“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

Israeli street blockade, Hebron, November 17, 2012. (Photo: marthiemombergblog)

❶ Israeli forces raid Yatta [Hebron] after more than 40 days of blockade
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army bulldozers, jeeps, drones enter southern Gaza
❷ Netanyahu [inspecting new wall in Hebron]: Barrier in South Hebron Hills important for Israel’s security

  • background From Postcolonial Studies

❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta early Thursday, as the army maintained its weeks-long blockade of municipalities in the Hebron district.
___A coordinator of a popular committee in the southern West Bank, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces raided central Yatta and searched the houses of two Palestinian security officer, identified as Majdi Moussa al-Shreiqi and Ahmad Moussa al-Shreiqi, the latter reportedly a former prisoner detained by Israel.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Several Israeli army bulldozers entered the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, locals said.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers coming from the al-Matbaq Gate entered 50 meters into eastern Rafah City, escorted by four military jeeps as drones flew overhead [. . . .]
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. MORE . . .

The Jerusalem Post
Herb Keinon
July 20, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected the construction work being done on a new security barrier in the South Hebron Hills area on Wednesday, saying completing it was important for the country’s security.
___“We said that we will close the breaches,” he said. “We will prevent illegal residents and attackers from reaching Israel’s cities.”     MORE . . .

From Postcolonial Studies
The security barrier was a unilateral Israeli decision. The policy decision to build the barrier nonetheless entailed considerable internal negotiations involving competing political parties and leaders. The resulting compromise gained broad popular and institutional support. Palestinian and international opposition to the barrier has been firm, based in large part on Israel’s placement of sections of the barrier within the Green Line so as to protect Jewish Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier does not represent a final political border, but it does suggest an initial bid. This was one reason that the Israeli government responded negatively to American president Barack Obama’s declaration of pre-1967 borders as an initial point of negotiation.
___While the international legitimacy of the barrier has not been recognized, its effectiveness has. Thus, it is unlikely that Israel will dismantle the barrier or place it wholly on its side of the Green Line. Legal challenges within Israel have led to a process of internal negotiation among the civil society, the judiciary, and the executive on the exact placement of the barrier — but not on its continued existence. It is unlikely that final status negotiations will include complete Israeli withdrawal from all the West Bank territory won in the 1967 War. The clause of Resolution 242 emphasizing Israel’s right to ‘‘live in peace within secure and recognized borders’’ strongly suggests that Israel will seek to incorporate the security barrier formula into any final status agreements.

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Daoud Kuttab
July 20, 2016
Despite the Israelis’ initial claims that their efforts have partially succeeded in shelving a pro-Palestinian vote at UNESCO, the story that is emerging now is quite different. Palestinian and Arab officials say the delay in the vote that had been planned for July 20 in Istanbul was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
___Omar Awadallah, the director of UN activities at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al-Monitor that UNESCO had postponed voting on all resolutions, not just the one on extending the declaration that Jerusalem’s Old City meets UNESCO’s criteria for being endangered. “Due to the security uncertainty connected to the failed coup in Turkey, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to postpone all decisions until it meets again in Paris in October,” said Awadallah.      MORE . . .   


Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken|
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi  
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance.” Counterpunch. September 20, 2013.

“. . . my liberty I shall carve its name while I resist . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Samah Dweik
Palestinian Journalist Samah Dweik Sentenced to 6 Months Imprisonment for ‘Incitement.’ (Photo: Days of Palestine, April 16, 2016)

❶ Palestinian Journalist Sentenced to 6 Months Imprisonment for ‘Incitement’

  • background from European Journal Of International Law

❷ Israel passes law slammed by critics as a move to silence Palestinian lawmakers
❸ Israeli soldiers kill 12-year-old Palestinian during clashes in central West Bank
❺ POETRY: “My Liberty,” by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 19, 2016
An Israeli court, on Monday, reportedly sentenced a young Palestinian journalist to six months in prison over charges of “incitement,” according to Ma’an.
___The family of Samah Dweik, a 25-year-old journalist working for Shabakat al-Quds (The Jerusalem Network), said that she was detained in April, in her occupied East Jerusalem home, in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, over alleged “incitement” on Facebook.     MORE . . .  

From European Journal Of International Law
. . . the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa [in] 2008 convened a team of international lawyers from Palestine, Israel, South Africa, and Europe to examine these questions of whether the international legal prohibitions of colonialism and apartheid had been breached by Israel in the Palestinian territories. . . The findings . . . [include]:
___Palestinians’ right to education . . . is severely impeded by military rule. Israeli military actions have included extensive school closures, direct attacks on schools, severe restrictions on movement, and arrests and detention of teachers and students. . . . Discrimination in relation to education is striking in East Jerusalem, and is further indicated by a parallel Jewish Israeli school system in illegal settlements throughout the West Bank, supported by the Israeli government.
___Palestinians are denied the right to freedom of opinion and expression through censorship laws enforced by the military authorities and endorsed by the Supreme Court. Palestinian newspapers must have a military permit and publications must be pre-approved by the military censor. . . . Journalists are regularly restricted from entering the Gaza Strip and Palestinian journalists suffer from patterns of harassment, detention, confiscation of materials, and even killing.
___Palestinians’  right  to  freedom  of  peaceful  assembly  and  association  is  impeded through military orders that ban public gatherings of  ten or more persons without a permit from the Israeli military commander. . .  Most Palestinian political parties have been declared illegal and institutions associated with those parties . . .  are regularly subjected to closure and attack [. . . .]

  • Dugard, John, and John Reynolds. “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” European Journal Of International Law 24.3 (2013): 867-913.

Ma’an News Agency
July 20, 2016
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed into law late Tuesday night a bill that would allow Knesset members to vote to oust their colleagues from office, legislation that has been slammed by critics as targeting Palestinian MKs and harmful to “the very building blocks of democracy.”
___The so-called “suspension bill,” which ultimately passed with 62 votes in favor and 45 against, stipulates grounds for dismissal as “incitement to violence or racism, support for armed conflict against Israel, or rejecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”    MORE . . .

joint list members
Joint (Arab) List members Jamal Zahalka (left), Basel Ghattas (center) and Hanin Zoabi (right) meeting at the Knesset, on February 8, 2016. On January 2, the trio met with the families of Palestinian terrorists, prompting a political outcry. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ma’an News Agency
July 19, 2016
A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the town of al-Ram north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank after he was hit in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to medical sources.
___The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.     MORE . . .    

