“. . . nightmares never leave . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

.A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90, from +972 Magazine)
A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

“. . . Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews . . . this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians. . . “ (Adi Ophir)

❶ On world refugee day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

Background: “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Israel begins work on first settlement in 25 years as Jared Kushner flies in
❸ Hamas calls for mobilization at Gaza border on Friday
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Gaza crisis: Israel slashes electricity supplies for 3rd day as Egypt provides fuel
❹ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency      
June 20, 2017.  On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
___“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people” resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.   MORE . . .        RELATED . . . 

Ophir, Adi. “ON  THE  STRUCTURAL  ROLE  AND  COMING  END  OF  ‘THE  OCCUPATION’.”  Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693.
[. . . .] Some of them, like Netanyahu think that it is enough to proclaim the temporariness of the occupation while dragging any form of negotiation; others, like Harel, think that even this is not necessary, and that Palestinians should not be counted simply because they are not citizens anyway, and they cannot be citizens because they are not Jews. With the Jewish public in Israel moving further to the right in the last decade, this has become the fault line between the two major political camps in Israel; their basic disagreement is about how not to count, or be accountable for the colonized Palestinians.   SOURCE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency (from The Guardian)
June 21, 2017.  Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced the beginning of building work on the first new Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank in 25 years, a day before a visit by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and envoy, Jared Kushner, aimed at reinvigorating the stalled peace process.
___The new settlement, known as Amichai, is being built to house about 300 hardline residents of the illegal West Bank Jewish outpost of Amona who were evicted by police in February after a court ruled their houses were on privately owned Palestinian land.
___The timing of the announcement was condemned by a Palestinian official who suggested it was designed to undermine peace efforts.
___Announcing the beginning of ground-breaking work at the new settlement, Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter feed: “Work began today on-site, as I promised, to establish the new settlement,” with a photograph of a mechanical digger working at the site north of Ramallah.   MORE . . .

Israel breaks ground on new illegal settlement (Source: The Israeli prime minister’s official Twitter page, June 20, 2017)

The Palestinian Information Center  
June 20, 2017.   Hamas Movement called for mobilization next Friday on the Gaza border to mark the occasion of International Quds Day in protest at Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people and holy places.
___In a press statement on Tuesday, Hamas asked Arabs and Muslims to support Occupied Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the Palestinian besieged people on International Quds Day which coincides on Friday.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2017.   Israeli authorities implemented a third round of electricity supply cuts to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday — honoring a request from the Palestinian Authority (PA) that announced last month it would drastically reduce its payments to fund the Hamas-run territory’s electricity bill — as the Egypt government started to deliver diesel fuel to operate Gaza’s only power plant.
[. . . .] The 12-megawatt cuts came after output was reduced by 6 megawatts on Monday and 12 additional megawatts on Tuesday, meaning that the total output of Israeli electricity grids feeding the small Palestinian territory has been reduced from 120 to 88 megawatts in the last three days.
___According to Thabet, Gaza’s some 2 million residents face just two to three hours of electricity every 24 hours as a result of the cuts.   MORE . . .

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).   Available from Barnes and Noble

Palestinian men seen in front of a fire raging at the Gaza’s main power plant following an overnight Israeli airstrike, south of Gaza City, July 29, 2014. (Emad Nassar/Flash90, from +972 Magazine)


“. . . concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

They relate noble narratives about Israeli nationalist victory, valor, and self-defense. They ground such moments of supposed “liberation” in a grand teleology in which the end is the redemption of the Jewish people in their land . . .  Jewish settlers today carve violent inroads . . .  in their quest to resurrect the City of King David. (Thomas Abowd)

Gush Etzion settlement towering over the Palestinian Nassar Family Farm near Bethlehem. The Nassars have owned the farm for 100 years. It is an educational center, the Tent of Nations (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Israel: State of denial

Background: Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Wasfi Kabaha’s Arrest Silencing ‘voice of resistance’ in the West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO coalition slams Israel over Judaization of Jerusalem curricula
❸ Lieberman: Our government is the best for settlement enterprise
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) West Bank witnesses unprecedented expansion in settlement building
❹ Whose “Ethnic Cleansing?” Israel’s Appropriation of the Palestinian Narrative
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
June 10, 2017          Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the grotesque nature of this denial palace is that each of its floors is located in a different imaginary time zone.   MORE . . .

  • The following is from the same article as yesterday’s post. This passage presents Abowd’s second major argument.

