❶ Israeli forces suppress protests marking Balfour Declaration centenary
- Background: “The Framing of the Question of Palestine by the Early Palestinian Press: Zionist Settler-Colonialism and the Newspaper Filastin, 1912-1922.” Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies.
❷ Ashrawi condemns Israeli plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from Jerusalem
❸ More Illegal Israeli Settlements
❹ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
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❶ ISRAELI FORCES SUPPRESS PROTESTS MARKING BALFOUR DECLARATION CENTENARY
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 1, 2017 ― Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Bethlehem city on Wednesday following a march commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 document which supported establishing a Jewish state on what would become British Mandate Palestine, and paved the what for the to the establishment of Israel.
___Palestinian protesters marched from the southern to northern ends of the city, until they reached Israel’s separation wall. Protesters set up an effigy of Arthur Balfour, the author of the declaration, beating and throwing shoes at the figure while burning a copy of the declaration.
___Members of various Palestinian political factions had called for the march in protest of the 100 year anniversary of the declaration, and of recent comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May celebrating the centenary of the declaration.
___Israeli forces quickly suppressed the protest, using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, injuring one with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the foot, while several others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. MORE . . .
“THE FRAMING OF THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE BY THE EARLY PALESTINIAN PRESS: ZIONIST SETTLER-COLONIALISM AND THE NEWSPAPER FILASTIN, 1912-1922.”
Journal of Holy Land & Palestine Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015, pp. 59-81.
[. . . .] Settler colonialism depicts the Zionist movement as a project that had all the characteristics of a colonialist enterprise, initiated by people coming from Europe and settling in the rest of the world, but who developed their own, and new, national identity within the colony or the colonised area (as happened in Australia, the USA and elsewhere).
[. . . .] The settler-colonialism paradigm focuses on those who colonised, invaded and settled. The victims are the same whether they are the genocided indigenous population of the Americas or the colonised natives of South Africa and Palestine. As their fate proves they were not fighting only against classical colonial exploitation but against their physical or conceptual elimination as a nation in their own right. . . . Palestine, if indeed one accepts even in part the applicability of the paradigm to this case study, offered a very articulate, documented and written response to ‘their’ settler colonialism. This local view is described in this article not as regular feature of national discourse or even liberation . . . but as an existential angst, warranted by the very nature of settler colonialism. It was angst voiced in a very definitive period, just before and during the First World War and has impacted on the Palestinian very existence ever since, and in particular when the angst proved to be validated by the events of the 1948 war in Palestine.
[. . . .] In similar vein, Yusuf Diya Pasha al-Khalidi wrote [in 1891] to the Chief Rabbi of France appealing to him to halt Jewish colonisation, predicting it would lead to a violent conflict: ‘There were still uninhabited countries where one could settle millions of poor Jews. . . But in the name of God let Palestine be left in peace.’
[. . . .] Zionism became a central issue when Britain occupied Palestine and established a League of Nations’ Mandate there. Early suspicions of the pro-Zionist bias of the new rulers arose when the Zionist committee of delegates (Va’ad Hazirim) was invited by Britain in April 1918 to survey the country and examine the, still secret then, pledge by the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, to create a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. The committee transformed the Jews in Palestine from religious millet into a political movement with a representative body, claiming the right to own Palestine. SOURCE.
❷ ASHRAWI CONDEMNS ISRAELI PLAN TO ETHNICALLY CLEANSE PALESTINIANS FROM JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct. 31, 2017 ― PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Tuesday condemned what she described as “the dangerous plan” proposed by Israel’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin aimed at ethnic cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem by splitting off the Palestinian neighborhoods situated next to the Apartheid Wall from the so-called Jerusalem Municipality, placing them under a new Israeli jurisdiction.
___Elkin’s plan specifically targets Shufat refugee camp, Kufr Aqab, al-Walaja, and a small part of al-Sawahreh. The measure is expected to affect between 100,000 to 150,000 Palestinians living in these neighborhoods.
___“Should this be adopted, such a deplorable plan would forcibly displace thousands of indigenous Palestinian Jerusalemites and transform their status to ‘non-existence,’ depriving them of the most basic rights and services, including shelter, healthcare and education. It is beyond a doubt that Israel is deliberately working to erase the Palestinian presence from our occupied capital and to distort the demographic, cultural, religious, and political character of the city,” said Ashrawi. MORE . . .
❸ MORE ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS
Palestine at the UN
Oct. 18, 2017 ― Israel’s constant provocative declarations and advancement of plans to construct and expand Israeli settlements throughout the Occupied State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, in direct and grave contravention of international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016), and in blatant defiance of the international community, continue to heighten tensions and to undermine any efforts to salvage the two-State solution on the 1967 lines and the prospects for peace.
___In this connection, yesterday, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release announcing its plans to construct 3,736 more settlement units throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] It is clear that with each announcement of further Israeli settlement construction the Government of Israel reveals its true and unlawful intentions, which is to annex and colonize more and more Palestinian land and to persist with its half-century foreign occupation. The global consensus continues to be in support of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines as the only viable solution and foundation for a just and comprehensive peace. . . . Israel’s provocative and inciteful rhetoric, decisions and actions are totally to the contrary of this global consensus and constitute grave breaches of international law . . . MORE . . .
“TO A CLOUD,” BY RASHID HUSSEIN
I am the land,
I am the land . . . do not deny me rain,
I am all that remains of it,
If you plant my brow with trees
And turn my poetry into vineyards
That you may know me.
So let the rain pour down.
I, cloud of my life, am the hills of Galilee,
I am the bosom of Haifa
And the forehead of Jaffa.
So do not whisper: it is impossible.
Can you not hear my child’s approaching footsteps
At the threshold of your soul?
Can you not see the veins of my brow
Striving to kiss your lips?
Waiting for you, my poetry turned to earth,
Has become fields,
Has turned into wheat
I am all that remains of our earth,
I am all that remains of what you love,
So pour . . . pour with bounty.
Pour down the rain.
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.
About Rashid Hussein