“. . . my sense of self carries the burden of bearing a hyphenated identity: Palestinian-American . . .” (Lina Abdul-Samad)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Medical Delegation to Gaza March 14- 15, 2013, Dr. Mustafa Yassin, senior orthopedist, Dr. Abdallah and patient (Photo: PHR, Flickr)

❶ Israel bans 5 year-old Palestinian boy from visiting father in prison
❷ Is Israel banning entry of Gaza cancer patients?

  • Background:  “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics

❸ Palestinian passport tells suffering of Diaspora story

  • Background: “Traveling As A Palestinian.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly

❹ To Be a Child of the Palestinian Diaspora: A Conversation
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 30, 2016
Israeli authorities have banned 5-year-old Ibrahim from visiting his father, Palestinian Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Fatah Abu Fanunah, in prison, Abu Fanunah’s wife said to Voice of Prisoners (Sawt al-Asra) radio on Sunday.
___Umm Mahmoud told the radio station that she has also been banned from visiting her husband ever since he was detained on Oct. 22, 2015, calling the Israeli policy of preventing family visits a means to pressure Palestinian prisoners.
___Abu Fanunah, a 51-year-old father of nine from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, has been detained by Israel seven times over the years and spent a total of 10 years in Israeli custody, Umm Mahmoud said, adding that Abu Fanunah was currently being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charges.       More . . .

Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Shlomi Eldar
Oct. 26, 2016
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) claims Israel has “dramatically toughened” its policy on granting permits to sick Palestinians needing life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals, among them many cancer patients. This, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays in full for every patient referred by its Health Ministry for care in Israel.
___Over the past few years, he said, Palestinians have submitted annually about 1,300 requests for entry permits to Israel to benefit from life-saving treatments in Israeli hospitals. According to PHR’s data, during these past years, more than 10% of the requests were turned down on grounds of being a security threat. But in the past few months, the organization has detected a surge in the number of rejections. Absent a medical alternative in the West Bank, and even more so in the Gaza Strip, denying Palestinians medical treatment in an Israeli hospital is effectively a death sentence.      More . . .

  • Background article (cited here Sep. 29, 2016).  Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176    Source

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency     
Oct. 30, 2016
The Palestinian passport is a clear sign of being Palestinian whether the Palestinians stick to their own identity, costumes and traditions or whether they try to create a new identity that follows the drama of the modern western identity.
___As a matter of fact, the Palestinian passport will join the Palestinians in their travel trips around the world, even whilst living in the diaspora.
___The story begins here
___What is your real nationality? I’m of Palestinian origin displaced from the occupied Palestinian territories in 1967 and lived the rest of my life as a refugee in Gaza.    More. . .

  • Aljamal, Yousef M. “TRAVELING  AS  A  PALESTINIAN.” BIOGRAPHY:  AN INTERDISCIPLINARY  QUARTERLY 37.2 (2014): 664-679.   Full article.

Most countries around the world, including Arab countries, deal with Palestinian passport holders with suspicion. Palestinians travelling to other countries are guilty until we prove otherwise. Every time we travel, Palestinians have to prepare a load of documents that demonstrate our “strong ties to our country.” Many Palestinians make fun of the words written on our passports that declare “this travel document/passport is of a great value.”
___In February 2013, I applied to get a visa to conduct a speaking tour in Aotearoa [Maori for New Zealand], the land of the long white cloud. Thanks to the help of my friends there, I just barely managed to find out where to apply for this document. Two weeks passed, and I had received conflicting information. [. . . .]    
After contacting Immigration in Wellington, I was finally told to apply to Dubai, one destination among the many others I had been directed towards—but this time, I’d been told officially.
___I got the sponsorship and the visa application forms filled out. I sent them to New Zealand Immigration Dubai with my Palestinian Authority passport. All went well. Weeks later, I got an email from NZI Dubai which read “Your visa application has been declined because you didn’t meet certain conditions.” I was told my application included “no evidence of strong ties to get back to my country, no clear itinerary, no financial support, no previous record of travel,” and I was also informed that the fact that I live in a war zone makes me a likely asylum seeker. “You can still apply again,” the officer wrote to me
[. . . .] 
Also by Yousef M. Aljamal“HOW  ISRAEL’S  SIEGE  ON  GAZA  KILLED  MY  SISTER.”

This Week In Palestine 
Lina Abdul-Samad
October, 2016
“You don’t look American.”
___True, with rich olive skin, dark forest bows and almond-shaped eyes, I talk with my hands like my forefathers. I devour maklouba, am obsessed with waraq dawali, and my search for Mackintosh’s sweet delights at home is always a game of hide-and-seek.  I look and act the part, but my tongue is the traitor . . . I strive to replace my American tongue, aiming to master the lushness of my “true” language, the rich sounds and deep, often multiple levels of meaning that are unique to the language I would be speaking if I had never left the country. And as my tongue carries the burden of two very distinct languages, my sense of self carries the burden of bearing a hyphenated identity: Palestinian-American. I make sure that Palestinian comes first because that’s who I truly am, who I was supposed to be.    [Lina Abdul-Samad is a fourth-year student at Birzeit University, majoring in nutrition and dietetics. When she is not daydreaming, she posts writings on her blog called Lina’s Thoughts and Words.]       More . . .

Photo: Alray-Palestinian Media Agency Oct. 30, 2016


“. . . easy to ignore, refute, blame, always blame, changing the story, inverting the facts . . .” (Naomi Shihab Nye)

Demonstration in memory of the massacre in Kafr Qasim, Oct. 29, 2016. (Photo: Lior Paz, Ynet)

❶ Massacres, BDS, and more

  • Background:  “Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies And The Zionist/Israeli Genocide Of Palestine.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal.

❷ One almighty military order and 49 dead Palestinians
❸ One Hundred Years and Counting: Britain, Balfour, and the Cultural Repression of Palestinians
❹ POETRY by Naomi Shihab Nye
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza 
Mazin Qumsiyeh
October 30, 2016
I just returned to Palestine from the Basque Country, a European country that is partly under French and partly under Spanish rule . . .  It was great to see the mountains and to see open roads without checkpoints . . .
___I return willingly to a jailed community under an apartheid system and daily assaults (home demolitions, displacement, judaization). It is exactly where we find ourselves most needed and most alive. The staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History – Bethlehem University have done an excellent job in my absence of one week. . . .       ___Now for some collected items related to human rights:
Today is the anniversary of Duwaima massacre (29 Octber 1948), one of over 40 massacres committed by the Zionist colonial forces to drive native Palestinians out of our country.      More . . .      Background    

  • Rashed, Haifa, Damien Short, and John Docker. “NAKBA MEMORICIDE: GENOCIDE STUDIES AND THE ZIONIST/ISRAELI GENOCIDE OF PALESTINE.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 13.1 (2014): 1-23.      Source.