Abowd, Thomas.”RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ‘ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
THE  WEAPONIZATION  OF  MYTH:  Efforts to appropriate Palestinian land and resources for exclusive Jewish use continue. But consistent with other colonial states, these practices have interacted dialectically with concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history. A range of mythical assertions, often deploying essentialist notions of peoples and places, have been projected to justify acts of dispossession. In the case of Israel, the Bible and the supposed celestial designs for lands and peoples it supposedly prescribes have been integral to Israeli conquest. These ideological ploys resemble what I refer to as the “weaponization of myth” and, as Barthes (1957) writes, it is myth that “evaporates history”. For Israel, the task of evaporating Palestinian pasts in Palestine has been a hefty one but a necessary one.   SOURCE . . .   

The Palestinian Information Center    
June 14, 2017   Wasfi Kabaha was talking to his friends and followers on social media when the Israeli occupation forces knocked at his house by the dawn of Monday, 12 June 2017 to inform him of his arrest, while his followers on Facebook were still busy discussing the issues raised by him. After a while, some commented that Kabaha was arrested a while ago, as part of an ongoing Israeli attempt to silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank.   MORE . . .
The Palestinian Information Center 
May 31, 2017   The Jerusalemite Non-Governmental Coalition condemned Israel’s approval of a five-year plan to Judaize academic curricula at Palestinian schools across Occupied Jerusalem.
___Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin submitted a plan to force schools in Occupied Jerusalem to teach an Israeli curriculum as opposed to the Palestinian school curriculum.
___The aim is to improve the quality of life and the environment for Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and to strengthen the integration of east Jerusalem residents into Israeli society and economy, thus boosting the economic and social resilience of the city, claimed Bennett.   MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN   
June 11, 2017   The right wing Israeli Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday announced that 3,651 settlement units in the West Bank were approved last week, adding that the number of units slated for construction is at its highest since 1992.     ___Lieberman added  says number of settler homes approved for construction within the the first half 2017 are at their highest since 1992.     [. . . .] “There isn’t and there hasn’t been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it,” he said.   MORE . . .
Palestine Information Center      
June 17, 2017   The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building . . .
___The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.   MORE . . .
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Dina Matar
March 26, 2017   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed in a video posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian demand to dismantle illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitutes an act of “ethnic cleansing” against Israeli Jewish settlers. The term . . .  has also been used by many scholars as well as in public discourse to refer to Zionist practices against the Palestinian population in the lead-up to and during the Nakba of 1948. These practices include the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of approximately 730,000 Palestinians from their homes.   MORE . . .

I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?

I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

I am an Arab
without a name – without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots –
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father –
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather –
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
And my house –
is like a watchman’s hut
made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name but no title!

I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
And the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left us with those rocks
So will the State take them
as it has been said?

Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware –
Beware –
Of my hunger
And my anger
–– Trans. Naseer Aururi
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 Kurt Gippert Bookseller.
About Mahmoud Darwish

“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
The fiercest of French traits:
The cruelest of German blows:
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . fed up with humiliation of living there. . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a Palestinian woman passes by rescuers inspecting the rubble of destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ On 10th anniversary of siege, Gaza reaching humanitarian and political breaking point
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Gaza braces itself for ‘collapse’ after Israel approves reduction of electricity supply
. . . . . ❶― (ᴃ) PLO Ashrawi condemns Netanyahu’s call to shut down UNRWA

  • BACKGROUND:  One million Palestinian refugees in 8 Gaza Strip camps

❷ MOH warns of stopping heart catheter in Gaza

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.”
  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War, Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”

❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927, Gaza)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Chloe Benoist
June 15, 2017        As the Gaza Strip marked the ten-year anniversary of Israel’s siege of the small Palestinian enclave on Thursday, the humanitarian situation has continued to alarm rights groups, which have denounced the “inhuman conditions unparalleled in the modern world.”
___Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Israeli military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.
___The recent decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to request that Israel reduce its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip has made many fear that the situation in Gaza could soon reach a political and humanitarian breaking point with unforetold consequences.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 12, 2017       The Israeli security cabinet has approved a 40 percent reduction in Israel’s electricity supply to the besieged Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are already coping with a crippling power crisis and daily, hours-long blackouts, according Israeli media reports.
___While Gaza’s electricity company said it had not received an official order regarding the impending power cut, it called upon Palestinians in Gaza to prepare for the worst, while human rights groups urged Israel to reconsider the move — expected to have immediate and disastrous effects on the medical sector in particular.
___The approval came after Israeli authorities announced plans to make the cuts last month, upon request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied West Bank, which foots Gaza’s monthly electricity bill from Israel, by subtracting from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the PA.     MORE . . .     
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
June 16, 2017         PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi strongly condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to shut down the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
___”Netanyahu’s call to disband UNRWA is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem,” Said Ashrawi in a press statement issued on Thursday.
___The statement said Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.
___“It should not be permitted to defame or slander UNRWA which still remains a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees residing in Occupied Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, providing them with essential services, assistance and opportunities for work, growth and development.”

