition that they will live in subhuman conditions,
degraded, and not under human conditions, more or less."
"Correct," he answers, conceding that "really, there is a difficult
question here," "There is no choice but to employ Arabs," he
says. They must be brought from
Another officer of the Moshav movement concedes that hired labor troubles him; "But I am troubled far more by the fact that we, with our own hands, are establishing settlements for Arabs within the Green Line [the pre-June 1967 borders]." As for the problem of bringing in workers from such a distance, he asks: "What are 200 kilometers in comparison with the loss of the justice of our struggle for the land?"-especially when others are doing the traveling, with a work day from to . But the problem will apparently soon be resolved, since the Border Guards have been ordered to evacuate the Arab workers from the camps set up for them.'41 Further steps towards "the democratic socialist hope."
This only skims the surface. There is
also, for example, the issue of child labor, of children aged six or seven
trucked in by labor contractors at
to work on private or collective farms for "a meager subsistence
wage," though "often they are cheated on that." Again, the
matter has not been discussed in the
5.5 Israeli Inquiries and American Suppression
Coverage of events in the occupied
territories is far more comprehen sive
A great deal of information about human rights violations, particularly in the occupied territories, has been made available by the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. Its Chairman from 1970, Dr. Israel Shahak, has compiled a personal record of courage and commitment to human rights that few people anywhere can equal, and has been untiring in exposing the facts about the occupation and circulating information, much of it from the Hebrew press, where several outstanding journalists (frequently cited above) have attempted to provide an honest record-sometimes, some say, using material provided by Arab journalists who hope to be able to reprint the stories from the Hebrew press. The work of the League is little known here, in part, because human rights organizations prefer not to know the facts. The League had been an affiliate of the New York-based International League for Human Rights, but was suspended in 1973 on the interesting grounds that the governing Labor Party had attempted to take over and destroy the League by methods so crude that they were quickly blocked by the Israeli Courts; on similar grounds, it would be proper for Amnesty International to suspend a Moscow chapter attacked by the government. One professed civil libertarian, Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School (who had already distinguished himself by defending preventive detention in Israel and denouncing political prisoners in jail(*) -a particularly despicable practice, as would be at once recognized in any other context)- attempted to cover ~p the disgraceful Labor government takeover attempt with gross misrepresentation of the facts and slanderous accusations directed against Shahak, who has, in fact, been bitterly attacked by American Zionists who are horrified at his belief that Palestinians are human; see his entry in the Anti-Defamation League "enemies list," for example.145 Again, these facts fall under the ideological aspect of the "special relationship," as discussed earlier.
(*) The particular target of Dershowiti's slanders was the Israeli Arab writer Fouzi elAs mar, held for 15
months without charges under administrative detention. On the basis of
information provided to him by the Israeli secret police, Dershowitz
arrived at the "personal conviction" that he was a terrorist
"commander," as he proceeds to assert without qualification, so that
the detention was legitimate. There is, by now, little pretense in
92. See Chomsky, Towards a New
Cold War [henceforth, TNCW, Pantheon Press ,
1982], pp. 287f., for some examples.
93. Zvi Bard, "Talking to a settler," Ha'aretz, April20, 1982. On the settlers, see TNCW, p.279.
1982, who observes that with the civilian authorities removed, the settlers "can act as
they wish in giving many examples.
96. David Shipler,
97. Bard, "Talking to a settler."
98. Danny Tsidkoni,
Meron, Yediot Ahronot,
100. James McManus, Guardian (
101. The Dawn (Al Fajr),
102. MK Tawfiq
Toubi, reported in The Dawn,
103. For one recent example, seethe report by Felicia Langer, the lawyer who defends many
Arabs, quoting an Arab prisoner who recounts in detail what he says happened to him
under interrogation in the “Sarafand” interrogation center, leaving him in such a
condition that the
from a military hospital. He specifically implicates Israeli doctors. The Dawn (Al Fajr),
Dec.31, 1982. See Langer's book With My Own Eyes (Ithaca, London, 1974), and the
more extensive Hebrew original Bemo Eynay for many examples. There is ample further
evidence. For a few examples, see TNCW, p.447.
