“. . . burning the ashes which coat our shining future . . .” (Mu’in Bseiso)

1-open fire
Palestinian farmers targeted by Israeli soldiers in Khan Yunis, Gaza, May 29, 2016 (Photo: ParsToday)

❶ UN Chief: Closure of Gaza Suffocates Its People, Stifles Economy, Impedes Reconstruction

  • From Security Studies.

❷ Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Gaza Farmers; Navy Fires On Fishing Boats
❸ Palestinian FM welcomes Israeli-Turkish reconciliation ahead of aid delivery to Gaza

  • From International Security.

❹ POETRY by Mu’in Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 28, 2016
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday arrived at Gaza city through Erez (Beit Hanoun) crossing, starting his trip to the besieged coastal enclave by delivering a speech to UN staff, said UN Secretary General’s Spokesperson.
___Ban visited the UNRWA-run al-Zaytoun girls’ primary school where he addressed staff and students, condemning the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip that “suffocates its people, stifles its economy, and impedes reconstruction.”
___Pledging to work for improving their future, Ban addressed the students stating: “As the UN was with me 60 years ago, I will always be with you and work for your better future.”      MORE . . .   

From Security Studies. “Revenge In International Politics.”
We consider revenge to be a form of negative reciprocity. However, distinct from a retaliator motivated by efforts to stop a harmful practice/act or deter a harmful actor from repeating an injury, a revengeful retaliator mainly seeks emotional satisfaction at the suffering of another or derives pleasure from such suffering . . . .  seeking such satisfaction leads revengers to use excessive force, to harm innocents, and to employ far more violence than was used against them originally. . . .
___International Relations theorists increasingly recognize that emotions are important in international politics. But many of the works in the developing IR literature on emotions are only engaged in agenda-setting aspects . . . This paper . . .  theorizes a specific emotionally based practice: revenge. Before discussing revenge and its determinants in international politics, however, we must first ask whether states, the prime object of analysis in IR theory, can have emotions. From a strict materialist point of view, states are abstract corporate actors, and as such, they cannot feel. Only individuals possess the capacity to have emotions, one may argue. . . .
[. . . .]
As opposed to the purpose of other forms of retaliation, in which actors look for material compensation for the losses they suffered or want to stop or deter further harm of this kind, the principle goal of revenge is to inflict suffering. . . . The important point here is that the aim is to cause suffering . . . because the infliction of suffering on the harm-doer arouses strong feelings of pleasure and satisfaction in the revenger. Revengers want their targets to suffer not only physically, but also—if not mainly—emotionally.  LÖWENHEIM, ODED, and GADI HEIMANN. “Revenge In International Politics.” Security Studies 17.4 (2008): 685-724.  SOURCE.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, opened fire, on Monday morning, into Palestinian agricultural lands across the border fence, in the Gaza Strip, while navy ships fired live rounds targeting fishing boats northwest of Gaza city.
___The WAFA Palestinian News Agency has reported that the soldiers fired many live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands, east of Gaza city, forcing the farmers to leave. The attack caused no casualties.      MORE . . .   

1-fish fire
Israeli forces patrolling off Gazan coast (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, April 24, 2016)

Ma’an News Agency
June 27, 2016
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed the normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey that was announced early Monday afternoon, while voicing the importance of involving the Palestinian government in all matters concerning the Palestinian people.
___Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Ma’an on Monday in Ramallah that the Palestinian government would not intervene in the terms of the agreement or in Turkish affairs. However, he insisted that the terms of the agreement directly related to Palestinians, and the Gaza Strip in particular, involve the Palestinian government.
___The agreement, which included Israel’s approval of Turkish aid to reach the blockaded Gaza Strip, was welcomed by the Palestinian government, “as long as it’s not conditional,” al-Maliki said.      MORE . . .

From International Security. “Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008-09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza.”
In 1923 Zeev Jabotinsky, a Russian-born journalist, soldier, and early leader of right-wing Zionism, published “The Iron Wall.” In it, Jabotinsky laid out the rationale for Jewish colonization and attacks against Palestinian civilians, concluding that “Zionist colonization . . . must be carried out in defiance of the will of the native population . . . under the protection of an iron wall of Jewish bayonets which the native population cannot break through.” The iron wall strategy has served as the core of Zionist/Israeli policies toward the Arab world ever since Jabotinsky’s article was published. In the article, Jabotinsky did not elaborate on the military strategies . . . history reveal[s] that attacks on Arab civilians resisting Jewish expansion in Palestine are a centralcomponent of the strategy.
[. . . .]
In [a New Republic article Moshe Halbertal] claims that the “death ratios” in Gaza prove that Israel did intentionally attack civilians. . . . This argument has been cited by many supporters of Israel, but it is a non sequitur: neither the Goldstone Commission nor anyone else accused Israel of killing as many civilians as it could. Rather, the charge was that for reasons of revenge, punishment, or deterrence, Israel intended to inflict substantial civilian destruction—a war crime against which the argument that Israel could have killed a lot more is not a defense.
[. . . .]
From the outset, a central component of the iron wall strategy has been to directly attack civilians, or their institutions, or both—partly as revenge or punishment for Arab attacks on Israelis, but more fundamentally for the purposes of what the Israelis see as “deterrence.” The premise is that the more the pain, the greater the likelihood that the Arab peoples will . . .  end their conflict with Israel. Slater, Jerome. “Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008-09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza.” International Security 37.2 (2012): 44-80.

(Mu’in Tawfiq Bseiso (1926 – January 23, 1984), born in Gaza, was a Palestinian poet who lived in Egypt)


Brother! If they should sharpen the sword on my neck,
I would not kneel, even if their whips lashed
my bloodied mouth
If dawn is so close to coming
I shall not retreat.
I will rise from the land that feeds our furious storm!

Brother! If the executioner should drag me to the slaughterhouse
before your eyes to make you kneel,
so you might beg him to relent,
I’d call again, Brother! Raise your proud head
and watch as they murder me!
Witness my executioner, sword dripping with my blood!
What shall expose the murderer, but our innocent bleeding?

At night their guns kidnapped him from his trench.
The hero was flung into the cells’ darkness
where, like a banner fluttering above chains, he stayed.
The chains became flaming torches,
burning the ashes which coat our shining future.
Now the hero lives, his footsteps ringing triumphantly
within the closed walls of every prison.
–Translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

More about Bseiso at:
Foreign Policy Journal 
by Ramzy Baroud
June 17, 2016

“. . . The truth in your heart is stronger, As long as you resist . . .” (Dareen Tatour)

The P48 endeavour came at a difficult time, marked by high tensions and a fracture between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas (Photo after first shutdown in 2015: Zeidan Mahmoud/Al Jazeera)

❶ Israeli occupation shuts down Arab 48 TV
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Dozens protest for release of Palestinian poet under house arrest

  • From Washington Report On Middle East Affairs

❷ UN experts urge Israeli Knesset not to adopt pending legislation that could target critical NGOs

  • From Space & Polity

❹ POETRY by Dareen Tatour
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Jun 25, 2016
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decided on Thursday to ban for six month Arab 48 TV which operates in Israel [in Nazareth].
___Erdan decided to shut down the TV channel, which changed its name after a previous ban, over claims that the TV undermines Israeli sovereignty.   [See Article 19.2 of the ICPPR]
___In July 2015, the minister ordered the Palestine 48 channel to stop operating for six months, arguing the television station was not authorised for broadcasting in Israel. The station subsequently changed its name to Musawa Channel.     MORE . . . 

