“. . . No stone to bear their names . . .” (Samih Al Qasim)

❶ Commemorating 61th anniversary of Kafr Qasim Massacre

  • Background: “I was in a war, and in a war things like that happen”: On judgments and ethical investigations in Israeli law and literature.” Jewish Social Studies.

❷ Israeli settlers fire at Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yatta
❸ PPS: Israeli Soldiers Abduct 25 Palestinians In The West Bank
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 30, 2017 ― On 29 October 1956, Israeli border police carried out a massacre in the Palestinian village of Kafr Qassem, situated on the Palestinian occupied territories at that time of the de facto border between Israeli occupation and the Jordanian West Bank.
[. . . .] [A]s farmers came back from their fields and workers from the workshops, the soldiers gathered them in small groups on the entrance to the village. Then the officer ordered to “mow them down” and they were shot dead, their bodies piled in heaps at the side of the road. Fourty-nine people were killed in cold blood without any provocation, for violating a curfew order that they were not aware of. Twelve of the martyrs were women and girls, 17 children, the youngest of them only 7 years old.
[. . . .] The massacre of Kafr Qasim was not an isolated incident. It was intentionally planned by elements in the Israeli occupation army command as part of a much bigger plan to complete the ethnic cleansing of 1948.     MORE . . .

Keydar, Renana.
Jewish Social Studies, vol. 18, no. 3, Spring/Summer2012, pp. 212-224.
On April 9, 1948 . . .  the Israeli paramilitary organizations Lehi and Etsel attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin . . . [resulting] in many civilian casualties, with accounts estimating the death toll to be more than one hundred, many of them women, children, and the elderly. . .  The Deir Yassin attack was immediately denounced as a massacre by various parties, including the Jewish-Israeli leadership. The attack on Deir Yassin remains at the heart of historical and political debate. . .
“___ It is beyond debate that in the dominant and pervasive Israeli narrative of 1948, as it was determined in the official account and as it was disseminated later on by the educational and communication systems, . . . the uprooting of the Palestinians and the destruction of their society is not discussed and is not even mentioned as an important aspect of the war or as one of the consequential outcomes of it.” [Uri Ram, “Ways of Forgetting: Israel and the Obliterated Memory of the Palestinian Nakba.” Journal of Historical Sociology 22, no. 3 (2009): 366-9.]   
[. . . .] Eight years after the events of Deir Yassin, news reached the public of another traumatic event involving extreme and morally questionable violence against civilians by Israeli soldiers: the Kefar Kassem [KAFR QASIM] massacre. On October 29, 1956, the eve of the Sinai War, a battalion of Israeli border police was ordered to enforce an unusually early curfew . . .  The battalion commander . . .  instructed his soldiers to kill anyone found outside his or her house in violation of the curfew. The order was given despite the fact that many villagers who worked outside the village could not know about the new curfew. In one of the villages, Kefar Kassem . . .  more than 40 villagers were shot and killed by the soldiers, among them women and children as young as eight years of age.
[. . . .] One crucial distinction between the two events—Deir Yassin and Kefar Kassem—lies in the fact that . . .   the soldiers involved in the Kefar Kassem massacre were brought to trial and eight soldiers from the border-police unit were found guilty of murder as a result of obeying a manifestly illegal order.    SOURCE . . .     …

(Photo: “Kafr Qasim,” Donia Al Watan, Blog, Oct. 31, 2016)

Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 30, 2017 ― Israeli settlers fired at Palestinian farmers in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron. The coordinator of the Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, Rateb Jabbour, told the official News agency, Wafa, that the Israeli settlers from the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’on fired at the Palestinian farmers while they were harvesting their olive trees in ​​Al-Hamra area near at-Tawani village next to the settlement.
___Jabbour pointed out that a state of panic and fear hit the Palestinian farmers, but no injuries were reported.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
Oct. 30, 2017 ― The Palestinians Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Monday, twenty-three Palestinians, including one woman, after invading and violently searching their homes, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
___ The PPS office in Tulkarem governorate, in northern West Bank . . .
___In Jenin governorate, in northern West Bank . . .
___In Nablus, also in northern West Bank . . .
___In Salfit, in northeastern West Bank . . .
___In Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted a woman . . .
___In Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank . . .
___In Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank . . .   MORE . . .

There is no monument, no rose, no memorial―
neither a line of poetry to delight the murdered
nor any curtain for the unveiling.
There is no blood-stained shred
of a shirt our upright brothers wore.
No stone to bear their names.
Nothing. Only the shame.

Their spirits are hovering still,
digging graves in the rubble of Kafr Qasim.

(A different publication of the poem includes the sentence, “The last eight lines of this poem were deleted by a decision of the [Israeli] censor.”)

Samih Al-Qasim
. . .
From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Barnes and Noble

“. . . are Palestinians any different from other refugees . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Racist proposal to ban non-Jews from election to Israeli parliament

  • Background: “Trumpian Ethics and the Rule of Law.” Creighton Law Review.

❷ Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from accessing their lands to pick olives
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers steal olive harvest near Qalqilia
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home in Hebron with rocks, stun grenades
❸ FIFA gives green light to Israeli settlement clubs
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine 
Oct 28 2017 ― The ruling Israeli coalition may propose a bill in the Israeli Knesset that blocks non-Jews from being elected to the parliament, Israeli media reported on Friday.
___The bill would apparently prevent intervention by the Supreme Court in decisions taken by the Israeli Central Elections Committee; it is the latter which would then have sole responsibility for blocking non-Jewish candidates.
___“This bill aims to return the authority and power to the Elections Committee by preventing appeals against its decision,” said its proposer, Oded Forer MK of the extreme right-ring Jewish Home party. “The Knesset has become a place for terrorists and their supporters [sic] to sit in without fear.”
___This was a reference to MKs Basel Ghattas – who is now in prison – and the head of the Arab Joint-list Ayman Odeh. At least 20 per cent of Israel’s population are non-Jews; if such a bill became law it would confirm the apartheid nature of the Israeli state.   MORE . . .   ..    From ISRAELI NEWSPAPER

