“. . . our eyes full of dust That never clears in our ceaseless wandering . . .” (Jabra Ibrahim Jabra)

The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 12, 2015)

❶ Israeli authorities destroy 60 solar panels in remote Bethlehem-area village
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Opportunities and Challenges of Palestinian Development actions in Area C

Background: “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life in the West Bank” Postcolonial Studies

❷ 7 Palestinians detained, 8 hospitalized in violent Israeli military raids [In Bethlehem District]
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) In describing the situation and its causes
❸ Israeli Soldiers Confiscate Surveillance Tapes In Deheishe Refugee Camp
❹ POETRY by Bethlehem Poet Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency      
June 28, 2017.  Israeli forces took down and destroyed some 60 solar panels in the isolated village of Jubbet al-Dhib east of Bethlehem . . .
___Head of the village council Rateb Abu Mahamid told Ma’an that Israeli army forces and members of the Israeli Civil Administration raided the village early Wednesday to seize the solar panels, highlighting that they were installed last year by human rights organizations to provide electricity to the remote village, which has “no necessities of life to survive,” according to the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARJI).
___The village, located in Area C . . .   is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, and as a result, Israel bars Palestinians from building and being connected to basic infrastructure, Mahamid told Ma’an.
[. . . .] Some 150 Palestinians reside in Jubbet al-Dhib, which is neighbored by the illegal Noqedim settlement — home to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as well as the illegal El David settlement.
[. . . .] However, Israeli authorities have continued to refuse to grant a license for the project, forcing residents and NGOs to carry on with the solar panel installation without Israeli permission.     ___“The Israeli civil administration’s decision not to grant a license . . .  means depriving the Palestinian residents of their most simple human rights of access to the most basic rights such as: education, health, the right to work, and the sense of humanity,” the report said.   MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) “OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF PALESTINIAN DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS IN AREA C.” Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARJI). Posted in “Special Reports 2017.”   FULL REPORT . . .

Lee, Christopher J. “BEYOND  ANALOGY:  BARE  LIFE  IN  THE  WEST  BANK.”  Postcolonial Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, Dec. 2013, pp. 374-387.
(Jamal Juma’ is a key organizer of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, also known as the Stop the Wall Campaign a movement founded in 2002 that has focused on bringing attention to the situation in the West Bank.)
[. . . .] JJ: Another thing, and this is why we call the wall an apartheid wall—that it is creating an apartheid system—is because for the first time, perhaps in all history, an occupier has created a situation of separate roads for the indigenous community and for settlers. They have created forty-eight tunnels and bridges to control movement in this network. They have a system of control for the Palestinian people, limiting their future expansion on their land, confiscating their water, while giving the colonizers all the possibilities to expand. All the land behind the wall is for the expansion of [Israeli] settlements. You also have two laws. There is a law controlling Palestinians, which is a restrictive military law. If you built your house without permission, they will destroy your house. But a settler can go and build a house anywhere. They will provide him with all facilities: highways, very cheap loans, very cheap places to encourage them to come and live, kindergartens, transportation, and security forces to guard them. This is to give them all the possibilities and facilities to have a decent life, quote unquote, on Palestinian land. On the other side, there is heavy military control over the Palestinian communities around them. A settler can kill any Palestinian in the street, and he will go home sleeping well. A Palestinian throws a stone, and he will be taken to jail for six months.
CJL: So there is an imbalance of law and power.
JJ: It is institutionalizing racism in a kind of apartheid system     SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency     
June 27, 2017.
Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians in predawn raids in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, with three aggressive raids sparking clashes, as Israeli forces targeted local youth with live fire and launched tear gas canisters at homes.
___During a violent raid into al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, at least eight Palestinians were injured, including six who were shot with live fire in the legs — one of whom was an on-duty paramedic whose brother was detained, and a youth who was run over by an Israeli military vehicle.
___Locals said that several Israeli military vehicles raided the refugee camp around dawn time, surrounded it from multiple areas, as snipers deployed on the rooftops of houses.   MORE . . . 

A Panel from The Wall Museum, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 16, 2015)

. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ)  IN  DESCRIBING  THE  SITUATION  AND  ITS  CAUSES      
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Group 194)  
Fahed Suleiman   (Deputy Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.)   
June 27, 2017.   The crisis of the Palestinian national movement is complex, it is a crisis of national action strategy that is officially adopted, and it is a crisis of the existing political system, with the reciprocal relationship between them.
___The strategy that is adopted by the Palestinian official decision center, is still based on two tracks: Palestinian-Israeli bilateral negotiations on the one hand, and building institutions of the «State» on the other; and the two tracks have been unsettled for years, but even for nearly two decades.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) 
June 28, 2017.   Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday at dawn, the Deheishe refugee camp, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, invaded several shops, after breaking their doors, and confiscated surveillance tapes.
___Media sources in the refugee camp said the soldiers broke into many stores, along the main Bethlehem-Hebron road, in addition to Doha Local Council building, across the road, violently searched them and confiscated surveillance tapes.
___They added that clashes took place between the invading soldiers and dozens of local youngsters, and that the army fired many gas bombs.     MORE . . .

Spring after spring, in the deserts of exile,
What are we doing with our love,
When our eyes are full of frost and dust?