From: Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 
Of course, Israeli censorship has long been a part of Palestinian reality. One recalls Prime Minister Golda Meir’s 1971 edict erasing Palestine and the Green Line from all maps produced in Israel, or Israeli occupation forces ordering the removal of Palestinian political symbols–flags, posters and more. Israeli authorities censored coverage of the first and second Palestinians intifadas, meticulously reviewing Arabic publications for “security”-related material, and enforced its ban on critical reporting with arrests, beatings and the confiscation of press cards. According to Reporters Without Borders, Israeli soldiers have shot at least nine Palestinian journalists, including reporters for the Associated Press, Agence France Presse (AFP) and Al Ayyam newspaper.
___According to HRW, blame for the wholesale destruction of freedom of the press and of expression in Palestine originates with political protection and funding by the United States and the European Union of Israeli and Palestinian security forces. This bias, moreover, ensures that the abuses continue. In its report, HRW calls upon the enabling nations to cease providing aid to all agencies, regardless of affiliation, implicated in serious violations of human rights and to publicly criticize abuses committed by West Bank and Gaza security forces.
___Without such intercession by the international community, Israel, Hamas and Fatah will continue restricting freedom of expression, abusing journalists, closing media offices, confiscating equipment, preventing the distribution of newspapers, and assaulting journalists during demonstrations–all of which serve to prevent information from reaching those directly affected, it also renders the entire world ignorant of facts–facts which in time will lead to a peaceful resolution of the longest running conflict in the Middle East.  Omer, Mohammed. “Casualty Of War: Censuring Truth In Palestine.” Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 27.8 (2008): 19-41.    SOURCE.

+972 Blog
By Yael Marom
June 26, 2016
Dozens of Palestinians and Israelis demonstrated at Jaffa’s Clock Tower Square on Saturday evening to call for the release of Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, who has been held under house arrest for the past five months.___ Tatour, 33, from the Arab village Al-Reineh near Nazereth, was arrested by Israeli police on October 10, 2015 because of a poem she had posted to Facebook. . . .  She was charged with incitement to violence and identifying with a terrorist organization — all because of her poem.     MORE . . .       SEE ALSO . . .   

From: Space & Polity
This politics of trauma underscores the significance of aesthetics in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. . . .  this paper understands aesthetics not as the philosophy of art or beauty, but as “a relation between what people do, what they see, what they hear and what they know” . . . . this paper examines the role of beauty in disrupting the discourse of trauma that dominates humanitarian aid projects targeting Palestinian children . . .  In so doing, this research takes aesthetics beyond its traditional focus on visual arts and representation, and towards the role of aesthetics in reproducing everyday life.
[. . . .]
In thinking about affective political communities, J. Thompson suggests that the ‘affect of beauty’ provides an attractive alternative to the ‘aesthetics of injury’. While pain, he argues, “reduces the person to the boundary of her or his body,” beauty, in contrast, opens the body to an “intimate politics of sharing,” as the sensual generosity of beauty provokes an “affective impulse towards engagement with others.” This urge to share beauty with others serves as a modest “universal claim to some form of good.” . . .  Since beauty inspires an engagement with others in defining what is good, which in many contexts will involve a “comparison with circumstances that are experienced as unjust,” beauty is not a distraction from injustice but “can be part of its critique.” For this reason, beauty takes on added significance in situations of violence. More than a mere coping mechanism, beauty contrasts with and draws attention to injustice, pointing towards other more hopeful futures. . . . Marshall, David Jones. “‘All The Beautiful Things’: Trauma, Aesthetics And The Politics Of Palestinian Childhood.” Space & Polity 17.1 (2013): 53-73.    SOURCE.

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights
Press Release
June 25, 2016
Three United Nations human rights experts today urged Israeli lawmakers not to approve the so called ‘NGO transparency bill’ that would, in effect, target non-governmental organizations that are critical of government policy. The experts expressed grave concern that the legislation would chill the speech of human rights NGOs by subjecting them to harsh penalties for violations and delegitimizing them publicly.
[. . . .]
___“The promotion of transparency is indeed desirable and legitimate,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye. “However, the pending legislation has the evident intent of targeting human rights and civil rights organization . . .”
___ The UN human rights experts urged members of the Knesset to withdraw the proposed legislation and uphold its international obligation to safeguard the broad and expansive right to freedom of expression guaranteed to everyone under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.     MORE . . .

Dareen Tatour in Nazareth District Court on May 8, 2016. (Photo: Haaretz/Rami Shllush)

The Palestine-Israel Journal Politics, Economics, and Culture
By Ziad Khalil AbuZayyad
The greatest challenge that Palestinians face while trying to use social media as a tool for freedom of expression is the change in Israeli policy toward those who dare to express themselves on Facebook or Twitter. Recently Facebook posts have been used as grounds for possible imprisonment when used to express political opinions. Israel has sent dozens of Palestinians to jail for several months, asserting that they expressed extreme points of view on Facebook. Internationally, the discourse has always been that freedom of expression should be maintained on the Internet and that regulations should not allow digital expression to be used as a pretext to hunt down political activists.
[. . . .]
Palestinian activists clearly need to be given support and training that will help them face the political challenges presented by the censure of digital expression. Since we are talking about a conflict, the international Internet community must understand that it is dangerous to allow Israeli policies to prevent Palestinians from expressing their opinions freely and to sentence them to prison simply because they expressed their opinions in the digital world.      MORE . . .    


Resist, My People, Resist Them
Resist, my people, resist them.
In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows
And carried the soul in my palm
For an Arab Palestine.
I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”
Never lower my flags
Until I evict them from my land.
I cast them aside for a coming time.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the settler’s robbery
And follow the caravan of martyrs.
Shred the disgraceful constitution
Which imposed degradation and humiliation
And deterred us from restoring justice.
They burned blameless children;
As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,
Killed her in broad daylight.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.
Pay no mind to his agents among us
Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.
Do not fear doubtful tongues;
The truth in your heart is stronger,
As long as you resist in a land
That has lived through raids and victory
So Ali called from his grave:
Resist, my rebellious people.
Write me as prose on the agarwood;
My remains have you as a response.
Resist, my people, resist them.
Resist, my people, resist them.

