“. . . 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

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