Hatim Kanaaneh
July 19, 2016
With all the recent events in Europe and the Middle East, you would think Israeli officials would be very busy keeping tabs on events in the neighborhood. But no, they are keeping faithful to their non-interference policies.
[. . . .]
On July 7, 2016 [Haaretz] featured the following investigative report as its lead front page article: “Arab teacher trainees to get half of Jewish peers’ budget.” You turn the page and here is what you find:
“Meanwhile, from elementary school up, Jewish students receive more state funding than their Arab peers. In high school, per-student funding in 2013-14 was 35 percent to 68 percent higher for Jews than for Arabs at the same socioeconomic level. That statistic comes from the Education Ministry itself.”     MORE . . .

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls
and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and the fields,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition.
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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 Abe Books.
Fadwa Tuqan 


“. . . serene foreshadowing things to come . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Combatants for Peace
Combatants for Peace demonstration, January 15, 2016, Bethlehem. (Photo: Combatants for Peace)

❶ Israeli opposition leader warns of ‘uprising of hatred’ in Israel

  • background from Digest of Middle East Studies

❷ ‘No military solution’ say Israeli, Palestinian ex-fighters
❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2016
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog warned of what he called “growing hatred and racism” in Israel encouraged by right-wing politicians, adding that it could pave the way for further deadly violence, Hebrew-language news site NRG reported on Monday.
___”We are on the verge of an uprising of hatred, racism, darkness and upcoming killings and assassination based on the overwhelming internal hatred here,” NRG quoted Herzog as saying during a speech at a Zionist Camp parliamentary bloc session on Monday.
___”We hear hatred at every turn, whether it is directed towards women by military rabbis, by Ashkenazi Jews against Sephardi Jews and Mizrahi Jews against Ashkenazis, from military school rabbis towards homosexuals, or between Arabs and Jews,” the Labor Party leader added, notably in reference to the recent appointment of Eyal Karim, who has implicitly justified the rape of women in times of war, as the new chief rabbi of the Israeli army.      MORE . . .

From Digest of Middle East Studies
Carlo Strenger . . . writes that “Mizrahi [Jews descended from Arab Jews] resentment” has led to “hatred and resentment towards Israel’s liberal secular Jews,” while noting that “The core values of liberal democracy have become associated with the so-called ‘white tribe’ of the secular Ashkenazi [European Jews] ‘elite’.” He concludes that “Israel’s secular liberals must cease apologizing for fighting for a liberal democratic Israel. We are not oppressors, but a minority . . . our ethics are not meant to discriminate against anybody, whether on grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The opposite is true: our ideals are the only ones that can ensure freedom and dignity for all.”
[. . . .]  The fear of the Orthodox other manifests itself in a notion that their birth rate endangers the state. Donniel Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman institute [a pluralistic center of research in Jerusalem] noted “In truth, we have no desire to share our country with them and prefer that their integration be limited, all the while hoping for their religious assimilation” . . .  Yuval Elizur and Lawrence Malkin in The War Within: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Threat to Israeli Democracy . . . described [the Haredim – Orthodox Jews who reject modern culture] as a “problem” that must be “solved.”
___The “battle” for Israel is viewed as one between its secular minority and the burgeoning Arab and Orthodox public. . .  Newspaper editor Amnon Dankner argued in 2011 that “what adds to my sense of depression is the awareness that demographic processes are turning our society more and more religion [sic], more and more racist and venomous, more and more withdrawn and violent.”

  • Frantzman, Seth J. “‘They Will Take The Country From Us’: Labor Zionism, The Origins And Legacy Of The ‘Other’ In Israeli Mass Media, And Hegemonic Narratives.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 156-189.   SOURCE.  

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
July 18, 2016
The request for a travel permit seemed terribly innocent. An international filmmaker was debuting a film about Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and wanted the Palestinian activist to be present at the premier in West Jerusalem. But the Israeli authorities denied Shifa al-Qudsi’s request.
___. . .  “I have received permits to visit my brother in jail in Israel, so why do they deny me a chance to attend a peace documentary?” she commented in a phone call with Al-Monitor from her home in Tulkarm.
___Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s “Disturbing the Peace,” about a brave group of Israelis and Palestinians, was screened July 14 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. The film features four Israelis and four Palestinians, including Qudsi, who are part of Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent organization originally made up exclusively of members who had participated in the conflict as armed combatants on one side or the other.      MORE . . .

isaac herzog
Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog speaks in Jerusalem. (Photo: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  IS  LEFT  OF  THE  ISRAELI  LEFT?
Ilan Pappé
Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2015

. . . being a leftist in Israel means opposing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish way of life, almost as though it were an existential threat. It is this clash of ideas that highlights the difference between Left as it is understood in the world and Left as it is defined in Israel. The clash between Left and Right in Israel is not about socioeconomic issues such as government spending, social welfare, or minority rights. It is rather a clash between a secular way of life and a more traditional and religious way of life. This is important to understand because  after  the  1967  war,  the  division  between  the  Zionist  Left  and  Right revolved around the question of whether or not Israel should withdraw from the territories it occupied in the June 1967 War. Quite a few of the ultra-Orthodox Jews supported withdrawal, as did the Zionist Left. However, this was not enough to form an alliance, as secularism was just as important to the Zionist Left as the idea of withdrawing from the 1967 occupied territories.
[. . . .]
Ultimately, it is impossible to reconcile a Zionist perspective with universal values associated with the Left. The history of the Zionist Left reveals genuine attempts to reconcile Zionism with universalism, but all these attempts have failed dismally. Yet, an alternative approach was always there, waiting for its historical opportunity to come forward as a universal agenda of peace and reconciliation for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians alike. Were such an agenda to be integrated into the Palestinian liberation project, it would become possible for the international community to rally around it. This can only happen when the two-state solution, which accepts and reinforces that there is conflict between two national movements that divide the land, is declared dead and gone. This has already been defeated as a possible solution, but a strong international coalition still supports it, and it will be a long process to undo this. It can only be replaced by a framework that recognizes that the conflict is between a settler-colonial movement, Zionism, a settler state of Israel, and the native population. Such a solution means, in essence, a decolonization of the whole of Palestine, which means reframing the relationship between the Jewish settler community (by which I mean the Israeli Jewish society as a whole), now in its third generation, and the native population.

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

Interview with Ilan Pappé 

“THE THREE CYPRESS TREES,” by Mourid Barghouti

Transparent and frail,
Like the slumber of woodcutters,
serene foreshadowing things to come,
the morning drizzle does not conceal
these three cypresses on the slope.

These details belie their sameness,
their radiance confirms it.

I said:
I wouldn’t dare to keep looking at them,
there is a beauty that takes away our daring,
there are times when courage fades away.

The clouds rolling high above
change the form of the cypresses.

The birds flying towards other skies
change the resonance of the cypresses.