Genocide Studies is haunted by an absence and a fear. The absence is of any sustained continuing discussion of Zionist Israel as a possible example of a nation founded on genocide . . . The fear is of becoming another victim of Zionist intimidation and retaliatory attacks if there were to be such discussion. In Foucault’s terms, Genocide Studies is uneasily aware that Zionism, as a worldwide movement with a vigilant scholarly and ideological wing, is a panopticon. Genocide Studies knows it is being watched and can be threatened with vilification at any moment, even in a preemptive gratuitous way. To fend off such attacks, it has chosen to be intellectually submissive; that is, to suppress a key (Socratic) foundation of intellectual life, to follow inquiry wherever it may lead. In particular, Genocide Studies is haunted by the fear that the historical analysis of settler colonialism, based on Raphaël Lemkin’s definitional linking of settler colonialism with genocide, may lead to recognition of Zionist Israel as a genocidal settler colonial state. The concept that the Zionist project is a settler-colonial one has been fundamental to Arab and Palestinian critical thought since the Nakba in 1948 and has been increasingly and more widely explored in recent years, even occasionally branching out of the academic arena and into the political.

+972 Magazine    
Sam Bahour
Oct. 29, 2016
If your Palestinian neighbors and friends seem slightly on edge today, please excuse them. October 29th brings back horrific memories to Palestinians everywhere, young and old. It was 60 years ago today that a scene of cold-blooded murder fell upon the hilltop village of Kafr Qasim, located in Israel about 20 km east of Tel Aviv near the Green Line. It was in Kafr Qasim on this day in 1956 where the Israeli military mowed down in cold blood 48 innocent civilians, one of them a pregnant woman, whose fetus is counted as the 49th victim. It was said that all of this was done in the service of the almighty Israeli “military order,” which no one dared to challenge.    More . . .    

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network    
Aimee Shalan
Oct.26, 2016
If Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour passes over the perimeter of her home’s driveway in her village of Reineh in the Galilee, an alarm will sound at the British multinational security firm G4S and the Israeli authorities will be alerted. Israeli police arrested Tatour in the early hours of October 11, 2015 for her poem, “Qawem ya sha‘abi qawemhum” (Resist My People, Resist Them), which was posted to her YouTube account earlier that month. On November 2, Israel charged her with incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization.
___In January, after three months in prison, Tatour was placed under house arrest near Tel Aviv, far from her village. After a lengthy struggle, the prosecution conceded in July that she could be held in her family’s home. . . . .Such British complicity in the cultural repression of Palestinians is not a recent phenomenon. One can argue that it has its roots in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which, by calling for the establishment of a nation for the Jewish people while all but disregarding the existence of the Palestinians inhabiting the land in question . . . .     More . . .  



Say it again, resist times ten.
Those who were not politicians,
who were going to school or tending the rooms,
shops, libraries, kitchens, mint sprigs drooping in a can,
changing diapers, wiping spittle from chins,
chopping onions, snipping cucumbers from a scratchy vine,
we would have done anything for you, Palestine.
But all we knew to do was talk, talk, to everyone who already agreed.
Sign petitions, phone representatives, write checks,
wear keffiyehs tied around our necks, demonstrate,
feel hopeful that President Obama might (in his vast intelligence)
really stand up for you — what else could we do?
Talk to those who didn’t already agree? But who were we?
“If they knew our stories, they wouldn’t do these things to us,”
my Palestinian grandmother said, when she was 100 years old,
after being tear-gassed in her own room by Israelis.
She wasn’t angry – we were.
Dareen, trapped in her house for using the word “Resist” – she was there
and we were everywhere else. Easy to punish her, Israel had
no trouble trapping, oppressing, squelching, giving another name.
Pressed down for so long, those without influence over weapons or borders,
easy to ignore, refute, blame, always blame, changing the story,
inverting the facts…and they DID know the story, Sitti,
because everyone told it, Dareen told it,
Mahmoud, Fadwa, Edward, Suheir, Anton, Sharif, Nathalie, Lisa, Lena,
Khaled, Salma, Raja, Fady, Aziz, everyone told it, kept telling it,
talking forever, but the checkpoint lines got longer, pressed,
the sad orchards smaller, looming wall more riveted with cries,
the way a nightmare compounds, spinning out swirls of
hallways, blockades, locked doors, prison cells…
the powerful kept saying, Give the oppressors more money,
they are a democracy,
and the sleeping person shouted from the nightmare, Wake up!
Just let me wake up!

From Jewish Voice For Peace

“. . . damages to the Palestinian economy due to Israeli Occupation . . . reach billions of US dollars every year . . .” (Jakob Rieken)

Bedouins purchase water from water trucks in Khirbet A-Duqaiqah in the South Hebron Hills near the Green Line, a village with 300 residents that is not hooked up to water grid. (Photo: Nasser Nawaj’ah, B’Tselem)

❶ Israel breaching Palestine’s right to development, UN human rights expert finds
. . . ❶― (a) Israeli settlers cut down 18 trees on private Palestinian land near Bethlehem

  • Background: “The Role of Development Cooperation in the Conflict Over Palestinian Land.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ EU Foreign Affairs chief affirms the right to Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions against Israel
❸  Israeli court accuses slain Palestinian’s twin brother of social media ‘incitement’
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 28, 2016
Palestine’s right to development is being denied by Israel, creating an environment plagued by poverty, “epic” unemployment and economic stagnation, according to a new report from a United Nations human rights expert.
___Michael Lynk – the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 – expresses deep concerns about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), in the context of the right to development.     ___He calls on Israel to bring a complete end to almost 50 years of occupation, describing an atmosphere of “despair and hopelessness” among Palestinian citizens.     More . . .  
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 29, 2016
Israeli settlers on Saturday morning cut down 18 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.      ___Journalist Hani Fanun, whose family owns the trees, said his family went to harvest olives on their land in the Wadi al-Hariq area of Nahalin, and found that settlers from the nearby illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc had cut down over 18 large olive trees.    ___Fanun told Ma’an that the family’s land is closest to the Bat Ayin settlement — which is part of the cluster of Israeli settlements that make up the Gush Etzion bloc — and was reclaimed by the family after an order by the Israeli Supreme Court proved that it belonged to them.   More . . .      Related . . .     The  olive  harvest  in  West  Bank  in  light  of  Israeli  settlers’  attacks     

  • Rieken, Jakob. “The Role of Development Cooperation in the Conflict Over Palestinian Land.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 19/20.4/1 (2014): 27-34.   Source. 