Our Palestine, green land of ours;
Its flowers as if embroidered of women’s gowns;
March adorns its hills
With the jewel-like peony and narcissus;
April bursts open in its plains
With flowers and bride-like blossoms;
May is our rustic song
Which we sing at noon, in the blue shadows,
Among the olive trees in our valleys,
And in the ripeness of the fields we wait for the promise of July
And the joyous dance amidst the harvest.

O land of ours where our childhood passed
Like dreams in the shade of the orange grove,
Among the almond trees in the valleys―
Remember us now wandering
Among the thorns of the desert,
Wandering in rocky mountains;
Remember us now
In the tumult of cities beyond deserts and seas;
Remember us with our eyes full of dust
That never clears in our ceaseless wandering.
They crushed the flowers on the hills around us,
Destroyed the houses over our heads,
Scattered our torn remains
Then unfolded the desert before us,
With valleys writhing in hunger
And blue shadows
Scattered into red thorns
Bent over corpses left as prey for falcon and crow.

Is it from your hills that the angels sang to the shepherds
Of peace on earth and goodwill among men?
Only death laughed when it saw
Among the entrails of beasts
The ribs of men,
And through the guffaw of bullets
It went dancing a joyous dance
On the heads of weeping women.
Our land is an emerald,
But in the deserts of exile,
Spring after spring,
Only the dust hisses in our face.
What then, what are we doing with our love,
When our eyes and our mouth are full of frost and dust?

About  Jabra Ibrahim Jabra      Related
From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982.  Available from Palestine Online Store.

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The Apartheid Wall, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 15, 2015)


“. . . the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory . . .” (Said Shehadeh)

Palestinian paramedics lift the body of a man from the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood, Gaza. (Photo: EPA/MOHAMMED SABER)

❶ Pushing Gaza to suicide: The politics of humiliation

Background: “The 2014 War on Gaza: Engineering Trauma and Mass Torture to Break Palestinian Resilience.”

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli jets target resistance sites across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Al-Hayya calls on Arabs not to mix between resistance and terrorism
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Haneyya reaches out to Arab League Secretary General, Tunisia’s Sibsi
❷ Israel refuses entry to UNESCO group expected to visit Hebron’s Old City
❸ POETRY by Basem El-Nabres
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Ramzy Baroud
June 25, 2017.   Mohammed Abed is a 28-year-old taxi driver from the village of Qarara, near the town of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. He has no teeth.     ___Lack of medical care and proper dentistry work cost him all of his teeth, which rotted and decayed at a very young age. Yet, his dire financial needs prevented him from acquiring dentures. His community eventually pitched in, collecting the few hundred dollars needed for Mohammed to finally being able to eat.
[. . . .]  An Israeli military siege on Gaza has extended for over 10 years, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
___A Red Cross report last May warned of another ‘looming crisis’ in the public health sector, due to the lack of electricity.
___The energy crisis has extended from electricity supplies to even cooking gas. Last February Israel cut cooking gas supplies to the Strip to a half.
[. . . .]  With no access to the West Bank due to the Israeli siege, and with severe restrictions on movement via the Rafah-Egypt border, Gaza is living through its darkest days. Literally. Starting June 11, Israel began reducing the electricity supply to the impoverished Strip, as per the request of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.
___The results are devastating. Gaza households now receive 2 to 3 hours of electricity per day, and not even at fixed hours.   MORE . . .

Shehadeh, Said. “THE  2014  WAR  ON  GAZA:  ENGINEERING  TRAUMA  AND  MASS  TORTURE  TO  BREAK  PALESTINIAN  RESILIENCE.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 278-294.
[. . . .] In his insightful analysis, Darryl Li suggests understanding the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as “representing two different phases of a common process of segregation, confinement, and surveillance produced by the Zionist project”. He argues that the Gaza Strip has historically been used by the Israeli occupation as a laboratory, in which colonial policies of confinement, management and control of the Palestinian population are tested and refined, to be later replicated in the West Bank. The overarching principle of the Israeli colonial policies against the Palestinians, as Li puts it, is “continuously experimenting in search of an optimal balance between maximum control over the territory and minimum responsibility for its non-Jewish population”. Following the Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2006, and the suffocating siege that followed, this policy appears to have been highly successful. In effect, 25 percent of the global Palestinian population currently lives under Israeli control, while confined to 1.4 percent of the territory of (Mandatory) Palestine (Li, 2006).
___The Gaza Strip enclosure was initially described as the world’s largest prison, but this metaphor no longer applies. As Li writes, Israel now treats the Strip more like a zoo. For running a prison is about constraining or repressing freedom; in a zoo, the question is rather how to keep those held inside alive, with an eye to how outsiders might see them. The question of freedom is never raised.
___Similarly, Jeff Halper describes the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as that of “warehousing,” which he claims is “worse than apartheid.” He adds, “It does not even pretend to find a political framework for ‘separate development,’ it simply jails the oppressed and robs them of all their collective and individual rights. It is the ultimate form of oppression before actual genocide”.     SOURCE . . .