The tiled line between them
fixes the greenness of the cypresses
and there are trees whose only fruit is greenness.

Yesterday, in my sudden cheerfulness,
I saw their immortality.

Today, in my sudden sorrow,
I saw the axe.

Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon. 

“. . . the tactic has not been a very effective deterrent . . .” (Talal Jabari)

❶ 5 Palestinians injured with live fire during Israeli demolition of prisoner’s home

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israeli soldiers open fire, wound Palestinian over stabbing attack

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❸ Israel sentences Pal boy to 6.5 years, $6,718 fine
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 18, 2016
Five Palestinian civilians were injured by Israeli live fire during the pre-dawn hours of Monday, as Israeli forces carried out the punitive home demolition of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Ahmed Abu Zeid.
___Under the protection of armed Israeli soldiers, bulldozers entered the town of Qabatiya in the Jenin district early Monday morning, where they demolished the home of Abu Zeid, who was accused of transferring weapons to the attackers suspected in the killing of a 19-year-old Israeli border police officer and wounding of one other outside the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem in February.    MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
The recent unrest experienced across the Occupied Palestinian Territory . . . is the outcome of Israel’s oppressive occupation. While Israel’s violent responses to Palestinian resistance reverberate across the OPT, they have been especially felt in occupied East Jerusalem, specifically through recent legislation.
__Israel has framed much of the recent legislation against the backdrop of a so-called “wave of terrorism.” . . .  on October 13, 2015, Israel passed a series of measures . . .  the demolition of alleged terrorists’ homes . . . among others. In light of various comments made by Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stated that Israel was “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian terror,” it is clear that the measures are to directly target the Palestinian population generally, and those of East Jerusalem specifically.
[. . . .]
The intent to collectively punish Palestinians is made clear by Knesset Member Oren Hazan, who stated . . . .  “[i]f you think we have done enough by stiffening the punishment, you are wrong. It’s time we realize that the Palestinians only understand force. No more . . .  demolishing homes two years after (a terror attack), but at the exact moment. . . . I plan to submit a proposal that the families of terrorists will be banished to Gaza. It’s time we internalize the fact that terror cannot be fought with democratic tools. (Israeli Knesset Press Release)

  • Baker, Aseil Abu. “Laws Targeting East Jerusalem: Discriminatory Intent and Application.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 55-64.  ARTICLE.

Palestine News Network – PNN
July 18, 2016
A Palestinian man was wounded after Israeli soldiers opened fire on him, over claims that he stabbed two soldiers who were at the entance of Al-Arroub refugee camp south of Bethlehem, central West Bank.
___The Palestinian Ministry of health said that the man who was shot was identified as Mustafa Barad’iyah from Al-Arroub refugee camp, adding that he was hit by two bullets in the stomach, and is now in a stable condition.   MORE . . .  

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis were shot directly, either by Israeli military forces or by settlers who may have just felt insecure or threatened with or without reason. Most of the martyrs would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The homes of these Palestinian martyrs are being demolished in violation of international law. . . . the theft of Palestinian land and spree of barbaric extrajudicial killings are all being buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the encouragement of the Israeli government and the Zionist far-right extremists.
[. . . .] Many other similar incidents of the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian youth accused of stabbing Israelis laid bare for the world the inhumanity of Zionism. It was enough to show the ongoing Jewish supremacist ideology which places non-Jews in an inferior relation to Jews and places less value on their lives. . . . It is an intergenerational sense of superiority bred from the dehumanization of Palestinians and Arabs in general that justifies their oppression, brutalization and murder.
__In the absence of international action to put an end to the Israeli occupation or even provide protection, what are Palestinians supposed to do, stand still and wait for the next family to be burned, or for the next Palestinian to be killed, or for the next settlement to be built? Why does the world remain silent while watching the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians?

  • Elrahim, Amira Abd. “Lack of Security For Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.2 (2015): 28-35.  ARTICLE.  

Days of Palestine
Jul 18, 2016
Israel Central Court in Jerusalem sentenced on Sunday 14-year-old Palestinian boy to six and half years and fine worth NIS26,000 ($6,718).
___The verdict against Alqam, who was kidnapped from the Israeli light rail in Jerusalem with his cousin on November 10, 2015, was reached during a hearing held last month.
___Alqam is accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against an Israeli commuter of the light rail in Jerusalem. While his cousin, Ali Alqam, is also accused of planning to carry out a stabbing attack.  MORE . . .
+972 Blog
Talal Jabari
July 17, 2016
One of my very first assignments as a young journalist was to go to Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem to take pictures and gather quotes pertaining to the demolition of several homes that day. I remember looking on as the bulldozers went about their work, and as the residents of the homes, male and female, wept helplessly as they watched their life’s savings collapse into neat piles of rubble.
[. . . .]
Of the more than 48,000 structures Israel demolished since 1967, hundreds were destroyed as a punitive measure, in the aftermath of a Palestinian attack — even a failed attack. Logic would suggest that the very fact that Israel has had to demolish hundreds of homes rather than a few dozen means the tactic has not been a very effective deterrent. An Israeli army commission came to the same conclusion in 2005, publishing a report that put an end to the practice of punitive demolitions.
[. . . .]
So why are we still discussing a practice that was halted in 2005? In its infinite wisdom, the Israeli security establishment decided to ignore the findings of two military committees and the research of top Israeli journalists . . . .   MORE . . .

“. . . the splendor of life Is being born within the walls of my prison . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli occupation forces stormed Palestinian prisoners in their cells, Ramon prison, in occupied Negev. (Photo: Alresalah English)

❶ Israeli forces raid PFLP section in Ramon prison, impose total closure
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)   Statement No. 8 from the PFLP Prison Branch

  • background from South Atlantic Quarterly

❷ Free Bilal Kayed! Report from the international week of action for Palestinian Prisoners

  • background from Public Health Ethics

❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 17, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said on Sunday morning that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) forces raided section 5 of Israel’s Ramon prison, where they searched room number 72 and imposed a total closure on the section, which holds exclusively prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
___The group added in a statement that the acts of the prison administration and its forces are part of its collective punishment on PFLP prisoners across all Israeli prisons, in response to their support of Bilal Kayid, who has been on a hunger strike since June 14 in protest of his administrative detention order.
[. . . .]
___Israel considers the majority of Palestinian political parties to be “terrorist organizations.” As a result, most Palestinians who participate in the political arena in the ccupied Palestinian territory risk being imprisoned by Israeli authorities.     MORE . . .  
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
July 15, 2016
The prisons of the occupation are in a state of flux, escalation, and rapid developments in the battle for freedom waged by the prisoners of the Popular Front against the fascist prison administration, for victory for their comrade, the leader Bilal Kayed, on hunger strike for a month. The Front organization in all prisons is continuing to escalate their protest, and prepare more serious steps of escalation, intent on their demands, drawing inspiration from the steadfastness of Comrade Kayed, and with the support of the Prisoners’ Movement which was expressed in an important statement a few days ago. This is expected to culminate in a program of unified steps of struggle involving the entire prisoners’ movement soon. In this context, we as the leadership of the branch of the organization of the Front in the occupation prisons emphasize the following . . .MORE . . . 

