“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
JAPAN  DEPLORES  ISRAEL’S  APPROVAL  OF  3000  SETTLEMENT  UNITS  IN  WEST  BANK  NEIGHBORHOOD
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.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  GERMANY  WARNS  OF  ‘ONE-STATE  REALITY’,  SLAMS  ISRAEL  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION
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 . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) GRANTS  TO  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS  COULD  BREACH  UK  LAW,  CHARITY  COMMISSION  WARNS 
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 . . .
❷ EXTREMIST  SETTLERS  ATTACK  RESIDENTS  IN  HEBRON’S  TEL  RUMEIDA,  THREATEN  TO  CLOSE  YAS  OFFICE  

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 . . .

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
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.

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