You can follow her case on Facebook


“. . . the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character . . .” (Orly Noy)

1-home demo
Israeli forces demolished a home in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank, November 16, 2015 (Photo: Majdi Mohammed, STR)

❶ UN ‘gravely concerned’ over imminent home demolitions in Palestinian refugee camp

  • From: Law & Social Inquiry

❷ Israeli forces assault worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, around 10 Muslims worshipers were wounded

  • From: Israel Studies Review

❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 26, 2016
The United Nations warned against imminent punitive home demolitions targeting Palestinian families in Qalandiya refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank, putting at least six Palestinian refugees at risk of being left homeless.
___UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement on Saturday that it was “gravely concerned” about the Israeli High Court of Justice’s recent rejection of the families’ appeal to save their homes [. . . .]
___The families were notified on June 14 that they had five days to evacuate, after Israeli authorities ruled their homes would be destroyed as punishment for stab attacks carried out by two young members of the families on December 23 at the Jaffa Gate of East Jerusalem’s Old City.
___The two 21-year-old Palestinians, Issa Assaf and Anan Abu Habsa, were shot dead by Israeli police on the scene.      MORE . . .

From: Law & Social Inquiry
Although initially triggered by an individualized act of human agency, the punishment for certain illegal behaviors is usually inflicted upon the product of the illegal labor rather than on the human initiator of this labor. . . .  Why is the house, rather than any other subject or object, the focal center for such legal attention? The infliction of illegality on the house, rather than on any other product of illegal action, is not incidental, and, accordingly, the law is preoccupied with the documentation and regulation of the house.    ___The extensive literature that exists on this subject mostly focuses on the anthropomorphic nature of the house, presenting it as an extension of the self and as an essential ground for personhood (Fenster 2004; Sibley 1996; Radin 1982). However, the struggle over the house/home in the Israeli/Palestinian context is not only over the individual house but also over its collective meaning. . . .
[. . . .]
___Israel demolishes Palestinian houses not only “because they must be made to be afraid,” but also because “they must, to a certain extent, take part in it” (58). Living in constant fear that the next demolition may be inflicted on their home, the distinction between observers and observed is blurred in this instance to the point where “the spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere.”

  • Braverman, Irus. “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372.  SOURCE.

Days of Palestine
June 26, 2016
A large number of Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and assaulted Muslim worshippers, injuring around ten of them
___“In the very early morning, we were surprised with the ISRAELI FORCES STORMING THE YARDS OF THE MOSQUE WITH A BIG NUMBER OF SETTLERS and foreign tourists,” Omar Kaswani, chief guard of Al-Aqsa Mosque said.
___“We wanted to neutralise the settlers, but the Israeli soldiers, who were protecting them, interfered violently and attacked the worshipers indiscriminately,” he added.    MORE . .

From: Israel Studies Review
. . a law prescribes that any court that convicts an individual for committing various terrorism-related and other security-based offenses will be authorized to revoke citizenship, in addition to the “ordinary” penalties, including life imprisonment. Despite the obvious fact that there are many heinous crimes that can be committed against society, this law applies only to security-oriented crimes. The singling out of these offenses negatively impacts the notion of equality before the law. . . . This choice of offenses is not neutral, but is motivated by the desire to exclude those few Arab citizens of Israel convicted of security-based offenses and to strip them of their citizenship rights, possibly even leading to their deportation.
[. . . . ]
. . . the Israeli legislature has demonstrated a strikingly different approach with regard to other, “patriotic” offenses. The . . . law, which was enacted by the Knesset in February 2010, adopted an ultra-compassionate approach with regard to offenses committed by Israeli right-wing extremists . . . who committed criminal offenses as part of the resistance to the disengagement [from Gaza] plan . . . This legislation violates the principles of rule of law and equality before the law. It prefers some social groups over others, allowing them to commit crimes—including assault in severe circumstances and assault on a police officer—without facing any consequences. The message conveyed by this law is a dangerous one: violence can be forgiven, overlooked, or even considered normative—if it supports the “right” cause.

  • Kremnitzer, Mordechai, and Shiri Krebs. “From Illiberal Legislation To Intolerant Democracy.” Israel Studies Review 26.1 (2011): 4-11.  SOURCE.
Israeli police accompany Jews past the Dome of the Rock mosque during a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque on April 25, 2016. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  ROOTS  OF  ISRAEL’S  MOST  RACIST  LAW
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
June 24, 2016
[. . . .]
Herein lies the failure with which the Zionist Left refuses to contend: the pretense of maintaining Israel’s Jewish and democratic character is at its core a demographic struggle. In order for the Jewish state to be able to allow itself to be democratic — at least when it comes to individual rights (as opposed to national rights) — vis-à-vis its Arab citizens, it needs a significant demographic advantage. Only then will it be able to tell itself stories about democracy when it comes to a national minority without endangering the Jewish character it is so intent on maintaining. This is precisely why since its founding the state has refrained from establishing a new Arab city, despite population growth and a housing crisis in Arab society. This is why the state needs the Jewish National Fund to continue and “Judaize” land. This is why the state needs legislation that unabashedly restricts the growth of the minority.      MORE . . .

(A salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town,
‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye
(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about the imminent loss of Palestine.)

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.


“. . . the mother throws a quick glance at the bed of her elder son . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

families sons
Families of slain Palestinians hold placards and portraits of their loved ones during a protest outside a mortuary in Jaffa, Israel, on June 22, 2016. (Photo: Press TV)

❶ ‘We want our sons’: Families of slain Palestinians held by Israel stage sit-in at Aqsa

  • From Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 

❷ IOA renews administrative detention of 15-year-old boy

  • From Journal of Comparative Family Studies

❸ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenage girl in Hebron
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 24, 2016
Family members of slain Palestinians whose bodies are still being held by Israeli authorities staged a sit-in at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, demanding Israel return the bodies under their campaign titled: “We want our sons.”
___Participants in the sit-in raised posters emblazoned with the phrase: “We want the martyr–” with the name of each Palestinian and the date he was killed printed underneath.
___Muhammed Elayyan, father of Bahaa Elayyan, a Palestinian shot dead during an alleged car-ramming attack in October, said “we are here today to remind all worshipers who came to Al-Aqsa that the bodies of the eight martyrs have been in (Israeli) refrigerators for months.”     MORE . . .

