“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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A general view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

❶ Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

  • Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ NETANYAHU  VOWS  TO  OCCUPY  THE  WEST  BANK  FOREVER   
+972 Online Magazine      
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017         Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever.      __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .]  . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage.    MORE . . .

Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that]  the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . .  our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .]  . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . .  In my view, it should . . .  replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . .  etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo.      SOURCE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) JAPAN  DEPLORES  ADVANCING  PLANS  OF  SETTLEMENTS  CONSTRUCTION  IN  WEST  BANK 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 12, 2017         The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities.     MORE . . .

Settlement_israel_260810
The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.

❷ ISRAEL’S  RENEWAL  OF  LAW  RESTRICTING  FAMILY  UNIFICATION  CONDEMNED  AS  ‘APARTHEID’  
Ma’an News Agency 
June 13, 2017         Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.        MORE . . . 
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) RIGHTS  GROUPS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL’S  LETHAL  USE  OF  FORCE   AGAINST  PALESTINIAN  PROTESTERS    
Ma’an News Agency  
June 13, 2017          Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh.       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.

 

4 thoughts on ““. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

  1. Hi Harold. I enjoy reading your posts. One thing, though: I am pretty sure that Rawabi is a new Palestinian town, not an Israeli settlement. You might want to check that and make a correction.

    Best regards, Marcello

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

    • No worries. Rawabi is an interesting and multi-faceted topic in itself. A few years ago, a Palestinian friend said of the project: “The Israelis love it. Now we are building settlements just like them.”

      Like

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