104. For extensive evidence concerning both categories, see Chomsky and Herman Political
Economy of Human Rights. Predictably, our insistence that refuge reports be taken
seriously and considered with the same caution and concern whatever their origin has
repeatedly been interpreted as apologetics for some official enemy, a matter that merits
little comment apart from an inquiry, which might be illuminating, into some of the
techniques typically adopted by those whom Bakunin aptly called the "state worshipping"
intellectuals; in the West, those who pretend to be anti-Communist while mimicking
the testimony of Paul Eddy and Peter Gill man of the Sunday Times before the
UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human
Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (Al SPC/ 32/ L. 12, 11 Nov.
1977), including also interesting analysis of the efforts at rebuttal on the part of
David Krivine of the Jerusalem Post and the Israeli government. See TNC W, p.447
106. Seth Kaplan, New Republic,
107. Amnesty International Newsletter, Sept. 1977; Martin Peretz, New Republic,
Amnon Rubinstein, Ha'aretz, Feb.27, 1981; TNCW, p.454. For another remarkable
example of a "confession," regarded by the Washington Post as a "vindication
system of justice" and given a stamp of approval also by "civil libertarians" Monroe
Freedman and Alan Dershowitz, see Chomsky and Herman, Political Economy of Human
Rights, vol.1, p.381.
108. Report and Recommendations of an Amnesty International
press on conditions in the prisons in TNCW, pp.446-7.
111. Jerusalem Post, Dec.12, 1982; "'Cut off their testicles,'
demonstrators in the
quoting Avraham Burg; The Dawn (Al Fair), Jan21,
and the curfew; Michael Precker, Dallas Morning News-Boston Globe, Feb.17, 1983. The
expropriation was noted by Trudy Rubin, Christian Science Monitor,
112. Zvi Barel, Ha'aretz, Jan.20, 1983 (Israleft News Service; Barel, Ha'aretz Weekly, Feb. 6-11,
Feb.11); Eitan Mor, Yediot Ahronot, Feb.18, 1983; Reuven Padhatzur, Ha'aretz, March
11, 1983, explaining how the defense "broke the rules of the game" by building its case
on the demonstration that IDF policy is responsible for the atrocities; the defense was
successful, since higher officers, who gave the orders, could not be (and were not) tried.
See also Marcus Eliason, AP, Boston Globe, Jan.22, 1983, reviewing Eitan's orders and
also his statement, which is correct, that the practice of demolishing houses in collective
punishment and deportation was practiced much more extensively by his Labor
predecessors. Also New York Times, Feb.10, 18. The sanitized New York Times accounts
may usefully be compared to those cited from other American journals, particularly the
detailed account of Eitan's testimony by Norman Kempster, Los Angeles Times, Feb.10,
113. Aharon Bachar, "Do not say: We did not know, we did not hear'," Yediot
Ahronot, Dec. 3, 1982.
114. Aharon Bachar, Yediot Ahronot, Nov. 5, 3982.
115. Yoram Peri, Davar, Dec.10, 1982.
116. "Peace Now officers recount atrocities," Al Hamishmar, May 11, 1982; Aharon Dava,
Davar, April 4, 1982 (Israeli Mirror).
117. "Human Rights Violations on the Golan Heights: February-May, 1982," Report of the
Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Israel Office of the American Jewish Committee
(1982). The following account and quotes are from this study. The events discussed were
reported by some of the Israeli press, despite efforts by the authorities to prevent
journalists from discovering the facts or even entering the area.
118. Ha'arejz, April 16; David Richardson, Jerusalem Post, April 16; Emmanuel Elnekaveh,
Yediot Ahronot, Feb.25; Yoram Hamizrahi, Feb.25; Nahum Barnea, Davar, April 13,
119. Ha'aretz, March 15, 1982.
120. Ha'aretz, Jerusalem Post, April 16; see also editorial, "Shame on the Golan," Jerusalem
Post, April 16, 1982.
121. Amos Elon, Ha'aretz, April 13, 1982.
122. Danny Rubinstein, Davar, April 12, 1982. See TNCW, pp.277-S, for some examples,
including even the closing of art exhibits.
