“. . . usurped the right of peaceful men who did not sin . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

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Palestinian refugees of the Six-Day War fleeing the West Bank across the Allenby Bridge between Jericho and Jordan (Photo: UNRWA archive, 1967)

Understanding the Six Day War

❶ TRACKING  THE  TRENDS  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  CAUSE  SINCE  1967:  LOOKING  BACK
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network      
Nadia Hijab, Mouin Rabbani
June 6, 2017
On the eve of June 5, 1967, the Palestinians were dispersed among Israel, the Jordanian-ruled West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip administered by Egypt, and refugee communities in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and beyond. Their aspirations for salvation and self-determination were pinned to Arab leaders’ pledges to “liberate Palestine” . . . .
___The Six-Day War, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, brought dramatic changes to the geography of the conflict. It also produced a sea change in the Palestinian body politic. In a sharp break with previous decades, Palestinians became the masters of their own destiny rather than spectators to regional and international decisions affecting their lives and determining their fate.       MORE . . . 
❷ SIX-DAY  WAR –  50  YEARS  LATER
1A – WAMU 88.5   
Joshua Johnson, Host
Jun 05 2017
If the ongoing conflict in the Middle East confuses you, then the Six Day War 50 years ago is a good place to start to gain an understanding. During this conflict, Israel came to occupy East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip defeating the armed forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria.       ___Why is the Six Day War so important and why does it still impact relations in the region today?       AUDIO . . .
❸  CHALLENGES  TO  INTERNATIONAL  HUMANITARIAN  LAW:  ISRAEL’S  OCCUPATION  POLICY
Peter Maurer
International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 94, no. 888, Dec. 2012, pp. 1503-1510.
[. . . .] without respecting the basic tenets of international humanitarian law (IHL) in these testing times, it is most unlikely that the various communities will find their way toward reconciliation or be prepared to share the burden of a just peace after decades of conflict. Considering that the customary core of that law is older than the state- based system itself, the specific nature and extraordinary significance of IHL in today’s armed conflicts provide a legitimacy beyond the current international system. Far from being outdated, humanitarian law is very much a contemporary and future-oriented body of law.
___ While respect for IHL is a crucial element of the protection of victims    of armed conflict, and ultimately of fostering stability in such contexts, a critical analysis of the policies underpinning the status quo in conflict-affected states is also indispensable.
___Turning secifically to the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the particular challenges facing humanitarian action there cannot be tackled without an honest look at certain Israeli policies that have become key features of the occupation.
___Israel has exercised ‘actual authority’1 over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for almost half a century, making its presence in these areas one of the longest sustained military occupations in modern history. . . .       MORE . . .  
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  IS  ANTISEMITISM?      
Counterpunch  
Michael Neumann
June 4, 2002
[. . . .] Israel is building a racial state, not a religious one. Like my parents, I have always been an atheist. I am entitled by the biology of my birth to Israeli citizenship; you, perhaps, are the most fervent believer in Judaism, but are not. Palestinians are being squeezed and killed for me, not for you. They are to be forced into Jordan, to perish in a civil war. So no, shooting Palestinian civilians is not like shooting Vietnamese or Chechen civilians. The Palestinians aren’t ‘collateral damage’ in a war against well-armed communist or separatist forces. They are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die, so people with one Jewish grandparent can build subdivisions on the rubble of their homes. This is not the bloody mistake of a blundering superpower but an emerging evil, the deliberate strategy of a state conceived in and dedicated to an increasingly vicious ethnic nationalism.     MORE . . . 

“AFTER  THE  JUNE  AGGRESSION,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
What did you hide
for to-morrow
You shed my blood
and dimmed the light
of my eyes
You silenced my pen
and usurped the right
of peaceful men
who did not sin

What did you hide
for to-morrow
you rent my flag
and opened wounds
in my skin
You stabbed my dreams
What did you hide?

We’re deeper than the sea
and taller than the stars
Our breath is long
longer than space

Which mother, I wonder
bequeathed you half the Canal
Which mother bequeathed you the Jordan Bank
the sand, petroleum, and the Heights
He who forcibly takes a right
must guard his own
When the balance shifts

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.
About Tawfiq Zayyad

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