“. . . Have years of suffering . . . led to this? . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ 5 Palestinians shot, injured in the legs during clashes in Ramallah-area village

  • Background: “The Impact of Occupation on Israeli Democracy.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) 2 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces undergo surgery, 1 in critical condition
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Four Children injured After Being Struck By An Israeli Colonist’s Car In Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s culture of impunity in full view of the world
❷ Behind the headlines in Jerusalem: Recent al-Aqsa clashes are a result of Israel’s long-standing plans to expand control over Jerusalem.
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
5  PALESTINIANS  SHOT,  INJURED  IN  THE  LEGS  DURING  CLASHES  IN  RAMALLAH-AREA  VILLAGE  
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 11, 2017.  Five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes that erupted Thursday evening in the Beit Rima town in northern Ramallah between Palestinian youths and Israeli undercover forces that raided a house in the town, according to official Palestinian sources.
___Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at youths that surrounded the undercover forces as they were raiding a house in the area.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes in Beit Rima, which is located in the central occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .

Schnell, Izhak. “THE  IMPACT  OF  OCCUPATION  ON  ISRAELI  DEMOCRACY.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture,
vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 18-25.
Military control of large numbers of people who are denied basic human rights and the right for national self-determination cannot be aligned with democratic values. International law legitimizes such situations in occupied territories but only for a limited time and under strict regulations that do not allow putting the occupied people’s interests at risk except for security reasons of both the occupiers and the occupied. . . .
___We have identified five main processes of deterioration in Israeli democracy: first, intensive use of propaganda in order to adopt a blind and a narrow definition of national patriotism; second, the loss of consensus concerning the balance between the Jewish and the democratic characteristics of the state; third, a weakening of the authority of law; fourth, the involvement of the military in politics; and fifth, the undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court.
[. . . .] In its struggle for hegemony, the new elite increasingly applied propaganda techniques that played on the deep fears of the public in order to promote an uncritical and narrow definition of Israeli identity.  . . . the one-sided historical “truth” of the neo-Zionist narrative infiltrated into the established Israeli discourse. Statements like those of . . .  former military generals like Uzi Dayan, who repeatedly say that they care about the interests of Israel and not the Palestinians . . .  helped establish a blind uncritical patriotism. Increasingly, the Bible was introduced as the ultimate justification to our attachment to the land and our identity as Jews and heavenly promise became the ultimate justification for our sole ownership of the land with disregard to the rights of Palestinians who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.
[. . . .] The vicious circle of violence between the occupier and the occupied only increases mistrust and dehumanization of the other. In such a milieu children grow up with a mistrust of foreigners, which may lead to hatred and racism. This mindset is amplified by the fortification of space by fences, walls and guards. Under such a regime the discourse of human rights developed in Western culture could not be adopted by Israelis who support the occupation, thus increasing Western countries’ criticism of Israel and the perception among right-wing Israelis of a nation under siege that, as a consequence, is allowed to use any and all means for its survival.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES  UNDERGO  SURGERY,  1  IN  CRITICAL  CONDITION 
Ma’an News Agency.
Aug. 10, 2017.   Two injured Palestinian detainees, who were detained on Wednesday after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during a raid on the Bethlehem-area al-Duheisha refugee camp, have undergone surgery and are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Karim Ajwa released a statement on Thursday after visiting the two injured Palestinians, Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi, who are being held in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.
[. . . .] Ajwa added that a court session is expected to be held on Thursday to extend the detention of the two, who were detained during a predawn raid on the camp, located in the southern occupied West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) FOUR  CHILDREN  INJURED  AFTER  BEING  STRUCK  BY  AN  ISRAELI  COLONIST’S  CAR  IN  SILWAN  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC     
Aug. 11, 2017.   Palestinian medical sources have reported that four children were injured, Thursday, after being rammed by a speeding Israeli colonist’s car, in the al-‘Ein Street, in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The sources said the four children suffered various cuts and bruises, before an Israeli ambulance moved them to Hadassah Medical Center.
___Two of the wounded children have been identified as Hamza Abu Sbeih and his brother Amir.
___Eyewitnesses said the colonist deliberately rammed the children with his car as they were walking along the sidewalk . . .   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) ISRAEL’S  CULTURE  OF  IMPUNITY  IN  FULL  VIEW  OF  THE  WORLD
Ma’an News Agency 
April 12, 2016.  “Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric,’ ‘bestial,’ who should not be perceived as people.
[. . . .] The vast majority of Israelis, 68 percent, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .] The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.   MORE . . .
See post of July 8, 2017 for further discussion of “culture of impunity.”
❷ BEHIND  THE  HEADLINES  IN  JERUSALEM:  RECENT  AL-AQSA  CLASHES  ARE  A  RESULT  OF  ISRAEL’S  LONG-STANDING  PLANS  TO  EXPAND  CONTROL  OVER  JERUSALEM.
Al Jazeera English    
By Nur Arafeh
Aug. 11, 2017.   Jerusalem has been in the spotlight again recently as tensions reached the boiling point after the mid-July attack on Israeli forces in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Despite the apparent resolution of the immediate crisis owing to mass Palestinian civil disobedience, which forced Israel to reverse its attempt to change the status quo that has been in place since 1967 at the historic Noble Sanctuary mosque complex, the underlying issues remain in place.
___Media coverage of Jerusalem has tended to focus on clashes as and when they erupt, and to frame these as the harbingers of an emerging “religious war”. However, this approach fails to address the history of and context in which such clashes unfold, and the explicit aims of the Israeli government.   MORE . . .

(After occupying Gaza in 1967, the Israelis searched houses and forced men and women to stand next to walls with arms raised. Often they shot at them. The poet had this experience.)

“RAISE  YOUR  ARMS,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHID
――Raise your arms . . .
they aimed their guns at me . . .
――Raise your arms . . .

I stood, my eyes flaming
and scorching with anger
as an insistent film of events
assailed me.
Can defiled cities be
the outcome of our struggle?
Have years of suffering,
long days of vigilance
in trenches, on hills
and in tattered tents
led to this?

The world blackened in my eyes
my hands on the wall
as guns were pointing at me
I wished the wall would fall on my head
My comrades and I waited
for their bullets,
for their bullets

They walked away, and the wall
remained, gazing back at us
waiting for a fiery volcano, for the flames.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID (born in Gaza, 1927)
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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