From Washington Report On Middle East Affairs
Slow as the Israeli authorities are when it comes to punishing Jewish Israelis for crimes against Palestinians, retribution for the Israeli deaths was swift and severe [2015-2016]. Just after the government declared “an all-out war on Palestinian terrorism,” hundreds of Palestinians were arrested, and at least six killed. . . .
___In the coming weeks more Palestinian deaths followed, many of them of children under 16. But despite the mounting number of casualties, the demonstrations continued, along with the stabbings . . .  Israel’s minister of transportation, Yisrael Katz, warned that Israel’s response would soon resemble Operation Defensive Shield, Israel’s massive invasion of the West Bank in 2002 during the second intifada . . . .
___On Oct. 6 [2015], Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO, called for international intervention to protect Palestinians from “relentless attacks by Israeli military forces and terrorist settlers.” Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon charging Israel with assaulting medical emergency teams and preventing them from rescuing the wounded.
[. . . .]
___As the death toll on both sides increased, a young West Bank resident expressed the feelings of many Palestinians when he said, “I don’t want demonstrations, I want an agreement with Israel.” But . . . . Education Minister Naftali Bennett recently demanded that Netanyahu “free the bound hands of the army,” and rearrest all Palestinians released in past prisoner exchanges. He proposed that Israel build a new settlement after each Palestinian attack.

  • Marshall, Rachelle. “Lack Of Hope, Worsening Oppression Spur Young Palestinians To Act.” Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 34.8 (2015): 8-11.  SOURCE.

The Palestinian Information Center
June 25, 2016
The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) renewed the administrative detention of the Palestinian child Hamza Hamad, 15, for the second consecutive time. A rights group affirmed that Hamad’s administrative detention was renewed for four months after spending four months in Israeli jails without charge or trial. Hamad, whose father Muayed Hamad is held in Israeli jails and serving seven life sentences, was arrested from his house in Silwad town in Ramallah last February.      MORE . . .       RELATED. . . .

From Journal of Comparative Family Studies
Labeled as irregular child combatants in everyday crossfire, these children are easily relegated as regrettable but largely avoidable and ill-conceived footnotes in an encounter between irreconcilable grownups. .  . .
__However, Palestinian children are not simply “collateral damage” of the conflict in a black hole of law or those who have volunteered to be attacked because they have not been passive. They remain impermissible targets whose basic rights cannot be legally discounted though their context leads to problems of implementation. Those who argue that Palestinian children have forfeited their rights as children by their participation fail to unlock the complexities and context of these little vulnerable lives under assault as well as misconstrue the nature and scope of children’s rights. Over half of the population of Palestine are children’ but despite their increased profile within the conflict, they are largely constructed as mute victims or misguided puppets rather than participants in the process and possessors of rights.
___Dominant narratives – Palestinian, Arab, Israeli and Western – fail to fully consider the implications of daily degradation of life on the Palestinian childhood experience beyond the statistics of fatalities and injuries. Consider the residual quality of Palestinian childhood in face of the eclipse of children’s rights — of negations of Palestinian right to dignity and self-esteem, of personal development and family life, of education and opportunity, of health and adequate standard of living, of freedom from torture and stress, and most importantly, the right to a future.

  • Sirajsait, M. “Have Palestinian Children Forfeited Their Rights?” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 35.2 (2004): 211-228.  SOURCE.
shot dead
This photo provided by the Palestinian news agency Safa shows the aftermath of a car crash near the entrance of the Kiryat Arba settlement on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on June 24, 2016. (PressTV)

Ma’an News Agency
June 24, 2016
A Palestinian woman was shot and killed Friday afternoon after her car crashed into a stationary vehicle, lightly injuring two Israelis in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank in what the Israeli army has claimed was a car-ramming attack.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that after a Palestinian woman allegedly carried out a car-ramming attack near the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba in the eastern outskirts of Hebron, Israeli forces responded by firing towards the “assailant,” killing her.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed her death, identifying her as Majd al-Khadour. Israeli sources said she was 18 years old.     MORE . . .


Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
Mourid Barghouti (born July 8, 1944, in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, on the West Bank) is a Palestinian poet and writer. While Barghouti was studying at the University of Cairo in 1967, the 6-Day War broke out, and he was unable to return to the West Bank until 1996. He was expelled from Egypt in 1977 and was exiled in Budapest.

“. . . living with extreme traumatization as it ripples across family life . . .”


1-home invasion
A Palestinian woman inspects the damage to her house after it was stormed by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Nablus, 27 June 2014. (Nedal Eshtayah APA images)

❶ Israeli forces injure Palestinian youth with live fire during detentions raids in Bethlehem

  • From International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❷ Israeli soldiers kidnap a Palestinian Teen near Ramallah
❸ Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian agricultural lands near Nablus

  • From Berkeley Journal of International Law

❹ PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (16 – 22 June 2016)
❺ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 24, 2016
Israeli forces Friday injured a young Palestinian in Dheisheh refugee camp with live fire during predawn raids carried out across the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, locals told Ma’an.
___The Palestinian youth was reportedly struck with live fire in the leg after clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers [. . . .]
___Israeli forces also raided the cities of Beit Jala and Doha in Bethlehem overnight, as locals reported Israeli forces, including bulldozers, entered the areas and confiscated footage from surveillance cameras outside several stores.     MORE . . .

From International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
[. . . .] We come together on these questions: What is it like to be a mother on this particular frontline living with a form of political violence that targets family life and is, at once ongoing and relentless and also abrupt and shattering? Might these mothers’ stories teach us something about what it takes to mobilize psychically, to transcend the penetrating oppression induced by the exposure to continuous trauma?
___These mothers are caught between two powerfully dehumanizing forces: a military occupation that challenges daily living – driving communities into poverty, breaking non-violent resistance and using harsh and brutal measures to intimidate – and a restrictive, patrilineal household, organized to control movement, development, and the expression of their sexuality and placing the highest value on male honor. Under these twinned forces, the very act of parenting – providing safety and protection, rendering discipline and vision, and educating both formally and informally – become monumental. These forces not only stress the “everydayness” of family life, but also fray the very fibers of communities, inverting values and norms and, perhaps, altering meaning itself.
___These mothers are thus giving us a close reading of living with extreme traumatization as it ripples across family life.

  • Roth, Judy, and Salwa Duaibis. “Crows On The Cradles: Palestinian Mothers At A Frontline Vortex: Reflections On The Psychology Of Occupation.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.1 (2015): 5-20.  ARTICLE.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 24, 2016
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, On Friday at dawn, a Palestinian teenager in the al-Am’ari refugee camp, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.
___The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that the soldiers invaded and searched several homes in the refugee camp, and kidnapped Qussai Nidal M’alla, 17.
___The PPS said more than 15 army vehicles invaded the camp, after surrounding it, and that the soldiers also invaded the al-Masyoun and Um ash-Sharayet areas, in Ramallah and al-Biereh.    MORE . . .  

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian youth during an incursion in the West bank town of Nablus, 25 February 2007. (Getty Images)

Ma’an News Agency
June 23, 2016
Israeli settlers set fire to dozens of dunams of Palestinian agricultural lands on Thursday afternoon near the Qablan junction south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.
___Abd al-Khaliq Salih, a resident of the nearby al-Sawiya village told Ma’an that several settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Rachalim near the village set fire to dozens of dunams of farmlands in the al-Tulma area which is owned by people from al-Sawiya, and is located near Qablan junction.
___Salih said large parts of the surrounding area quickly caught fire due to the heat, causing dozens more olive and other trees to burn.
___He added that Palestinian firefighters were prevented from getting to the area by settlers.      MORE . . . 