The Oslo Accords . . . were set up to be a temporary, transitional instrument for a five-year period leading to Palestinian statehood. They established the Palestinian Authority (PA) as an interim self-governance arrangement, which is to this day the counterpart for bilateral development cooperation. The Oslo Accords, however, also divided the occupied West Bank into Areas A, B and C, ostensibly as a transitional instrument until defined borders could be negotiated between the parties . . .  Area C, the remaining 60% of the West Bank, is under complete Israeli control.
___. . . .  Fifteen years after the interim arrangement of the Oslo Accords was to be replaced by a final status agreement, the Israeli grip on Area C is tighter than ever. Area C holds most Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, not coincidentally, holds many of the most valuable natural resources, including agricultural land (particularly the fertile Jordan Valley), key water sources, quarries, Dead Sea minerals, oil and gas, etc. Settlements are often located strategically at access points to natural resources. These settlements have been expanding, Palestinian infrastructure has been destroyed, and more and more Palestinian private land has been marked as Israeli “state land” or as a “closed military zone,” barring Palestinians (but not settlers) from these areas.
___ Part and parcel of the entrenchment of Israeli occupation in Area C has been the occupying power’s relationship with state donor organizations. On the basis of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli Civil Administration (a branch of the military occupation authorities in the West Bank) has succeeded in drawing international donors into a remarkable permitting system in Area C that simulates a legal foundation for its intervention in development projects. If a donor agency is interested in building a sanitary landfill, for example, it has to enter a lengthy permitting process . . . [which demands] that the development projects also benefit the nearby settlements, e.g. settlers demand to be able to funnel their wastewater to a donor-funded Palestinian wastewater treatment plant.      [. . . . ] Life for the Palestinians remaining in Area C (estimated by the United Nations to be around 300,000 people, facing 350,000 Israeli settlers) is becoming increasingly difficult, forcing many families to give up and move to Palestinian towns and cities in Areas A and B. It is very telling that Israel significantly downplays the number of Palestinians living in Area C, estimating them at around 50,000. Each Palestinian’s decision to give up and move to Areas A and B is a victory for the Israeli settler movement, which has no intention of reaching a two-state solution but rather has a vision of a Greater Israel which includes (Area C of) the West Bank. In what appears to be the extension of the Zionist slogan “A land without a people for a people without a land,” settler-ideologues in the Israeli Knesset are calling for the annexation of Area C, maintaining that it is virtually unpopulated by Palestinians.

Palestine News Network – PNN  
Oct. 28, 2016
Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, has condemned attacks on human rights defenders and affirmed the right of European citizens to freedom of expression and association, including through participation in the global Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
___In response to a question on whether the EU commission will commit to defending BDS activists’ right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression, put forward by MEP Martina Anderson, the EU High Representative stated: ___“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory.”      More . . .

Ali and Muhammad Shuyukhi (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 28, 2016    The public prosecution of Israel’s Jerusalem magistrate court presented on Thursday a list of indictments against the brother of a slain Palestinian youth, accusing him of incitement on social media.
___The prosecution accused 20-year-old Muhammad Shuyukhi of inciting “terrorism” on social media following the killing of his twin brother Ali by Israeli forces during clashes in the occupied East Jerusalem town of Silwan on Oct. 11. . . .
___ The indictment list presented on Thursday said that Muhammad Shuyukhi had published several posts on his Facebook page that included sayings which “incited terrorism,” while other posts of his included support for the Hamas movement and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement.
___The indictment against Shuyukhi coincided with a recent crackdown by the Israeli government on social media “incitement.”    More . . .   

“. . . the bed of her elder son, made for the final time . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Khaled Bahar, 15, killed by Israeli soldiers, Oct. 20, 2016 (Photo: IMEMC)

❶ PCHR Weekly Report: Child killed, 3 civilians, including child, wounded by Israeli troops

  • Background:  “The End Of The Old Israel.” Foreign Affairs  (The Council on Foreign Relations)

❷ Israeli forces detain 17 Palestinians, including two young children, in overnight raids
. . . ― (a) Court drops charges against Israeli security guards over killing of Palestinian siblings
. . .― (b) Child killed by Israeli soldiers did not pose danger, probe finds
❸  New bill would give Israeli military minister broad powers
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC      
Oct.28, 2016
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 20 – 26 October 2016, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that Israeli forces continued systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. A Palestinian child was killed in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by Israeli forces.       More . . .  

  • Benn, Aluf. “The End Of The Old Israel.” Foreign Affairs 95.4 (2016): 16-27.  Full article.   (The journal of the Council on Foreign Relations; Aluf Benn is Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem newspaper Haartez)

Israel—at least the largely secular and progressive version of Israel that once captured the world’s imagination—is over. Although that Israel was always in some ways a fantasy, the myth was at least grounded in reality. Today that reality has changed, and the country that has replaced it is profoundly different from the one its founders imagined almost 70 years ago . . .  Already, the transformation has been dramatic. Israel’s current leaders—headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. . . —see democracy as synonymous with unchecked majority rule and have no patience for restraints such as judicial review or the protection of minorities. In their view, Israel is a Jewish state and a democratic state—in that order. Only Jews should enjoy full rights, while gentiles should be treated with suspicion. . . .   Meanwhile, the two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians has been taken off the table, and Israel is steadily making its occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank permanent.
[. . . .]
The loners’ intifada has presented the current government with its toughest test so far. Netanyahu has always claimed to be tough on terror and has portrayed his opponents as softies. Yet he and his top aides have seemed clueless in the face of the rising violence. Instead of stanching the bloodshed, they have redoubled their attacks on those they deem enemies within: human rights groups and Arab Israeli politicians. And the center-left parties, worried about looking unpatriotic, have gone along with him . . . the opposition . . .  has called on the army and the police to ease their rules of engagement and “shoot to kill whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver or whatever.”
[. . . . ]
Regardless of who wins the next election, at least some of these changes seem likely to become permanent. The country has already become far less tolerant and open to debate than it used to be. The peace camp has withered, and very few really challenge the status of the occupation anymore. Arab-Jewish relations are so bad that they would take outstanding leadership and enormous effort to fix.

Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 27, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 17 Palestinians, including two young children, during overnight raids across the occupied Palestinian territory, also raiding the home of a sick prisoner and threatening his family, locals said.
Bethlehem and Hebron districts   
Israeli forces detained two 8-year-old children near the illegal Israeli settlement of Migdal Oz in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Wednesday evening, claiming that they were trying to carry out a stabbing attack.       More . . .  

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinian woman Maram Abu Ismail and her brother Ibrahim Taha
Mourners carry the bodies of Maram Abu Ismail and Ibrahim Taha during their funeral on 23 May. (Photo: Shadi Hatem APA images)

Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 27, 2016
An Israeli court dropped charges on Wednesday against two Israeli security guards who shot and killed two Palestinian siblings at a checkpoint in April, ruling that there was not sufficient evidence that they had acted improperly.
___A private security contractor shot and killed Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, 23, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha on April 27 at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces said Abu Ismail, who was five months pregnant, threw a knife in the direction of Israeli forces while she was some 20 meters away from them.     More . . .       Backstory . . .  
Days of Palestine
Oct 26, 2016
Internal Israeli army probe found that Palestinian child killed by Israeli soldiers last week did not pose danger on them.
___Last Thursday, the Israeli occupation forces murdered Palestinian boy in Beit Ommar Neighbourhood near West Bank city of Al-Khalil . . . .
___Since the first minute, the occupation media reported contradicted narratives about the killing, proving that the Israeli armed had told a lie regarding its claim the boy posed danger on Israeli soldiers.    More . . .
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Oct. 27, 2016
Israeli occupation government submitted legislation that would expand the Israeli military minister’s powers to curb citizens’ freedom under security pretexts.
___According to Haaretz paper the proposed law would broaden the power of the Israeli military minister to curb citizens’ freedom, including restricting the profession a person could work in, forbidding anyone from leaving the country or having contact with certain individuals.      More . . . 

Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

“. . . the community’s sense of identity and attachment to their lifestyle have not dissolved . . .” (Bogumila Hall)

Israeli military forces demolished the Bedouin village of Araqeeb, Oct. 9, 2016. (Photo from David Icke blog)

❶ Clashes break out in Bedouin village after Israeli police deliver demolition orders

  • Background:  “Bedouins’ Politics Of Place And Memory: A Case Of Unrecognised Villages In The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples

❷ Israeli army levels lands in Gaza ‘buffer zone’
❸ After morning demolition, two more homes razed in Jerusalem
. . . ❸ ― (a) Thirty Pals turn homeless as Israel destroys their home
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 27, 2016
Clashes broke out on Wednesday between Israeli police and local youth in the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in Israel’s Negev desert, after Israeli police affixed demolition orders on some villagers’ homes.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained a number of people during the clashes, and that some Bir Hadaj residents were injured in the process.
[. . . .]  While Bedouins of the Negev are Israeli citizens, the villages unrecognized by the government have faced relentless efforts by the Israeli authorities to expel them from their lands and transferring them to government-zoned townships in order to make room for Jewish Israeli homes.       More . . . 

  • Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics Of Place And Memory: A Case Of Unrecognised Villages In The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples 18.2 (2014): 147-164.   Source. 

[. . . .] Under Ottoman rule in Palestine (1516–1917) many Bedouins started to cultivate land and used a customary system of property acquisitions to deal with land related issues. Residents of the Negev created their own legal mechanisms . . . .
[. . . .] . . . under the British Mandate in Palestine (1917–1948), the Bedouins enjoyed a relatively high degree of self-determination and control over the land. In 1921 the Land Ordinance was passed, giving Bedouins two months to register if they wanted to claim ownership of land. . .
[. . . .]   However, the community’s continuous presence in the Negev, the changing character of its lifestyle and the sense of attachment to the land seem to be ignored both in the Israeli legal framework and the dominant representations of the Bedouins and the region. Since the establishment of the state, Israel has denied the Arab Bedouins their indigenous land rights, depicted them as rootless nomads and characterised the Negev as historically uncultivated and uninhabited land. Today, there are approximately 200,000 Bedouins in the Negev. While half of them live in seven government-planned towns, and eleven villages recognised by Israel, the other half reside in villages not recognized by the state. This means that the Bedouin villages have the status of illegal settlements and thus are not marked on Israeli maps and are denied basic services, such as electricity, running water, public transportation and basic sanitation. The perceptions of the Bedouin minority are shaped by the language of criminalisation and orientalist discourse.
[. . . . ] Rendering historical Bedouin villages illegal and turning their land into state property was accompanied by a policy of transferring the rural community to government townships, where ‘they would modernise, develop new habits, and become accustomed to life in permanent. The first town designed for the Bedouin community, Tel Sheva, was built in 1969.
[. . . .]    Despite the state’s ongoing policies aimed at transforming the rural Bedouins into an ‘urban proletariat’, the community’s sense of identity and attachment to their lifestyle have not dissolved. Rather, as one of the Bedouin activists quoted in this article pointed out, the community is as determined as ever to protect their ‘essence’ and claim their rights as Israeli citizens.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 27, 2016
Israeli military vehicles entered into the besieged Gaza Strip “buffer zone” on Thursday and leveled lands south of the Bureij refugee camp, Palestinian sources said.
___Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses reported that Israeli vehicles entered the central Gaza Strip early on Thursday morning and leveled lands dozens of meters within the blockaded Palestinian territory.
___They added that Israeli surveillance aircrafts were flying over the area.       More . . .

Jerusalem children whose homes Israelis destroyed, Oct. 25, 2016. (Photo: Days of Palestine)

❸  AFTER  MORNING  DEMOLITION,  TWO  MORE  HOMES  RAZED  IN  JERUSALEM      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 26, 2016        After demolishing a building with four apartments in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood early Wednesday under the pretext of building without a permit, the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished later in the day two more homes in Beit Hanina neighborhood under the same pretext, according to local sources.
___A large Israeli police force provided protection to bulldozers as they proceeded to demolish homes that belong to Rajabi and Siam families.       More . . .
Days of Palestine
Oct 26, 2016
Thirty Palestinian citizen became homeless on Wednesday after Israeli occupation police had destroyed their home in Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan.
___Early in the morning, the Israeli occupation police raided the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan and destroyed a multi-story Palestinian house.     More . . .  