The Palestinian Information Center
June 27, 2017.   Israeli fighter jets have carried out multiple airstrikes overnight on a number of resistance sites throughout the Gaza Strip.    ___According to the PIC field reporter, several of the early Tuesday raids targeted Bader site belonging to the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, located to the west of the Strip.     ___No injuries were reported during the air raid; however, material damage was caused to the neighboring houses.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 27, 2017.   Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), has called on the “Arab brothers” to end their differences and not to confuse Palestinian resistance with terrorism.
___Al-Hayya said during the Eid prayer at Al-Saraya Square in Gaza on Sunday, “We hope that all differences between Arab brothers will end, on the basis of brotherhood and contrary to what the Zionist enemy wants,” stressing the need to unite to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___Al-Hayya denounced Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization, noting that “the Palestinian resistance is neither terrorism nor violence, but a legitimate right to resist the occupation, which all peoples have done before.”     MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center      
June 27, 2017.   Political bureau chairman of Hamas Ismail Haneyya on Monday evening extended his warmest wishes to the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Tunisian President on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
___Reaching out to the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmad Abu al-Ghait, and the Tunisian President, al-Baji Kaed al-Sibsi, Haneyya congratulated his addressees on the advent of Eid and briefed them on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territories and Jerusalem.
___Speaking to Abu al-Ghait, Haneyya stressed Hamas’s commitment to boost fraternity ties with Egypt and the other Arab states.   MORE . . .    

MUSLIMS ATTEND Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which Jews call the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron. (Photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)

Ma’an News Agency  
June 26, 2017.   Israeli authorities have refused to grant entry visas for a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) investigative team scheduled to conduct a field visit to the Old City in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron in advance of an upcoming vote next month to consider the area an endangered world heritage site, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
___While Palestinian authorities had planned to introduce the site for consideration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 2018, they decided to fast track the site’s application owing to routine Israeli violence in the Old City, which Palestinians have claimed threatens the integrity of the site, and instead propose the area as an endangered site.
___A Palestinian delegation to UNESCO had reportedly expressed the “alarming details about the Israeli violations in Al-Khalil/ Hebron, including the continuous acts of vandalism, property damage, and other attacks,” in a letter to the World Heritage Center.  MORE . . .

Excerpt  from  “HOUSE,”  BY  BASEM  EL-NABRES

Oh, father . . .   they went into the clouds, and I remained to
remember them. Neither women nor fortune smile to let me
forget, to take me out of the house of memories. Nothing.
Their things, within a breath’s reach. I almost feel them with
my hand, with my fingertips. I almost fill myself with them,
but am empty myself. Here they were. Here they lived. Here
the last died, leaving half a breakfast egg, leaving a rumpled
bed, leaving the door ajar and the air muted. I can almost
touch them, one by one, those who died a century ago in this
ancient house, those who died a year ago. Ah, how hard it is to
live, in good faith, in the house of memories.

Those who write after two o’clock each night, those who walk
among people occupied with an idea of being killed in Gaza
suddenly, those for whom an hour of music is enough to make
their tears fall, enough to let them know they are shadows
walking on a land unsafe for them or the waste collectors.
—Translated by John Peate
About Basem El-Nabres.  

“. . . You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards and the land I once ploughed . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

“The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: ‘Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it’.” (Roy Harvey Pearce)

A Palestinian woman mourns the destruction of olive trees. (Photo: Flickr / Frank M. Rafik, via Telesur, August 19, 2015)

❶ Assailants destroy 45 olive trees and spray paint ‘revenge’ on Palestinian land
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Addameer highlights systematic abuses by Israeli forces
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Lawyer who says Palestinians don’t exist sues San Francisco University

Background:   “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children,” from Cross Currents

❷ Claims of Israeli settlement freeze an ‘attempt to fool the public’
. . . . .  ❷ ― (ᴀ) Knesset passes draft bill to annex illegal West Bank settlements
❸ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 25, 2017.  Some 45 olive trees were found destroyed near the village of Burin, adjacent to the notorious illegal Yitzhar settlement in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, while the Hebrew word for “revenge” was spray painted on a stone left in the area, an Israeli human rights organization said Sunday.
___Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reported on Facebook that the damage was done adjacent to Route 60, the main highway running through the occupied West Bank.  MORE . . .
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
June 26, 2017.   On International Day to Support Victims of Torture, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association highlights the continued forms of physical and psychological torture of Palestinian prisoners and detainees by Israeli forces. Occupation authorities practice torture and ill-treatment in a systematic manner, in contravention with international law, which prohibits physical and psychological torture. Human rights conventions, including the Convention Against Torture, to which Israeli is a signatory, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibit the use of torture with no exceptions.
MORE . . .
The Electronic Intifada   
Charlotte Silver
June 23, 2017.   A lawyer who denies that Palestinians exist is suing San Francisco State University, alleging the administration there fosters a hostile environment for Jewish students.
___But faculty and civil rights lawyers say the lawsuit, filed on behalf of six plaintiffs, is yet another attempt at censorship by conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
___The complaint, filed in federal court in Northern California on 19 June, was prepared by The Lawfare Project, a group that describes itself as “the legal arm of the pro-Israel community.”
___Last year, the group’s director, Brooke Goldstein, was filmed asking Israel lobby leaders in New York, “Why are we using the word Palestinian?”

Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, and the Presence of Burning Children.” Cross Currents, vol. 66, no. 2, June 2016, pp. 204-214.
[Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization in 1953] argues that “savagism” is a creation of “civilization” so civilization better understands the boundaries surrounding its proper existence. In the North American context, the “savage” was the Indian (undifferentiated by different tribes). While the Indian had many virtues (i.e., eloquence and closeness to the earth), these were all savage virtues diminished by contact with civilization. . . .  The savage would eventually cease to exist in the face of civilization’s inevitable, God-ordained expansion. Savagism salved the civilized conscience while completing the task: “Civilization had created a savage, so to kill him. Idea had begotten an image, so to kill it” (Pearce).
[. . . .] Five days after the [burning to death of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe on July 31, 2015], Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism.
___Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . .  their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. (Grossman, David, “Will the Israeli Right Finally Come to Its Senses?” Ha’aretz. August 4, 2015).
SOURCE . . . 

Mohammed, grandfather of 5-year-old Ali Saad Dawabshe, murdered when his family’s home was firebombed by Jewish extremists on July 31, prays while sitting in the wrecked home. (Photo: CNN.com, n.d.)

Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2017.   After reports emerged Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the United States government to stop marketing new settlement units for the rest of 2017, a representative from settlement watchdog Peace Now called the alleged promise “another spin of the Netanyahu government trying to fool the public.”
___Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post had reported that the alleged freeze was discovered when settlers from the illegal Beit El settlement in the central occupied West Bank discovered that plans for 300 new settler homes — promised to the settlers by Netanyahu in exchange for a peaceful evacuation of the illegal Ulpana outpost — were halted.
___Netanyahu then reportedly met with the settlement’s regional council head Shai Alon and ensured him that the homes promised to the settlers would be excluded from the temporary settlement freeze. . . .     MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN
June 24, 2017.   The Israeli Knesset approved in its preliminary reading a draft law allowing the application of Israeli law in the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli media reported.
___Haaretz said 48 Members of the Knesset supported the bill while 39 voted against it on Wednesday.
___MK, Bezalel Smotrich, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, who initiated the bill said the decision includes transferring petitions against illegal construction in the settlements to the administrative court instead of the Supreme Court.   MORE . . . 

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]


Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.
Film biography of Mahmoud Darwish, Hot Docs Film Festival, Toronto, 2014

“. . . the tragedy I live Is but my share in your larger tragedy. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

“Israel is attempting to punish the Palestinian people, skin them alive, and enshrine penal legislation that is designed to crush the Palestinian people under the veil of law.”

Dahiat al-Barid branch
The National Bank has opened the first branch of a Palestinian bank Dahiyat al-Barid, which is isolated from northeast Jerusalem by the separation wall. (Photo: Jerusalem Post, May 7, 2017)

❶ Qaraqe: ‘Israel may be able to take our money, but it cannot take our dignity’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israel Closes Banks Accounts as Means of Displacing Palestinians in Jerusalem

Background: “’Gate of the Sun’: Applying Human Rights Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in Light of Non-Violent Resistance and Normalization.”

❷ Human rights council calls upon international community to ensure Israel’s cooperation with UN missions
❸ Book Review:  Kingdom of Olives and Ash – Writers Confront the Occupation
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Issa Qaraqe
June 24, 2017.   It seems that Israel, having completed its racist colonization project, has begun to arrange the daily lives of the Palestinian people along a path of destruction — the destruction of the Palestinian national identity and of the Palestinian liberation project.
___The Israeli ministerial committee’s recent ratification of a draft law, which would allow Palestinian tax funds to be withheld under the pretext that they are used to fund subsidies for the families of detainees, martyrs, and the wounded, is more horrifying and immoral than war itself.
___Israel is attempting to punish the Palestinian people, skin them alive, and enshrine penal legislation that is designed to crush the Palestinian people under the veil of law.      ___The Israeli, American, and European objective through this blackmail and pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not financial. It is an attempt to classify the entire Palestinian national identity as terrorism and a crime.        MORE . . .
Palestine Chronicle
June 24, 2017.  Israel is closing the bank accounts of Arab institutions in Jerusalem in an effort to displace Jerusalemites and force them out of the city, the Palestinian Department of Jerusalem Affairs has said.
___In a press release, the organisation said the Israeli occupation’s moves against social, cultural, educational, relief, housing, legal or engineering institutions were political and go hand in hand with the Israeli policy of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians in order to Judaize the city by force.     MORE . . .           RELATED . . .

Greenblatt, Keren. “’GATE  OF  THE  SUN’:  APPLYING  HUMAN  RIGHTS  LAW  IN  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORIES  IN  LIGHT  OF  NON-VIOLENT  RESISTANCE  AND  NORMALIZATION.” Journal of International Human Rights, vol. 12, no. 2, Spring2014, pp. 152-190.      International humanitarian law and human rights law are complementary systems, both of which aim to protect the lives, dignity, and health of human beings. Humanitarian law is designed to apply in times of emergency (particularly in times of armed conflict). Human rights law always applies . . . . none of the provisions of humanitarian law can be suspended in emergency, since it only applies in those times. Humanitarian law focuses on military actions; human rights law focuses on the obligations of governments toward individuals in their jurisdictions. . . .
[. . . .] The contemporary, inclusive definition revolves around the most fundamental pillar of the law of occupation: occupation does not accord the occupant title to the territory. In other words, it temporarily severs the link between sovereignty and effective control. . . .  In accordance with the temporal element, the occupant serves as a trustee of the sovereign for the duration of the occupation, in a manner that protects civil life.
[. . . .] Nevertheless, human rights law offers a specific, structured methodology with which to scrutinize any violation or restriction that the occupant justifies with national security needs. Specifically, where restrictions on human rights take place, the state must meet tests of necessity, proportionality, and legitimate aims; a prescription by law; and non-discrimination.        FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 24, 2017.   The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) Saturday called upon international community to ensure Israel’s cooperation with UN missions.    ___PHROC in a press release . . . called upon the international community to take effective measures aimed at ensuring Israel’s cooperation with mechanisms of the United Nations (UN), including its missions.
___PHROC condemned the continued prevention of entry for the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.
___The council reported that current mandate holder Mr. S. Michael Lynk, was appointed in 2016, and has not received any responses from the Israeli government for his requests to conduct official visits.
[. . . .] Under the Charter of the United Nations, Israel is obliged to allow the UN, including mandate holders, to access to its territory as “may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfillment of its purposes.        MORE . . .     