From South Atlantic Quarterly
Sumud, translated roughly as “steadfastness,” has no fixed meaning . . . . the practice of sumud destabilizes the colonial order and its power relations. This steadfastness constitutes a Palestinian relational political-psycho-affective subjectivity [. . . .]
___As a theoretical frame, sumud signifies a revolutionary becoming . . . .  it is a continuing process of reorganization of the revolutionary self that would be actualized in practice. Each practice of sumud in the [prison] interrogation is an actualization of the potentiality of the revolutionary becoming. . . . Palestinians are therefore constituted as they resist . . . . Palestinians-in-sumud correspond to “being caught in the act of legending.” These heroes-mediators are not individual heroes but a series; they embody others and others embody them [. . . .]
___Approximating the possibility of sumud, then, offers an alternative to hegemonic liberal modes of the individual autonomous subject that are dominant worldwide . . . . Palestinians have undertaken efforts “not merely for the endurance and victory of their people’s just cause but also as a Palestinian contribution to the protection and maintenance of the human values of freedom and liberation”. . . . sumud as a particular liberating Palestinian mode of being encodes a liberational potential for humanity. Thus, in approaching sumud as a particular Palestinian mode of being, we can consider its potential to reflect a universal mode of “revolutionary becoming” . . .

  • Meari, Lena. “Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy Of Confrontation In Colonial Prisons.” South Atlantic Quarterly 113.3 (2014): 547-578.   SOURCE.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
July 17, 2016
As Bilal Kayed enters his second month on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, events and actions were organized around the world on 8-15 July in a coordinated week of action organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in support of Kayed’s struggle and that of fellow Palestinian prisoners, and in memory of Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian writer, artist and political leader and thinker assassinated on 8 July 1972 in Beirut.
___Events were organized in New York City, Arklow, Enniscorthy, London, Naples, Tampa, Milan, Beirut, Amman, and Berlin, as well as events inside occupied Palestine – in Gaza, Haifa, Nablus, El Bireh, Asira al-Shamaliya, Dheisheh camp, and elsewhere. Online advocacy for Kayed’s release also escalated with a “Twitterstorm” on 14 July, in which thousands of tweets highlighted #freedom4bilal.      MORE . . .   

From Public Health Ethics
The liberal perspective that focuses on the individual’s dilemma tends to be oblivious to the asymmetrical relation of power that characterizes the prison system and to the socio-political context in which hunger strikes take place. The liberal perspective poses the problem in similar terms to the ethical dilemma facing a doctor whose patient refuses a life-saving procedure. However . . . the relation between the physician and his/her hunger striking patient is not the typical doctor/patient encounter. The patient is there against his/her will, and the prisoner is treated by a physician s/he did not choose, at least in the first instance. Moreover, the physician usually makes his/her choices torn apart between loyalty for his/her patient and  for  the  system  in  which  s/he  works. Finally, the prisoner is not just refusing treatment. Hunger striking is a political act. . . .
___Hunger-strikers should not be simplistically compared with a patient willingly avoiding medical treatment that can alleviate his/her sufferings. Hunger-strikers do not choose death over life, neither do they want to put an end to their lives. Theirs is a political struggle in which, even though they are prepared to risk life, they would gladly go on living if they achieve their goals. Bilad Diab, who was released from administrative imprisonment in an Israeli prison after a 66-day hunger-strike, exemplified this when saying: ‘No one dies for the sake of dying. No one becomes a martyr for the sake of dying. We love life in its natural form. A hunger-strike is a real struggle which the person undertakes and risks his life in order to be released and given freedom.’

  • Filc, Dani, et al. “Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger-Strikes In Israeli Prisons: Beyond The Dual-Loyalty Dilemma In Medical Practice And Patient Care.” Public Health Ethics 7.3 (2014): 229-238.     SOURCE.  

The Palestinian Information Center
Gregory Shupak
January 22, 2016
Mohammed al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike since 25 November 2015 [freed on May 9, 2016] in protest against Israel placing him under six-month administrative detention and his condition has deteriorated. . . administrative detention [is] a practice whereby Israel jails Palestinians for renewable periods of up to six months on the basis of secret evidence and without charge or trial. Administrative detention has been condemned several times by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee. Similarly, the Israeli NGO B’tselem notes “the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure.” Addameer, the Palestinian political prisoners’ rights group, says that Israel is holding 660 Palestinians in administrative detention. . .
[. . . .]
Meanwhile, Israel wants Bulgarian authorities to give them Omar Nayef Zayed, who escaped Israeli detention in May 1990 after an Israeli military court convicted him of the killing of an Israeli settler yeshiva student and sentenced him to life. For now Zayed has taken refuge in the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Sofia [assassinated February 16, 2016 in the embassy]. Under the Oslo Accords, all Palestinian political prisoners were supposed to be released and Zayed seems to fall within this purview.     MORE . . .


Mother, it grieves me,
That because of me, throughout your night of agony,
You shed silent tears, anxiously awaiting the return
Of my beloved brothers from their chores;
That you are not able to eat
While my seat remains empty, and there is no talk or laughter.
How it pains me, Mother,
That tears rush to your eyes
When friends drop by to ask about me.
But I believe, Mother,
That the splendor of life
Is being born within the walls of my prison,
And I believe that the last of my visitors
Will not be an eyeless bat, coming to me by night.
Surely, the light of day will dawn,
And, dazzled by it, my jailer will be humbled.
He will fall to the ground . . . broken,
Shattered, burnt by daylight.
Translated by A. M. Elmesseri

Samīh al-Qāsim (1939-2014)
From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISRAEL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.

“. . . He moves in an absolute indistinction of fact and law, of life and juridical rule . . .” (Derek Gregory)

1-stone throwers
New [July 2015] Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers. (Photo: Al Jazeera, July 21, 2015)
❶ Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
Related: Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Using stolen water to irrigate stolen land

  • background from Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 

❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Friday evening reportedly threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the Wadi Qana road which runs between the occupied West Bank districts of Qalqilya and Salfit, according to local witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers threw rocks at a group of Palestinian cars that were returning from a wedding, causing damage to a bus from the Salfit Bus Company and breaking the windshield of a car belonging to Ali Taha from the village of Bidya in Salfit.
___While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
___Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities. . .     MORE . . .