From Berkeley Journal Of International Law
Thus, the law that vested the occupant with the power to ensure the welfare of the occupied population has been used by the former to advance its own interests to the detriment of the latter.
___Indeed, while different phenomena are associated with the settlements—such as unequal allocation of water resources coupled with acute water shortage in the Palestinians villages and acts of violence committed by settlers against the Palestinian population which receive no proper response from the Israeli security forces—it is the legal terrain wrought by the occupation which is of special relevance to our analysis. There are separate legal systems operating concurrently in the West Bank, effectively dividing the population along ethnic lines.
___Jewish settlers are extraterritorially subject to Israeli civilian law, whereas the Palestinians are subject to the Israeli military law and to local law.

  • Ben-Naftali, Orna, Aeyal M. Gross, and Keren Michaeli. “Illegal Occupation: Framing The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 23.3 (2005): 551-614.  ARTICLE.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 23, 2016
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories continued during the reporting period (16 – 22 June 2016).
___Shootings . . . Incursions . . . Collective punishments . . . .      MORE . . .      

“A salute to our sons and daughters, the fighters that have been swallowed up by Israeli prisons.”

  1. From “Hiba’s” Diary
    My mother’s phantom hovers here
    her forehead shines in my eyes
    like the light of stars
    She might be thinking of me now,

(Before my arrest
I drew letters on a book
new and old
I painted roses
reared with blood
and my mother was near me
blessing my painting)

I see her
on her face silence and loneliness now
and in the house
silence and loneliness
My book case there on the book shelf
and my school’s uniform on the hanger
I see her hand extending
removing the dust from it
I follow my mother’s steps
and listen to her thoughts
yearn to hug her and the face of the day

About Fadwa Tuqan
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 Amazon.

“. . . Impartiality and Good Faith Are Alien to the U.S. and Israel . . .” (Dr. Daud Abdullah)

Mizrahim Jewish immigrants from Yemen at a camp near Rosh Ha’ayin, circa1948. (Photo: GPO)

❶ Israel’s Fear of the ‘Desert’ Jews in Its midst
~~ From: Brown Journal of World Affairs
❷ Abbas Praises French Efforts, Supports International Peace Conference
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Poll: 65% of Palestinians want Abbas out
~~ From: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine Chronicle
Jonathan Cook
June 22, 2016
In a little-noticed move last week, Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman barred an official close to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas from entering Israel. Mohammed Madani is accused of “subversive activity” and “political terror”.
___His crimes, as defined by Lieberman, are worth pondering. They suggest that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians is rooted less in security issues and more in European colonialism [. . . .]
___In his role as chair of the Palestinian committee for interaction with Israeli society, Madani had understandably used his visits to Israel to meet Israeli Jews – but he chose the wrong kind.
___He tried to open a dialogue with what are known in Israel as Mizrahim, Israelis descended from the Jews who emigrated from Arab states following Israel’s creation in 1948.       MORE . . .  

~~”What Is Left Of The Israeli Left?”
The mainstream Zionist Left in Israel is indeed a very atypical case study of leftist parties. Its agenda in all the years of the state’s existence did not include any support for a social democratic regime, which in the case of Israel would include catering to and subsidizing the three disadvantaged groups in Israeli society: the Mizrahim Jews, the Palestinians, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews. This Left is also not particularly feminist or environmentalist in its worldview, as most of the leftist groups around the world tend to be. Alas, we still have no analysis for this prioritization—namely the total nonalignment with the universal leftist agenda and its replacement with an idiosyncratic ideology focused on secularism and the willingness to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967. The wish to be secular is closely associated with the wish to be part of Western civilization to which both the Mizrahi Jews and the Ultra-Orthodox allegedly do not subscribe. The Mizrahi Jews are seen as still too strongly connected to Arab culture, and the ultra-Orthodox Jews to pre-modern Europe.

  • PAPPÉ, ILAN. “What Is Left Of The Israeli Left? (1948-2015).” Brown Journal Of World Affairs 22.1 (2015): 351-367.  SOURCE.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 23, 2016
President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday praised the efforts exerted to support the French peace initiative and expressed hopes that such efforts would lead to holding an international peace conference.
___Abbas addressed the European Parliament in Brussels and commented on the ministerial meeting held in Paris in the presence of 28 states and three international organizations, saying “We hope to see results based on the international law, related Security Council resolutions, the Arab peace initiative and the roadmap. We want to set a timeframe for negotiations as well as form a follow-up mechanism similar to the one with Iran.”        MORE . . .
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)

The findings of a recent opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research were clear and surprising.     MORE . . .  

“The European Union’s Role in Facilitating a Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”
The EU cannot play a mediating role in the reconciliation process, since it has ruled out direct political contact with Hamas. Nonetheless, it could use its considerable leverage with the PA to press the case for reconciliation on specific terms, while at the same time directing messages to Hamas and other Palestinian factions with the aim of strengthening the hand of those who are ready to engage in a genuine dialogue based on compromise leading to an end to violence as part of a broad Palestinian political platform. This could take the form of a national unity government, a unified leadership forum or some other model which ensures broad political participation. The EU has become sensitive to the charge that if the prospects of a two-state solution evaporate entirely, it will be left funding an occupation to the benefit of the occupying power. A very substantial and practical contribution the EU has made over the years is its support for the Palestinian state-building agenda. The significant assistance the EU has provided to the PA over more than 20 years has been predicated on the conviction that, by promoting the development of the institutions of a future Palestinian state based on respect for the rule of law and human rights, the EU is making a significant contribution to peace. The PA is a vehicle for statehood.

  • Gatt-Rutter, John. “The European Union’s Role in Facilitating a Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 20.2&3 (2015): 6+.  ARTICLE.
Fatah Central Committee Member Muhammad Al-Madani (Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel, May 7, 2014)

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dr. Daud Abdullah
June 23, 2016
Of all the many massacres committed by Israel and Israelis against the Palestinian people, that which was carried out on 15th Ramadan in February 1994 was unique. Coming as it did just months after the signing of the Oslo Accords it was clearly an attempt to “derail” what then US President Bill Clinton described as “the peace of the brave”. This week’s shooting dead of a Palestinian boy, Mahmoud Rafat Badran, aged 15, by Israeli soldiers on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Hebron massacre was a chilling reminder of the failure of the Oslo process.
___Badran was not a “terrorist” and nor was he wanted for any crime. He was shot while returning home from a visit to a nearby swimming pool.      MORE . . .  