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council Board of Directors meeting, (Photo Opinion News, October 7, 2016)

Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
June 21, 2017.   In Kingdom of Olives and Ash, renowned novelists and essayists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have teamed up with the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence – an organization comprised of former Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied territories and saw firsthand the injustice there – and a host of illustrious writers to tell the stories of the people on the ground.
[. . . .] The book includes contributions from Colum McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Colm Toibin, Geraldine Brooks, Dave Eggers, Hari Kunzru, Raja Shehadeh, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Assaf Gavron . . .
___Through these incisive, perceptive, and poignant essays, readers will gain a unique insight into the narratives behind the litany of grim destruction broadcast nightly on the news, along with a deeper understanding of the conflict as experienced by the people who live in the occupied territories. Together, these stories stand witness to the true human toll of the occupation.       MORE . . .        AVAILABLE BARNES AND NOBLE

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I kiss the dust under your shoe
And say: I’ll lay down my life for you,
Grant you the gift of eyesight in my eyes.
The warm love in my heart I give to you,
For the tragedy I live
Is but my share in your larger tragedy.

I call upon you
And clasp your hands.
I never stooped in my country
Nor will I ever be humbled.
Orphaned, naked and barefoot
I confronted my oppressors,
Carrying my blood in my palms.
I have never lowered my flags,
And have always tended the grass over my ancestors’ graves.
I call upon you, and clasp your hands!

From THE  PALESTINIAN  WEDDING:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
Tawfik Zayyad (Tawfiq Ziad) was a Palestinian poet, writer, scholar and politician. He was born in Nazareth in 1929 and died on July 5, 1994.   (More. . .)


“. . . if we starve /We eat the dirt /And never depart . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

“1948 Palestine War – Al Nakba” Refugee camp (Photo: Palestinian Culture and Society)

❶ Lieberman: Not a single Palestinian refugee will return to their lands in Israel

Background:  “Halper on Judaization, De-Arabization in Israel/Palestine.”

❷ Ehud Barak says a Palestinian state would be ‘non-viable’
❷ ― (ᴀ) Surviving trace of Muslims’ rootedness in Jerusalem
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Why Israelis must disrupt the occupation
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency       
June 23, 2017.   During a speech at Israel’s Herzliya conference, aimed at discussing the country’s national policies, ultraright Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected the possibility of Palestinian refugees from historic Palestine, which Israel was built on, being able to return to their lands within the 1967 borders, a right that is upheld by United Nations Resolution 194.
___“We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to within the ‘67 borders,” Lieberman reportedly said.
___The right of return for Palestinian refugees is a central demand among Palestinians and their leadership.  [. . . .] According to Israeli media, Lieberman also said that an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict would “not solve the problems – it will make them worse,” and noted that Israel should first “reach a regional agreement with moderate Sunni states, and then an agreement with the Palestinians.”   MORE . . .
RELATED: Israeli minister: no Palestinian state in West Bank   Days of Palestine  June 13, 2017
RELATED: Netanyahu vows to build settlement all over Palestine  Days of Palestine      June 7, 2017

Adas, Jane. “HALPER  ON  JUDAIZATION,  DE-ARABIZATION  IN  ISRAEL/PALESTINE.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 4, Jun/Jul2016, pp. 67-68.
[. . . .] Halper described Zionism as “a century-long campaign to turn Palestine into Israel.” At its center is Judaization, a term Halper acknowledged sounds anti-Semitic, but is one the Israeli government officially uses. The result has been the deliberate fragmentation of the Palestinian people . . . . Add to that “Israel’s long campaign of assassinating or imprisoning any Palestinian leadership,” and the result, Halper said, is that Palestinians have no effective leadership, nor any mechanism to get together and plan.
___”De-Arabization” of the land, Halper continued, has by now succeeded. East Jerusalem now has more Jews than Palestinians. Within Israel, planning and zoning laws confine the 20 percent of the population who are “Israeli Arabs” (never, he noted “Israeli Palestinians”) to 3.5 percent of the land. Gaza is caged. Palestinians in “Judea and Samaria” are restricted to Areas A and B, less than 40 percent of the West Bank. There is no longer any detachable contiguous territory, meaning the two-state solution is dead.      FULL ARTICLE . . .    