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
[. . . .] For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the [Israelis] in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included . . . the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
[. . . .]
No frameworks of legal analysis fully explain the dual system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[. . . .] moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests [emphasis in original] to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.
wall water
A segment of the Israeli separation wall near Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, 2012 (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

+972 Blog
Dror Etkes
July 16, 2016
The recent reports on water crisis in Palestinian areas of the West Bank were accompanied by a story of another water shortage: this time in Israeli settlements. Let’s get one thing straight — there has never been a “water shortage” in the settlements. When settlers open up the tap at home or in their garden, the amount and quality of the water is identical to that which comes out in most homes to the west of the Green Line. Yes, there were several recent instances in which the water supply was cut off temporarily in a number of settlements (generally for a few hours), during which the authorities provided settlers water from water tanks. One can safely say that not a single settler was left thirsty.      MORE . . .

From Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography
Palestinian towns and cities . . . have been smashed by Israeli missiles and bombs, by tanks and armoured bulldozers. . . .  The “main purpose is to deny the Palestinian people their collective, individual and cultural rights to the city-based modernity long enjoyed by Israelis” . . .   Palestinian “facts on the ground” were erased with almost machine-like efficiency: coolly, dispassionately and ruthlessly.
___But since the spring of 2002, the legal fictions that permitted these erasures have increasingly been dispensed with. . . .  the IDF’s spasm of destruction had created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin. “There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns . . .  but it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state – roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines – has been devastated.” Taken together, these are collective assaults in city and in countryside . . .  [not only] on the integrity of Palestinian civil society and on the formation of a Palestinian state, but on what he calls “bare life” itself.
___As Mahmoud Darwish (2002) declared, “the occupation does not content itself with depriving us of the primary conditions of freedom, but goes on to deprive us of the bare essentials of a dignified human life, by declaring constant war on our bodies, and our dreams, on the people and the homes and the trees, and by committing crimes of war.”  The hideous objective . . .  is to reduce homo sacer to the abject despair of der Muselman. . .  a figure from the Nazi concentration camps – it means, with deeply depressing significance, “The Muslim” . . . .  der Muselman no longer belongs to the world of men in any way; he does not even belong to the threatened and precarious world of the camp inhabitants… Mute and absolutely alone, he has passed into another world without memory and without grief.

  • Gregory, Derek. “Defiled Cities.” Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 24.3 (2003): 307.

❸  Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE  TURNED  UPSIDE  DOWN  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
July 15, 2016
Inas Abu Muhadi cannot understand that she will never see her dad again [. . . .]
___The young girl’s father passed away from natural causes in July 2013.
___“Our life turned upside down after that day,” said her mother, Rajaa Abu Khalil. “Now, I have to be their father and mother at the same time. The burden is too heavy and I am tired.”
___On top of Rajaa’s loss of her husband, the home where the couple lived with their six children in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah was bombed and destroyed during Israel’s 51-day onslaught in the summer of 2014.     MORE . . .


So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While noting remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

Samih Al-Qasim
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.




“. . . Enemy of light I shall not compromise . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Palestinian Sufi artists perform mystic songs about peace, brotherhood and love during a celebration in Gaza City, 28 August, 2012. (Photo: Majdi Fathi/APA Images)

❶ Israeli army carries out explosions in central Gaza Strip
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) On anniversary, 900 Gazans remain in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

  • background from Criticism

❷ Sufism in Gaza: healing the soul

  • background from Global Governance

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WOMEN  SAIL  TO  BREAK  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA
❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 14, 2016
Israeli warplanes carried out air raids in the central Gaza Strip late on Wednesday night, with conflicting reports on the nature of the strikes.
___Palestinian sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes targeting lands east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the besieged Palestinian territory.
___They added that at least two missiles hit an unknown target south of the Camera military site.     MORE . . .    
Ma’an News Agency
July 7, 2016
Some 900 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to require medical attention as a result of permanent disabilities they sustained during Israel’s devastating 51-day assault on the small territory that began on July 8, 2014, according to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
___On the second anniversary of the war, the Gaza Strip’s Shifa hospital had 3,839 registered patients waiting for scheduled operations, more than half of which were classified as major surgeries, according to a statement published Monday by UNRWA, adding that surgical appointments were being scheduled for as far away as 2018. MORE . . .

From Criticism
. . . . working through the implications and particularities of genocides needs to be separated from a discursive sacralization of the Holocaust that legitimates a politics of absolutism. Such a sacralization has become so powerful and simultaneously so empty of meaning that it seems to exert a magnetic force even on those who seek to oppose the politics it legitimates.
___But it need not be so. . .  we can also take inspiration from the most prominent spokesperson from the Palestinian diaspora, the late and sorely missed Edward Said. Said repeatedly refused “morally to equate mass extermination with mass dispossession.” He also frequently referred to Palestinians as “the victims of the victims.” Although this formulation sounds at first like a pure example of equation and symmetry, I do not think he was suggesting that victimization leads inevitably to further identical forms of victimization. Rather, Said meant that Israelis and Palestinians have been brought together by the contingencies of history, by logics only partly in their control. They occupy a shared, yet divided place—both a geographic territory and a geography of memory. This place is not, today, a site of symmetry and peace—it is a site of asymmetry and violence, and Gaza is a resonant symbol of that condition. Transforming that condition will take more than the work of multidirectional memory, but without changing the way we think about the past it will be difficult to imagine an alternative future.

  • Rothberg, Michael. “From Gaza to Warsaw: Mapping Multidirectional Memory.” Criticism 53.4 (2011): 523-548.

The Electronic Intifada
Yousef M. Aljamal
July 6, 2016
Nabhan al-Babili assembles his followers every night in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza. The 62-year-old is the head of Gaza’s al-Rifaiya order of Sufi Islam, a position that was held by his father, Abdullah, and his grandfather, Abdulqader, before him.
___It is at such nightly gatherings, in a space richly decorated in green and Islamic calligraphy, and the larger weekly hadrat gatherings, that al-Babili leads his followers, or murids, in a spiritual journey of revelation [. . . .]
Sufi orders generally do not have political agendas and in Palestine have maintained good relations with different political parties.
___“We focus only on celebrating religious occasions,” said al-Babili.     MORE . . .  

