“. . . The emigrant comes home from death . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

march
Palestinians participate in the March of Return, Galilee, May 2, 2017. (Maria Zreik/Activestills)

❶ Trump Deletes Arafat From Accord Signing
❷ ‘Israel has never recognized its Palestinian citizens’
❸ Israeli forces fire tear gas, bullets at Palestinian hospital in Ramallah
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  Has the Mentality of the Colonial Powers Been Passed On?
❺ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
TRUMP  DELETES  ARAFAT  FROM  ACCORD  SIGNING
Palestine Chronicle
By James. M. Wall
May 4 2017
[. . . .] On Wednesday, President Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.  The usual “we want peace” talking points were exchanged. The word “justice” was not included.
[. . . .] President Trump began his cordial welcoming words to President Abbas with one of those blatant distortions of history that good staff work might have avoided. Unless, that is, the distortion was deliberate.
___This is the way President Trump welcomed President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House: “Almost 24 years ago, it was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Here at the White House, President Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles — very important — which laid the foundation for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”   There is a problem with this recall of history. It writes former Palestinian President Yasar Arafat out of a major moment of history.
[. . . .]  ___Abbas . . . most certainly did not sign with “a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin”.  And, he did not stand with Yitzhak Rabin. That would be Yasar Arafat, as the historic picture (below), clearly demonstrates.
MORE . . .

Bill_Clinton,_Yitzhak_Rabin,_Yasser_Arafat_at_the_White_House_1993-09-13_cropped
1993: Rabin and Arafat shake hands on peace deal (not Abbas, as Trump would have it)

‘ISRAEL  HAS  NEVER  RECOGNIZED  ITS  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS’
+972 Blog
By Anat Matar
May 3, 2017
(Thousands of Palestinians participated in the March of Return on Tuesday, gathering at the site of the destroyed village of Al-Kabri in the Galilee . . . speech given by Anat Matar, a member of the Israeli Committee for Palestinian Prisoners)  
[. . . .] ___We’re said to be in an age in which the truth is unimportant. But the truth is unimportant only for those who have something to hide, who refuse to give up their power should the truth come to light.
___But the truth is also that the Nakba continues. We see it this year more than ever in the sweep of home demolitions. . . . Exactly a month ago the “Kaminitz Law” passed in the Knesset, which allows for home demolitions to be expedited and for Palestinians — whose towns have no master plans — to be incriminated. Instead of recognizing land theft and attempting to rectify it, Israel continues its policy of robbery and oppression.
___We . . .  are sticking with the truth. It’s the main goal of the march of the displaced. It’s the goal of events marking the Nakba. The stories of the destroyed villages, the depopulated towns . . .  the killed, wounded and displaced, those whose lands were stolen and who can’t return — these are the stories we must tell, and which we must fight to correct.     MORE . . .

From: Freeman, Chas W. “Greater Israel and the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East.”   [. . . .] In 2002, all twenty-two Arab states unequivocally offered Israel peace and normal political and economic relations if it would strike a deal with Palestinians.  The Arabs reaffirmed this offer in 2007 and again earlier this year. . . .  The question has been what, if anything, Israel might be prepared to do to cash in on this offer. . . .  Israel’s answer to that question till now has been bupkis.  Nothing.
[. . . .] Israel now rules a realm that is half-Jewish and half-Palestinian Arab.  Israel’s Jews enjoy full rights as the citizens of a democracy.  Some Arabs – one-eighth of all the people governed by the Israeli state – are officially Israeli citizens.  They are nominally represented in the Knesset but face intensifying racial discrimination and segregation by an assertively all-Jewish government and its electorate.  The remaining three-eighths of the people governed by Israel are stateless Arab Muslims or Christians who live under the tyranny of martial law in the West Bank and Jerusalem or relentless collective punishment in the Gaza ghetto.
[. . . .] With partition now impossible, the only path to peace for Greater Israel lies in recognition of the reality that there is and will be only one state in Palestine. . . . The Palestinian issue is ripening into a struggle for civil rights rather than self-determination. 
___It has become a cliché to say that Israel must choose between its democracy and its Jewishness.  But the disenfranchisement of Greater Israel’s Arabs vitiates its claim to be a democracy.  And its enforcement of Jewish supremacy throughout the territories it rules is driving the progressive abandonment of the rule of law and other liberal norms once central to Zionism.  Most Israelis already appear to prefer a Jewish to a democratic identity.    MORE . . . . 

ISRAELI  FORCES  FIRE  TEAR  GAS,  BULLETS  AT  PALESTINIAN  HOSPITAL  IN  RAMALLAH
Ma’an News Agency
May 4, 2017
RAMALLAH – Israeli forces fired bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at a Palestinian hospital in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah at dawn on Thursday, sparking condemnation from the Palestinian Authority (PA).
___Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers fired live bullets and tear gas inside the Palestinian Medical Complex grounds for more than an hour early on Thursday morning, causing many patients, including children, to suffer from tear gas inhalation.    ___An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that during unspecified “overnight operational activities” in the nearby Qaddura refugee camp, Palestinians located inside the hospital grounds threw stones at Israeli soldiers.    MORE . . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis: HAS  THE  MENTALITY  OF  THE  COLONIAL  POWERS  BEEN PASSED  ON?
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
By Lars Kaspersen, PNN
April 12, 2017     Is everybody really born equal or is that just an empty platitude?   ___During the era of the colonial powers, the lands that originally belonged to the natives were taken away and the natives became subjugated in their own land. Their lives were presumably worth less than the lives of the colonial powers. If they and their way of life deviate from us and our way, then they must be worth less than us, the colonial mentality suggests. Does this chain of reasoning still make the foundation stones of the prevalent mentality of the people living in the Western world?   ___What happens in the Third World doesn’t concern the former colonial powers anymore, so why should we care? Our culture and appearance are different from theirs so why shouldn’t we leave them to their own devices? The answer should be simple, “Because we are human beings.”    MORE . . .

“THE  RETURNEE,”  BY  IBRAHIM  NASRALLAH

Every day the emigrant comes home from death
to the shadows of his walls,
to his reading lessons,
he crawls to the shadows to rest under the quiet cinchona.
The emigrant comes home from death
to draw out breath from the chain of stone around his house,
from his milk-white feet,
from the rattling air.
He knows the trees,
the angles of the old houses,
the sound of his mother’s footsteps in the backyard,
the stories his great grandmother tells to put the mischievous young ones to sleep.
She plucks night stars as she wishes, after they have entered sleep.
He passes by like a stranger
although he doesn’t resemble a stranger in any way.
The people he sees standing now at his door
are the strangers.

  • Ibrahim Nasrallah. Rain Inside: Selected Poems by Ibrahim Nasrallah. Trans. By Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009.

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