Philip Weiss
June 23, 2017.   Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak says it is urgent to establish a Palestinian state– but he assured an Israeli audience that that state will be “non-viable.”
___Barak, a Labor leader who has challenged the current Prime Minister from the left, was speaking to the Herzliya conference, in remarks published yesterday. He said Israel’s future is in jeopardy because the world sees that Netanyahu is not sincere about a two-state solution. He went on:
___No one in the world . . . understands how come the government of Israel sees in a Palestinian state which is demilitarized– almost completely not viable, surrounded by the Israeli forces . . .  how can this non-viable state, which is surrounded, be an existential threat on Israel?… Existential threat on Israel? This sounds like either fabricated or visionary or completely crazy planning.       MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
June 21, 2017.   Overseeing the southern corner of holy al-Aqsa Mosque—Muslims’ 3rd holiest site—the Islamic Museum stands as a repository of a historical legacy that has survived for hundreds of years in Occupied Jerusalem.
___“The museum was established by the Supreme Muslim Council in 1923. It is a repository of artifacts that reflects the prolific nature of Jerusalem’s archaeological legacy” director of the Islamic Museum, Arafat Amr, told PIC.   MORE . . . 
The Electronic Intifada   
Miko Peled
June 12, 2017.   One of the most disturbing aspects about the reality in Palestine is its normalcy.     ___It has become normal to see Palestinians shot and killed, even children.  [. . . .] No one likes to be arrested, particularly when it involves a night or two in jail, sharing a smoke-filled room with no ventilation and no company save cockroaches and two-bit criminals who hate activists even more than they hate Arabs.      ___If we are to play a role in the overthrow of injustice, and if we are to one day see an end to the oppression of more than half of the people with whom we live, then we must use our privilege and act to end the normalcy and the oppression.   MORE . . .


It is a thousand times easier
For you to pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with you oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From THE PALESTINIAN WEDDING: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE POETRY. Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Tawfiq Zayyad


“. . . nightmares never leave . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

.A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90, from +972 Magazine)
A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

“. . . Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews . . . this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians. . . “ (Adi Ophir)

❶ On world refugee day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

Background: “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Israel begins work on first settlement in 25 years as Jared Kushner flies in
❸ Hamas calls for mobilization at Gaza border on Friday
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Gaza crisis: Israel slashes electricity supplies for 3rd day as Egypt provides fuel
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency      
June 20, 2017.  On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
___“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people” resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 

Ophir, Adi. “ON  THE  STRUCTURAL  ROLE  AND  COMING  END  OF  ‘THE  OCCUPATION’.”  Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693.
[. . . .] Some of them, like Netanyahu think that it is enough to proclaim the temporariness of the occupation while dragging any form of negotiation; others, like Harel, think that even this is not necessary, and that Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews. With the Jewish public in Israel moving further to the right in the last decade, this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians.   SOURCE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency (from The Guardian)
June 21, 2017.  Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced the beginning of building work on the first new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank in 25 years, a day before a visit by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and envoy, Jared Kushner, aimed at reinvigorating the stalled peace process.
___The new settlement, known as Amichai, is being built to house about 300 hardline residents of the illegal West Bank Jewish outpost of Amona who were evicted by police in February after a court ruled their houses were on privately owned Palestinian land.
___The timing of the announcement was condemned by a Palestinian official who suggested it was designed to undermine peace efforts.
___Announcing the beginning of ground-breaking work at the new settlement, Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter feed: “Work began today on-site, as I promised, to establish the new settlement,” with a photograph of a mechanical digger working at the site north of Ramallah.   MORE . . .

Israel breaks ground on new illegal settlement (Source: The Israeli prime minister’s official Twitter page, June 20, 2017)

The Palestinian Information Center  
June 20, 2017.   Hamas Movement called for mobilization next Friday on the Gaza border to mark the occasion of International Quds Day in protest at Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and holy places.
___In a press statement on Tuesday, Hamas asked Arabs and Muslims to support Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the Palestinian besieged people on International Quds Day which coincides on Friday.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2017.   Israeli authorities implemented a third round of electricity supply cuts to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday — honoring a request from the Palestinian Authority (PA) that announced last month it would drastically reduce its payments to fund the Hamas-run territory’s electricity bill — as the Egypt government started to deliver diesel fuel to operate Gaza’s only power plant.
[. . . .] The 12-megawatt cuts came after output was reduced by 6 megawatts on Monday and 12 additional megawatts on Tuesday, meaning that the total output of Israeli electricity grids feeding the small Palestinian territory has been reduced from 120 to 88 megawatts in the last three days.
___According to Thabet, Gaza’s some 2 million residents face just two to three hours of electricity every 24 hours as a result of the cuts.   MORE . . .

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).   Available from Barnes and Noble

Palestinian men seen in front of a fire raging at the Gaza’s main power plant following an overnight Israeli airstrike, south of Gaza City, July 29, 2014. (Emad Nassar/Flash90, from +972 Magazine)


“. . . concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

They relate noble narratives about Israeli nationalist victory, valor, and self-defense. They ground such moments of supposed “liberation” in a grand teleology in which the end is the redemption of the Jewish people in their land . . .  Jewish settlers today carve violent inroads . . .  in their quest to resurrect the City of King David. (Thomas Abowd)

Gush Etzion settlement towering over the Palestinian Nassar Family Farm near Bethlehem. The Nassars have owned the farm for 100 years. It is an educational center, the Tent of Nations (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Israel: State of denial

Background: Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Wasfi Kabaha’s Arrest Silencing ‘voice of resistance’ in the West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO coalition slams Israel over Judaization of Jerusalem curricula
❸ Lieberman: Our government is the best for settlement enterprise
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) West Bank witnesses unprecedented expansion in settlement building
❹ Whose “Ethnic Cleansing?” Israel’s Appropriation of the Palestinian Narrative
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
June 10, 2017          Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the grotesque nature of this denial palace is that each of its floors is located in a different imaginary time zone.   MORE . . .

