“. . . ravaged by conspiracies of enemies and friends . . .” (Abu Salma)

1-palfest-2016
PalFest Literary Festival participants travel through the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, May 21, 2016. (Photo: Rob Stothard, from Electronic Intifada)

❶ Arab League rejects Israel’s nomination as chair of UN legal committee
❷ Israel Detains 6 Palestinians, Sunday’s Arrests Hit 16
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  TO  ISRAEL,  BEING  “FROM  GAZA”  IS  A  CRIME
❹ POETRY by Abu Salma
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ARAB  LEAGUE  REJECTS  ISRAEL’S  NOMINATION  AS  CHAIR  OF  UN  LEGAL  COMMITTEE
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 13, 2016
The Arab League has rejected the nomination of Israel as chair of the UN General Assembly Sixth Committee, its general-secretary announced.
___Elaraby made the announcement during a meeting with representatives of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) which nominated Israel for the position.
___According to the UN: “The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly,” Elaraby said it was unreasonable for Israel to head the committee, as it regularly commits illegal acts [. . . .]     MORE . . .  

[UN Security Council Resolution 242]
“1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories of recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force …”
___While no one could cavil over the meaning of the preamble ‘Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’, there were different interpretations of the withdrawal clause. A majority of Security Council members had wanted insertion of the definite article, the territories, to specify a complete withdrawal. These were nine: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, France, India, Mali, Nigeria and the USSR. Those that refrained from expressing a specific view on the extent of withdrawal were six: Canada, China (Taiwan), Denmark, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. (In the absence of any alternative, the UK would also have supported an explicitly full withdrawal and others of the six might also have done so.)

  • McDOWALL, DAVID. “Clarity or Ambiguity? The Withdrawal Clause of UN Security Council Resolution 242.” International Affairs 90.6 (2014): 1367-1381. SOURCE.

[An American “Neocon”/Israeli Perspective]
[. . . .]  By its countless one-sided resolutions and numerous “investigations” of Israel with predetermined results; by providing a global infrastructure for the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel; and by UNRWA, which sustains the idea of the “right of return,” the UN has served systematically to challenge Israel’s legitimacy and weaken its global position—a damaging and malign role entirely at odds with the UN’s founding purposes.

  • Muravchik, Joshua. “The UN and Israel. A history of discrimination.” World Affairs 176.4 (2013): 35-46.  ARTICLE.

❷ ISRAEL  DETAINS  6  PALESTINIANS,  SUNDAY’S  ARRESTS  HIT  16
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 13, 2016
Israeli forces Monday detained six Palestinians from the West Bank districts of Hebron and Qalqilia, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).  [. . . .]
___This brings the total number of Palestinians Detained since overnight Sunday from across the West Bank and Jerusalem to 16.      MORE . . .

The Palestinian narrative is that of suffering, reconstructed on the basis of liv- ing memory, oral history, a continued exilic existence, and the more tangible effects such as property deeds, faded photographs, and keys to homes they can no longer return to. These narratives are read backward through the prism of con- temporary hardships, in the occupied territories where residents are subjected daily to house demolitions, sudden arrests, expulsions, and more recently to daily atrocities committed by the Israeli army; and in exile where they are subjected to the whims of their host countries and in some instances denied even their most basic civic and human rights. Through this prism, Zionism or Israel has come to represent absolute evil, and the ultimate victimizer [. . . .]
___The following paradox, then, has to be resolved: the recognition that the refugee problem is at the heart of the conflict while acknowledging that for the stronger party in the conflict it is a nonstarter in any future peace negotiations. Solving the paradox necessitates, apart from strong pressure on the victimizer, engaging with his fears of the past. The most difficult part of Israel’s encounter with history is the Jewish  State’s  need  to  recognize  the  cardinal  role  it  played  in  making   the Palestinians into a community of suffering.

  • Pappe, Ilan. “Historiophobia or the Enslavement of History: The Role of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing In the Contemporary Peace Process.” Arab Studies Quarterly 38.1 (2016): 402-417.    SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  TO  ISRAEL,  BEING  “FROM  GAZA”  IS  A  CRIME
The Electronic Intifada
Ahmed Masoud
June 6, 2016
I was invited to take part in this year’s PalFest literary festival as a Palestinian writer talking about my novel Vanished and my theater work. I traveled to Palestine as a British citizen with my red passport. Everyone in my group was waved through at the Israeli-controlled Allenby crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank. Except me.
___Far worse than not being allowed to enter Palestine was the fact that Israel denied me entry because I am from Gaza.
___Not only did Israeli soldiers deny me entry but they were shocked to see someone like me trying to visit the rest of Palestine.      MORE . . .

“WE  SHALL  RETURN,”  BY  ABU  SALMA

Beloved Palestine, how can I sleep
when phantoms torture my eyes?
In your name I greet the wide world,
but caravans of days pass,
ravaged by conspiracies of enemies and friends.
Beloved Palestine, how can I live
away from your plain and hills?
The valleys call me and the shores
cry out, echoing in the ears of time!
Even fountains weep as they trickle, estranged.
Your cities and villages echo the cries.
Will there be a return, my comrades ask,
a return after such long absence?
Yes, we’ll return and kiss the moist ground,
love flowering on our lips.
We’ll return some day, while generations listen
to the echoes of our feet.
We’ll return with raging storms,
holy lightning and fire,
winged hope and songs,
soaring eagles,
the dawn smiling on the deserts.
Some morning we’ll return riding the crest of the tide,
our bloodied banners fluttering
above the glitter of spears.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

Abu Salma (Abdelkarim Al-Karmi) was born in 1907 in Haifa. He studied law and worked in Haifa until April 1948 when the Israelis occupied the city. He then moved to Akka. Shortly he moved from Akka to Damascus. Abu Salma kept the keys to his house and office in Haifa hoping to return. Abu Salma died in 1980.
From  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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