Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee

Veritas Handbook

Veritas Handbook
The Veritas Handbook is a guide to understanding the struggle for Palestinian human rights, released in late July 2010 by a five-person volunteer team of college students and recent graduates.

Download PDF Version, or visit http://www.veritashandbook.org/ for more information.

Table of Contents

PREFACE 14

PART I: HISTORICAL OVERVIEW AND IMPORTANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION (17)

Introduction to Part I 18

Background Information 19

Geographical Orientation of Palestine 20

History/Anthropology of Canaan/Palestine/Eretz Yisrael 20

Religious Aspect: Why is Palestine Holy to all Three Abrahamic Religions? 21

The Roots of Conflict, 1878-1947 23

Definition of Zionism 24

World War I and the Balfour Declaration 25

Zionist Colonization of Palestine 26

British Mandate of Palestine 27

Palestinian Resistance to Zionism and to British Imperialism: 1929 and 1936 riots 27

Establishment of Zionist paramilitary forces: Haganah, Irgun, Stern Gang, Palmach 29

Setting the stage for the ethnic cleansing of 1947 32

Ethnic Cleansing, War, and Collective Punishment: Israel and the Palestinians, 1948-1955 36

Partition of Palestine 37

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine 37

1948 War, “War of Independence” 40

Armistice Agreement 43

Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 43

The UN Conciliation Committee and Resolution 194 44

Creating a Jewish Israel, Destroying an Arab Palestine 45

Jews from Arab countries: Exodus and Absorption 46

Offensive deterrence and collective punishment 49

Pax Hebraica: Israel, the Arab States, and the Palestinians 1955-1981 51

1956 Suez War 52

Six-Day War 55

Internationalization of Palestinian-Israeli Conflict 56

Yom Kippur War 57

The Powder Keg: Israel, Lebanon, and the Palestinians, 1943-2008 62

National Pact (Al-Mithaq al-Watani) 63

Demographics 64

The Palestinian Refugees 65

1958 Crisis 66

1959-1970: The Golden Age 67

The PLO in Lebanon 67

The Lebanese Civil War 69

Syria and Lebanon 71

Israel and Lebanon 72

Hezbollah, Israel, and the SLA 75

Uprisings, Settlements, and Apartheid:

Israel and the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, 1987-2009 80

Occupation and Settlements (1967-1987) 81

The First Intifada 82

Madrid Peace Conference (1991) 83

Oslo Accords(1993) 84

Oslo Years (1993-2000) 85

Camp David Summit (2000) 87

Second Intifada (2000-present) 88

Gaza Disengagement 90

2006 Palestinian Legislative Elections 91

Palestinian Factional Violence (2007) 92

Operation Cast Lead 93

The Goldstone Report 95

Gaza Flotilla Massacre 96

The Israeli Political System 98

The Knesset 99

The Secular Zionist Parties 100

The Israeli Left (The Anti-Zionist Parties) 105

The Arab-Israeli Parties 105

The Far Religious Right (The Religious Zionist Parties) 107

The Kahanist/Radical Settler Movement 109

The current Israeli Political Landscape and its Implications 111

The Palestinian Political Scene 112

The PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) 113

The Palestinian National Authority 114

Fatah 114

Palestinian Leftists 116

Secular Independents 118

Islamists 120

Historical Photo Gallery 125

PART II: A GUIDE TO ANSWERING COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND THE ZIONIST NARRATIVE

Introduction to Part II 127

Answering the Zionist Narrative 127

(Taken from FAQ from “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide” by Ben White)

Isn’t singling out Israel for criticism anti-semitic? 128

Criticising certain Israeli government policies is one thing. But surely demonising Israel, and denying its very right to exist as a Jewish state is anti-semitic? 128

The English have England, and the French have France. Why deny the right of the Jews to a state of their own? 129

Undeniably, you can find racism in Israeli society. But why don’t you condemn the hate-preachers and racists in Palestinian society as well? 130

Isn’t Israel the only democracy in the Middle East? 130

In 2005, Israel actually withdrew from the Gaza Strip. But instead of concentrating on building up an economy and demonstrating a desire for peace, haven’t Palestinians responded to this painful concession with rocket fire and terrorism? 131

When the Palestinians voted in 2006, they chose Hamas, a Muslim fundamentalist terror group sworn to Israel’s destruction. How can the Israelis be expected to feel like making concessions? 133

People talk about the Palestinian refugees, but weren’t a similar number of Jewish refugees kicked out of Arab countries and welcomed by Israel? 134

Haven’t the Arab countries used the Palestinian refugees as a political football, leaving them to rot in refugee camps? 135

Hundreds of thousands of Jews came to live in Israel as survivors of the Holocaust and because there was nowhere else for them to go. How can you simply label them as racist colonisers? 136

Why have the Palestinians continued to reject a compromise with Israel, from the very beginning of the state in 1948, to Arafat’s ‘No’ at Camp David? 136

Excerpts from Counter-Rhetoric: Challenging “conventional wisdom” & reframing the conflict. By Emily Schaeffer, Jeff Halper, & Jimmy Johnson 138

Reframing the Conflict 138

The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people 139

The Arabs only came to this country after the Zionists started to build the country 139