  • The following is from the same article as yesterday’s post. This passage presents Abowd’s second major argument.

Abowd, Thomas.”RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ‘ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
THE  WEAPONIZATION  OF  MYTH:  Efforts to appropriate Palestinian land and resources for exclusive Jewish use continue. But consistent with other colonial states, these practices have interacted dialectically with concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history. A range of mythical assertions, often deploying essentialist notions of peoples and places, have been projected to justify acts of dispossession. In the case of Israel, the Bible and the supposed celestial designs for lands and peoples it supposedly prescribes have been integral to Israeli conquest. These ideological ploys resemble what I refer to as the “weaponization of myth” and, as Barthes (1957) writes, it is myth that “evaporates history”. For Israel, the task of evaporating Palestinian pasts in Palestine has been a hefty one but a necessary one.   SOURCE . . .   

The Palestinian Information Center    
June 14, 2017   Wasfi Kabaha was talking to his friends and followers on social media when the Israeli occupation forces knocked at his house by the dawn of Monday, 12 June 2017 to inform him of his arrest, while his followers on Facebook were still busy discussing the issues raised by him. After a while, some commented that Kabaha was arrested a while ago, as part of an ongoing Israeli attempt to silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
May 31, 2017   The Jerusalemite Non-Governmental Coalition condemned Israel’s approval of a five-year plan to Judaize academic curricula at Palestinian schools across Occupied Jerusalem.
___Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin submitted a plan to force schools in Occupied Jerusalem to teach an Israeli curriculum as opposed to the Palestinian school curriculum.
___The aim is to improve the quality of life and the environment for Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and to strengthen the integration of east Jerusalem residents into Israeli society and economy, thus boosting the economic and social resilience of the city, claimed Bennett.   MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN   
June 11, 2017   The right wing Israeli Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday announced that 3,651 settlement units in the West Bank were approved last week, adding that the number of units slated for construction is at its highest since 1992.     ___Lieberman added  says number of settler homes approved for construction within the the first half 2017 are at their highest since 1992.     [. . . .] “There isn’t and there hasn’t been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it,” he said.   MORE . . .
Palestine Information Center      
June 17, 2017   The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building . . .
___The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.   MORE . . .
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Dina Matar
March 26, 2017   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed in a video posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian demand to dismantle illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitutes an act of “ethnic cleansing” against Israeli Jewish settlers. The term . . .  has also been used by many scholars as well as in public discourse to refer to Zionist practices against the Palestinian population in the lead-up to and during the Nakba of 1948. These practices include the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of approximately 730,000 Palestinians from their homes.   MORE . . .

I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?

I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

I am an Arab
without a name – without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots –
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father –
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather –
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
And my house –
is like a watchman’s hut
made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name but no title!

I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
And the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left us with those rocks
So will the State take them
as it has been said?

Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware –
Beware –
Of my hunger
And my anger
–– Trans. Naseer Aururi
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
Available from Kurt Gippert Bookseller.
About Mahmoud Darwish

“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
The fiercest of French traits:
The cruelest of German blows:
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . fed up with humiliation of living there. . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a Palestinian woman passes by rescuers inspecting the rubble of destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA

  • BACKGROUND:  One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps

❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”

❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
June 15, 2017        As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 12, 2017       The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.     MORE . . .     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
June 16, 2017         PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”

  • BACKGROUND:   ONE  MILLION  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  8  GAZA  STRIP  CAMPS          May 16, 2013    Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
    ___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world.  The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps.  Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza.     MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency    
June 15, 2017       The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances.    [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment.       MORE . . .

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262.     Abstract:   This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . .  at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . .   In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . .   the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.        SOURCE:     RELATED . . .

  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”  Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81.       Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . .  to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.”      ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . .  received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
    ___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . .   However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.)       ARTICLE . . .

Government ministry buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on December 30, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo Credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.



“. . . We have, friends, the right to die as we desire . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli policemen stand guard as bulldozers demolish homes in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert, on January 18, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

“We should transform the Bedouins into an urban proletariat – in industry, services, construction, and agriculture. 88% of the Israeli population are not farmers, let the Bedouin be like them. Indeed, this will be a radical move which means that the Bedouin would not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person who comes home in the afternoon and puts his slippers on. His children will get used to a father who wears pants, without a dagger, and who does not pick out their nits in public. They will go to school, their hair combed and parted. This will be a revolution, but it can be achieved in two generations.”  — Israeli General Moshe Dayan to Haaretz, 1963

❶ Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 114th time

  • “Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel.” Israel Studies.

❷ Israel blocks Bedouin road, prevents 100 kids from school

  • “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in the Negev.” Nomadic Peoples.