McKay, John.
CREIGHTON LAW REVIEW, vol. 50, no. 4, Sept. 2017, pp. 781-799.
[. . . .] The biggest obstacle to peace in the region is the unfettered building of settlements by Israel in occupied Palestinian lands. Almost everywhere you travel in the West Bank, when you look up to the hills, you will see an Israeli settlement, illegal in every way under international law. And they are building all the time. . . THE  PALESTINIANS  INSIST  ON  A  RIGHT  OF  RETURN,  AND  TO  THEM—SOME  OF  THEM—THAT  MEANS  THEY  WANT  THE  OLIVE  GROVES  OF  THEIR  GRANDPARENTS  THAT  ARE  NOW  PART  OF  THE  STATE  OF  ISRAEL. This is not a reasonable starting point for peace negotiations on the part of the Palestinians. The Israelis will not stop building settlements and have no observable way to roll back those heavily armed settlers who now number well over half a million living inside the West Bank—a land to which they have absolutely no claim under law.
[. . . .] But for peace to come about, Israel must eventually end its use of military laws of occupation. . .   the only way out is to roll back the occupation, to roll back the laws that governments give themselves when peace is threatened from within. . .
[. . . .] With this impending disaster for the Jewish State of Israel, we would likely be looking at the beginning of an almost direct parallel to South Africa and its discredited policy of apartheid. Some argue that Israel has already created such a policy, in fact.
___There are now approximately 625,000 Israeli Jews living in the West Bank in over one hundred settlements. I have no idea how this can ever be rolled back if there is to be a peace. But to look at the reality on the ground, these are all fortified mini-cities. As I personally observed, every one of them has an Israeli defense garrison close by. All are walled, all are surrounded by barbed wire, and the citizens are armed. On one occasion, I attended a barbeque in an Arab village, above which there was an Israeli settlement. There was a swimming hole, and I, of course, invited the settlers to come and eat with us, which they refused to do. But as they turned away, I could see tucked into the back of their bathing suits that each had a nine-millimeter pistol. It was not only the soldiers who carried weapons; even the Israeli settlers were heavily, heavily armed in every possible way.   FULL ARTICLE.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday reportedly prevented Palestinian farmers in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah from reaching their land to pick olives, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.
___WAFA reported that Palestinians from the village of Nilin were stopped by Israelis forces on their way to pick olives on their farm lands, located on the Israeli side of the separation wall, which runs through the farmers’ lands.
___The farmers, according to Wafa, had permits from Israeli authorities to enter the area, but were denied anyway.
[. . . .] Palestinians living in the areas where Israel’s separation wall cut off their lands, are required to obtain entry permits, and cannot enter their lands for any purpose other than work or residence.    MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  SETTLERS  STEAL  OLIVE  HARVEST  NEAR  QALQILIA            Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Israeli settlers stole the olive harvest from Palestinian-owned land in the villages of Jitt, east of Qalqilya, Sunday said one of the land owners.
___Omar Yameen told WAFA that landowners from the village discovered when they reached their land adjacent to the illegal settlement of Kedumim that the olive crops have been harvested and many fully grown trees were damaged and dry after being sprayed with toxic chemicals.
___The owner said he also discovered sewage water being pumped from a settler’s mobile home into his land.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 29, 2017 ― Dozens of Israeli settlers reportedly attacked a Palestinian home in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, according to local sources.
___Local activist Jamal Iseifan told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement attacked a house belonging to Kayid Mansour al-Jaabari, under the protection of armed Israeli forces.
___Iseifan said that Israeli settlers threw rocks and stun grenades at the house and al-Jaabari’s family, adding that Hebron has seen a rise in attacks on Palestinian houses near the Kiryat Arba settlement, that exists in contravention of international law.   MORE . . .
The Electronic Intifada
By Maureen Clare Murphy
Oct. 28, 2017 ― The world football governing body FIFA stated on Friday that it would not sanction or take other measures against clubs located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
___“Today the FIFA Council shredded the organization’s statutes and declared itself a complicit organization that welcomes Israel’s illegal settlement clubs,” Stephanie Adam of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel stated.
___“FIFA is intent on providing material support for Israel’s violations of international law amounting to war crimes against one of its own member associations,” Adam added, referring to the Palestinian Football Association.
___In its statement the FIFA Council did not address Israeli rights violations and instead referred to a “current situation … characterized by an exceptional complexity and sensitivity and by certain de facto circumstances that can neither be ignored nor changed unilaterally by nongovernmental organizations such as FIFA.”   MORE . . . 

what is the first thing that comes to mind
when you hear of refugees?
what terror drove them out of their homes?
are they getting help?
what is being done for their safe return?

are Palestinians any different from other refugees?
is it not their simple right
to return to the land they were driven from?

why are they being asked to settle
for money?
who designated the Palestinians as the chosen people
to carry the cross for a guilt-ridden West?
why do politicians tell them
too much time has passed
when their grievance
is with people who went back after 2000 years?
between continued warfare and annihilation
coexistence beckons
as the only

time for peace

Jundi’s coming-of-age story is chronicled in the illuminating book, The Hour of Sunlight, co-authored with his friend, former colleague and author/documentary filmmaker/playwright Jen Marlowe. . . Jundi’s life is a tale of dislocation, of yearning, of delight in the details and a reverence for the written word. The son of refugees from both Deir Yassin and Zakarriya, Jundi was raised in the Old City of Jerusalem by two blind parents—a unique experience by any measure—and became a refugee at a young age. . . .    MORE . . .
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 Barnes and Noble.

“. . . How is the message to reach you, Deaf Washington . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

[NOTE: This post contains more about the U.S. than usual, but the President’s appointment is a dangerous sign for U.S.-Palestinian relations in general.]

❶ Israeli forces attack olive harvesters, supporters in village near Nablus
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian olive harvest season disrupted by Israeli settler violence – report
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) From Whom Is the IDF Protecting Palestinian Farmers?

  • Background: “Academic Freedom, Ideological Boundaries, and the Teaching of the Middle East [In the United States].” Arab Studies Quarterly.

❷ Trump taps head of anti-Palestinian group as top civil rights enforcer
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Over 100 faculty oppose nomination of Kenneth Marcus to head Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
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Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 28, 2017 – Israeli forces attacked on Saturday Palestinian farmers and supporters as they harvesting olives in the Nablus area village of al-Sawiyeh, according to Ghassan Daghlas, a local official.
___He told WAFA that the soldiers assaulted a Palestinian woman volunteer and an international solidarity member as they helping the farmers harvest olives in village land located near the settlement of Eli, south of Nablus.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 28, 2017 ― Olive harvest in the period between 10 to 23 October in a number of hotspots across the West Bank was disrupted by Israeli settler violence, which resulted in the physical assault and injury of two farmers, damage to 550 trees, and the theft of several tons of produce, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of  Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories said on Friday.
___In its biweekly report on Protection of Civilians in the occupied territories, OCHA said all but one of the nine documented incidents of settler violence against Palestinian olive harvesters took place in areas in the vicinity of settlements, where Palestinian access is restricted by the Israeli authorities.   MORE . . .
+972 Magazine (Blog)
By Yael Marom
Oct. 25, 2017 ― The Israeli military wants you to believe that it alone is responsible for  ensuring that Palestinians can harvest their olive trees in peace. A new video, published on the Facebook page of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) . . .  shows how COGAT, in its words, is “ensuring that Palestinian residents can harvest until the last olive this harvest season in Hebron.”
___The video shows a farmer from Hebron who describes how secure he feels while harvesting his 90 olive trees because of the Israeli soldiers sent by COGAT to protect him. According to Hebron District Coordination Liaison Safa Izz al-Din, the harvest season “continues without problems.”
___COGAT officials may be carrying out their respective roles, coordinating between farmers and security forces in order to allow them to work their land, but . . . Why do Palestinian farmers need protection in the first place? And from whom?    MORE . . .

