“. . . My friends: The Nile will not pour into the Volga . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Istanbul summit rejects US decision over Jerusalem, considers it null
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Abbas: Palestinians will no longer accept US role in peace process

  • Background: “Israel and the Arab Gulf States: From Tacit Cooperation to Reconciliation?” Israel Affairs.

❷ Journalist, human rights activist injured as Palestinians continue anti-Trump protests
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Child critically injured by soldiers remains in a coma, says group
❸ WHO Report: 45% of Gaza patients did not receive travel permits from Israel
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Israeli authorities demolish house in 1948 occupied Palestine
❹ Opinion/Analysis: What next after Bin Salman has ordered Abbas to surrender to Israel?
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISTANBUL  SUMMIT  REJECTS  US  DECISION  OVER  JERUSALEM,  CONSIDERS  IT  NULL  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Wednesday rejected and condemned the illegal and irresponsible unilateral decision made by the President of the United States of America Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Israel and move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
___In the final communiqué issued by the Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference, world leaders considered the US decision null and void and considered it an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, as well as a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, a prelude to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security.
___They reaffirmed the centrality of the Cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Ash-Sharif to the Muslim nation and renewed principled support for the Palestinian people in their pursuit to attain their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the borders of 4 June 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital. (The official text of the final announcement follows).    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴀ)  ABBAS:  PALESTINIANS  WILL  NO  LONGER  ACCEPT  US  ROLE  IN  PEACE  PROCESS    
Palestine News Network – PNN    
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The Palestinian president on Wednesday said that the Palestinians will no longer accept any role for the United States in the Middle East peace process following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Abbas, speaking at the The Istanbul gathering of heads of state and top officials from the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, had called Trump’s decision “a war crime” that threatened world peace, calling on the United Nations to take charge of the peace process and create a new mechanism, arguing that Washington is no longer “fit” for the task.
___The Palestinians are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abbas said, but after Trump’s seismic shift on Jerusalem, Washington is not accepted as a fair negotiator, the AP reported.   MORE . . .

(Note: this article is two years old and, of course, is not exactly germane to recent developments. However, it is a detailed background history of the relationship among Israel, the Gulf States, and the United States that is useful today.)

Guzansky, Yoel.
“ISRAEL  AND  THE  ARAB  GULF  STATES:  FROM  TACIT  COOPERATION  TO  RECONCILIATION?”
ISRAEL AFFAIRS, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 131-147.  [. . . .] Some senior officials even dared to hint publicly that such cooperation could in fact take place and that both countries’ interests have become surprisingly overlapping. In a speech focusing on the Iranian nuclear issue at the opening session of the Israeli parliament in October 2013, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel, a growing understanding is taking root in the Arab world, and it is not always said softly. This understanding, that Israel is not the enemy of Arabs and that we have a united front on many issues, might advance new possibilities in our region.”
___No Gulf official publicly admitted to having such a united front with the Jewish state, but a Saudi prince and an influential businessman, Alwaleed bin Talal, admitted in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that, ‘For the first time, Saudi Arabian and Israeli interests are almost parallel’. Another report on an Iranian news agency claimed that the Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan met with high-ranking Israeli officials in Geneva to discuss ways to promote mutual interests such as ‘containing Iran, and side-lining the Muslim Brotherhood’.
[. . . .] The basic approach of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman towards Israel is in constant need of balancing between the concern for their status and position in the Arab world, their hostile public opinions towards Israel and fundamental religious establishments and their strategic needs; and more recently between the need to show support to the Palestinians but to maintain tacit relationship with Israel vis-a`-vis their main rival, Iran.
[. . . .] However, the region’s evolving geopolitical landscape and Washington’s Middle East policy can provide a strategic opportunity to Israeli–GCC relations. Multiple factors like the tense relations with new regimes, skepticism from old ones, increased multilateral action, little effort put thus far into the peace process, withdrawal from Iraq and, soon, Afghanistan, the increasing likelihood of US independence from Middle Eastern oil, and public statements regarding a shift toward Asia suggest that America’s influence and interest in the region is diminishing. To some, it is evident that the Middle East is no longer at the top of US priority list. Iran’s continuous progress toward a nuclear weapon, the erosion of US influence in Iraq, the difficulty in influencing events in Syria, the Arab monarchies’ doubts concerning the reliability of the US, questions regarding the future of US relations with Egypt, and even the cooling of relations with Israel have indicated to some that the US is increasingly hard pressed to advance its policy in the region. To others, these are signs of a superpower in retreat.  [. . . .] SOURCE . . .    ..

