“. . . History marches behind our footsteps, honor sings around us . . .” (Abu Salma)

❶ The normalisation of colonial violence is in tune with Balfour’s infamous letter

  • Background: “The Purifying Effect of Truth: Jabotinsky’s Interpretation of the Balfour Declaration.” Israel Studies.

❷ Foreign Minister says legal proceedings will soon start against British government
❸ Abbas demands British government recognize Palestine on Balfour centenary
❹ Balfour Declaration: Britain Broke Its Feeble Promise to the Palestinians
❺ POETRY by Abd Al-Kareem Al-Karmi (Abu Salma)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Nov. 3, 2017 ― A century down the line from the Balfour Declaration, the obliteration of Palestine remains the aim of the Israeli colonial entity built on stolen land. On Wednesday, Israeli forces violently dispersed a protest in Bethlehem marking the anniversary of the infamous letter. The protestors marched to the Apartheid Wall, where they were confronted by Israeli police forces, who fired rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition at the gathering, injuring one person.
[. . . .]  Historically . . .  it was one of the first major steps towards Palestinian oblivion following the first Zionist colonisation efforts in the late 1880s. The convenience of timeframes ensured that each laceration of Palestinian territory eclipsed the one previous in terms of remembrance rather than significance: the 1948 Nakba and the 1967 war are two such prominent examples. The declaration, therefore, lay mostly in the background until the realisation dawned that its centenary was drawing near, which prompted the Palestinian Authority to make grand declarations from a compromised platform about prosecuting Britain. No doubt Balfour is of significant historical importance. However, one of the mistakes lay in separating the significance from the violations, thus adding value for Israel’s territorial expansion.   MORE . . .

Arye Naor.
Israel Studies, vol. 22, no. 3, Fall2017, pp. 31-47.
ABSTRACT: Ze’ev Jabotinsky viewed the Balfour Declaration as a commitment to establish the Jewish State in Mandatory Palestine. He believed that public and diplomatic pressure on decision-makers and opinion leaders in Britain could cause that commitment to be fulfilled, either as an independent state or as a dominion within the framework of the British Commonwealth. Personally, he favored the latter. Even as the conflict of interests between Zionism and Britain became increasingly apparent, Jabotinsky maintained his faith in the Zionist connection with Britain—at least up until the publication of McDonald’s White Paper on 17 May 1939. As he saw it, the obstacle to fulfil the British obligation was the political game that the Mandatory Administration in Palestine played. He put the blame on the local administration, rather than on His Majesty’s government in London. This article presents the interpretation of the Balfour Declaration—and, by extension, the British Mandate—through the eyes of the leader of Revisionist Zionism.  SOURCE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Nov. 2, 2017 ― Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Thursday that legal proceedings against the British government will be soon brought before British, European and international courts to lift the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Balfour Declaration.
___He said in a statement that the State of Palestine “made every effort possible to persuade the British government to abandon plans to celebrate the centennial of the Balfour Declaration because such a celebration shows lack of sensitivity to the Palestinian people.”
___However, because these efforts have failed to yield results and because of its moral and national obligation towards its people, the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry will soon act to bring legal proceedings before the British courts against the British government to remedy its mistake of 100 years, Malki said.   MORE . . .
RELATED:  “How Britain Became an Obstacle to Peace”
Ma’an News Agency     Nov. 2, 2017 ― The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released a statement on Thursday, the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, calling on the British government to “apologize to the Palestinian people for the suffering caused as a result of the Balfour Declaration a hundred years ago.”
___“The second day of November marks the centennial of the disastrous Balfour Declaration, which, in 1917, the British government gave the Jews of the world a national homeland in Palestine while it was aware that Palestine is owned and inhabited by another people, the Palestinian people,” the statement said.
___Abbas called the declaration “null and void” given that it ignored the national and political rights of the indigenous Palestinian people.   MORE . . .
The Palestine Chronicle 
By Jonathan Cook
Nov. 1, 2017 ― There is more than a little irony in Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to attend a “celebration” dinner this week in London with his British counterpart, Theresa May, marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
___Palestinian objections to the 1917 document are well-known. Britain’s Lord Balfour had no right to promise a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, on the land of another people.
___But Israelis have been taught a different history in which they, not the Palestinians, were betrayed.
___In 1939, Britain appeared to revoke its pledge, stating “unequivocally” that it would not establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Limits on Jewish immigration were imposed, at a time when Europe’s Jews were fleeing the Nazi Holocaust.
___It was for this reason that nearly a quarter of a century ago, in his book A Place Among the Nations, Netanyahu accused Britain of perfidy.
___One can understand the reluctance of Israelis today to concede the pivotal role provided by Britain. The Balfour Declaration is an embarrassing reminder that a Jewish state was the fruit of a transparently colonial project.   MORE . . .

My country! Live in safety, an Arab country
may the jewel of your tradition continue smiling
Though they’ve partitioned your radiant heart
our honor denies partition.
We’ve woven your wedding clothes with red thread
dyed from our own blood.
We’ve raised banners on the Mountain of Fire**
marching toward out inevitable destiny!
History marches behind our footsteps,
honor sings around us.

Rise, friend, see how many people
drag their chains of dented steel.
Behold the serpents slithering endlessly among them!
They’ve prohibited oppression among themselves
but for us they legalized all prohibitions!
They proclaim, “Trading with slaves is unlawful”
but isn’t the trading of free people more of a crime?
In the West man’s rights are preserved,
but the man in the East is stoned to death.
Justice screams loudly protecting Western lands
but grows silent when it visits us!
Maybe justice changes colors and shapes!
Live embers scorch our lips
so listen to our hearts speaking,
call on free men in every land
to raise the flag of justice where we stand.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

**The city of Nablus and its suburbs and nearby villages were called the Mountain of Fire, because the region was a seat of rebellion against the British Mandate and its application of Zionist policy.

Abd Al-Kareem Al-Karmi (Abu Salma)
From:  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma  Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.  Available from Columbia University Press.
“Here In No-Here: Open Houses, Exhibitions and Tours,” Qatamon, Jerusalem:  “We will then walk up Rachel Imenu St. to the house of Abd al-Karim al-Karmi (Abu Salame), where we will talk about poet, read some of his poems and relate his fate in 1948.”

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