“. . . We have buried our loved ones in the darkness of the clouds . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

Sanctuary of Abraham or Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron; staircase representing how teachers spread the word of the Prophet Muhammad. Rare original from the 11th century made of inlaid wood and no nails. (Photo: Rick Steves Blog)

❶ Netanyahu OKs UN funding cuts, creation of settlement museum over UNESCO vote
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Analysis/Opinion. There’s nothing anti-Semitic about UNESCO’s Hebron vote
❷ South Africa ruling party votes to downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel
❸ Dutch gov’t condemns Israeli confiscation of donated solar panels
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency        
July 9, 2017.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed during a security cabinet meeting on Sunday his decision to withhold a further $1 million in Israel’s membership dues to the United Nations and invest this money in a settlement museum, in protest of a recent UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) vote to inscribe Hebron’s Old City and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank on the World Heritage in Danger list.
___Friday’s resolution, filed by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, the Hebron municipality, and the Hebron rehabilitation committee, argued that Hebron’s Old City urgently needed protection from Israeli violations in the area that harmed the exceptional international value of the site.
___Friday’s vote asserted that Hebron’s Old City and the mosque would be registered in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. . .      MORE . . .
+972 Magazine
Orly Noy
July 9, 2017.   UNESCO’s resolution to recognize the Tomb of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Tomb and Hebron’s Old City as Palestinian World Heritage Sites brought on, as expected, knee-jerk cries of anti-Semitism by Israeli politicians. . .   Even Labor’s Merav Michaeli, known for her dovish views, called the resolution “insane.”
___. . . As opposed to what Israel is attempting to portray, UNESCO does not comment on the religious aspects of heritage sites, or to whom they are or are not considered holy. . .   UNESCO deals with two questions: whether a site is worth being included in the list of World Heritage Site, and which national entity it falls under.
___As Yonathan Mizrahi wrote last week, since UNESCO recognized Palestine as a state in 2011, the Palestinians have had the opportunity to submit nominations for World Heritage Sites. The fact that the Tomb of the Patriarchs should be included in that list is undisputed. Even Israel doesn’t dispute that fact.
___What UNESCO has established, however, is that the Tomb of the Patriarchs is located in Palestine. That’s it. In no way does the resolution deny the Jewish connection to Hebron or the Tomb of the Patriarchs — on the contrary. In fact, every time a resolution about Hebron comes up, it uses the city’s Hebrew name before its Arabic name (“Al-Khalil”), and recognizes the fact that the city is holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Palestinian resolution openly states this fact.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 5, 2017.   The African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party of South Africa, voted on Tuesday in favor of downgrading South Africa’s diplomatic representation in Israel in protest of the occupation.
___The decision, made during ANC’s National Policy Conference, was hailed as a “major victory for human rights and for the people of Palestine,” according to a statement released by the Western Cape branch of the ANC on Wednesday.
___The Oliver Tambo Resolution — named after the prominent anti-apartheid figure who served as president of the ANC between 1967 and 1991 — states that the aim of downgrading South Africa’s embassy to Israel was to “send a strong message about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and the continued human rights abuses against the peoples of Palestine.”   MORE . . .

Solar panels in Palestinian village of Jibbet Addeeb’s hybrid power system stolen by Israeli Occupation Forces (Photo: Palestine News Network, July 5, 2017)

Palestine News Network – PNN      
July 5, 2017.   The Dutch government has lodged a protest with Israel over the confiscation of equipment donated to the Palestinian village of Jibbet Addeeb’s hybrid power system (diesel and solar powered), according to a written statement of the Dutch foreign ministry, sent to Haaretz by the Netherlands’ office in Ramallah.
___The Dutch government donated 500,000 euros to the electrification project south west of Bethlehem in the West Bank, 350 thousand euro of which went to the electrification of Jibbet Addeeb. The Dutch Foreign ministry had requested Israel return the equipment and is “currently assessing what next steps can be taken,” it said.
___A source close to Dutch diplomats in the West Bank told Haaretz that these softly worded statements cover the anger brewing in the government of the Netherlands, a close friend of Israel’s, at the damage to the humanitarian project.   MORE . . .


We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if traveling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
distance and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak Speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak Speak so we may know the end of this travel.

Mahmoud Darwish.
From VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY.  Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books, 2008. Available from Goodreads.

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