123. Jerusalem Post, July13, 1982; Israleft News Service. The harassment of Bir Zeit apparently
began with the Likud takeover in 1977. For some early discussion, see Manfred
Ropschitz, ed., Volunteers for Palestine Papers /977-1980 (Miftah, Kfar Shemaryahu,
124. UPI, Boston Globe, Nov.17, 1982.
125. New York Times, Nov.20, 23, 1982; Benny Morris, Jerusalem Post, Nov.21, 1982. Israleft
News Service, Dec. 1, 1982, contains a detailed chronology and material from the Israeli
press. Seethe advertisement of the Ad Hoc Committee for Academic Freedom, New York
Times, Christian Science Monitor, April 1, 1983.
126. Christian Science Monitor, Nov.16, 1982.
127. David Richardson, "A threat to freedom," Jerusalem Post, Nov. 19, 1982; Norman
Kempster, Los Angeles Times, Nov.20, 1982.
128. See, among others, Danny Rubinstein, Davar, May 16, 1980; TNCW, p.274.
129. Boston Globe, Nov.22; New York Times, Nov.23, 1982.
130. New York Times, Oct.21; The Dawn (Al Fajr), Nov.12, 1982.
131. Danny Rubinstein, Davar, Nov.19, 1982.
132. W.F. Abboushi. Christian Science Monitor, Nov.30, 1982.
133. Boaz Evron, Yediot Ahronot, Dec. 3, 1982. Shortly after, the restrictions on one of the
editors (and several other people) were lifted; Jerusalem Post, Dec.21, 1982 (Israleft
134. Michal Meron, Yediot Ahronot (supplement), Dec.10, 1982.
135. Erwin Frenkel, "A newspaper's loyalties," Jerusalem Post Jubilee Supplement, Dec. I, 1982.
136. Ha'aretz, Nov.29, 1982.
137. H. Graetz, History of the Jews (Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1893, vol. II,
p.324). See The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia(New York, 1942, vol.6).
138. Press Release, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Oct.27, 1982; Ha'aretz, Oct.
28, 1982 (Israleft News Service, Nov.15). B. Michael, Ha'aretz, Nov. 7, 1982. The Dawn
(Al Fajr), Dec.10, 1982.
139. Boston Globe, Nov.27, 1982, under "Names and Faces," where brief odd items involving
various personalities are presented; Al Hamishmar, Nov.16, 1982; Ha'aretz, March 8,
140. Letter, New York Review of Books, March 17,1977. See TNCW, p.283, for references from
the Israeli, British and Swedish press.
141. Aharon Dolav, Ma'ariv', Dec.10, 1982; Ben-Tsion Tsitriv, Haolam Haze, Dec.
22, 1982; Yigal Bichkov, Ha'aretz, Dec. 9, 1982. There is a watered-down version in the
English-language press: Aryeh Rubinstein, "Sleeping scandal," Yitzha1; Oked, "Arab
labourers' housing to be probed," Jerusalem Post, Dec.26, 1982.
142. Ian Black, New Statesman, Sept. 29, 1978 (for further references from the Hebrew press,
see Chomsky and Herman, Political Economy of Human Right:, vol.11, p.360; TNCW,
p.283); Felicia Langer, Report of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, Jan.19,
1983 (Langer was the lawyer representing Barguti).
143. Hotam, Feb.19, 2982.
144. "The Gangrene of the Occupation." Al Hamishmar, Feb.19, 1982.
145. For details, see Peace in the Middle East?, pp.196-7, and references cited, and Adnan
Amad, ed., Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights (The Shahak Papers) (Palestine
Research Center, Beirut, 1973); the latter also contains documentation provided by the
League on a wide range of serious human rights violations under the Labor government.
See also Shahak, The Non-Jew in the Jewish State (a collection of documents, mostly
from the Israeli press; privately printed, Jerusalem, 1975), and much else. See Pro-Arab
Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices, Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith
(New York, January 1983). This book (including this entry) contain numerous falsehoods
and slanders, as one would expect in the "enemies list" of an organization now largely
dedicated to defamation. See p.14.