I may lose my daily bread, if you wish
I may hawk my clothes and bed
I may become a stonecutter, or a porter
Or a street sweeper
I may search in animal dung for food
I may collapse, naked and starved
Enemy of light
I will not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.
You may rob me of the last span of my land
You may ditch my youth in prison holes
Steal what my grandfather left me behind:
Some furniture or clothes and jars,
You may burn my poems and books
You may feed your dog on my flesh
You may impose a nightmare of your terror
On my village
Enemy of light
I shall not compromise
And to the end
I shall fight.

“Poems of Resistance: 7 Poems for Palestine.” SCOOP  WORLD  INDEPENDENT  NEWS. January 2011. Web.
About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . And here I shall remain . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

1-beit whatever silwan-001
At least nine Palestinians were left homeless after settlers escorted by Israeli security personnel forcibly evicted them from their homes in the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood of East Jerusalem (Photo: Holy Land 24 News, Oct 16, 2015)

❶ Approving the establishment of a settlement outpost in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) In Controversial Move Israel Approves More Funding for West Bank Settlements
~~From: Refuge Journal
❷ Almost 42% of West Bank and Gaza Strip Residents are Refugees (VIDEO)
❸ Israeli Settlers Storm Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa
~~From: Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
❹ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
June 19, 2016
The Local Constructions and Organizing Committee recently approved the establishment of a settlement outpost in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in Silwan [. . . .]
___The committee of Batn A-Hawa will submit through its lawyer an objection against the settlement project within 30 days. The lawyer pointed out that the Constriction and Organizing Committee ratified the establishment of the building without publishing anything regarding the project in the newspaper to avoid any objections. Also, the area of the project is bigger than the area of the land that Ateerat Cohanim organization claims to own.    MORE . . .     

The New Arab
Jun 20 2016
The Israeli government on Sunday approved some $18 million in additional funding for settlements in the occupied West Bank, calling it a response to security concerns.
___The decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet will see some 70 million shekels ($18 million, 16 million euros) allocated to settlement-related spending.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the amount is in addition to an already allocated $88 million.    MORE . . .

In the case of Palestine, a complex multi-ethnic society was transformed in 1948 into an ethnocentric state. Ideologues of the new Israel elaborated a highly contentious account of local history in which the indigenous population had no significant role. Palestinians were silenced by the impacts of mass displacement and by an ideological agenda that celebrated certain traditions, rights, and achievements embedded in the new national agenda. At the same time they were affected by continuous efforts of the Israeli state to enforce further ethnic cleansing, a process described by Yiftachel as “ethno-spatial domination and exclusion” (Yiftachel, Oren. Bedouin Arabs And The Israeli Settler State: Land Policies and Indigenous Resistance).
___The dominant Zionist account of foundational events in Israel can be seen as a paradigmatic example of Renan’s contention that “deeds of violence” are excluded from the national narrative. Those who have challenged this record, notably Palestinian academics and Israel’s “revisionist” historians, have often been accused of seeking to “delegitimize” the Israel state—a marker of the importance of the past in contemporary politics. The Palestinian experience also reveals the significance of mass displacement as a functional practice for exclusionary regimes. Most of the Palestinians displaced in 1948, and their descendants to the fourth or even fifth generation, remain in “camps” and settlements in Arab states and in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories, while “internal” displacement (within the borders of Israel)
continues. Exclusion of Palestinian Arabs appears to be an existential principle for the Zionist movement. Here, the violence of the “founding fathers” is revisited continuously upon a historic Other.

  • Marfleet, Philip. “Displacements Of Memory.” Refuge (0229-5113) 32.1 (2016): 7-17.    ARTICLE.
Israeli extremist settlers storming the compound of the Aqsa Mosque under protection of Israeli regime forces (Photo: Alwaght News & Analysis, July 21, 2015)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 22, 2016
Israeli settlers on Wednesday resumed their provocative visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
___WAFA correspondent said small groups of extremist settlers accompanied by an Israeli police escort broke into the site during the morning to perform rituals [. . . .]
___The al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem has become a flashpoint of the escalating conflict in recent months. It is the third holiest place for Muslims, and has since 1967 been the center of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.     MORE . . .

The Muslim-Jewish conflict over the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif was revived in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, accelerating tensions. Thus, the critical historical change in the status of the Temple Mount, East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories ignited feelings of despair, revenge and religious solidarity among Muslims. In particular, conservative and zealous Muslims deepened their ideological religious attachment to al-Haram al-Sharif, elevating its importance and vowing to liberate it by Jihad against Israel. Similarly, many Jews in Israel and abroad were deeply moved by the redemption of the Western Wall.
___But among zealous Jews, the Messianic longing to rebuild the Temple was empowered by the intention to blow up the mosques that had “desecrated” the Temple Mount. These mutually hostile attitudes have been accompanied by denial of each side’s attachment to their respective holy shrines.
___The political and religious leaders of both sides adopted these positions regarding these critical issues to advance political and national objectives and to please their militant groups. Simultaneously, attempts have been made by the relevant governments, as well as by various global organizations, to settle this dispute, but to no avail.

  • Ma’oz, Moshe. “A National Or Religious Conflict? The Dispute Over The Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif In Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 20/21.4/1 (2015): 25-32.    ARTICLE.

Palestine Chronicle
Jun 21 2016
Approximately 41.6 per cent of Palestinian residents in the state of Palestine are refugees, Quds Press reported Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) saying yesterday.
___In an official report, the PCBS said that 26.3 per cent of West Bank residents and 67.7 per cent of those in the Gaza Strip are refugees.
___According to UNRWA, there were 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in January 2015. MORE . . .

You may take my hands
and lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me.

You bereaved me
from the light
and I marched
You robbed me
of the bread
and I ate.
You plundered the land
from me
and I ploughed.

I am the son of the land
and for that
I find goodness in this earth
anywhere I happen to be:
The ants of this land
feed me
The branches of this land
foster me
The eagles of this land
will shield my open revolt

You may take my hands
And lock them in your chains
You may also blindfold me
But here I will stand tall
And here I shall remain
until the very end. (April, 1970) 

From: El Azmar, Fouzi.  POEMS   FROM   AN   ISRAELI   PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.  Available from Amazon
About Fouzi El Asmar 

“Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces”

15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran, shot dead by Israeli forces on June 21, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Palestinian boy ‘mistakenly’ killed by Israeli forces while driving near stone-throwing incident
❷ Prisoner leaders thrown in solitary confinement; 120 Palestinians striking in Megiddo prison
❹ POETRY by Yusuf Hamdan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15, from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.     MORE . . .

