“. . . Like twenty impossibilities/ We shall remain. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

key
A Palestinian woman holds the key to her old family house as Palestinians stage a Nakba Day rally. [Photo: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]
❶ ‘We will support you by every possible means:’ David Friedman arrives in Israel

  • Background: “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.”

❷ Israel is still unable to deal with the catastrophe of 1948
❸ Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity is Palestine’s Nightmare
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ‘WE  WILL  SUPPORT  YOU  BY  EVERY  POSSIBLE  MEANS:’  DAVID  FRIEDMAN  ARRIVES  IN  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency
May 16, 2017
US President Donald Trump’s pick for US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman embarked on his first official trip to Israel on Monday, as the ultraright, pro-settler ambassador reportedly told Israeli leaders that he and Trump would support Israel “by every possible means.”
___Friedman’s first stop after landing in Israel was the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site located in occupied East Jerusalem and adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the ambassador “prayed for Donald Trump.”
___On Tuesday, Friedman met with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and presented his credentials. . .  MORE . . .

Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 12, no. 2, Nov. 2013, pp. 181-205.
[. . . .] Thus, the possibilities for genuine political struggles that contest political, social and economic inequalities are heavily managed so as to protect the apartheid premise for the sake of which the state [Israel] was constituted. The injustices in it are not just a de facto durational injustice which are found and persist for some time in any political community and which may be more or less systematic until the narratives that give rise to them are overcome. . . .  In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness; of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state. Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness . . .  is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa [which] was thus already open to reform . . . a political community that [could] be made responsible for its actions. In short. . .  South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.          ___Moreover and crucially, in Israel it is because of the need to create a state which is based on this apartheid premise that sustains Jewish majority and character that ethnic cleansing took place . . .  such a state should not be recognised and . . .  in the case of Palestine national self-determination must not, under any circumstances, imply a Jewish state.     Full Article.

❷ ISRAEL  IS  STILL  UNABLE  TO  DEAL  WITH  THE  CATASTROPHE  OF  1948
+972 Blog
Oren Barak
May 16, 2017
Why does the State of Israel, which just celebrated 69 years of independence, struggle to deal with the unpleasant events in its distant past, especially not the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe in the 1948 War?
___Professor Avraham Sela and Professor Alon Kadish, two top scholars of the 1948 War from Hebrew University, recently published a book titled The War of 1948: Representations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives. The book looks at a number of realms in which the memory of the war, as well as how it is forgotten, are expressed . . . .
[. . . .] The final chapter, was written by Sela and Professor Neil Kaplan, a Canadian researcher who focuses on the Israeli-Arab conflict, suggests an important insight: memory and historical narratives are the product of a particular political and social reality — not the other way around. The question is, then, what is the political and social reality that influences what is remembered and what is forgotten about the war     MORE . . .

knesset-635x357
View of the assembly hall of the Knesset, during the opening of the winter session, October 31, 2016. (Photo: New York Jewish Week)

❸ JEWISH  NATION-STATE  BILL:  ISRAEL’S  PRECARIOUS  IDENTITY  IS  PALESTINE’S  NIGHTMARE
Palestine Chronicle     
Ramzy Baroud
May 17 2017
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has hurriedly passed a new bill that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Although the association between Jewishness and Israel goes back to the foundation of the state, the new law also carries clear discriminatory elements that target the country’s Arab communities, numbering nearly two million people.
___The ‘Jewish Nation-State Bill’ is the latest concoction of Israel’s rightwing Zionist Jewish parties, which have dominated Israeli politics for years. With the Israeli ‘Left’ rendered irrelevant, or has itself moved to the right, the right wing elements of Israel are now the supreme rulers of that country.
[. . . . ] Israel’s odd definition of democracy and relentless attempts to reconcile between democracy and racial discrimination, however, is rarely challenged among its American and European allies.
___Palestinians, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of racism more than ever before, for Israel’s Jewish dream has become their never-ending nightmare.  MORE . . .

“WE SHALL REMAIN,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
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 an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
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 the 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, and 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, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
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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