From Global Governance 
. . . . the Goldstone Report is not as significant as it seems in relation to either establishing the criminality of Operation Cast Lead or in creating prospects that those Israelis (or Hamas officials) will be held accountable for their gross departures from the law of war. . .  The enduring significance of the Goldstone Report concerns the weakening of the state system and the United Nations to uphold basic human rights, the rise of global civil society, and the essential connections between peace and justice. Specifically, the Goldstone Report has stoked a storm of controversy in the United States and Israel while contributing a validating pat on the back to those engaged in the legitimacy war that the Palestinians are winning on a symbolic global battlefield, and increasingly pinning their hopes on. This legitimacy war has become the leading moral struggle of our time, a sequel to the antiapartheid campaign waged so effectively throughout the world in the late 1980s. Whether it ends in the sort of political victory that unexpectedly and nonviolently transformed South Africa from a racist regime to a multiracial constitutional democracy cannot be foretold. . . .  unless this multifaceted relevance of the Goldstone Report is acknowledged, neither its limits nor its contributions can be properly appreciated, and it is then likely to be misremembered as a failed yet valiant challenge to the impunity of the strong. My hope is that, through dialogue and experience, the Goldstone Report will eventually be appropriately appreciated for its contribution to the struggles of the weak and oppressed, specifically of the Palestinians, and become integrated into a growing confidence in the transformative impact of the theory and practice of nonviolence.

  • Falk, Richard. “The Goldstone Report: Ordinary Text, Extraordinary Event.” Global Governance 16.2 (2010): 173-190.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WOMEN  SAIL  TO  BREAK  THE  SIEGE  ON  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Dr. Aayesha Soni
June 24, 2016
The Gaza strip is a piece of land 41 km long and 6-12 km wide, with a total area of 365 square kilometers. Situated on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it has a strong population of 1, 8 million people. . .  [It] is also the world’s largest open air prison, being under complete siege by land, air and sea since 2007. Its neighbors, Israel and Egypt, have been complicit in the persistent and debilitating strangulation of the people of Gaza, with the limitation of all basic goods from entering the region.
___2016 is going to be a momentous occasion as the Freedom Flotilla Coalition sends out its first ever Women’s Boat to Gaza later this year. These well-known women from all over the world intend to break the siege in a bid to awaken the globe to the dire humanitarian crisis that Israel has imposed on Gaza. Their aim is to stand in solidarity with the women of Gaza who are renowned for their strength, courage and unconquerable spirit of resistance.      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
Steel 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-QasimIsrael-Bombs-Gaza-Strip-In-Response-To-Palestinian-Rocket-Fire-Hamasindialivetoday

Israel Bombs Gaza Strip In Response To Palestinian Rocket Fire, July 2, 2016. (Photo: India Live Today)


“. . . Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.” (Eva Küblbeck)

Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, critically injured extra-judicial shootings by Israeli soldiers, July 13, 2016, Al-Ram Town in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian youth, injure 1, and detain 1 other

  • background from Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

❷ Israel issues 34 admin detention orders

  • background from Third World Quarterly

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  THE ANGELS I LOST IN GAZA
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 13, 2016
A Palestinian youth was killed and another injured by Israeli forces while a third was detained early on Wednesday, as soldiers opened fire at the youths’ vehicle in the town of al-Ram in the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district.
___The youth who was killed was identified as Anwar al-Salaymeh, 22, and the two survivors were identified as Fares Khader al-Rishq, 20, who remains critically injured, and Muhammad Nassar, 20, who was detained by Israeli forces after the incident.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire at three Palestinians youths, all residents of al-Ram, in a vehicle inside the town around dawn, as the three were seemingly unaware that Israeli forces were deployed in the town and conducting raids.      MORE . . .

From Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
[. . . .] The human rights of many Palestinians are violated through discrimination, denial of freedom of movement, collective punishment, and economic sanctions resulting in widespread poverty. Combined, all these factors have devastating impacts on the social and economic situation in the Occupied Territories, and it can be argued that they constitute an “imminent and grave peril” to the Palestinian people’s interests.
[. . . .]
___The laws of war have failed to protect many Palestinian civilians, and doubt exists whether international law actually possesses the power to protect civilians or offers “no more than a reminder of the ideal. . . .“ Israel’s governments continue to fail to comply with the several international obligations and deny the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Territories, the Fourth Hague Convention, and the Bill of Rights. This, however, does not mean that they lose their validity or cease to exist.
___The laws of war have been developed in order to regulate warfare and offer a certain amount protection in times of warfare. Even though civilian immunity is not absolute, it allows only for very few circumstances in which civilians can be targeted. Introducing more exemptions, or extending the existing ones further, bears the danger of seriously undermining the system and may have far-reaching negative consequences.
___. . . Humanitarian law, like human rights, has high standards and countries will not always be able or willing to live up to them. Nevertheless, their existence is crucial as a moral and legal obligation. The protection of non-combatants, including children, the elderly, and disabled is too important to be made part of military calculations. The fact that civilians can legitimately be killed in the form of “collateral damage” is concerning enough. While potentially unavoidable, it remains a dangerous act of balance between the accidental and the intentional. Any more leeway in regards to targeting civilians would suspend a fundamental cornerstone of our moral thinking.

  • Küblbeck, Eva. “The Immunity of Civilians – A Moral and Legal Study Of Attacks on the Civilian Population.” Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 4.2 (2013): 262-295.    SOURCE.
Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison, December 24, 2015. (Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

Days of Palestine
July 13, 2016
Israeli occupation issued on Tuesday 34 administrative detention orders ranging between three to six renewable months against Palestinians.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Mahmoud al-Halabi said that 24 of the orders were issued against prisoners, who had already spent months or years inside Israeli jails under administrative detention.
___Israeli uses administrative detention to keep Palestinians, including politicians and MPS inside prison for an unlimited period without any reasons.      MORE . . .   

From Third World Quarterly
[. . . .] It was clear to Arendt that Israel was crafting a new ‘regime of truth’. . . .  This rhetoric has become a real presence in the West. It has metastasised into a global truth and it controls much of the narrative on Muslims. Western foreign policy is substantially based on this ‘truth’. Muslims/Arabs are compelled to accept it. The disdain for Palestinians flows from it as well. Any opposition to it is labelled antiSemitic (as in hating Jews); resistance in Occupied Palestine is quelled by F16s and military invasions. The West sells this as stability and peace. To reject it is to rebuff human rights, freedom and democracy.
___The corollary of this logic is the sibling regime of anti-Semitism. Hating Arabs is normal and calling Palestinians the new Nazis obligatory. Loving Israel is a sign of tolerance, opposing its policies is ‘terrorism’. So is being Muslim, since Islam is deemed violent by nature. Critics of the Jewish/Israel lobby are branded ‘hateful’. Arendt understood that the Zionist settlers in Palestine had pioneered this logic: ‘they did not even to stop to think of the very existence of Arabs’, an attitude she condemned as ‘plain racist chauvinism’. Such arrogance would only make them unsafe and insecure. Arendt’s fear has been realised—although she was not above this sort of prejudice. She called Africans ‘savages’ continually.
___Since 1945 the ‘never again’ chant has become canonical. Yet the West did not oppose genocide in places like the Congo and Rwanda.

