“. . . the cement has diverted/ The ancient springs . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

EU HEADS
Visit of EU Heads of Cooperation, May 25, 2017 (Photo: EU and Palestinians‏ @EUpalestinians, Twitter)

[Israeli Education Minister Naftali] Bennett vows to press Netanyahu for more West Bank construction
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett
❷ Rights group demands Israel cancel tenders opened in illegal West Bank settlements
❸ Netanyahu: Temple Mount will forever remain under Israel’s control
❹ EU Heads of Cooperation visit Area C projects in Jordan Valley
❺ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
[ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER NAFTALI] BENNETT  VOWS  TO  PRESS  NETANYAHU  FOR  MORE  WEST  BANK  CONSTRUCTION    
The Times of Israel
Stuart Winer
May 24, 2017
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday that he would urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve more construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank so that Israel can consolidate its hold on the land.
___Bennett, the leader of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, told Army Radio that Israel should take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Trump administration, which, he claimed, recognized the Jewish claim to the West Bank. . . .
[. . . .] Noting that during his visit Trump did not mention the two-state solution, which has been the accepted formula of previous US administrations, Bennett asserted that “[Trump] also understood that achieving peace won’t necessarily be achieved by establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of [Israel].”      MORE . . . . 
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  A  PALESTINIAN’S  FIRST-CLASS  SEAT  NEXT  TO  NAFTALI  BENNETT   
+972 Blog  
Jamil Dakwar
May 25, 2017
Jamil Dakwar is a human rights lawyer and adjunct lecturer at John Jay College, New York.
A free airline upgrade left him sitting next to one of the Israeli government’s most right-wing nationalists — who went on to make some revealing comments about Trump, the peace process and his colleagues in the Knesset.
. . . .  [Dakwar’s comment] For far too long, Palestinian rights have been sacrificed in the name of maintaining Jewish supremacy in access to Israeli political power, land, natural resources, and economic prosperity. As long as Palestinians are denied justice and equality, and until their basic human rights are part of the equation, there will be little chance of reaching any “ultimate deal.” The best that Trump and Netanyahu can hope for is a short-term security and business deal to preserve the status quo, including the role of the Palestinian Authority as security sub-contractor.    MORE. . . .
❷ RIGHTS  GROUP  DEMANDS  ISRAEL  CANCEL  TENDERS  OPENED  IN  ILLEGAL  WEST  BANK  SETTLEMENTS 
Ma’an News Agency     
May 26, 2017
Israeli authorities have been offering land tenders inside Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, in the occupied West Bank, according to Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
___According to Adalah, during 2016 and 2017 the Israel Land Authority (ILA) opened tenders offering “state lands” for available plots in at least seven West Bank settlements. . . .
___Adalah sent a letter to senior Israeli officials on Tuesday, demanding that the open tenders be canceled, as “the Israeli agency responsible for issuing these tenders has no legal authority in the 1967 Occupied Territories”. . . .        MORE . . .

settlement
Houses are seen atop a hill in the Israeli settlement of Givat Ze’ev, Feb. 8, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

❸ NETANYAHU:  TEMPLE  MOUNT  WILL  FOREVER  REMAIN  UNDER  ISRAEL’S  CONTROL
The Times of Israel 
Marissa Newman
May 24, 2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog went head-to-head in the Knesset on Wednesday over Jerusalem, with the premier saying Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state and its capital in any borders is the root of the conflict, and pledging that the city, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. . . .
___During a plenum session marking the passage of 50 years since the Six Day War and the reunification of the city’s western and eastern halves, Netanyahu pointed to the US president’s visit to the Western Wall as having “destroyed UNESCO’s propaganda and lies,” referring to a series of resolutions by the UN cultural body that ignored Jewish ties to the city and Israeli sovereignty.        MORE . . .
❹ EU  HEADS  OF  COOPERATION  VISIT  AREA  C  PROJECTS  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 26, 2017
European Union (EU) Heads of Cooperation in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited Thursday different localities and projects in Area C in the Jordan Valley, the Office of the EU Representative said in a press release.
___The Norwegian Head of Cooperation also joined the visit. The group was briefed on various humanitarian and developmental projects funded by the EU and its Member States supporting the Palestinian communities in the area.
___According to the press release, the EU Heads of Cooperation were briefed . . .  on the challenges facing the Jordan Valley area.
___The briefing focused on the obstacles that are blocking a sustainable social and economic development of the Palestinian communities in the area.       MORE. . . .  

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

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 nothing 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.

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