Ismael, Tareq.
ARAB STUDIES QUARTERLY, vol. 33, no. 3/4, Summer/Fall2011, pp. 125-130.
[. . . .] Attacks on [U.S.] scholars engaged in research on the Middle East are extensive and unrelenting. In ideological terms, the field of Middle East Studies has been labeled a failure . . .  and its preeminent [U. S.] organization, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), has been branded as inordinately Arab in its composition and ideological/intellectual “character.” Chiefly, it has been argued that the field of Middle East Studies and its scholars have “ill-served” America, essentially implying that academia ought to act on the behalf of US strategic interests, rather than the unfettered pursuit of truth.
___In practical terms, those opposed to developments in the field of Middle East Studies have organized formal lobbies to target offending academics . . .  Campus Watch organization, [was] launched in 2002, with a mission to “monitor and gather information on professors who fan the flames of misinformation, incitement, and ignorance.” Campus Watch, alongside similar groups as well as the traditional pro-Israel lobby, have been at the fore of successive campaigns against vulnerable academics.
[. . . .] Hostility to Middle East Studies, as well as the larger humanities/social sciences, has sometimes given way to serious efforts at attacking funding sources, including a failed effort in 2004 to amend title VI funding for area studies, putting such funding under review of an advisory board that academics feared would amount to political interference in scholarship. . .   a trend that could quite conceivably be extended to de-funding of title VI, Pell Grants, and other sources of public funding for universities.  SOURCE.  …

The Electronic Intifada 
By Nora Barrows-Friedman
Oct. 27, 2017 ―  In a troubling move for students and Palestine rights activists, the Trump administration has tapped Kenneth Marcus as the top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education.
___He will lead the department’s Office of Civil Rights.
___Marcus is the head of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights, an Israel advocacy group that has for years worked to smear Palestine solidarity activism as anti-Semitism. It has no affiliation with the better known Brandeis University.
___Since 2010, Marcus’ key strategy has been to file civil rights complaints with the Office of Civil Rights claiming that universities were failing to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on the Palestine solidarity movement, especially the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.
___The tactic was unsuccessful. But now, Marcus himself will be in charge of investigating such complaints.   MORE . . .
Jewish Voice for Peace 
Oct. 27, 2017 ― In the last 24 hours, over 100 faculty signed a statement through Jewish Voice for Peace opposing Trump’s nomination of Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. Marcus heads the Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law and has dedicated the past decade to defining criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism.
[. . . .] Marcus, who in 2011 founded the Brandeis Center with the express mission of promoting “the civil and human rights of the Jewish people,” has tried to silence students and faculty that advocate for Palestinian rights . . .   he has continued to equate the movement to boycott Israel with antisemitism, casting free speech, criticism and nonviolent resistance as violations of civil rights.
[. . . .] Marcus’ nomination is the latest in an ongoing campaign to equate criticism of the Israeli government with religious discrimination, a campaign that has proven to violate the First Amendment rights of students and faculty. Last year, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” failed in Congress on free speech grounds, and the American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a federal lawsuit arguing that a Kansas law requiring all state contractors to certify that they are not boycotting Israel violates the First Amendment.     MORE . . .

How do we reach you
Slums of Chicago?
How is the spark to reach you?
How is the fire to be born?
Stacked huts!
Stretch your arms out of the darkness―
For the big banner
Spreads its warmth, its light
Into the depths of night
And the big banner is
A sail for the drowning.

How are the storms to reach you
Jazzband Club in New York?
The black man is hungry and fearful,
The wolves of the KKK roam the forest
―the current overpowering
And the conscience of the statue shaken
And the heart of night.
The wind is frozen,
And the waves of the sea unmoving?
How is the message to reach you
Deaf Washington,
with the humming of the machine?
In Vietnam slaughter,
And you export
Cokes and medicine to the sad moon!
And you sweep over the blood of victims.
How is the message to reach you?

Descendants of Old Abe!
My voice has become hoarse
And the wind
Has become tired of my shouts!
Descendants of Old Abe!
Shake the marble of history,
Rise to the sky,
Rise above the band of stupid maggis
And halt ― for
The earth grumbles
The rivers of blood. . . .

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970. Available WORLD CAT  and ABEBooks.com     
Samih Al-Qasim 

“. . . buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

6f7de8c92380ec76f78bf24ae11d1854❶ Balfour and Britain’s broken promise
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Ugly Truths Behind Balfour and Beersheba
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Palestine FM responds to Theresa May’s pride in Balfour Declaration

  • Background: “National Narratives and the Oslo Peace Process: How Peacebuilding Paradigms Address Conflicts over History.” Nations & Nationalism.

❷ Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fishermen, raze lands in Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Video: Israeli settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives near Nablus
❸ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Tim Llewellyn
Oct. 26, 2017 ― If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister.
[. . . .] As it is, her November 2 tete a tete with Mr. Netanyahu, Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour, a descendant of Arthur J. Balfour who had no direct descendants, and a subsequent November 9, rally organized by Christian Zionists at the cavernous Albert Hall, in London’s Hyde Park, which Britain’s leader and Zionist and Israeli notables will also attend, are being pre-empted and countered by a host of events throughout the British Isles. These are not only highly critical of Britain’s disastrous legacy in its former Mandated Territory, but urge it to recognize Palestine as a state and work practically to grant the Palestinian Arabs their freedom and self-determination.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Within a month two events will be celebrated that have a left a deep imprint on the ‘western’ consciousness. The most significant is the Balfour Declaration, a piece of paper whose destructive consequences the people of the Middle East have had to live with every day since it was signed on November 2, 1917.
[. . . .] [Lord Balfour, Foreign Secretary of England] regarded the rights and aspirations of the ‘Arabs’ as inconsequential compared to those of the Jews. More than 90 per cent of the population of Palestine in 1917, the Palestinian Arabs, Muslim and Christian, were described in his declaration as ‘existing non-Jewish communities.’
[. . . .] The Palestine Balfour wanted to turn into a Jewish ‘national home’ had a Palestinian population of about 600,000 and a Jewish population, composed mostly of recently arrived European settlers, of eight to ten per cent of that number.
[. . . .] On October 31, two days before Balfour issued his pernicious declaration, Australian cavalrymen had broken through Ottoman defences at Beersheba (Bir Saba’) . . . The centenary will be celebrated this year by visiting contingents of Australians and New Zealanders.   MORE . . . 
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
Oct. 26, 2017 ― Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad al-Malki on Thursday said that The Palestinian side is following with great caution and deep concern the statements of British Prime Minister Teresa Mae, in which she declared her country’s pride in the establishment of the Israeli occupying state, and its insistence on commemorating the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
___Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Thursday that the British official’s position reflected the British government’s persistence and indifference to the crime committed 100 years ago, and reflects a challenge by Britain to Palestine and the international community.     MORE . . .

