“. . . Will you become . . . an ordinary country? . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

bedouin
A demolished house in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev, December 2010 (photo: Times of Israel)

❶ Bethlehem: Settlers Raze Lands in Al-Khader
❷ 1,000 civilian structures demolished by Israeli authorities in Negev
❸ Israeli police to ban burial of Jerusalemite martyrs in their areas
❹ Opinion/Analysis: AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BETHLEHEM:  SETTLERS  RAZE  LANDS  IN  AL-KHADER
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 8, 2016
Israeli settlers, Wednesday, razed Palestinian-owned lands in the village of al-Khader, to the south of occupied Bethlehem, according to local sources.
___Hasan Burajeya, of the Anti-Settlement Committee in Bethlehem, told WAFA that a group of illegal Israeli settlers, accompanied by a military escort, proceeded to raze about 15 dunams of land near al-Khader. The razed land belongs to local Palestinians from the village.
___Burajeya asserted that the razing of said lands comes as part of Israeli plan to construct a yeshiva (Jewish school) at the site.      MORE . . .  

LATE THIS past June [2012], a group of Israeli settlers in the West Bank defaced and burned a mosque in the small West Bank village of Jabaa. Graffiti sprayed by the vandals warned of a “war” over the planned evacuation, ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court, of a handful of houses illegally built on private Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit El. The torching of the mosque was the fourth such attack in 18 months and part of a wider trend of routine violence committed by radical settlers against innocent Palestinians, Israeli security personnel, and mainstream settler leaders — all aimed at intimidating perceived enemies of the settlement project.
___This violence has not always plagued the settler community. Although many paint all Israeli settlers as extremists, conflating them with the often-justified criticism of Israeli government policy in the West Bank, the vast majority of them oppose attacks against Palestinian civilians or the Israeli state. In the past, Israeli authorities and the settler leadership often worked together to prevent such assaults and keep radicalism at bay. Yet in recent years, the settler movement has experienced a profound breakdown in discipline, with extremists now beyond the reach of either Israeli law enforcement or the discipline of settler leaders.

  • Byman, Daniel, and Natan Sachs. “The Rise Of Settler Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs 91.5 (2012): 73-86.      Complete Article.     

❷ 1,000  CIVILIAN  STRUCTURES  DEMOLISHED  BY  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  IN  NEGEV
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli authorities demolished 1,041 Bedouin structures in Negev between 2013 and 2015, with a further 1,711 structures being destroyed by their owners after receiving demolition orders. According to a new report by the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), in 2015 alone, nearly 1,000 structures were demolished in Negev — 365 by the Israeli authorities, and 617 by the homeowners themselves.
___The waves of demolitions have displaced thousands of Bedouins over the past three years, according to Michal Rotem, the author of the report.      MORE . . . 

The Negev/Naqab region in southern Israel is a socially segregated landscape rent by clashes between Bedouin and Jewish residents and government bodies over access to land for farming and homes and over the status of Bedouin villages. Though Bedouin residents once migrated within the region and bordering grazing areas, they have been struggling for the past half-century to gain a firm and recognised place within the Israeli state. Approximately half of the Negev’s 180,000 Bedouin Arab residents live in villages and family clusters that the government deems illegal. The other half live in government-planned townships, which hold legal legitimacy as residences.
[. . . .]
However . . . formal citizenship does not guarantee the equal distribution of political rights and economic resources. Rather, ‘differentiated citizenship’ means that social goods are distributed unequally along racial or class-based social divisions. Such is the case for a Jewish–Arab differentiation in Israel. Whereas Israel’s Basic Laws promise equal rights to all citizens . . .  rights are systematically denied to non-Jews (e.g., land purchases and the benefits accruing to military service).
___How does this differentiation happen? Of critical importance for the case of land rights, socially privileged citizens have more influence in defining legitimate and illegitimate land uses. An examination of the media campaigns, protests, court cases and Knesset debates involved in Negev struggles against eviction reveals  the  importance  of  leveraging  cultural  recognition.  Residents in both these cases lived dispersed, agro-pastoral lifestyles that were initially prohibited by the Israeli government. Jewish residents were able to gain legal recognition for their land-use practices, while Bedouin residents were not.

  • McKee, Emily. “Demolitions And Amendments: Coping With Cultural Recognition And Its Denial In Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.  Available.

❸ ISRAELI  POLICE  TO  BAN  BURIAL  OF  JERUSALEMITE  MARTYRS  IN  THEIR  AREAS
The Palestinian Information Center
June 9, 2016
The Israeli occupation police on Wednesday decided not to allow funerals and burials for Palestinian martyrs from east Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or town and to choose the Muslim cemeteries they would be buried in.
___Yedioth Ahronoth website said this decision was taken following the funeral of martyr Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks when about 200 persons gathered at the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and chanted incitement slogans against Israel and support for the deceased, whom it described as a “terrorist”.
___After reporting what happened at that funeral, minister of public security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of “terrorists” to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain incitement.       MORE . . .

1-tel aviv
Reporter’s notebook: Scenes from the Tel Aviv terror attack – Arab-Israeli Conflict – (Photo: Jerusalem Post)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  AFTER  TEL AVIV  ATTACK,  WHAT  IS  GOING  BACK  TO  BUSINESS  AS  USUAL?
972 Magazine
Mairav Zonszein
June 9, 2016
I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market . . . .
___Life does go on here despite the violence. That’s just the reality. But when I read the statement by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai that Israelis cannot let such terror “disrupt our lives” and that we should “return to business as usual” tomorrow, I become enraged. Why shouldn’t this disrupt our lives? [. . . .]
___The word “disruption” here also dismisses the fact that the lives of so many Palestinians are “disrupted” all the time. The entire city of Yatta, where the two murderers are from — a population of about 65,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is now under military lockdown. This is collective punishment, a mass “disruption.”
MORE . . .  

“IF ONLY,” BY SAMIH AL-QASIM

My homeland, an earring dangling

from the ear of the earth;

my homeland . . . a woman

whose thighs are opened by the western wind;

my homeland, the oars of the boat;

my homeland, the absent son:

Will you one day rouse what is in me?

Will you become . . . an ordinary country?

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. New and Selected Poems. Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.
Samih Al-Qasim  Obituary, August 20, 2014   
About Ibis Editions.  Available from Amazon.  

 

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