“. . . a new archaeological monument, one which is situated within an archaeological park . . .” (Donald Whitcomb)

HISHAM’S PALACE mosaics. Early Islamic archaeological site north of Jericho, AT KHIRBAT AL-MAFJAR.

❶ The anguish and anger on Gaza’s walls
. . . ― (a) Cultural initiatives in Gaza are short on cash
❷ Nablus high school awarded $1 million in Dubai
. . . ― (A) Gaza University to launch first film major in Palestine

Background: “Khirbet Al-Mafjar” [Hisham’s Palace] Near Eastern Archaeology

❸ Jericho: World’s Largest Floor Mosaic Opened for Public Display
. . . ― (a) Israeli Ministry of Antiquities demolishes two graves in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
Oct. 18, 2016
Twenty meters high and 15 meters wide, the mural on a wall of a 12-floor building in Gaza City is unmissable.
___The artwork, “Besieged Childhood,” has garnered renown for its creators. It depicts a child wearing a keffiyeh scarf, a melancholy expression on her face, her hands wrapped around two bars, like those of a prison cell.
___Its location, on the Zafir 9 Tower in an upmarket area of Gaza City, is deliberate. During Israel’s 2014 assault, fighter jets destroyed one of Zafir 9’s sister towers, Zafir 4, in a bombing denounced as a war crime by Amnesty International.
__No one was killed, though more than a dozen were injured and the homes of more than 40 families were destroyed. More than 200 residents were left homeless in what Amnesty described as an operation with “no military justification.”          More . . .   
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Oct. 23, 2016
The Palestinian Cultural Palace, a cultural center created by a youth group in the Gaza Strip, organized its first artistic and cultural activity funded by the Rachel Corrie Foundation and in cooperation with the local Women’s Programs Center on Aug. 22 in Al-Mishal Theater in Gaza City.
__ The center’s first artistic group, made up of children ages 12-16, organized a national folkloric play titled “Operetta: Time for Peace,” which targets all social categories of all ages.
___The Palestinian Cultural Palace has limited finances in light of the lack of government and international financing.     More . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2016
Palestinian high school Talai al-Amal (“Vanguards of Hope” in Arabic), located in the city of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, was awarded $1 million in Dubai on Monday for having the best reading initiatives in the Arab world.
___The announcement was made at the closing ceremony of the Arab Reading Challenge, launched in 2015 by United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The ceremony took place at the Dubai Opera House, where al-Maktoum presented the awards.     More . . .     
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Oct. 23, 2016
Gaza is getting ready to launch its first film studies major in the Palestinian territories in January 2017. The university program will be implemented in universities, as hundreds of students wishing to major in cinematography and film studies are unable to travel abroad to pursue their studies given the closure of crossings in the Gaza Strip, namely the Rafah crossing.
___ Although launching the program could be a bumpy ride given the lack of the necessary equipment, such as school curricula and other work equipment, the program organizers, a group of people who hold university degrees from art faculties in Egypt, are seeking to bring in some material from abroad or tap into the available modest tools in Gaza after having obtained preliminary approval by the Ministry of Culture in early October.     More . . .   

[Note: The follwing article is an introduction to the important archeology of the site of which Hisham’s Palace is a part. It is somewhat technical, but accessible to the lay reader.]

Whitcomb, Donald, et al. “Khirbet Al-Mafjar.” Near Eastern Archaeology 79.2 (2016): 78-87.   Source.

The Umayyad palace at Khirbet al-Mafjar, also known as QASR HISHAM, has been known and appreciated as the most beautifully decorated o f the Umayyad qusur (socalled desert castles). Its fabulous mosaic carpets, human and animal figures, extensive stucco wall decorations, and frescoes have made this monumental complex, located just north of the city o f Jericho, an extraordinary archaeological site. Excavated by Dimitri Baramki for some 13 seasons, in the 1930s and 1940s, the site has been assumed to be completely revealed.
___A new research project for the past five years has proved this assessment completely unfounded. At the instigation of Dr. Hamdan Taha, director of the Palestinian Department of Antiquities, the Jericho Mafjar Project was conceived as a joint venture of the Palestinian antiquities department and the University of Chicago. This was a truly joint project, with equal Palestinian and foreign archaeologists and specialists working, living, and eventually writing reports together. The result is a new archaeological monument, one which is situated within an archaeological park; well-marked paths with bilingual signage guides the visitors after they have seen an introductory film and visited a modern museum, displaying both older and very recent discoveries from the excavations.

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Oct. 21, 2016
The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has unveiled the world’s largest floor mosaic for public display, in the West Bank district of Jericho.
___The mosaic covers the floor of the reception hall and the large bath of Hisham’s Palace, an Islamic archaeological site in the north of Jericho, and has been described as one of the largest and most beautiful mosaic floors in the world.    More . . .  

. . . ❸― (A)
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 23, 2016
Employees of “Israeli nature authority” demolished on Sunday two graves in the cemetery near Bab Al-Rahma east of Al-Aqsa mosque entrance and detained the responsible of cemetery staff as he tried to confront the attacks.
___The staff of Israeli Antiquities accompanied by Israeli soldiers destroyed two graves and tombstones in the hill near the cemetery, where the land belongs to the family of al-Husseini, the director of Al-Aqsa mosque Omar Al-Kisswani explained.     More . . .

“. . . the [British] government blamed the unrest on excitable elements within the native population, at odds with its best own interests. . .”

balfour_declaration-2❶ Palestinians prepare to mark 100 years for Balfour Declaration

  • Background: “Tracing Concrete.” Virginia Quarterly Review 

❷ Israeli air forces shell alleged Hamas military post in northern Gaza Strip
. . . ― (a) UNRWA disburses $1.7 million to 242 Gaza families to rebuild war damaged homes
❸ Israeli settlers establish new ‘outpost’ in the Jordan Valley
. . . ❸― (a) Palestinians Security forces freed four Palestinian men after settlement visit
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Oct. 24, 2016
Palestinian officials and activists decided Monday to hold year-long activities in Palestine and around the world marking 100 years for the Balfour Declaration.
___The campaign will be launched on November 2, the date marking 100 years since then British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, had promised in a letter to Zionist leaders a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The letter triggered the century-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict and many wars in the Middle East.
___“The Balfour Declaration is in its essence a colonialist project,” Taysir Khalid, member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the meeting held at the PLO’s Ramallah headquarters.      More . . .     

  • Lagerquist, Peter. “Tracing Concrete.” Virginia Quarterly Review 85.3 (2009): 54-71.  Full article . . . 

