“. . . when we can run in the streets without anyone pronouncing us crazy . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ UN expresses ‘deep concern’ over ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims
❷ Greek Orthodox patriarch says Israeli court ruling on church property politically motivated

  • Background: “Surviving Jerusalem: Fifty Years of Neglect and Daily Suffering Just to Remain.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU calls on Israel to reconsider eviction of Shamasneh family in Sheikh Jarrah
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ UN  EXPRESSES  ‘DEEP  CONCERN’  OVER  EVER-WORSENING  HUMANITARIAN  CRISIS  IN  GAZA  
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 12, 2017.   The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office (OHCHR) expressed “deep concern” on Friday over the ever-deteriorating situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, three months after the electricity supply was severely cut by Israel at the behest of the PA.
___In May, the Fatah-led PA decided to slash funding for Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave, as Israeli authorities acceded to PA demands to dramatically reduce its electricity supply to Gaza, which was already reeling from lack of adequate access to electricity and fuel.
___The PA was accused of carrying out “collective punishment” on Palestinians living in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, which had already been embroiled in a dire electricity crisis that was only worsened by increasing punitive measures by Israel and the PA.
[. . . .] “This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services,” Shamdasani said, adding that the large-scale power cuts were a life-threatening risk for vulnerable residents of the coastal enclave. “Israel, the State of Palestine, and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza.”    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) DEBUNKING  ISRAEL’S  UN-BIAS  CLAIMS
Al Jazeera English 
August 13, 2017.   Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.
[. . . .] . . .analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.
[. . . .] While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.
___ In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity [saw] just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.
[. . . .]  It is a different story, however, elsewhere within the UN, where Israel faces frequent condemnation for its actions through bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
[. . . .] “But this must be viewed in the context of the UN political organs as a whole,” [John Dugard, the UN’s former special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories] added. “The Security Council and Quartet on the Middle East [UN, European Union, United States and Russia] are notoriously pro-Israel and refuse to pay adequate attention to Palestinian issues.”     MORE . . .
❷ GREEK  ORTHODOX  PATRIARCH  SAYS  ISRAELI  COURT  RULING  ON  CHURCH  PROPERTY  POLITICALLY  MOTIVATED  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
August 13, 2017.   Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said Sunday that a two-week old Israeli District Court ruling upholding a 99-year lease of church property in Jerusalem’s Old City to Jewish settler organizations is politically motivated.
___Theophilos said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital Amman that this legal battle, which has been going on for a decade, has resulted in an unjust decision that has ignored very clear legal evidence presented by the church, which made it clear that it was done in “bad faith, bribery and conspiracy” for the benefit of the group of settlers from Ateret Cohanim.
[. . . .] The Greek Orthodox patriarch said his church is going to appeal the District Court’s ruling, which he said will have a grave negative impact on Christian presence in the Holy Land, at the Israeli Supreme Court.   MORE . . .

Abu Ghoush, Amaal.
“SURVIVING  JERUSALEM:  FIFTY  YEARS  OF  NEGLECT  AND  DAILY  SUFFERING  JUST  TO  REMAIN.”
Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 6-11.
No one can imagine when first looking at Jerusalem, with the light rail, the clean paved roads, the old and new buildings, that just a few blocks away from the European-like main streets, there are Palestinian neighborhoods that look like slums, and not because the buildings are poorly constructed, on the contrary. More than 37% of Jerusalem s population are Palestinian residents who are living in East Jerusalem neighborhoods that lack basic services, adequate roads and safe sidewalks — when and if they exist.
___East Jerusalem, which is 70 square kilometers, compromises 56% of all Jerusalem, including the Old City. Palestinian Jerusalemites, or “Arabs,” according to the 2106 Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research statistical yearbook, make up 37.2% of Jerusalem residents. They live on just 13% of the land that was annexed in 1967. One-third of the annexed land, or about 34% of it, has been turned into Israeli settlements, while the rest is land Palestinian East Jerusalemites cannot develop because it is designated as an open space or a green area.
[. . . .]  East Jerusalemites see that Israeli settlements are built on their lands. The settlers receive better services and infrastructure by far, while it takes the Palestinians ages to get a permit to build one house to live in with their family or for their married children on land they own. And many times they try to get a permit and do not succeed. At the same time, huge settlements are built quickly. Infrastructure, roads and other services are provided — with long-time residents’ tax money — quickly and smoothly for settlers who just immigrated from outside.
[. . . .] Fifty years of neglect and no-planning has turned our Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem into places we do not approve of, but it has also turned us into people who are so worried about our survival and well-being that we no longer work together. We complain to one another about the situation, and we demand services and better conditions, but not in the right places nor in the right ways for our demands to be heard. We wait for the Jerusalem Municipality to solve our problems, knowing that it will not do anything unless it is forced to. . . .  Recently, with the support of Palestinian and international organizations, some neighborhoods have started working collectively to prepare plans which will eventually legalize their homes. But more importantly, they are beginning to understand that through pursuing the collective interest, individual interests are achieved as well and the impact will be stronger.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) EU  CALLS  ON  ISRAEL  TO  RECONSIDER  EVICTION  OF  SHAMASNEH  FAMILY  IN  SHEIKH  JARRAH  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
August 13, 2017.   The European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed concern at the imminent threat of eviction by Israeli authorities of the Shamasneh family from their home in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
___In a statement Sunday, EU missions called on the Israeli authorities to reconsider the decision, saying, “The eviction, of carried out, would be the first in the area since 2009. Further settlement plans including evictions are being moved forward in Sheikh Jarrah.”
___The Shamasneh family is one of at least 180 households in East-Jerusalem, mainly in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the Old City and Beit Safafa, facing the threat of eviction from their homes.   MORE . . .

“BEGINNINGS,” BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
When all the bids in the world flap their wings in unison
as one  body, when the waters of springs and mountain streams
gather in a dusty palm,
when a human being runs
and trees and the hidden future follow him,
when the world become simple
and I can climb onto a table in the office of the daily news
and speak of your love to the elegant shuttered windows,
to the good and bad paintings on the walls,
when I am able to freely place a gentle kiss
on your cheek in public,
when I am able to return with you after midnight
without a police patrol desecrating our bodies
in search of a confession,
when we can run in the streets
without anyone pronouncing us crazy,
when I am able to sing
and share a stranger’s umbrella
and when she in turn may share my loaf of bread,
when you are able to say I love you
without fear of death or imprisonment
and I can open a window in the morning
without being silenced by a bullet,
when I am able to grow older
and the trees are added to your attire
and we can count the drops of rain on each other’s faces
and sing and love free of weapons,
raids. Chronic fear, and disappearances –
another world will begin,
a new homeland will have been readied.
But for now we announce a new beginning with our death,
a new beginning of love.

About Ibrahim Nasrallah.
From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Barnes and Noble

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