Khoury, Nadim.
Nations & Nationalism,
vol. 22, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 465-483.
(Nadim Khoury―Department of Philosophy, University of Tromsø―The Arctic University of Norway)
This article focuses on the effects of the Oslo Peace Process on the Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. It is widely acknowledged that history represents a barrier to long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians. . . .  Given the danger these national narratives pose, one would expect that the architects of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process would have paid close attention to them. If they are part of the problem, then they should be part of the solution. Scholars argue, however, that the agreements that make up the Israeli–Palestinian peace process have largely ignored the matter. And indeed, there was no mention of narratives in the 1993 Declaration of Principles.
[. . . .] The Palestinian master narrative is structured as the opposite of the Zionist one. Rather than ethnic and religious continuity, however, it is a story of continuous presence on the land. Palestinians are and have always been the inhabitants of historical Palestine. The Palestinian narrative strongly emphasizes the period starting with the Arab conquest, but it encompasses many other historical layers that include the Canaanites, the Philistines, and even the Israelites. British imperialism and Zionism disrupted this continuity, first in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and then in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. The latter is commemorated as the Nakba . . . [which] operates as a founding moment in the Palestinian national story, followed by the Naksa, ‘the setback’ of the 1967 war that caused more displacement and the loss of all of historical Palestine . . .
___While both [Palestinian and Israeli] narratives appear as opposite mirror images, the conflict over narratives that divide Israelis and Palestinians are not symmetrical and should not be examined as such. History, as the saying goes, is written by the victor, and since 1948, Israel has been the victor. As a result, it established its narrative at the expense of the Palestinian narrative, by, for example, physically destroying, repopulating, and renaming many Palestinian towns or outlawing Palestinian commemorative practices. This asymmetry is reinforced by the fact that, for decades, the Palestinians lacked the proper institutions (state, museums, and archives) to promote their narrative. This situation changed when Palestinians were given an official right to narrate their story with the Oslo Peace Process. As this article will show, however, this did not address the asymmetry between the two parties.    SOURCE.

Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 27, 2017 ― Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast of northern Gaza on Friday, while several Israeli bulldozers entered into the southern part of the coastal enclave and razed lands in the area.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the “buffer zone” inside the Gaza border fence with Israel, and leveled lands in eastern Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip.
___Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. No injuries were reported.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 26, 2017 ―  Israeli settlers reportedly attacked Palestinians who were harvesting olives in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Thursday, injuring three Palestinians, including one woman.
___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Itamar settlement assaulted Palestinians picking olives in the Ras Hazem area in Deir al-Hatab village.
___Daghlas added that Israeli settlers threw rocks and sharp objects and physically assaulted the Palestinians as they were working on their land.   MORE . . .

Of what benefit is it, if man were to gain the whole world
But lose the green almond in his father’s orchard?
Of what benefit is it, if man
Were to drink coffee in Paris
But none in his mother’s house?
Of what benefit is it, if man were to tour the whole world
But lose the flowers on the hills of his native land?
He gains nothing but deadly silence
Within the hearts of the living.

You look through the mirror of lands not your own
And see your exiled face;
You recognize your face
Despite the deadly dust of travel
From Jaffa, to Lydda, to Haifa,
Through the Mediterranean to exile;
You recognize your face
And try to deny that face!
Your worship your own face
Even though exile has obliterated its features;
The hangman of the twentieth century assumes the countenance
Of the eternal face!
You close your eyes
To worship your face in the darkness of this century.
You deny . . . you worship,
You deny . . . you worship,
And the God of truth cries to your face:
“He who denies his face
Is renounced by all the birds of paradise in this universe,
And those whom silence has turned mute
Will never be heard by the roses of the field
He who kills the nightingale of his dreams
Will be buried in the forgotten graveyard of the living.”
You open your eyes
And see the face of your country in the mirror of exile.

The deadly silence in the hearts of the living
Strips away the skin of your face
It cuts and dries your flesh.
Then hangs what remains on poles
Under the forgotten sun of the West.

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.
Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar.

“. . . Boundless fear binds our hands . . . and our beating hearts . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israel to vote on annexing illegal West Bank settlements to Jerusalem

  • Background: “State Authority in the Balance: The Israeli State and the Messianic Settler Movement.” International Studies Review.

❷ Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 120th time
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) UK parliamentarians urge Israeli compensation for demolished Palestinian homes
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israel’s military informs Qabatiya family of plans to demolish its home
❸ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasralla
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 25, 2017 ― Israeli ministers are expected vote next week on the so-called “Greater Jerusalem Bill,” which would annex 19 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to Israel’s municipal boundaries for Jerusalem, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.
___Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw his support behind the bill earlier this month, which would reportedly allow the settlers to retain their autonomy but afford them voting rights in the city’s mayoral race.
___It would meanwhile create “independent municipalities” for some 100,000 Palestinian citizens or residents of Israel who live within Israel’s Jerusalem municipality borders, but are located on the other side of Israel’s illegal separation wall.
[. . . .] According to the bill, the settlements of Maale Adumim — which itself is home to between 125,000 and 150,000 Israeli settlers — Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar Illit and Givat Zeev will be included under Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction, but not officially annexed to Israel, Haaretz said.     MORE . . .

