“. . . The windows of the sky closed, And the city held its breath . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

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Demolished home in Shuafat neighborhood, East Jerusalem (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

❶ Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian-owned building in Issawiya

  • Background: “Whose Place? Emplaced Narratives and the Politics of Belonging in East Jerusalem’s Contested Neighbourhood of Silwan.” Space & Polity.

❷ EU Condemns Israel’s Illegal Settlement Plans
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) “The [Italian] Foreign Ministry expresses concern for the recent advancement in the plan to build new housing units in East Jerusalem.”
❸ PHOTO ESSAY: How Israel’s wall keeps Palestinian farmers off their land
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  PALESTINIAN-OWNED  BUILDING  IN  ISSAWIYA 
Ma’an News Agency 
July 11, 2017.   Israeli forces demolished a four-story, under-construction building in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Tuesday morning, despite its Palestinian landowner having a schedule meeting with Israeli authorities to postpone the demolition.
___Owner of the building Hanan Mahmoud told Ma’an that she and her family were caught by surprise when four bulldozers escorted by armed Israeli forces stormed the area at around 4 a.m. and began razing the building to the ground.
___Construction of the four-floor building — comprised of six apartments, with the ground floor planned to be used as shops — started about a year ago.   MORE . . .

[Blogger’s note: This article is complex but quite accessible to the lay person. It is a thorough and fascinating study of the conflicting claims to “ownership” of Jerusalem.]

Mannergren Selimovic, Johanna and Lisa Strömbom. “WHOSE  PLACE?  EMPLACED  NARRATIVES  AND  THE  POLITICS  OF  BELONGING  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM’S  CONTESTED  NEIGHBOURHOOD  OF  SILWAN.”  Space & Polity, vol. 19, no. 2, Aug. 2015, pp. 191-205.
[. . . .] . . .  a close reading of the neighbourhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. This dense, urban area is a highly tangible place where several spatial and narrative practices collide in many regards epitomizing the larger Israeli–Palestinian conflict. . . interrelatedness of narratives and material structure . . . places as physical sites are embedded in and based on collective memories and metanarratives of societies. The neighbourhood of Silwan has been partly appropriated by an archaeological excavation site, which is managed and controlled by the Jewish settler organization Elad and sanctioned by the Israeli state. Elad’s stated aim is to increase the Jewish connections to Jerusalem . . .  The organization uses the archaeological findings to support a coherent historical narrative that underpins the Israeli autochthonous [“Originating where found; found where it originates”] claim of “having been here first”. In addition to the excavation site and its concomitant tourist centre, this narrative is materialized through about 40 Jewish microsettlements in Silwan . . .  Palestinian inhabitants strongly protest the development of the archaeological site and the Jewish settlements, as it has brought demolitions of homes and of shared urban spaces. They challenge the autochthonous claims of Elad through the Palestinian nationalist narrative of authentic belonging, centred around the principle of “Sumud”, which refers to the political project of “steadfastness” or “clinging to one’s land”. In opposition to these two claims of belonging, a counternarrative . . .  visualizes a fluid and fragmented past and attempts to fill the place of Silwan/City of David with an alternative material and symbolic meaning of inclusion. This counternarrative is articulated by critical archaeologists as well as parts of Israeli civil society that challenge Elad’s claims to the place in particular, and the Israeli heritage “industry” in general.   SOURCE . . .

❷ EU  CONDEMNS  ISRAEL’S  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT  PLANS   
The Palestine Chronicle  
July 7, 2017.    The European Union (EU) condemned Israel’s plans to advance some 1,500 new illegal settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem in a statement released Friday, which said the plans “undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”
___The spokesperson for the EU reiterated that Israel’s settlement policy was illegal under international law, adding that the move would “undermine” the two-state solution and the “prospect for lasting peace.”
___Israeli NGO Peace Now reported on Monday that Israeli authorities were planning to discuss the advancement of nearly 1,800 housing units for illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) “THE  [ITALIAN]  FOREIGN  MINISTRY  EXPRESSES  CONCERN  FOR  THE  RECENT  ADVANCEMENT  IN  THE  PLAN  TO  BUILD  NEW  HOUSING  UNITS  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
July 11, 2017.   MORE . . .

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Construction of Apartheid Wall extension through farmland at Cremisan – note the diminutive workman standing to the right of the wall. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 10, 2015)

❸ PHOTO  ESSAY:  HOW  ISRAEL’S  WALL  KEEPS  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  OFF  THEIR  LAND
+972 Magazine/Activestills.org   
Ahmad Al-Bazz and Haidi Motola
July 11, 2017.   Approximately 100 Palestinian farmers protested on Sunday morning in front of an Israeli military gate in the northern West Bank, calling on the army to ease restrictions on their daily journey through the gate, which separates them from their land.
___Joined by some 10 anti-occupation Israeli activists and several international human rights observers, the farmers refused to cross through Military Gate 623, part of Israel’s separation barrier, instead calling on the army to renew expired entry permits for their family members, to issue permits for their workers, and to open the gate earlier than 7 a.m. on a daily basis, due to the recent heatwave.     MORE . . .

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

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