❷ JOURNALIST,  HUMAN  RIGHTS  ACTIVIST  INJURED  AS  PALESTINIANS  CONTINUE  ANTI-TRUMP  PROTESTS
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces were renewed on Wednesday in several districts across the occupied West Bank as Palestinians continued to protest in rejection of the US President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
___Clashes erupted between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers in several areas across the Hebron district in the southern West Bank.
___In Hebron city, Halhul, and Dura, clashes broke out after Israeli forces suppressed marches in the area.
[. . . .] Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers targeted journalists with stun grenades, injuring photojournalist Abd al-Hafith al-Hashlamon in the foot. His injury was reported as moderate.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  CHILD  CRITICALLY  INJURED  BY  SOLDIERS  REMAINS  IN  A  COMA,  SAYS  GROUP 
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Hamid Masri, 14, who was shot and critically injured by Israeli soldiers on Tuesday after they suspected him of trying to attack them is in a coma at an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Wednesday.
___Soldiers opened fire at Masri near the West Bank city of Salfit and seriously wounded him.    MORE . . . 
❸ WHO  REPORT:  45%  OF  GAZA  PATIENTS  DID  NOT  RECEIVE  TRAVEL  PERMITS  FROM  ISRAEL  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 13, 2017 ― The most recent report by the World Health Organizations (WHO) states that more than 45% of patients unsuccessful in obtaining security permits from Israeli authorities: Of 2,017 patient applications for a permit to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in October 2017, 55% were approved; 2% were denied including three children and two elderly patients; and 43% were pending and lost their hospital appointments including 164 children and 82 elderly.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  ISRAELI  AUTHORITIES  DEMOLISH  HOUSE  IN  1948  OCCUPIED  PALESTINE
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday demolished a Palestinian house in Zemer town in the northern 1948 occupied Palestine.
___Palestinian sources reported that the Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by a military force, broke into Zemer town and demolished a house under construction on a privately owned Palestinian land without prior notice for allegedly lacking the necessary legal licenses.
___Tension prevailed following the demolition operation as Zemer residents rallied to express their rejection of the Israeli practices aimed at uprooting them from their lands.   MORE . . .  
❹ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  NEXT  AFTER  BIN  SALMAN  HAS  ORDERED  ABBAS  TO  SURRENDER  TO  ISRAEL?  
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Saudi Arabia and Israel represent a twin threat to the Arab world. Both states have long received the military and political backing of the world’s sole remaining superpower, the United States of America; the regimes of both states abuse human rights, have committed war crimes and discriminate against their own citizens. Both, however, are considered by American elites to be useful for the project of retaining US hegemony in the Middle East, albeit in different ways.
___Support for Israel is also considered to be a religious duty by the powerful sector of US politicians and voters hailing from the fundamentalist evangelical right. This tendency considers Christian Zionism to be a top priority – if not the number one priority – in US foreign policy.
___US support for the Saudi dictatorship is less religious in nature; it’s more about ensuring access for US companies to the region’s vast oil wealth.   MORE . . .

“ON  HOPE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a baker in Algeria
In order to sing with the revolutionaries
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a shepherd in the Yemen
To sing for the uprising of the age
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a waiter in Havana
To sing for the victory of the poor
Do not tell me:
I wish to be a stone carrier in Aswan
To sing for the rocks
My friends:
The Nile will not pour into the Volga
The Congo and Jordan Rivers
Will not serve the Euphrates
Each river has its own
Our land is not barren
Each land has its own rebirth
Each dawn has a date with revolution.

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 Mahmoud Darwish.

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