Mendelsohn, Barak.
International Studies Review, vol. 16, no. 4, Dec. 2014, pp. 499-521.
(Barak Mendelsohn: M.A. in Security Studies, Tel Aviv University, 1999; Ph.D. in Government, Cornell University, 2006; Professor, Haverford College, 2007-present) For four decades now, the Israeli state has tolerated and even utilized the Jewish messianic movement in the context of its conflict with the Palestinians, even as the messianic movement has challenged and undermined the authority of the state.
[. . . .] The [Jewish messianic right] movement, only informally linked to the state’s institutions, is challenging state authority. Its actions regarding the territories Israel captured in 1967—primarily in the West Bank—have undermined the state and complicated policies to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Yet, successive Israeli governments since the 1970s have declined to exercise state authority when facing radical messianic groups in the West Bank. Moreover, both right- and left-wing Israeli governments have pandered to religious extremists and even supported them despite the fact that these extremists have operated outside Israel’s political system, violated the law, used unauthorized violence, and subverted state authority. Israel’s policy has not offered significant strategic benefits. In fact, it has backfired: Rather than ameliorating the Palestinian problem, it has intensified the conflict while reducing the state’s ability to reach a peace agreement. In addition, its settlement policies have weakened Israel’s international standing. Compromising state authority has had detrimental consequences, undermining Israel’s ability to change course even when its view of the settlements’ strategic value shifted. At the same time, it has deepened domestic divisions that threaten the state’s internal unity.   SOURCE.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 25, 2017 ― Israeli authorities on Wednesday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel for 120th time, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.      ___WAFA reported that staff from the Israel Land Authority (ILA) accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers raided the village and demolished the makeshift homes made out of tin that the residents build every time the village is demolished.     ___An Israeli court ruled last month that six residents of al-Araqib must pay 262,000 shekels (more than $72,000) for previous demolition costs, in addition to 100,000 shekels ($27,693) to cover the costs of the state’s lawyer. It was only the latest payment in which the village has had to compensate Israel for its routine demolitions in the village.    MORE . . .
The  Middle East Monitor – MEMO 
Oct. 26, 2017 ― A group of UK parliamentarians have urged Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to seek Israeli compensation of Palestinian structures demolished in the occupied West Bank.
___Writing in a letter to Johnson, the parliamentarians ask whether the British government will join “eight other European countries in demanding compensation from Israeli authorities” for the demolition or damage of Palestinian structures funded directly or indirectly by the UK.
[. . . .] “You will be aware of the huge parliamentary concern about the impending demolitions of the communities of Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya”, the letter notes, “where structures have been built with EU funding”.
___“We continue to urge you to do everything within your power to prevent the demolitions of these communities and many others in Area C of the West Bank”.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 26, 2017 ― The Israeli occupation forces Thursday informed the family of Mohammad Abu al-Rub of its intention to demolish its home in Qabatiya, south of Jenin, as a punishment for its son’s act, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.
___Abu al-Rub is currently in Israeli detention after he was accused to killing an Israeli in the town of Kufr Qassem inside Israel few weeks ago.
___The army informed the family that its home will be demolished in four days.
___Abu al-Rub was arrested along with fellow town member Yousef Kmeil and charged with killing an Israeli in Kufr Qassem.
___The Kmeil family was not informed that its house will be demolished yet.   SOURCE . . .  

They were for a year at our doorstep,
sleepless with their brown flesh-and-blood complexions,
knocking against our ribs to make us see them.
At the end of the night they depart.
They circle around the city seven time
like the revolving sun,
like a reverberating echo.
They kill the silence      with their flutes
and light and birds hover around them
as they swim in the shadows
of tall wheat spikes and white stags.
As night falls the wind shakes the streets
and the darkness breathes out crazed spears among trees
jostling toward the windows and balconies.
We heard the hooves of their horses,
so we hid in the corners,
under beds, between ribs.
We hid like a storm among branches.
Their olives sill eventually grow tired . . .  we said:
It might snow . . .     soldiers might come by this evening and immediately kill them,
or like a sun’s fading light they might grow tired    
and kill themselves
Night falls once more . . . the wind blows.
We hold our breath and retreat.
Boundless fear binds our hands . . . and our beating hearts.
The most recent among us said . . . Let us all rise up and ask them:
You who have been sleepless at our doorstep for a year and two nights:
What do you want?

Storms of corpses rushed to the corners.
The smell of death rose from the roofs of the mirrors,
from the colors of the eyes.
Let us all rise . . . the most recent among us said.
And when we reached the door, they shouted at us:
You. . .O dead ones . . . don’t open the door!

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.

“. . . I stood silenced For I had no address . . .” (Rashid Hussein)

❶ Israeli authorities deliver demolition notices to Palestinians in Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli bulldozers raze lands along Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli settlement’s sewage destroys Palestinian agricultural land near Nablus

  • Background: “Powers Of Illegality: House Demolitions And Resistance In East Jerusalem.” Law & Social Inquiry.

❷ Group calls on PA to continue funding Jerusalem hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Are days numbered for Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox patriarch?
❸ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Israeli forces on Sunday raided the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem and delivered several home demolition notices to Palestinian residents.     ___Wafa reported that staff from Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality raided the neighborhood, under the protection of Israeli police forces, and delivered notices to a number of Palestinians informing them of the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, 202 Palestinians were displaced and 116 buildings have been demolished in East Jerusalem since the beginning of the year as of Oct. 9. Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem reached a record high in 2016.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  BULLDOZERS  RAZE  LANDS  ALONG  GAZA  BORDER      Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Several Israeli bulldozers entered into the “buffer zone” in the central Gaza Strip, along the border with Israel, and leveled lands in the area on Tuesday morning.
___Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers entered dozens of meters into the Juhr al-Dik area and razed lands as drones flew overhead.
[. . . . ] military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip . . .  have long been a near-daily occurrence.
[. . . .] The practice has in effect destroyed much of the agricultural and fishing sector of the blockaded coastal enclave . . . MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Oct. 24, 2017 ― Sewage from the illegal Israeli settlement of Alon Moreh has destroyed rich agricultural land in the village of Deir al-Hatab, east of Nablus, a human rights activist said on Tuesday.
___Zakaria Sidr, head of the West Bank section in Rabbis for Human Rights organization, told WAFA that residents found out on Tuesday when they got to their land that settlers have been dumping their sewage at their land.   MORE . . . ..

Braverman, Irus.
Law & Social Inquiry 32.2 (2007): 333-372     . . . . while Foucault’s analysis [of the spectacle of a public execution in DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, 1979] depicts brutality as inflicted upon the human body, in the demolition instance this brutality is imposed upon the nonhuman body of the house. Significant as it may seem, this distinction between human and nonhuman bodies is rendered irrelevant by most of the Palestinian informants. The Palestinian community planner, for example, claimed that “a person whose house has been demolished, I don’t see any difference between him and a person whose only child is killed,” and a Palestinian defense lawyer told me: “to demolish a man’s house is to tear his heart into little pieces . . . the demolition is an . . . extremely inhuman act.”
___Clearly, most Palestinian informants not only themselves relate to their house as interchangeable with their body but also believe that Israel relates to it in a similar way. Accordingly, this is how a Palestinian Jerusalemite that has worked as a planner in the Jerusalem municipality for over thirty years described the situation: “they twist our hand behind our back until they hear a cry of pain: [then] the municipal officials smile with pleasure, and twist our hand even tighter in order to produce a louder cry. They take pleasure in the Palestinian pain more than in anything else.”
___But while the identification of the Palestinian body with the body of her house may establish one cause for its demolition, another explanation is also possible. Such an alternative explanation is provided by a Jewish Israeli defense lawyer who has been representing Palestinians from East Jerusalem for over twenty years. The lawyer suggests that the official Israeli discourse regards the Palestinians as “airplanes that are not even detected by the Israeli radar,” namely as invisible to Israeli administrators. Rather than choosing between these two seemingly conflicting interpretations, it is important to see their simultaneous existence: while the first interpretation embodies the Palestinian in this space by rendering her body opaque, the second interpretation disembodies her, making for a transparent Palestinian body.
___Instead of undermining each other, the bifurcated dialectic between these two bodily interpretations provides for their reciprocal reinforcement.   SOURCE . . .

Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)  
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on Monday expressed its deep concern that Augusta Victoria Hospital (al-Mutala’) in occupied Jerusalem stopped receiving the Gaza Strip patients referred for treatment due to accumulating debts owed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___PCHR called upon the Palestinian Ministry of Health to pay off immediately the accumulating financial dues for al-Motala’ Hospital, warning that the Palestinian backboned organizations in occupied Jerusalem would collapse after the Palestinian Government withheld funds and payments of the financial dues at the time the Israeli authorities intensify its policies to create a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and paralyze and ruin the work of its institutions, which provide basic services to all Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.   MORE . . .
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse) 
Ahmad Melhem
Oct. 23, 2017 ― The relationship between Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine and the Greek Orthodox community in the Palestinian territories and Jordan is closer than ever to escalating into all-out war. . . .
The patriarch is responsible for the management of all church endowments as stipulated by Jordanian Law no. 27 (1958). The church owns property in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and in Israel. Fed-up members of the Greek Orthodox community have organized in opposition to Theophilos in an attempt to remove him and encourage Jordanian and Palestinian authorities to withdraw their recognition of him.
___Haaretz reported on Oct. 13 that six dunams of land with dozens of businesses on it around the clock tower in Jaffa as well as 430 dunams in Caesarea, including large parts of the Caesarea National Park and Amphitheater and a Roman amphitheater, were sold to anonymous foreign companies.   MORE . . .

Hairs as short as my life is
And a mouth as sensuous as my dreams
And fire is her voice
And so is the music
Yet she wants me to rest
On an easy chair
And keep my thoughts clean.

Oh my dear hunter!
What you ask is much more
Than all that I can give . . .
For the angels are dead,
And I am not with them.

A wine was her perfume
Generous was her bed
But her hopes were stronger,
And the strongest of all:
She wanted my address.
She asked: “Where lives the ‘Prince’?”
Then, I stood silenced
For I had no address.
I am a man in transit,
Twenty years in transit
A man who was even deprived
The right of having an address.

Rashid Hussein  
See also  
From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.

“. . . silence my argument with chains . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Poland to equip the Palestinian rapid intervention team
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Ireland describes Israeli settlement expansion as provocative

Background: “Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.” Hervormde Teologiese Studies

❷ How Israel engages in ‘water apartheid’
❸ Israeli forces detain 66 Palestinians, majority teenagers, in overnight raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Joint report reveals that 431 Palestinians were arrested in September 2017
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct, 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) signed on Monday a cooperation agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine in which the latter will contribute to equipping PICA’s team for rapid intervention [“first responders”].
___PICA director Imad Zuhairi signed the agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine, Aleksandra Bukowska, who welcomed it and considered it the beginning of growing cooperation between Poland and Palestine that would later include various sectors.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Ireland condemned last week Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories describing them as provocative.
___“I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.
___“This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties. The relentless expansion of settlements, especially in such sensitive areas, break up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established.’   MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
Mersiha Gadzo
Oct. 22, 2017 ― World Health Organisation says that an illegal Israeli settler in West Bank consumes three times more water than a legal Palestinian resident.
___Jordan Valley, Occupied West Bank – Water is not scarce in the Jordan Valley, known as the traditional “breadbasket of Palestine” – yet Palestinian farmers struggle to survive, with little water to nourish their crops. They say the amount of water that Israeli authorities allocate to them has been decreasing daily since the Second Intifada.
___Meanwhile, neighbouring settlements consume copious amounts of water. They grow produce, such as bananas, requiring large amounts of water, which is mostly pumped from wells in the occupied West Bank, and they export a rich variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices to Europe and the United States.
___In the village of Ein al-Beida, barbed wire divides a field in two.
___On one side are rows of orange trees covered in lush green leaves, grown by Israeli settlers from a nearby illegal settlement; on the other is barren land allocated for Palestinians, where nothing grows except stiff stalks of yellow grass, long dried out due to  the lack of water.   MORE . . . 

Pillay, Jerry.
“Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.”
Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 72, no. 4, Oct. 2016, pp. 1-9.
[Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.]
The word ‘apartheid’ comes from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’. . .  it is actually an official policy of racial segregation, involving political, legal and economic discrimination against ‘non-white’ people. It is a policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. This policy separated white and non-white people in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. . . During the 19th century. . . [t]his became the paradigm for the foundation of the Israeli state which exists up to this day with great cost to human rights and lives. The Palestinians continue to fight for their independence in the face of Israel’s continuation to take Palestinian land. Hence, the analogy between Israel and apartheid1 entails a comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and South Africa’s treatment of non-white people during its apartheid era. . .
[. . . .] Justice is a very significant theological theme in the context of the Israel-Palestine situation – as much as it was, and still is, in the South African context.
[. . . .] An investigation into the meaning of justice (tsedeq and tsedaqah) in the Old Testament shows that, in the context of creation, it has wider meaning. Justice for Israel, like all its neighbours in the ancient Near East, manifests itself in the right and harmonious order of creation. In order to understand the peculiar nature of ancient Near Eastern conceptions of justice, it is important to realise that creation does not primarily refer to the origin of the world at the beginning but to a process by which cosmos, order, replaces chaos, not only in nature but in society as well. Creation therefore encompasses two realms, which for us are usually quite distinct: the realm of nature and the realm of society.   MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017― Israeli detained at least 66 Palestinians during overnight raids Monday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.
[. . . .] Israeli police forces raided the neighborhood of al-Issawiya overnight and detained 51 Palestinians after searching dozens of homes in the area.
[. . . .] Lawyer of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair Muhammad Mahmoud, who visited detainees at different detention centers, said that he followed up on the cases of 27 of the detainees, who he said were all teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18.   MORE . . .  

Addameer  Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Oct. 8, 2017 ― A joint, monthly report released by Adameer, The Prisoner’s Club, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has revealed that 431 Palestinians were arrested by the occupation forces in the month of September 2017.
___Of these 431, 98 were children, 11 were women, and 3 were journalists.
___133 were arrested from Jerusalem governate, 60 from the Hebron governate, 45 from the Nablus governate, 40 from the Ramallah governate, 38 from Jenin governate, 28 from Bethlehem governate, 15 from Tubas governate, 10 from Salfeet governate, 9 from Tulkaram governate, 7 from Jericho governate, and 6 from Gaza.      MORE . . .