  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Auschwitz’s Finale: Racism and Holocausts.” Third World Quarterly 33.9 (2012): 1575-1593.   SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  ANGELS  I  LOST  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Doa’a Abu Amer
July 8, 2016
It has taken me a long time to gather the strength to write about a period of my life that has reshaped me completely: the night I lost 14 members of my family.
___It was a night I had barely escaped myself. I had been transported to safety in far away Australia not two weeks before.
___The evening of 17 July 2014 was to be my last in Gaza. I was due to be evacuated to Jordan and then Australia, to which I had a visa. It would be the last I would spend with my beloved family.
___The night before, the eighth night of Israel’s “Protective Edge” military assault on Gaza, we — along with 1.8 million other Palestinians besieged on a strip of land of 365 square kilometers — weren’t able to sleep. Tanks shelled civilian houses seemingly at random, drones filled the skies and the cries of ambulance sirens penetrated every home.   MORE . . .


I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Interview with Mourid Barghouti  
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon.  

“. . . What feast is being offered at the last supper of moral disintegration . . .” (Shukri Abu Baker)

2014, Ecumenical Accompanier provides protective presence to children walking to school in Nablus. (Photo: EAPPI/B. Viney-Wood) EAPPI is a World Council of Churches NGO program that brings internationals to the West Bank as Ecumenical Accompaniers.

❶ Israel’s controversial ‘NGO bill’ passes into law amid international criticism

  • background from International Journal Of Mental Health Systems
  • an Israeli response from Israel Affairs

❷ Israel prevents Italian convoy from entering Gaza

  • background from George Washington International Law Review

❹ POETRY by Shukri Abu Baker
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 12, 2016
Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, passed the controversial “NGO bill” into law late Monday with 57 votes in favor and 48 against, following a contentious six-hour plenary debate, as human rights groups and opposition Knesset members condemned the legislation for seeking to “silence criticism” of Israel and delegitimize left-wing groups.
___The legislation — also referred to as the “transparency bill” — compels organizations to reveal their sources of funding if more than 50 percent came from public foreign entities.
___Organizations in Israel that rely on public foreign funding also tend to oppose the government’s right-wing policies and human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory.       MORE . . . 

From International Journal Of Mental Health Systems
The history of Palestine is marked by conflict. This challenging political context has exerted effects on Palestinian mental wellbeing and lifestyles. The 1948 War . . . The 1967 War . . . Palestinians ended up living in an unstable environment or facing dramatic changes. Many experienced persecution, deprivation, discrimination and injustice [. . . .]
___After 1967, mental health services for Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza were managed by the Israeli government and became neglected and underdeveloped. . .  Since 1987, the NGOs have tried to help the Palestinians as much as possible and fill the gap in governmental services. However, overall mental health services became stagnant at a time when conflicts and troubles meant they needed more development [. . . .]
___A few governmental and nongovernmental institutions delivered psychosocial and community mental health services, but most were limited and depended on externally funded programmes. Moreover, the number of mental health professionals remained seriously limited.

  • Marie, Mohammad, Ben Hannigan, and Aled Jones. “Mental Health Needs And Services In The West Bank, Palestine.” International Journal Of Mental Health Systems 10.(2016): 1-8.   FULL ARTICLE.

From Israel Affairs
Disproportionate and unsubstantiated allegations of human rights violations, war crimes and racism have been employed as a form of political warfare designed to isolate Israel internationally. This strategy, based on the model used to defeat the apartheid government in South Africa, was adopted in 2001at the NGO Forum of the UN-sponsored Durban Conference on racism, in which 1500 organizations participated [. . . .]

  • Steinberg, Gerald M. “From Durban To The Goldstone Report: The Centrality Of Human Rights Ngos In The Political Dimension Of The Arab–Israeli Conflict.” Israel Affairs 18.3 (2012): 372-388.  SOURCE.
Members of Yesh Din, Israeli NGO human rights group, protest attacks on Al-Haq, Palestinian NGO human rights organization in Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo: Yesh Din, 15 Mar 2016)

Days of Palestine
Jul 12, 2016
Israel occupation authorities prevented on Monday Italian convoy led by Deputy Parliament Speaker Luigi de Mayo from entering Gaza Strip.
___Italy’s Five Star Movement said the Italian Embassy in Israel informed De Mayo and parliamentarians Manlio Di Stefano and Ornella Bertorauta that the Israeli government would not allow them to cross into the Gaza Strip to visit the Italian projects in Gaza, a statement said.      MORE . . .

From George Washington International Law Review
[. . . .] the most coherent and precise definition of an NGO, within the framework of the Treaty Bodies [countries that are signatories of the Treaty] , is as follows: “Human rights NGOs are advocacy organizations whose goals are to monitor and report human rights violations, exert pressure on governments to promote human rights, hold them accountable, and build pressure to create international machinery to end human rights violations [. . . .]
___Israel is a party to seven Core Human Rights Conventions, most of which were ratified in 1991. . . .   Israel takes the position that it provides effective protection and remedies for the basic rights in the conventions through existing Israeli legislation and case law. However, NGOs and scholars argue that the rights enshrined in the conventions should be self-executing and that the current legislation [prior to this week] does not give expression to all the obligations that Israel took upon itself in its ratification of the conventions.
___The Treaty Bodies also criticize Israel in this regard and call for the integration of the rights and provisions of the conventions into domestic legislation. The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled that customary international law is part of Israeli law, unless there is a specific domestic law that contradicts it. As for international conventions, the domestic law operates under the “presumption of compatibility” developed by the courts, according to which both international customary law and international treaty law affect the interpretation of Israeli Law. As such, the Core Human Rights Conventions constitute an important source of interpretation of national legislation and are referenced by Israeli courts when adjudicating human rights issues.

  • LEVIN, AYELET. “The Reporting Cycle To The United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Creating A Dialogue Between The State And Civil Society – The Israeli Case Study.” George Washington International Law Review 48.2 (2016): 315-376.   SOURCE.

+972 Blog
July 12, 2016
Israel’s parliament passed the so-called “NGO Law” Monday night [. . . .]
___The intended effect of the NGO Law is to send a dangerous and stifling message to the Israeli public. The message it sends is that the values espoused and advanced by these organizations — like B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, and others — do not exist organically in Israel; lawmakers are saying that the values of human rights and opposing the occupation are being imposed on Israel from the outside-in, and only for the malicious purposes.     MORE . . .  