  • From European Journal Of International Law 

[. . . .]
The crucial principle that underlies jus in bello is that civilians must be shielded from the violence of the battle. That means that they cannot be directly targeted; terrorism is ruled out from the beginning (this is what the terrorists complain about). It also means that injuries inflicted on civilians indirectly, incidentally, in the course of the fighting – what is called ‘collateral damage’ – must be limited. The standard understanding of the limits is that the injury to civilians must not be ‘disproportionate’ to the value of the military target. The point is to permit the attack so long as the target is really important and the risk to innocent people falls within a reasonable range. ‘Innocent’ here is a term of art; it means ‘disengaged from the business of war’. It says nothing about the moral standing of disengaged men and women, but it does say something, and it is meant to say something, about the moral standing of anyone who deliberately sets out to kill them.
[. . . .]
If we want to protect innocent lives in war, we have to work through the responsibility arguments and we have to get the proportionality calculations right. And these arguments and calculations require us to bracket – not forever but for a reflective moment – our political sympathies and antipathies and to focus narrowly on what happens on the battlefield or in the course of the asymmetric struggle. How should insurgents and soldiers aim their weapons, with what intentions, in what circumstances, with what degree of care? There are right answers to these questions, and the right answers will not deny victory to the men and women who adopt them as their military code.

  • Walzer, Michael. “Coda: Can The Good Guys Win?.” European Journal Of International Law 24.1 (2013): 433-444.  ARTICLE. 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
June 21, 2016
120 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Megiddo prison in solidarity with Bilal Kayed, the Palestinian prisoner who was ordered to six months administrative detention without charge or trial upon the expiration of his 14.5 year sentence in Israeli prison on Monday, 13 June. Two of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement – Wael Jaghoub and Kamil Abu Hanish – have been thrown into solitary confinement,  said early reports from the prisons on 21 June.
___Kayed has been on hunger strike since 14 June demanding his freedom and the cancellation of the administrative detention order.     MORE . . .

  • From Journal Of International Human Rights

Israeli security authorities see these non-violent demonstrations as a security threat, and, in many cases, have used excessive crowd control measures to disperse them, causing increasing numbers of deaths and injuries to civilians. The IDF regularly declares protest venues as closed military zones to try to prevent the protests from taking place. When they do, the military arrests protesters (Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners) and in some cases uses tear gas, rubber coated bullets, and other violent measures against non-violent protesters. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are undeterred and continue fighting for their rights in these demonstrations, hoping this will eventually bring a change to their reality.
[. . . .]
___I do not make these observations on the non-violent resistance to paint a skewed picture of reality in the region. Israel remains constantly challenged by real and dangerous security threats to its citizens and troops. However, it is the complexity of this situation, the decades of occupation and oppression, and the high toll the conflict takes on both the Israeli and Palestinian societies that all justify continuous attempts to offer legal, political, and social solutions that will improve it. Furthermore, the rise in the non-violent resistance justifies taking a closer look, particularly at the possibility of increased human rights protections.
___International relations scholar Adam Roberts claims there is no need to try to prove that any of Israel’s commitments pass an applicability test in a given situation. He argues that the burden of proof to show that Israel’s IHL obligations do not apply to the occupied territories is on Israel, and until the burden is met, the assumption is that Israel must conform to the terms of this legal framework.

  • 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 12.2 (2014): 152-190.  ARTICLE.
Bilal Kayed ordered to administrative detention when he was scheduled to be released on June 13 after nearly 15 years in Israeli prisons (Photo: Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza, June 16, 2016)

+972 Magazine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 20, 2016
A new anti-terrorism bill passed by Israel’s Knesset last week may have actually perpetuated the single, looming problem its writers set out to solve — ending Israel’s 67-year state of emergency.
___The bill is one of many pushed through the Knesset in recent years as part of an effort to eventually revoke the country’s declared state of emergency, initially declared by the British Mandate government in the 1940s and renewed every year since by Israel’s legislative body.
___The emergency regulations have been abused by Israeli state bodies to draw authorities outside the framework of the law for years, from the regulation of taxi meters to health care procedures to administrative detention, the practice of imprisoning somebody — indefinitely — without charge or trial.      MORE . . . 


I say that I hate occupation
you get angry
wake the mountain from its sleep
and chide the fox for forgetting
and you draw the arrest order

I say that I hate war and fighting
you get angry
send an armed messenger
to tell me: Come!
and when I smile
you drown in insults and coughs

I say that I hate oppression
and that all I have
of progressive papers is Al-Itthad
you get angry
and from the sky
you pour Jerusalem and the News
al-Subh and al-Masa
and New Outlook
and other names

I say that I hate rape
you get angry
and honor me in a prison cell
and inflict punishment upon me
and guard me from my friends

I say that I love Justice
you hate it!

I say that I hate injustice
you love it
and if you get angry
there is the ocean drink it!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts, and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.
Yusuf Hamdan was born in 1942 in the Triangle area of Palestine. He lived in Haifa in the early ‘60s and taught in a nearby Arabic school. He published his poems in al-Jadid, al-Ittihad, and al-Ghad, and lost his teaching position because of his poetry. In 1970 he left Israel for the US, where he presently lives and works.
Al-Ittihad (The Union) is an Israeli Arabic-language daily newspaper based in Haifa. Once considered the most important Arab media outlet in Israel, it is owned by Maki, the Israeli Communist Party. It is currently edited by Aida Touma-Suleiman.

“. . . the homeless, the eternal wanderer . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Afternoon sky over Sousia Bedouin Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015).

❶ Israeli forces demolish structures, assault locals in West Bank village
“`Article from Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers
❷ Israeli Forces Detain 16 Palestinians, Shoot and Injure Two Brothers
“`Article from The Nation
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 19, 2016
Four people were injured and 26 Palestinians were left homeless on Sunday afternoon after Israeli forces assaulted locals and demolished Palestinian structures in the village of Susiya in the southern occupied West Bank, in what activists said was an unprecedented move to carry out a demolition during the holy month of Ramadan.
___According to the Israeli organization Rabbis for Human Rights, two homes were demolished in the southern part of Susiya, in addition to agricultural structures, including a barn and an outdoor kitchen.   MORE . . .   

[. . . .]
When talking and writing about the destruction of Palestinian property, it is usually a case of house demolitions and rarely home demolitions. This slippage perhaps occurs easily when moving from Arabic to English, since the Arabic word beit can be translated as both house and home. However, in English, while house refers to a built structure, as Blunt and Dowling point out in their recent book on the subject, there are multiple experiences of home:

“Some may speak of the physical structure of their house
or dwelling; others may refer to relationships or connections
over space and time. You might have positive or
negative feelings about home, or a mixture of the two.
Your sense of home might be closely shaped by your
memories of childhood, alongside your present experiences
and your dreams for the future.”
(Blunt A. and Dowling R. Home Routledge, London. 2006)

I understand the term house demolitions to mean the destruction of a built form used as ⁄ for housing, and the term home demolitions to imply the destruction of a set of material, social and affective relations that constitute home. While writing about house demolitions may invoke images of a bulldozer reducing concrete, steel and other building materials to a pile of rubble, talking about home demolitions  broadens the discussion to examine the extensive economic, political, cultural and social geographies (and temporalities) of such violence. My understanding of home demolitions is very similar to what Porteous and Smith term ‘domicide . . . defined as the deliberate destruction of home by human agency in pursuit of specified goals, which causes suffering to the victim’. (Porteous J. D. and Smith S. Domicide: The Global Destruction Of Home. 2001).

