“. . . 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.


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