From 2001-2006, the U.S. transferred to Israel more than $200 million of spare parts for its F16 fleet. In July 2008, the U.S. gave Israel 186 million gallons of aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and "bunker buster" missiles. In short, Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip could not happen without the active military and political support of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee( on which Barack Obama sat between 2005 and November 2008) and U.S. tax dollars.
The Israeli allies of AIPAC and the Obama-Bush Administration have a long history of using their U.S. government-supported Israeli military machine to deny the Palestinian people their full self-determination rights and their right of return, to continue the illegal Israeli government occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem and to eliminate Palestinian political activists who are involving in resisting Israeli militarism in the Middle East, as indicated by some of the following column items that appeared in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown, during the early 1990s:
Torturing Women In The Holy Land In The 1990s?
In the early 1990s the Israeli government was accused by Israeli human rights organizations of torturing some of the 400 Palestinian activist it then locked up without trial on charges of being members of the outlawed radical Hamas organization.
A 1992 Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights Report, Making Women Talk: The Interrogation of Palestinian Women Detainees by Teresa Thornhill, described how the Israeli government’s General Security Services (GSS)—Shin Beth—also apparently tortured Palestinian women in the 1980s and early 1990s:
“Most interrogation work is carried out by the General Security Services (GSS), Israel’s internal intelligence agency…
“The GSS feel no taboo against using physical violence against Palestinian women…
“Male detainees are regularly subjected to most of the same forms of physical abuse as women. However, it is important to remember that, throughout her time in the hands of the GSS, the female detainee is made to feel sexually threatened. Many women detainees report having been threatened with rape…
“Women are routinely slapped, and kicked during interrogation sessions if they do not readily answer questions. Sometimes an interrogator will bang the woman’s head against the wall…”
The same report concluded that “the stories quoted in this report, although they represent the experience of a relatively small number of women, suggest that the Israeli practice of torturing female security detainees is widespread” and observed that “the torture of male Palestinian detainees has been widely documented elsewhere by…Amnesty International…”
A Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Mahmond al-Zahar, told a New York Times correspondent in late 1994: “Is there anyone in Gaza who does not realize that Israel still occupies [in 1994] 40 percent of the Gaza Strip with settlements and troops to protect the settlements, that it controls our shorelines, that its surveillance planes patrol the skies, as you can see them now, that Arafat [now-deceased] himself needs permission by Israel to leave and come, and that we are locked up in here periodically under curfew whenever Israel feels like it?” (NY Times 12/3/94)
97 Women Killed In 1980s & 1990s Intifada By Israeli Occupation Troops
According to Shoot The Women First by Eileen MacDonald, “Palestinian women” were “well aware that they” were “on the frontline in every aspect of the Intifada” in the Israeli military-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip territories during the 1980s and early 1990s. The same book also noted the following in the early 1990s:
“Israeli soldiers have been ordered not to open fire on women, but in the heat of battle and because of the way in which bullets are fired indiscriminately into crowds…inevitably women are killed…
“By January 1991, 97 females (12 percent of those killed) had been shot dead. Many had been killed in demonstrations either as participants or as innocent bystanders, after being hit by rubber bullets or live ammunition.
“Thousands more women were injured, some crippled or maimed for life, by beatings. It is women who form the largest group of those requiring hospital treatments after beatings. They are attacked as they try to protect children and are particularly targeted when soldiers break into their homes searching for suspects…”
Between October 1992 and May 1993, Israeli authorities in the Occupied Territories also arrested or detained at least 22 Palestinian journalists without charge or trial, according to the Censorship News (5/3/93) publication of the Article 19 human rights organization.
10,000 Books Banned By Israeli Government In 1980s & 1990s
Although the Yuppie Democrats often pose as champions of human rights, when it comes to human rights violations committed by the government of “Nuclear Israel”, the Yuppie Democrats are usually not too vocal. In a 1991 report, titled Information Freedom And Censorship, the Article 19 human rights organization observed that in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1980s and early 1990s it was “estimated that more than 10,000 books” were “banned” by the Israeli government and “among the banned books” were “Can The Palestinian Problem Be Solved? By Alouph Har Even, Studies In The History Of Palestine During The Middle Ages by PP Bartholdy and At The End Of The Night by Mahmoud Darwish.” The report also noted that the Israeli government “banned the use of equipment such as fax machines in the Gaza Strip from August 27, 1989.”
The Article 19 human rights organization also revealed that the Israeli government has historically targeted Palestinian journalists as special objects of repression in the following ways:
“It is estimated that about 30 percent of members of the Arab Journalists’ Association (AJA) have been detained or placed under administrative restrictions (without charge or trial) during the Intifada. The Jersualem Post (May 21, 1989) reported that during 1988, 30 Palestinian journalists were in prison. During the uprising, 39 journalists have been placed under administrative detention (extended from 6 months to 1 year in August 1989). Sama’an Khoury, AJA member and journalist for Agence France Presse, was placed under 6 months’ administrative detention in January 1988. Mutawakil Taba, president of the Union of Palestinian Writers (UPW) and editor of Abeer women’s magazine, was also given six months in February 1988. At least 10 journalists have served more than 6 months’ detention under renewal orders. Journalists have also been detained for periods from 48 hours to 18 days under `preventive’ detention.
“Palestinian journalist have been attacked in the field, in their offices and at their homes by soldiers and by Israeli civilians. In March 1980, 60 bullets were fired into the house of the editor of al-Bayader al-Siyyast, while the editor of al-Quds has had his house raided on over 10 occasions.”