[. . . .] Long after the spring of 1936, when news of a general strike and unrest in Palestine began to creep into the London headlines, government correspondences would speak interminably of events forever on the brink—of growing disturbances, ambushes on colonial troops, a complete absence of rule of law—yet hesitate to put a name to what was happening. General Bernard Montgomery, who was sent to suppress the “riots” . . .  famously dismissed the main protagonists as “bandits.” Throughout, the government blamed the unrest on excitable elements within the native population, at odds with its best own interests. At home as well as abroad, newspapers absorbed interchangeable tales of rampant criminality, religious fanaticism, and still more nefarious influences. “Italian Propaganda Campaign Renewed—Thought to Blame for Most Trouble,” declared a New York Times headline in 1937, divining a new fascism at work in the East. But while the Axis powers were happy to publicize Britain’s troubles in the region, the Times, not for the last had it wrong.
___In 1917, the British government had published a document known as the Balfour Declaration, which promised the distant land of Palestine as a national home for the Zionist movement. Its adherents, a mélange of European Utopians, ideologues, and refugees from the pale of settlement, had been arriving over the preceding decades—at first establishing plantation-model estates with land acquired from semi-feudal landholders, later buying smaller parcels of land, or appropriating communal village and urban lands with governmental connivance, and, with growing frequency, evicting those peasants who worked it.
___By the end of the 1930s, an estimated 120,000 Palestinians had been made landless.. . .  As the term “revolt” began creeping into press coverage, the government acknowledged that it had lost control of much of the country.
[. . . .] 

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2016
Israeli air forces shelled a military post allegedly belonging to the Hamas movement in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, according to Israeli army and local Palestinian sources.
___Palestinian security sources and eyewitnesses told Ma’an that at least one Israeli artillery shell hit a military post belonging to what they called the “Palestinian resistance,” east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, next to the border with Israel.     ___The shelling caused material damages, though no human injuries or casualties were reported.
___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that early Monday morning, sirens went off in the Shaar Hanegev area of southern Israel — which borders the northeastern Gaza Strip — alerting the residents of the area that a rocket had been fired in their direction.
___No rockets hit Israeli territory . . .        More . . . 

(Image Source: Global Research)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      
Oct. 24, 2016
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Monday that it was able to disburse over $1.7 million for reconstruction and repair work of Gaza homes damaged from Israel’s last war on the coastal enclave.
___The funds reached a total of 242 refugee families across Gaza, it said in a statement.     ___Over $951,000 will go for homes that need reconstruction and over $759,000 to severe repair works.
___ UNRWA’s assessment confirmed 142,071 Palestine refugee houses as impacted during the 2014 war; 9,117 of them are considered totally destroyed.      More . . .  

Oct. 24, 2016
Israeli settlers are establishing a new outpost in the northern Jordan Valley on privately owned Palestinian land.
___According to the Haaretz report, although Israeli authorities have not authorized its construction, and are aware of its existence, construction is currently continuing unimpeded.
___The outpost is close to another unauthorized outpost, Givat Salit, established in 2001.
___Israeli occupation authorities claimed that a stop-work order had been issued at the outpost. However, a visit by Haaretz showed that the settlers have continued regardless.     More . . .

Oct. 24, 2016
Security forces in the West Bank have released four Palestinian men detained last week after visiting a Jewish settlement during a religious festival, a security official said Monday.
___The men were among about 30 Palestinians who visited the West Bank settlement of Efrat on Wednesday during the annual Jewish festival of Sukkot, Oded Revivi of the Yesha council for settlements.
___Palestinians are forbidden from “normalizing” relations with Israeli settlements in the West Bank     More . . .   


“. . . Son, be careful, hypocrisy has a whole cast of actors . . .” (Mai Sayigh)

Sheikh Hassan Yousef
(born in 1955, Ramallah) is one of the leaders of Hamas in the West Bank. He is not to be confused with his son Mosab Hassan Yousef who became an undercover agent for Israel and is now living under political asylum in the United States.

❶ 20 Palestinians detained in Jerusalem amid lockdown on West Bank, Gaza
. . . ❶ ― (a) Israeli forces detain eight Palestinians in West Bank
. . . ❶ ― (b) Israel issues 46 administrative detention orders against Palestinian detainees

  • Background: news articles regarding Hassan Yousef

❷ IOF storms Qabatia, clashes with Palestinians
. . . ❷ ― (a) Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinians near settlement, hitting one, Israeli media says
❸ POETRY by  Mai Sayigh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2016
Israeli forces detained 20 Palestinians — including five minors — from across occupied East Jerusalem during predawn raids Sunday, amid a widespread crackdown on Palestinians in the city over the Jewish High Holiday season, as Israeli authorities also shut down crossings in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
___Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces, accompanied by a helicopter flying overhead, raided the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, Issawiya, Jabal al-Mukabbir, and the Shufat refugee camp, where they ransacked several homes and detained 20 “youths.”     More . . .     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 23, 2016
Israeli forces detained 23 Palestinians during night and predawn raids across the West Bank districts, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___Israeli soldiers detained an 18-year-old Palestinian from the Tulkarem area. They also detained another Palestinian in Qalqilia.
___A third Palestinian was detained in the Ramallah area, whereas five others were detained in Jenin.     ___PPS noted that 12 Palestinians, including a female, were detained by Israeli forces from across the West Bank in the past two days.     ___To be noted, 20 Palestinians were also detained by Israeli police in the Jerusalem area on Sunday.      More . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 23, 2016
Israeli authorities issued 46 administrative detention order against Palestinian detainees, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative council (PLC), Sunday said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___A PPS lawyer said forces renewed the administrative detention of PLC member, Hasan Yousif, for the third consecutive time. To be noted Yousif was sentenced several times to jail, amounting to 18 years in total, including actual sentences and under administrative detention, the last of which was on October, 20th, 2015.
___The lawyer noted that the detention orders, without charge or trial, included 13 new orders, whereas the rest received renewed sentences.     More . . .

[Note: actual researched writing about Hassan Yousef is difficult to find. A few random news items about him are here.]

Israel  releases  Palestinian  MP  Hassan  Yousef
Middle East Eye
June 25, 2015
Israel on Thursday released Hassan Yousef, a Hamas-affiliated member of Palestine’s parliament, the Islamist movement said.
___Yousef’s release comes a year after his arrest along with dozens of other Hamas leaders during a search campaign for three missing Israeli teenagers.   More . . .