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remained defying
cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass
a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I live of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY  OF  THE  SUN:  POETRY  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.   Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

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

❶ Japan deplores Israel’s approval of 3000 settlement units in West Bank

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Germany Warns of ‘One-state Reality’, Slams Israel Settlement Expansion
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Grants to Israeli settlements could breach UK law, Charity Commission warns
❷ Extremist settlers attack residents in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida, threaten to close [YOUTH AGAINST SETTLEMENTS] office
❸ Israel to demolish homes in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Oct. 22, 2017   The Government of Japan deeply deplored Israel’s approval of plans for the construction of about 3,000 housing units in settlements in the West Bank despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities, foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama said in a press release.
___The release was issued following reports that Israel has stepped up plans to build almost 3000 new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.   MORE . . .

Reuveny, Rafael.
“The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.”
Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.
During the past five hundred years, three primary types of colonies have been established: colonies of exploitation, colonies of settlement, and colonies of contested settlement. Colonies of exploitation, the large majority, overworked natives in labor intensive sectors and did not include many settlers. In colonies of settlement, the settlers became the majority and gained full control. In Spanish America, for example, settlers intermarried with the local elites, killed many natives, and enslaved others, and in British North America and Australia, settlers ousted the natives and decimated them demographically, turning them into a small minority in the land they had previously inhabited. Some of these settler societies also imported slaves from Africa. In colonies of contested settlement in Africa and Asia, many settlers went to live in the colonized lands, but they remained a minority rejected by the natives.
[. . . .] Recent settler actions in the West Bank city of Hebron and the former settlement of Homesh provide additional insight. Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron and returned to Homesh, from which the government had removed them during 2005.
[. . . .]  In line with historical colonial examples, Israeli settlers have often built settlements, so-called outposts, without state approval. By 2007, some two thousand settlers lived in about one hundred outposts, seizing 75 percent of their lands from Palestinians. Some Israeli governments have promised to remove outposts and have even removed a few, but all the governments have essentially accepted them after the fact.  FULL ARTICLE.

The Palestine Chronicle
Oct 20 2017   The German government has condemned the latest steps taken by Israeli authorities to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
___In a statement released by the German Foreign Office yesterday, Berlin noted how “plans to construct almost 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank were adopted this week”.
___The German government stated it “would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the fact that it will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.   MORE . . .
Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom) 
Ben White
Oct. 22, 2017   The Charity Commission has warned that making grants to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) could potentially constitute a breach of the Geneva Conventions Act of 1957, in a significant hardening of the Commission’s approach to the issue.
___It is understood to be the first time that the Charity Commission has specifically cited the 1957 Act in communication with a charity regarding Israel and oPt.
___The new statement from the Commission comes in response to questions about UK Toremet, a charity which, as revealed by Middle East Monitor in September 2015, is acting as a conduit for donations to Israeli settlements in the oPt.
___Settlements are considered a serious violation of international law, a position held by the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the British government, among others.   MORE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN
Oct. 22, 2017   Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida in the old city of Hebron, where they raided Palestinian’s properties under claims that an Israeli settler was injured last night by a stone.
___The settlers attacked residents of the neighborhood, destroyed the property of the citizens and their homes, where they threw rocks, broke the windows, threatened residents and were cussing them.
___The settlers renewed demands to close the YOUTH AGAINST SETTLEMENTS HEADQUARTERS in the area, accusing the movement of being the main instigator of the attacks on settlers [. . . .] Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinian journalists from the Palestinian and international media from covering settler attacks. A group of Israeli soldiers prevented journalists and threatened them to make them leave the area.   MORE . . .
❸ ISRAEL  TO  DEMOLISH  HOMES  IN  JERUSALEM’S  SILWAN  NEIGHBORHOOD      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 22, 2017 Israeli forces on Sunday notified a number of Palestinians from Silwan neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem, about their intention to demolish their homes, according to local sources.
___WAFA correspondent said staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem backed by a police escort broke into Silwan and handed over notices to a number of local citizens informing them about the municipality’s intent to demolish their homes, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
___Over the years, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem has demolished hundreds of Palestinian-owned homes in the city for lack of a construction permit. The municipality claims that compared to the Jewish population, it receives a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities.   MORE . . .

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.

“. . . an impossible burden weighs down on eyelids and chest . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

❶ Major initiative launched to support human rights in Palestine
❷ Israeli Violations’ Activities in the oPt

  • Background: “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies

❸ Analysis: Pessoptimistic reflections from besieged Gaza
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 21, 2017 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, together with the European Union (EU) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), launched on Thursday a project which aims at making the rights contained in the human rights treaties acceded by the State of Palestine in 2014 a reality for all Palestinians, according to a joint statement by the three groups.
___The commitments under these treaties complement and enhance the Government’s political obligations within the National Policy Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
___The project will provide capacity building to assist the Palestinian government in promoting and protecting all human rights for all Palestinians. The project will also work with the Independent Commission for Human Rights and selected civil society organizations to strengthen their ability to promote accountable governance through national dialogue and advocacy. It will empower Palestinians as rights-holders to better understand and claim their rights.     MORE . . .
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories 
Oct. 17, 2017   (NOTE: these daily reports become available as they are translated.)
The daily report highlights the violations behind Israeli home demolitions and demolition threats in the occupied Palestinian territory, the confiscation and razing of lands, the uprooting and destruction of fruit trees, the expansion of settlements and erection of outposts, the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Army, the Israeli settlers violence against  Palestinian  civilians  and  properties, the erection of checkpoints, the construction of the Israeli segregation wall and the issuance of military orders for the various Israeli purposes.    MORE . . .

