“. . . It’s not Kellyanne who invented alternative facts. We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

❶ Premier says time is now for EU recognition of Palestine

  • Background: “The Israel Lobby and the “Peace Process” from a Palestinian Perspective.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

❷ Israel conducts several airstrikes across Gaza Strip
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Army detains 16 Palestinians in West Bank, bringing total to 320 in one week
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Undercover Israeli forces injure 2 Palestinians, detain 5, in Ramallah clashes
❸ MADA: 26 violations of media freedoms in Palestine during November
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) IOF to raze Palestinian home in Bethlehem
❹ POETRY by ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PREMIER  SAYS  TIME  IS  NOW  FOR  EU  RECOGNITION  OF  PALESTINE          Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told on Thursday European Union (EU) Representative in Jerusalem Ralph Tarraf that the time is now for EU recognition of the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, pointing out that such a step would strengthen the two-state solution.
___Hamdallah urged the European Union to support the leadership’s efforts to bring the political process back to its proper track based on United Nations resolutions, particularly after the US administration chose to side with Israel by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and working to move its embassy to Jerusalem thus becoming an ally of Israel rather than an impartial mediator.    MORE . . .

Ashrawi, Hanan.
“THE  ISRAEL  LOBBY  AND  THE  “PEACE  PROCESS”  FROM  A  PALESTINIAN  PERSPECTIVE.”
WASHINGTON  REPORT  ON  MIDDLE  EAST  AFFAIRS , vol. 36, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 34-64.
[. . . .]  I’m asked to talk about the Israel lobby and the peace process. . . .  They play a major role in shaping and influencing U.S. policy, particularly the peace process.  Since its inception, there’s a sense of ownership, that the peace process is owned by the Israeli lobby in many ways, because they’re looking out for the interests of Israel all the time.
___There are various components of the lobby.  As you all know, they’re not monolithic.  They all have their impact here and there.  But the most significant impact is for the lobby groups, the special interest groups that are closest to the Israeli government in particular.  And that tends to be the more hard-line extremist groups. . . .  The most influential, of course, is AIPAC and its Washington Institute for Near East Policy—as you know, a think tank that has probably had the most direct say in terms of the peace process itself—and other organizations–the Heritage Foundation and so on.
[. . . .] Now we have people in the White House who are not only lobbyists and advocates, but who are active supporters of settlements.  So it’s not enough to have settlers in the Israeli coalition government.  Now you have settlers in the White House. This is incredible.  So they don’t need to lobby.  They are decision makers. . . .  It’s interchangeable.  Either they are influencing policy or they are making policy.  That’s why American policy was so distorted, because they played a significant role in framing and defining the discourse and perceptions, but went beyond that to manipulating the verbal public space, anything related to the peace process.  And they generated a narrative based on myths, and provided alternative facts.  It’s not Kellyanne [Conway] who invented alternative facts.  We’ve been victims of alternative facts all our lives, alternative realities.  [. . . .] SOURCE . . .

ISRAEL  CONDUCTS  SEVERAL  AIRSTRIKES  ACROSS  GAZA  STRIP    
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli air forces conducted airstrikes targeting several sites in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday around dawn, according to local sources.
___Locals told Ma’an that the airstrikes targeted at least five sites across the coastal enclave.
___Airstrikes hit sites in northwestern and southern Gaza City, as well as near the Deir al-Balah beach in the central Gaza Strip.
___Another site in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, while forces targeted another in western Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴀ)  ARMY  DETAINS  16  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK,  BRINGING  TOTAL  TO  320  IN  ONE  WEEK
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA      Dec. 14, 2017 ― The Israeli army detained 16 Palestinians in raids across the West Bank in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Palestinians detained since the outbreak of the recent wave of protests to 320, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.   MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  UNDERCOVER  ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  2  PALESTINIANS,  DETAIN  5,  IN  RAMALLAH  CLASHES 
Ma’an News Agency    
Dec. 13, 2017 ― Israeli special forces disguised as Palestinian protesters arrested five Palestinian youths, including a young woman and two injured young men, during clashes near the illegal Beit El settlement in the central West Bank district of Ramallah.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that a group of undercover Israeli forces, known as ‘mustaaribeen’ in Arabi, infiltrated crowds of protesters and journalists when they took out their guns and “attacked the youths,” assaulting, shooting and injuring two of them before detaining five.   MORE . . .  
❸ MADA:  26  VIOLATIONS  OF  MEDIA  FREEDOMS  IN  PALESTINE  DURING  NOVEMBER  

Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 14, 2017 ― November 2017, witnessed a number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, almost identical to those recorded in the previous few months, in September and October, a total of 26 and 28 violations against media freedoms were monitored by MADA, 26 attacks last November. The Israeli occupation carried out 16 attacks, while Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip committed a total of 10 violations.
___The Israeli occupation has committed a total of 16 attacks against media freedoms during last November, some of which fall under serious violations. The most prominent of these is the decision by an Israeli military court to imprison the broadcasters of  the “Sanabel” radio from the city of Hebron: Muntasir Abdel-Karim Nassar, Nidal Amro were sentenced to 22 months in prison and a fine of 5,000 NIS and Mr. Omran was sentenced to 16 months.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ❸  ―  (ᴀ)  IOF  TO  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  HOME  IN  BETHLEHEM
The Palestinian Information Center
Dec. 14, 2017 ― Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) handed a home-demolition order to a Palestinian family in al-Walajeh town west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.
___Local sources said that IOF troops raided Ain al-Juwaizah area north of the town and handed Khaled Abu Kheyara a notice that stipulates the demolition of his home which is built on an area of about 120 square meters. He was given a 15-day period to appeal the order.   MORE . . .

“THE  MARTYR,”  BY  ‘ABD  AL-RAHEEM  MAHMOUD  (1913-1948)

I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand,
tossing it into the cavern of death!
Either a life to gladden the hearts of friends
or a death to torture the hearts of foes!
An honorable man’ spirit has two aims:
to die fighting, or to achieve victory.
Otherwise, what is life? I want no life
if we’re not respected in our land;
if our response is not feared,
if our words are not heard
echoing in the world.

By your life, I see my own death,
but I hasten my footsteps.
No greater wish than to die defending stolen rights
and my country,
My ears love the clashing of swords,
my soul is proud of martyrs’ blood.
Behold the martyr’s body
sprawled on sands, attacked by vultures,
his blood tinting the earth crimson,
haunting northern breezes with its scent.
His radiant brow covered with dust
only seems more luminous.
The smile on his lips
mocks this earthly life,
and his dreams of eternity,
shape blissful visions.

I swear this is how men should die
for how can I tolerate the harm of my enemy’s malice,
how can I endure his aggression?
Would fear stop me if it is easy to sacrifice my life?
Am I humble? I simply can endure no scorn!
With my own heart I’ll fight the enemy;
my heart of steel, my ravenous flames,
I’ll stalk my land with the blade of this sword
so my people know I’m their defender.
――Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About ‘Abd al-Raheem Mahmoud
ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

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