Detained  Legislator  Facing  Deteriorating  Health  Condition
AL-Qassam Brigades – Palestine
Mar. 10, 2012
The family of Sheikh Hasan Yousef, an elected Palestinian Legislator of the Change and Reform Bloc of the Hamas movement, stated that Yousef is facing a deteriorating health condition in an Israeli prison.
___Yousef’s wife told the Media Department of the Change and Reform Bloc that her husband was moved to the Hadassah Israeli hospital in Jerusalem to determine the causes of the latest sharp deterioration in his health condition.     More. . .

(An Israeli view) Hassan  Yousef  is  not  the  problem,  and  Israel  knows  it 
The Times of Israel
Oct. 20, 2015
Every year or so a familiar ceremony take place. Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the top Hamas political leaders in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli security forces and held for six months in administrative detention. Then he’s released and, after some time passes, rearrested.
___ The reason given this time for Monday’s arrest of Yousef is “incitement to violence.”
___Yousef’s incitement in the past few days consisted of warnings that if the Palestinian Authority continues to suppress the “intifada,” it will lead to an internal Palestinian clash.     More. . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 23, 201
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed on Sunday morning the town of Qabatia, south of Jenin, which led to the outbreak of confrontations between Palestinians and the IOF.     ___Witnesses said that dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the town from Janzour Street and stationed near Al-Ashab Gas Station, Barham sweets, AL Zakarna quarter and Alsabaana estate.     ___Palestinian citizens said that the IOF raided the house of Soliman Al-Khashani, put all the family members in one room, snipers spread at the house windows and monitored the movements of citizens from inside the house.     More . . .   

Palestinian youths clash with Israeli security forces in Qabatiya, near Jenin in the northern West Bank, on February 4, 2016. (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP via The Times of Israel)

Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 23, 2016
Israeli forces reportedly fired at three Palestinians, hitting one, with rubber-coated steel bullets on Saturday as they approached a fence surrounding the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, according to Hebrew-language news sites, however a spokesperson from the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an they were not aware of the incident.     More . . .   

“FROM  BEIRUT  UNDER  SIEGE,”  by  Mai  Sayigh
This war breaks the heart
steals lives,
halts the stars in their orbits,
extinguishes day.
I beg you to remain a witness
to this siege.

Beirut, that fortress in the flames,
will not succumb to fire’s touch.
She lives like a cactus flower.
Pomegranate blossoms unfurl from her wounds,
and birds build new homes.

Fire baptizes our awakening!
I would not object if one day soon
you wake up to find my martyred face
on a poster.
But in the darkness of the grave I shall wait
for a new red bullet from your gun
to reunite us.
I won’t forgive you if you dally
or throw your hands up to fate.
Son, be careful,
hypocrisy has a whole cast of actors,
as do compromise and caution.
But you are meant for danger,
winds and rains
smearing the sky with spring
and martyrs.
Then the moon shall rise
over our savage night
Son, beware!

War gobbles the heart,
rips life from my hands,
halts the stars in their orbits,
extinguishes day.
I urge you to resist, to remain witness.
I urge you to join your brothers
and resist the siege.
Son, please!
–Translated by Lena Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye

Mai Sayigh was born in 1940 in Gaza. She graduated from the University of Cairo. In 1971 she was elected President of the Union of Palestinian Women. She has published three volumes of poetry and an account of the 1982 Israeli siege of Beirut.
From: ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.
More poetry by Mai Sayigh in THE POETRY OF ARAB WOMEN: A contemporary anthology. 2001. Handal, Nathalie, editor. Interlink Books USA.

“. . . stateless people could see . . . that the abstract nakedness of being nothing but human was their greatest danger. . .” (Hannah Arendt*)

Children in the Rafah Camp, one of the eight Palestine refugee camps in the densely populated Gaza strip. Circa 1955. (Photo: UNRWA by M. Nasr)

❶ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian farmers, bird hunters, and fishermen in Gaza

  • Background: “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History

❷ Why is Israel tightening the Gaza blockade?
❸ UNRWA Condemns Killing of Four Palestine Refugees, calls for Full Humanitarian Access to Khan Eshieh Refugee Camp in Syria

  • Background: “Refugees And Social Theory: From The Politics Of “Bare Life” To Refugees As Political Subjects.” Acta Academica

*Hannah Arendt, “The Perplexities of the Right of Man” (1951)

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency     
Oct. 22, 2016
Israeli forces Saturday morning opened live fire at Palestinian farmers, bird hunters, and fishermen in the eastern and northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces deployed at the eastern border near the neighborhood of al-Shujaiyeh opened live fire at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters, forcing them to flee the area.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya north of the Gaza Strip early in the morning.      More . . .

  • Abreek-Zubiedat, Fatina. “The Palestinian Refugee Camps: The Promise Of ‘Ruin’ And ‘Loss’.” Rethinking History 19.1 (2015): 72-94.   Source.

According to the political theorist Hannah Arendt, a ‘refugee’ is a ‘stateless’ or ‘non-citizen’ person who threatens the nation-state system. Consequently, countries have acknowledged the need for a solution to the refugee problem, whose status is considered temporary, with two possible options: return to the homeland or country of origin, or naturalization in the host country. Historically, both solutions have failed. Arendt views the refugee camp as a ‘final solution’ involving the incarceration of refugees after denying their citizenship. Only then do they become homo sacer in the sense implied by ancient Roman law: destined to die, with their life defined as ‘bare’.
[. . . .]
___ The Palestinian Arab residents who were uprooted, forced out, or compelled to flee from their homes became ‘stateless,’ as Arendt defines it, even before becoming refugees. According to Azoulay . . .  the Arab residents of Palestine should be acknowledged not solely as refugees but as ‘non-governed,’ in a way to link their expulsion from their homeland to the regime responsible to their state within the framework of the new diplomatic, military, and political map of the UN: ‘The U.N. Partition Plan from November 29, 1947 was a crucial moment in the founding of the enterprise of destruction responsible for turning vast sections of Palestine into ruin’.

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO 
October 21, 2016
Let us begin with the facts: Israeli authorities have, over the course of the last year, tightened the long-standing blockade of the Gaza Strip.      ___Even before these more recent restrictions, the Israeli blockade – an illegal policy of collective punishment in the words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was continuing to severely harm the lives of Gaza’s two million residents, furthering the enclave’s de-development.      ___In April of this year, the UN was clear that the most urgent step required for the reconstruction of Gaza remained “the removal of [Israeli] restrictions on the import of building materials, towards a full lifting of the blockade.” Instead, things have gone backwards.       More . . .    