  • Harker, Christopher. “Spacing Palestine Through The Home.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 320-332.   SOURCE.  
From Sousia Village looking across valley to encroaching Jewish settlement (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 7, 2015)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 20, 2016
Israeli occupation forces Monday detained 16 Palestinians from across the West Bank district, as well as shot and injured two brothers, according to local and security sources.
___In Hebron, forces detained seven Palestinians, including two journalists, during a military raid into Hebron city.
___Forces reportedly stormed several neighbourhoods in the city before detaining Hamza al-Jamal, Hazem Neurokh, Suhaib Abu Nejmeh, Mohammed Taha, and Firas Abu Snaineh, in addition to two journalists who were identified as Adeeb al-Atrash and Rani al-Haymoni. Al-Haymoni’s two brothers were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during his arrest. They were both transferred to hospital for medical treatment.      MORE . . .   

Seeking to quell the unrest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government would undertake more stringent measures to suppress Palestinian protests, including the use of live rounds against demonstrators and the immediate demolition of residences belonging to Palestinians involved in violence. PALESTINIANS ARE NOT SAFE, NOT EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOMES [emphasis added]. Israel is also threatening to remove Palestinians from Jerusalem, rendering them stateless.
[. . . .]
___And while the mainstream Western media focus heavily on the loss of Israeli lives, Palestinian deaths are often treated as mere numbers and statistics. More importantly, lost in the media coverage of the violence from “both sides” is the fact that only one side is occupying the other.
[. . . .]
___Palestinian civil society and the international solidarity movement have both reached a point of strength and maturity not seen since the first intifada of the late 1980s. In the United States, solidarity groups are making inroads into AIPAC’s traditional arenas on Capitol Hill, particularly in the Democratic Party. This growing movement should do everything it can to prevent Washington from vetoing an international protection force or from using it to cement a sellout of Palestinian rights.

  • BUTTU, DIANA, and NADIA HIJAB. “Palestine Besieged.” Nation 301.19 (2015): 8-11.   ARTICLE.  

+972 Blog
Yuval Eylon
June 19, 2016
The latest hit in the peace plan business comes from “Two States One Homeland,” an initiative that eschews both the two-state solution and the one-state solution, instead envisioning a confederation between Israel and a future Palestinian state [. . . .]
___On paper it [leaving settlements] seems like a fair exchange. However with hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in sovereign Palestinian territory, the Palestinian state will inevitably lack all sovereignty. The disparities in power ensure that Palestinian sovereignty will remain a formality, while actual sovereignty will remain in the hands of Israeli settlers. On the other hand the State of Israel will gain hundreds of thousands of laborers who lack both citizenship or even the very ability to become citizens of Israel.        MORE . . .  

The moonlight said:
I am the first of the homeless,
the eternal wanderer;
you find me on the breakwaters,
on the soldier’s helmet,
on the false teeth of the party’s general secretary,
in the begging of the willow and in the river’ obstinacy,
on the woman’s brow when pleasure lifts it,
on the executioner’s fingernails and the robber’s key-ring,
on parliament’s oppressive dome,
on a deserter’s medals,
on the tilted surface of a bomber,
on the marble steps,
on a knife blade
which a friend takes from the front of his cloak
and points at your backbone.
And in my moment of agony,
I beg the clouds:
“Hide me!”

Barghouti’s essay, “Verbicide,” in which he describes being a refugee.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.


“. . . occupation to the occupied resembled daily suffocation. . . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Mideast Gaza Rush to Normalcy
In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo, a Palestinian family shelters amid the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ Israeli siege on Gaza illegal, UN says
❷ Israel to destroy West Bank village’s only water source
❸ Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing grow louder
❺ POETRY by Samuel Hazo
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine
Jun 18, 2016
A new UN report has reiterated that the Israeli, internationally backed siege on Gaza is illegal and violates humanitarian law.
___The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed the severe deterioration in various aspects of life in Gaza as a result of the continued Israeli siege imposed on the Strip over the last 10 year.
___In the report, the UNRWA listed the negative impact of the siege on the health and education sectors, as well as the freedom of movement and travel, and the living conditions of Gazans.      MORE . . .     

According to former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben Yair:
___“The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live under another’s domination and that a suppressed people’s war of national liberation will inevitably succeed. We understand this point but choose to ignore it. We are prepared to engage in confrontation to prevent an historical process, although we are well aware that this process is anchored in the moral justification behind every people’s war of national liberation and behind its right to self-determination” (“The War’s Seventh Day,’’ Ha’aretz 3 March 2002).
___The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. . .  it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability [. . . .]
___Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE.  

The New Arab
June 19, 2016
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village’s only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.
___According to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories’ coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds’ water tank was built illegally.
___The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long.
___By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.      MORE . . .   

The issue of Israel and the occupied territories is not religion. . .  The issue is colonialism; it is the Zionist agenda of ‘maximum geography with minimum demography’. It is ownership and control of land and water. The issue is humanitarian laws, Geneva Conventions, the International Rights of the Child, and International Court of Justice rulings. . . .
___The [Separation, or ‘Apartheid’] wall is not for security; it is for oppression. It is separating Palestinians from Palestinians. [The Wall] in 2004 was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and [is] expanding to this day, sealing off villagers from their farmlands and water sources. Villagers protest non-violently and are always met with extreme violence: tear gas, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and something vile that the Israelis call skunk water.
__[In] Ma’ale Adumim, one of many settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are for Jews only. They receive subsidised housing, water, electricity, rubbish collection, and security. Settlements are illegal under international law. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power cannot transfer its population into occupied territory.
___ . . . Settlers are allowed plentiful amounts of water, which comes from mountain aquifers. By international law, mountain aquifer water should be a Palestinian resource, but Israel controls all water resources. Palestinians are forced to try to survive with less than minimum WHO requirements. Someone has coined the phrase hydro- logical apartheid.

  • Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.      SOURCE.

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.
___Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
___According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.         MORE . . .     

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
Israel is a state that owes its very existence to ethnic cleansing, massacres and seemingly perpetual wars.
___The events of 1947-48 when the state was founded are known as the Catastrophe (Nakba) by Arabs [. . . .]
___Palestine was literally wiped off the map, and the refugees were sent into exile in the surrounding countries. They and their decedents have still not been allowed to return until this day.
___ . . . extreme voices in Israel are growing louder all the time, declaring that a slow process is not good enough. They call for swift expulsion. These voices, once on the extreme fringes of Zionism, are now centre stage – even in government . . .     MORE . . .


Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We  Begin  Here:  Poems  for  Palestine  and  Lebanon . Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.