Breaking News:
Another delicious raw day for yet another hungry wooden coffin.
At peace are killers with their killer schemes:
In the name of God. In the name of Godlessness
In the name of Law. In the name of Lawlessness
In the name of Fame. In the name of Namelessness
Everywhere, Anywhere, whichever way inhumanely possible.
What feast is being offered at the last supper of moral disintegration?
No need for the little red-dot stickers on laminated maps on anyone’s walls.
Your streets, my streets, our whole stricken world is now perfectly mobbed.
Equally mobbed by a glob of ever-fresh, brash, innocent human blood.
No city celebrated or long forgotten is now safe from foreign invasion.
Foreign objects no longer barred from speedy entry right into the jugular vein of our homes: highly manicured or mid-class or systemically semi-broken.
And the souls that gave golden life and warmth to all things and places lie face down, Swiss-cheesed by the “proudly made in the USA” lead bullets.
Universal neighbor, let your heart and mine beat and bleed all together, for since you and I have become menial, our short precious lives no longer matter.

Shukri Abu Baker is a Palestinian-American who is imprisoned for life for “providing material support” to the “terrorist” group Hamas. Read the story of his political conviction here.
From Shukri’s blog.


“. . . Am I lacking something? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

Palestinian Munir Shindi drives a replica of 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, on a street in Gaza City
Munir Shindi drives a replica of a 1927 Mercedes Gazelle that he built from scratch, in Gaza City, June 19, 2016. (Photo:REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

❶ Army Kidnaps Two Palestinian Teenagers In Bethlehem

  • background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ How education reform could curb Palestinian unemployment

  • background from Foreign Affairs

❸ Gaza mechanic turns heads in handmade classic car
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
❺ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 11, 2016
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Monday at dawn, the ‘Aida refugee camp, searched several homes and kidnapped two teenagers from their homes. The soldiers also assaulted and injured a Palestinian from Jenin.
___Local sources said the army surrounded Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, before several military vehicles invaded it, and the soldiers stormed and violently searched many homes, and kidnapped two teenagers.
___The two kidnapped teenagers have been identified as Mohammad Khaled al-Kurdi, 17, and Sayyed Mohammad al-Jabiri, 17.     MORE . . .

from  Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
To appreciate the constraints of the operation of law and the legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in general and the West Bank in particular, it is important to understand the jurisdictional and sovereign limitations and duality of laws that exist, given the present and past political contexts and the historic legal heritage that have prevailed for centuries. . . .
[. . . .]  Israel’s control over movement within the OPT (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) and family reunification matters has led to issues concerning marriages, children living with both parents and receipt of health care and/or education. If a resident of the West Bank marries abroad, the spouse is denied entry and so are the children, resulting in divorce, separation or emigration abroad. These policies are carried out through the application of military decrees, amended over time to increase the restrictions and limitations.
___These amendments have converted thousands of West Bank residents into “offenders” and “violators” of the military orders.

  • Husseini, Hiba. “Legal Duality In The Occupied West Bank.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 22-30.
The Wider Image: Child labour in Gaza
Palestinian Mohamoud Yazji, a 16-year-old apprentice mechanic, at a garage in Gaza City, March 17, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Melhem
July 8, 2016
Come September, Palestinian schools will begin emphasizing vocational and technical training as part of the government’s vision to reform the educational system and alleviate unemployment.
___The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor formed the Supreme Council for Vocational and Technical Education on Jan. 5. The council is tasked with promoting and supporting professional and technical specializations to meet the demands of the labor market.       MORE . . . 

from Foreign Affairs
Arabs remain deeply segregated from Israel’s Jewish population: 90 percent of Arabs live in almost exclusively Arab towns and villages, and with just a few exceptions, Arab and Jewish children attend separate schools.
[. . . .]  when it comes to government support in such areas as the allocation of land for new construction, financing for cultural institutions, and educational funding, Arabs suffer from ongoing discrimination, despite some recent progress. Arabs make up around 21 percent of Israel’s population, but according to the Mossawa Center, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for Israel’s Arab citizens, Arab communities receive only seven percent of government funds for public transportation and only three percent of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport’s budget is allocated for Arab cultural institutions; Arab schools are also significantly underresourced. (Toward the end of 2015, the Israeli government approved a five-year economic development program for Israel’s Arab community, worth up to $4 billion, that will increase funding for housing, education, infrastructure, transportation, and women’s employment. Although the plan represents a step in the right direction, the exact amount of funding that will be allocated to each of these areas remains unclear, as does the process by which its implementation will be monitored.)

  • Ghanem, As’ad. “Israel’s Second-Class Citizens.” Foreign Affairs 95.4 (2016): 37-42.

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Mohammed Othman
July 8, 2016
The spirit of challenge and love of classic cars pushed Palestinian Munir Shindi, who lives in the neighborhood of al-Tuffah, east of Gaza City, to spend a year and a half in his small workshop manufacturing a replica of the 1927 Mercedes Gazelle.
___ Shindi, who now works as an auto mechanic in his own workshop, only completed middle school. He arrived in the Gaza Strip from the United Arab Emirates a year and seven months ago after spending 13 years there working in a mechanic shop in Abu Dhabi, where he became a specialist in repairing classic cars.
___He explained, “I decided to import some accessories from the United States so as to build an exact replica of the original model. Israel banned the entry of car parts into Gaza, and any parts I would import from the United States to Gaza would probably be confiscated. This is why I ordered the parts through a friend in the UAE and we had to resort to trickery to bring in these parts using Gazans arriving to the Gaza Strip to bring them in one by one. I waited more than six months to have all of the parts I needed to build my Gazelle.”     MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: THE  TERROR  OF  THE  CHILDREN
Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
Mario Vargas Llosa, El Pais
[. . . .]
Did you know that in 2012 not one settler in the West Bank was killed? Do you also know that the average number of crimes committed against settlers in the past five years was as low as 4.8 a year? The Occupied Territories are safer, in fact, for settlers than the streets of New York, Mexico or Bogotá are for their inhabitants. Taking into account that there are 370,000 settlers in the West Bank (half a million with east Jerusalem) compared to 2,700,000 Palestinians, we are talking about one of the least violent corners of the world, despite the gunfights, demolitions, terrorism and protests that we hear about in the news.
___The only way to achieve such a low crime rate is by coldly and methodically imposing a strategy. Israel’s involves the systematic intimidation and psychological destabilization of children and teenagers between the ages of 12 to 17.
___This is done by “demonstrating the ubiquitous presence” of the Israeli Defense Forces, “the cauterization of the conscience” and “simulated operations disturbing the peace”. In other words, generating panic to prevent terror.       MORE . . .


I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play.
(An interview with Marwan Makhoul )