Destruction inside Khan Eshieh camp for Palestine refugees, located south of the Syrian capital, Damascus. (Photo: IRIN, 2015)

Gaza.Scoop.ps – Real Time News From Gaza
Oct. 21, 2016
Four Palestine refugees were killed on the night of 18 October as they attempted to leave the Khan Eshieh Palestine refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, to which access has been highly restricted. Nofeh Mohammed Jarad, who was in her 60’s, her daughter Ibaa Saeed al-Nader, 22, their driver and a one-year old baby were all killed when their vehicle was shelled around 10 p.m. The mother of the baby, a Syrian citizen, also died in the incident.
___UNRWA condemns this attack and the killing and wounding of all civilians including Palestine refugees. It calls on those responsible to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and demands that the parties to the conflict do their utmost to protect civilian life in accordance with international law.  More . . .   Related . . .   

  • Williams, Christian. “Refugees And Social Theory: From The Politics Of “Bare Life” To Refugees As Political Subjects.” Acta Academica 46.4 (2014): 117-131.   Full article.

Since the mid-twentieth century, nation-states and international organisations have developed an integrated system for governing people displaced from their countries of origin by social upheavals occurring there. This system became standardised in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War when the Allied powers created a constellation of refugee camps, government bureaucracies and legal/moral norms aimed at managing the throngs of people whom the war had displaced in Europe. Among the incipient norms was refugee law, part of the broader field of human rights law emerging at this historical moment. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) not only compelled nation-states to intervene in the affairs of other sovereign countries committing genocide, but also to grant people “asylum from persecution”. . . . this “right” to asylum . . . became the human rights framework for addressing mass. . .  “refugee problem” across much of the post-colonial world.
___At the centre of this framework and problem stands “the refugee”. With great consistency, human rights law and other bodies of knowledge have presented “the refugee” as a kind of victim – one who has been expelled from a national and natural “home”. It follows that refugees’ problems may be solved through proper management of the international system, including nation-states, United Nations (UN) bodies, humanitarian agencies and the sites where refugees live that they administer . . . .
[. . . .] as early as 1948, Hannah Arendt argued that refugees, the very people whom the then new UDHR ought to protect, are people without rights, because they have been excluded from a nation-state. Without a sovereign government, through which to claim their rights, refugees are rendered “nothing but human.” More recently, Giorgio Agamben captured widespread scholarly attention for drawing connections between “the concentration camp” and “the refugee camp”, both of which are inhabited by people who have been subjected to “biopolitics”, a politics that excludes them from active participation in a political community and reduces them to “bare life” (Agamben G [1998] Homo sacer: sovereign power and bare life).

“. . . Let the oppressor review his account Before the turn of the wheel . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya dates back to the Circassian Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and includes an Islamic orphanage and  secondary school. (Photo: Archnet)

❶ Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in Beit Ummar, Hebron for alleged rock-throwing

  • Background: “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture.

❷ Israeli forces raid Palestinian orphanage for 5th time
❸ Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Farmers In Southern Gaza, Navy Attacks Fishers In Northern Gaza
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Oct. 20, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday evening shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian near the Beit Ummar junction in the northern part of the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron. Israeli authorities have claimed an Israeli soldier shot the teenager dead in response to a rock-throwing incident.
___Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that he saw the body of a young Palestinian on the ground near the entrance of Beit Ummar. The young Palestinian, later identified as Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was reportedly shot by Israeli forces in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest.     More . . .       

  • Weiss, Peter. “International Law And The Occupied Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 96-101.   Source.

There is virtually unanimous international agreement that Israel’s presence in the West Bank constitutes an occupation within the meaning of Section III of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which deals with the protection of civilian persons in times of war. . .
* The settlements are illegal because, under Article 49, “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”;
* Under Article 3, “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” are prohibited, as well as violence to life and person, in particular murder and torture”
[. . . .]
As with international law generally, the law of war [is] based on moral principles rather than formal treaty. . . .
* Article 1: “A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the Martial Law of the invading or occupying army. . . .”
* Article 4: “Martial Law is simply military authority exercised in accordance with the laws and usages of war. Military oppression is not Martial Law . . . it is incumbent upon those who administer it to be strictly guided by the principles of justice, honor, and humanity
[. . . .]
All Palestinians living in the West Bank are protected persons under the law of occupation. They do not lose that status by killing settlers or committing other war crimes; they only become protected persons who remain entitled to due process and humanitarian treatment.
[. . . .]
The difference between a war crime and a crime against humanity is that the former can be committed as an isolated act constituting a serious violation of the law of war, while the latter requires that it be part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against the civilian population. . . . . The most recent definition of both types of crimes is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002.
[. . . .]
Article 7 lists the following as crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment in violation of international law, torture and other sexual crimes, persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
___The situation is paradoxical: Israel, not being a party to the ICC, may not, as a matter of international law, be bound by certain crimes enumerated in the Rome Statute, such as rape, while Palestinians are. Many of these would, of course, be crimes under domestic or military law or under customary humanitarian law. However, it is troubling that, when Israeli officials speak about these non-treaty obligations, they do so in terms of Jewish values or IDF values, rather than universal values, as if the universal values . . .  do not necessarily apply to Israel.

Days of Palestine
Oct 20, 2016
Israeli forces kidnapped teen orphan following fifth raid on  Palestinian orphanage   in Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
___Seventeen-year-old orphan Mp’az Khalil was kidnapped after the orphanage was raided for the fifth time in ten days. He had been interrogated after being accused of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces.
___The orphanage’s administrative board evacuated it before the end of the day to prevent any clashes with the Israeli occupation forces, sources said.
___On Monday, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the Director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education Samir Jibril.   More . . .    

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
October 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers opened fire, on Friday morning, targeting Palestinian farmers in their own lands, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, while navy ships opened fire on fishers in northern Gaza.
___Eyewitnesses said the soldiers, stationed on military towers across the border fence, fired many live rounds into Palestinian agricultural lands, forcing the farmers out in fear of additional army fire.
___They added that the attack was carried out while military vehicles were seen heavily driving across the border fence, while many army sharpshooters were deployed across the border fence.   More. . .


It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression
The spark of an idea
Of forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind
In your eyes.

Here we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock
To quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here―we have a past
―a present
―and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.

Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain―in Lydda, in Ramlah
And Galilee.

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE.  Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.
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About Tawfiq Zayyad