“. . . I am an Arab/You have stolen the orchards/of my ancestors . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Shopping in the Arab Quarter, Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Knesset’s new bill ‘portrays racism as entirely normal’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) The destructive potential of Israel’s nation-state bill
❷ Israel debating bill banning rights groups from defending Palestinians
❸ Background Articles

  • Israel’s Second-Class Citizens
  • Why the ‘hijacking’ of Israeli democracy is a myth

❹ ARIJ Daily Report
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al Jazeera
Jonathan Cook
May 11, 2017
New legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week.
___The bill, which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its first vote in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, after it received unanimous backing from a government committee on Sunday.
___Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute books within 60 days.       MORE . . .
+972 Magazine  
By Marzuq Al-Halabi
May 9, 2017       The “nation-state bill,” which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, is no different from the day-to-day political discourse taking place in Israel these over the last years. By revoking Arabic as an official language of the state, and maintaining that “the right to realize self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” the bill enshrines the ideas, desires, ideology, and actions of Israel’s political leaders since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.       ___The proposed bill, in the “refined” version put forth by the prime minister, is in the spirit of the most extreme right-wing bills that have been proposed before the committee or in the hallways of the Knesset.         MORE. . . .
Middle East Monitor – MEMO       
May 13, 2017
The Israeli government is to discuss a draft law banning Israeli rights groups from defending Palestinians by petitioning the High Court, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed yesterday.
___The bill would prevent Israeli human rights groups from “petitioning the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians.”
___According to Haaretz, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation is set to discuss this bill during the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Sunday.
___Haaretz also added: “The bill is aimed primarily at [Israeli] left-wing organisations such as Yesh Din, Peace Now and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which routinely petition the court on behalf of Palestinians.”
___In addition, it said: “The bill would bar Knesset members from petitioning the court to challenge cabinet decisions and laws passed by the Knesset.”      MORE . . .

    Foreign Affairs, vol. 95, no. 4, Jul/Aug2016, pp. 37-42.
    [. . . .] But in many ways, the future of the Arabs in Israel hinges on developments over which they have little control. The first is how the Netanyahu government and its successors manage Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: whereas open violence between Israel and the Palestinians tends to exacerbate anti-Arab sentiment among Israel’s Jewish majority, a solution to the conflict could set the stage for reconciliation among Arabs and Jews in Israel. The second, of course, is how the Israeli government treats its own Arab citizens. Regardless of the state’s choices, however, Arabs in Israel can still shape their own fate—but that will require settling on a unified political program.    MORE . . .
    +972 Magazine      
    Edo Konrad
    November 8, 2015
    Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations.
    ___Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity” of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies do not represent the views of all Israelis. “We have to explain this complexity [to Americans], and I believe it will be an ideological weapon for Israel’s defenders here,” Shaffir posited.               MORE . . .
Arab shops near Herod’s Gate, Jerusalem, with IDF soldiers. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

12 May 2017
Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations    MORE . . .

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks―
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name―without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots―
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass
My father―
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather―
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house―
is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
The color of hair―is black
The color of eyes―is brown
And my distinctive features:
The head-dress is hatta wi’gal
And the hand is solid like a rock
My favorite meal
Is olive oil and zatar
And my address:
A village―isolated and deserted
Where the streets have no names
And the men―work in the fields an quarries
They like socialism
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
and the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks―
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware―beware―of my hunger
and my anger!

Mahmoud Darwish
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 Amazon.

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