The refugees left voluntarily or under direction of Arab commanders 140

There were no massacres 140

If events had been turned around, the Arabs would have massacred us 140

There is no occupation. It is disputed territory. 141

The settlements are for security 141

The other Arabs don’t help the Palestinians 141

Jews and Arabs cannot live together peacefully and/or never have 141

The Arabs have no concept of human rights 142

The real problem is the anti-Semitic propaganda that Palestinians receive since childhood 142

There are no Palestinians 142

There are 22 Arab states, why can’t the Palestinians go there? 143

The Palestinians do not want peace 143

Most Palestinians are terrorists or support terrorists 143

The Palestinians will never be satisfied with part of the land, they want it all 144

There is no partner for peace 144

The Palestinians rejected Barak’s ‘Generous Offer’ and then responded in violence 144

The Palestinians have ruined every possibility of peace 145

Even if Israel withdraws, all the Arabs want is to throw the Jews into the sea 145

The PA can’t control its people. Until the PA controls terrorism, we cannot end the occupation 145

The Palestinians fare better under the occupation than they would under their own PA 146

The Wall is not a wall, but a fence/ The wall is 85% a fence 146

The Wall is for security 146

The Wall is temporary 147

If we take down the Wall, there will be more attacks. Gaza is a testament to the effectiveness of a wall 147

If the Palestinians were given the right of return, there would be no room for them. If there is the Right of Return, the Jewish state will no longer be Jewish 147

Anti-Occupation and/or anti-Zionist Jews are ‘self-hating’ 148

Criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic 148

The whole world is anti-Semitic 149

Double Standard: The world judges Israel more harshly than it does other countries. The UN is anti-Semitic 149

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East 149

There is no contradiction between a Jewish state and a democracy 149

Israel has the most humane army in the world 150

Israel treats its Arab citizens better than Arabs are treated in Arab countries 150

Debunking a Few Myths. By: The Veritas Handbook History Professional 150

Discussing Apartheid 154

What is the Legally Accepted Definition of Apartheid? 154

Is this Systematically Put Into Legislation? 155

Apartheid in the Occupied Territories 157

PART III: PERSPECTIVES: IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES (159)

Introduction to Part III: Perspectives: Important Discussion and Debates 160

BDS Campaign: Boycott Divestment Sanction 161

The PA’s Disingenuous Boycott Campaign, By Ali Abunimah 161

“Boycotts work”: An Interview with Omar Barghouti 165

Discussing Solutions to the Conflict 172

International Solution: Two State Solution 172

Excerpt from ‘This Time We Went Too Far’ By Norman Finkelstein 172

Debates on Solutions 181

Israeli Jews and the one-state Solution, By Ali Abunimah 182

A Middle East Union By Jeff Halper 187

Further Articles on Solutions 190

Complications in International Law: The Second Battle of Gaza 193

Dealing with the Media Portrayal of the conflict and Issues at Hand 193

How to Sell ‘Ethical’ Warfare by Neve Gordon 193

Lexicon of the most misleading terms in Israeli-Palesitnian Conflict by Amira Hass 195

Supporting the Palestinian Economy and Palestinian Products 197

Olive Oil 197

The Kaffiyeh Factory 202

Important Issues and Considerations for Charity Work 203

Book Review: How Aid Hurt Palestine by Ali Abunimah 203

Peace Processes 205

Bassem Eid v. Ali Abunimah 206

Can We Talk? The Middle East “Peace Industry” By Faris Giacamen 206

Non-violence vs. Violence: Forms of Resistance 210

When Did Resistance Become a Dirty Word? By Robin Yassin-Kassab 211

Other Links in the Discussion 214

The Palestinian Identity 215

Palestinian Identity: Construction of the Modern National Consciousness 215

PART IV: APPENDICES (232)

APPENDIX 1 : Primary Documents and Rare Sources 233

International Humanitarian Law 234

Historical Documents 235

United Nations Resolutions 237

Children Killed in Gaza 2009 243

Palestinian Prisoners 252

Villages Destroyed in 1948 265

APPENDIX II: Human Rights Organizations and Reports 286

Section 1: Notable Human Rights Organizations 287

Section 2: Important Human Rights Reports

Prisoners 291

Apartheid 293

Settlements 293

House Demolitions 294

Health 295

Gaza: Operation Cast Lead 296

Gaza: Other 298

Children 298

War Crimes in Palestine (Not Including Cast Lead) 299

War Crimes in Lebanon 299

Palestinian Abuses 299

Refugees (in other Arab Countries) 300

General / Other 301

APPENDIX III: Important Websites (by subject) 303

Historical Resources 304

Academic & Medical Journals 304

Other Human Rights Organizations 304

Grassroots Organizations and Movements 306

Alternative News Sources and News Blogs 308

Volunteering in Palestine 308

APPENDIX IV: The How-To Manual 310

HOW-TO: Media, Press Releases, and Lobbying 311

HOW-TO: Advertising and Using Technology 313

HOW-TO: Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaigns 314

Organizing Events (and finding speakers) 317

Large Posters for Displays and Protests 318

Printable Pamphlets and Resources for Distribution 319

Printable Maps 320

Multimedia and Documentaries 321

Power Point Presentations 325

List of Organizations: Find one near you! 325

Useful Photos and other Posters that can be adapted 326

Notable Quotes (for usage on posters and other materials) 327

APPENDIX V: Learning the Zionist Narrative- Zionist Resources 337

PART V: EXTENDED BIBLIOGRAPHY

EXTENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY AND FURTHER READING 339

History 340

Politics 342

Settlements/ Refugees/ Human Rights 343