❸ The Palestinian Bedouins
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
June 14, 2017      Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 114th time since 2010 on Wednesday morning, and for the sixth time this year, according to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.
___WAFA quoted witnesses as saying that officials from the Israel Land Authority (ILA), accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers, raided the village and demolished all the tin homes in the area, which were built by the village’s residents following the most recent demolition of raid last month.
[. . . .] Al-Araqib is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli state. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins in the Negev reside in unrecognized villages.  MORE . . .

Frantzman, Seth J., et al. “Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel.” Israel Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2012, pp. 78-104.
From “Conclusion”:  The development of an indigenous Bedouin identity has taken place in three key phases. It began with the initial decision by Abu-Saad, apparently influenced by his comparative work on the United States, to describe the Bedouin as an indigenous community with all the political ramification that this word contained in the 1990s. It was developed by Israeli Jewish academics and then elite Israeli Bedouin academics in the context of the international discussion regarding indigenous peoples, land rights, and ethnocracy. The last phase has seen the campaign by NGOs, academics, activists, and the Bedouin community for international recognition.
___As for the Bedouin themselves—in practice—the elite members of the community were an important instrument in re-designing and re-modeling the public debate and, perhaps also, the community’s self-identification.  The shift from being defined as Bedouin or former nomads living in the Negev, to being recognized as an “Indigenous Palestinian Bedouin” group in the “Naqab”, took place very quickly, over a period of only ten years. For the Bedouin the recognition in theory can help put local and even more important international pressure on Israeli authorities, mainly to accept their demands for land rights. . .    SOURCE . . .

Days of Palestine  
Jun 13, 2017       Israeli occupation has installed guardrail on Israeli highway, isolating Palestinian Bedouin community, preventing around 100 children from schools.
___A report issued by the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) said that the Israeli occupation effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Palestinian Bedouin community in Al-Naqab, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.
___The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.
___Recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.   MORE . . .

Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in the Negev.” Nomadic Peoples, vol. 18, no. 2, July 2014, pp. 147-164.
[. . . .]  . . . the community’s continuous presence in the Negev, the changing character of its lifestyle and the sense of attachment to the land seem to be ignored both in the Israeli legal framework and the dominant representations of the Bedouins and the region. Since the establishment of the state, Israel has denied the Arab Bedouins their indigenous land rights, depicted them as rootless nomads and characterised the Negev as historically uncultivated and uninhabited land. Today, there are approximately 200,000 Bedouins in the Negev. While half of them live in seven government-planned towns, and eleven villages recognised by Israel, the other half reside in villages not recognized by the state. This means that the Bedouin villages have the status of illegal settlements and thus are not marked on Israeli maps and are denied basic services, such as electricity, running water, public transportation and basic sanitation. . .  The Israeli authorities’ attitude towards the Bedouins was best reflected in the Prawer-Begin Bill . . .  halted in December 2013 after the successful ‘Stop Prawer Plan’ campaign. The law, if fully implemented, was going to displace up to 70,000 Bedouins and destroy all the ‘illegal’ villages. The resettlement scheme was couched in the colonial language of “. . . grant them, and particularly the younger generation the tools necessary to successfully cope with the challenges of the future and help Bedouin children to ‘exploit their talents and realise their natural right to happiness . . .”  However, the Bedouins were under no illusions. As Nasser, a resident of an unrecognised village of al-Sirra put it:
It may be a new law, but not a new policy, we know very well what the
state plans for us. It’s been now fifty years of efforts to give an end to the
Bedouin identity and lifestyle. We are not just going to obey.  [. . . . ]    SOURCE . . .

This Week in Palestine, Issue 112      
Arturo Avendaño
August, 2014        [. . . .]  The Bedouins, with their specific values, codes of behaviour, and livelihood, are a Palestinian community of tribes that have a common history, culture, ancestral bloodline, and lifestyle that link the various tribes together. The tribes, which include the Jahaleen, Ka’abneh, Rashaydeh, Ramadeen, ‘Azazme, Sawarka, Arenat, Ejbarat, Hanajra, and Amareen, share a nomadic past that has been highlighted by Western travellers’ tales of camel breeding and romantic desert images. Bedouins have become famous for their extraordinary survival skills in an extremely hostile environment. . . .       MORE . .    

Behind this dune we have an oasis. Leave me alone.
Leave me to rinse myself off in a bit
of its mirage. I’m tired of running after myself
to catch myself before I die.
Take―old friends and my companions―my body,
the shadow of its body’s shadow,
and hold it for a while,
so I can reach my time in time.
Behind this dune we have an oasis.
Sustain your longing with dates and water,
without despair.
Listen with me to the songs of the girls
beneath the palms, but do not follow
the voice of my silence.
We have, friends, the right to die as we desire.
But there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune.
And we have the right to make the stranger
a stranger’s friend,
and we have an oasis―
and a bit of rest in the house
of the loved one who left us.
He will come from behind this dune.

  • (Blogger’s personal note: Al-Qasim was not, himself, a Bedouin. I have been unable to find poetry by Bedouins, but this poem seems possibly to treat of the Bedouin experience. If any readers know of Bedouin poetry, I welcome comments identifying it.)

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

bedouin camel
Palestinian Bedouins are protesting against discrimination by the Israeli government [GETTY image, from Al Jazeera, April 7, 2010)