Masalha, Nur.
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 3-57.
[. . . .] Since the rise of the Zionist settler movement in the late nineteenth century, and especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the struggle over toponymic memory and the renaming of sites has developed as an integral part of the political conflict in Palestine. The indigenous Palestinians have insisted on their own comprehensive set of Arabic place names through which they see their own social memory and deep-rootedness in the land of Palestine. On the other hand, since the ethnic cleansing of the 1948 Nakba and the creation of the Israeli state . . .  the Israeli army and Israeli state have sought to rename systematically Palestinian Arabic place names, claiming priority in chronology and using modern archaeology, map-making, and place names as their proofs of Jewish roots in ‘the land of Israel’. In Israel the significance of place names lies in their potential to legitimize ‘historical claims’ asserted by the Zionist settler-colonial movement.
[. . . .] The social and cultural importance of toponymic memory and geographical rendering of sites and terms in historical writing is evident in many histories from antiquity, medieval and modern Palestine. One classical example of listing place-nations of ancient Palestine in ‘Histories’ (or The History, 1987) of Herodotus, written from the 450s to the 420s BC. Herodotus is believed to have visited Palestine in the fifth decade of the fifth century B.C. The ‘Father of History’ refers to ‘Palaistine’, Syria, or simply ‘Palaistine’ five times, an area comprising the region between Phoenicia and Egypt. . . .  Although Herodotus’s Histories is now considered a founding work of history in Western literature, and serve as a key record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various powers that were known in Greece, Western Asia and North Africa, when it comes to Palestine and toponymic memory Western Christian writing relies not on Herodotus’ Histories but on the myth-narratives of the Bible. Interestingly however the Greek toponym for Palestine and Ascalan were preserved in indigenous Palestinian Arab tradition and by medieval Arab historians and travellers . . . .    SOURCE.   (Available through libraries with EBSCO databases.)

Haidar Eid
Oct. 20, 2017    One cannot understand the deadly, medieval siege imposed on Gaza apart from Israel’s settler-colonialism in Palestine. The horror inflicted on Gaza is, in fact, rooted in the political fragmentation caused by Apartheid Israel, reinforced by the Oslo authority, and sparked by factional struggles over access to power in a Bantustan turned into a concentration camp.
___The rationale behind this genocidal blockade imposed by Apartheid Israel, and supported by a complicit ME Quartet is that we, 2 million Gazans, are expected to recognize Israel’s right to exist on our ethnically cleansed villages from where we were expelled in 1948 and renounce our resistance as a form of violence. This is how this Crime of Collective Punishment is justified! The international community is basically telling us that we must collaborate with the occupiers in order to be accepted, that we must normalize apartheid and settler colonialism. If we don’t do that, we are doomed then and must pay a heavy price with the lives of our children.  MORE . . .   .

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014). Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

holy land 1 033
The Settler Colonial project, Jerusalem (Photo Harold Knight, 2008)

❶ Ashrawi: Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank amounts to war crimes

  • “Relations of Ruling in the Colonial Present: An Intersectional View of the Israeli Imaginary.” Canadian Journal of Sociology

❷ Analysis:  Rethinking Our Definition of Apartheid: Not Just a Political Regime
❸ How the EU mocks the victims of Israel’s crimes
❹ POETRY by Yousef El Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Oct. 20, 2017   Following announcements that Israel had advanced plans for nearly 3,000 illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi strongly denounced the move as a “blatant disregard for the two-state solution.”
___The Israeli Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee convened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and advanced plans for 2,615 housing units in illegal Israeli settlements.
___“In blatant disregard of the requirements for the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability, Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition continue to persist with their egregious policies of colonial-settler expansionism,” Ashrawi said.
___”Israel is deliberately working to enhance its extremist Jewish settler population and to superimpose ‘Greater Israel’ on all of historic Palestine. Undoubtedly, it is bent on annexing the entire city of Jerusalem, systematically wiping out the Palestinian presence and continuity on Palestinian soil, and destroying the territorial and demographic contiguity of the future Palestinian state.”   MORE . . .

Santos, Madalena.
Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol. 38, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 509-532.
Through the interweaving of Zionist myths of nation, identity, and security, Israel presents itself as the national homeland for all Jewish peoples — a land under constant threat of annihilation by Palestinians who are discursively constructed as demographic and security risks. Yet, the Zionist project of Eretz Israel (our land of Israel) is one of colonization which bases the survival and vitality of the state’s Jewish population on the removal and absence of the racialized Palestinian other. Israel has continued its settler colonial project in Palestine, with its distinct forms of occupation and apartheid, through state discourses and practices of separation, fragmentation, and violence . . .  this article offers a categorical framework that underlines the relationality between race, class, and gender that has been central to the structuring network of Zionist colonization from its initial stages to the colonial present.
___ [. . . .]  Zionism has been preoccupied with the question of ethno-demography and a desire to separate Jews in Palestine from the indigenous Arab population. Since Zionism set Israel out to be the Jewish nation for Jews regardless of where they resided and/or claimed citizenship at the time, there was a perceived need to make Jews the majority of the population . . .  To secure a land base for the Jewish population, the Zionist colonial project that established the state of Israel in May 1948, and which continues in the colonial present, involved the forced expulsion, exile, imprisonment, murder, massacre, and political assassination of Palestinians as well as the destruction of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. Although implemented and performed by Zionist rule, these practices were facilitated through the laws and governance of Western colonialist forces.  FULL ARTICLE.

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Haidar Eid, Andy Clarno
Aug. 27, 2017  As Israel intensifies its settler-colonial project, apartheid has become an increasingly important framework for understanding and challenging Israeli rule in historic Palestine. Indeed, Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner make a convincing argument that apartheid is the most strategic framework of analysis. And in March 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a powerful report documenting Israeli violations of international law and concluding that Israel has established an “apartheid regime” that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.
___Under international law, apartheid is a crime against humanity and states can be held accountable for their actions. However, international law has its limitations. One specific concern involves what is missing from the international legal definition of apartheid. Because the definition focuses solely on the political regime, it does not provide a strong basis for critiquing the economic aspects of apartheid.     MORE . . .
The Electronic Intifada   
Ali Abunimah
Oct. 18, 2017   [. . . .] And why not? Despite the UN Security Council declaring repeatedly – most recently in December – that all of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law, Israel faces no consequences for its crimes.
___On Wednesday, the European Union put out a statement about Israel’s reinvigorated settlement drive, its forced expulsions of Palestinian Bedouins and its evictions of Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
___The statement does not clearly condemn Israel’s actions. Instead, it says the EU “has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities and conveyed the expectation that they reconsider these decisions, which are detrimental to ongoing efforts towards meaningful peace talks.”
___This is diplomatic speak for: we barely have the courage to even criticize you, let alone to take action.     MORE . . .

I saw clouds running away from the hurt.
I have no language.
Its weight is lighter than a feather.
The quill does not write.
The ink of the spirit burns on the shore of meaning.
The clouds are tears, filled with escape and lacking definition.
A cloud realizes the beauty she forms –
beauty which contains all good things,
for whom trees, gardens, and tired young women wait.

I have no home.
I have a night overripe with sweats caused by numbness all over.
Time has grown up on its own without me.
In my dream, I asked him again, What did he mean?
Then I found myself suspended in nothingness,
stretched like a string that doesn’t belong to an instrument.
The wind played me. So did irresistible gravity.
I was a run of lost notes that have a sad, strong desire to live.
–– Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin.

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 Barnes and Noble.
About Yusef El Qedra