  • BACKGROUND:   ONE  MILLION  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES  IN  8  GAZA  STRIP  CAMPS          May 16, 2013    Alray-Palestinian Media Agency      The Gaza Strip is home to more than 1.1 million registered refugees, of which more than half a million live in the eight refugee camps established by UNRWA.
    ___The refugee camps have one of the highest population densities in the world.  The blockade on Gaza has had a devastating impact on refugees across the Gaza Strip, including those living in camps.  Unemployment continues to be at unprecedented levels particularly affecting young people in Gaza.     MORE . . .

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency    
June 15, 2017       The head of cardiac catheterization at Al-Shifa Medical Compound, Mohammad Habib, warned that the cardiac catheter service will be stopped in the coming weeks if the basic items are not supplied, confirming that the department uses only sterile tools.
___Habib said that many of the basic types were run out, such as pharmacological blockers, pacemaker of various types, and catheterization of the arteries.
[. . . .] He pointed out that the cases are now transferred to treatment abroad, such as catheter therapy for the heart and peripheral arteries, due to stopping the remittances.    [. . . .] the heart catheter section at Al-Shifa carries out 1500 operations every year, an average of 150 operations a month between diagnosis and treatment.       MORE . . .

  • BACKGROUND: Shalev G. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2016, June), 40(2): 242-262.     Abstract:   This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. . . .  at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a ‘‘reliable’’ witness. . .   In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. . . .   the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.        SOURCE:     RELATED . . .

  • HISTORICAL NOTE:  Zunes, Stephen. “The Gaza War [2008-2009], Congress and International Humanitarian Law.”  Middle East Policy, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2010, pp. 68-81.       Support for the impending war began months earlier, in June 2008, when 77 senators — including future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — signed a letter . . .  to President George W. Bush defending Israeli air strikes on the heavily populated Gaza Strip. The letter also urged the Bush administration to block any UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel, claiming that UN opposition to Israeli attacks against crowded urban areas constituted a refusal to “acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense.”      ___An almost identical letter in the House, drafted by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). . .  received 268 signatures. Americans for Peace Now (APN), a liberal Zionist group, warned that these letters were designed to build “a defense, in advance, for a large Israeli military offensive in Gaza.” APN, among others, also noted that such an Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip would likely result in large-scale civilian casualties.
    ___In apparent anticipation of such a scenario, the House of Representatives had passed a resolution that March, during an upsurge of fighting between Hamas militiamen and Israeli forces, which claimed, “Those responsible for launching rocket attacks against Israel routinely embed their production facilities and launch sites amongst the Palestinian civilian population, utilizing them as human shields.” . . . .   However, human-rights groups monitoring the situation at that time noted that, while Hamas had failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip, they found no instances of the use of human shields by Hamas. (Footnote: Interview, Joe Stork, Middle East division, Human Rights Watch, June 18, 2008.)       ARTICLE . . .

Government ministry buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on December 30, 2008 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo Credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Let it be known:
there will be no peace.
because the lodgers in the tents
have become fed up with humiliation of
living there,
become tired of suffering, misery and illness,
bored with the death creeping in their bones,
sick of life itself,
because they are homeless,
walking in darkness.



“. . . We have, friends, the right to die as we desire . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli policemen stand guard as bulldozers demolish homes in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert, on January 18, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

“We should transform the Bedouins into an urban proletariat – in industry, services, construction, and agriculture. 88% of the Israeli population are not farmers, let the Bedouin be like them. Indeed, this will be a radical move which means that the Bedouin would not live on his land with his herds, but would become an urban person who comes home in the afternoon and puts his slippers on. His children will get used to a father who wears pants, without a dagger, and who does not pick out their nits in public. They will go to school, their hair combed and parted. This will be a revolution, but it can be achieved in two generations.”  — Israeli General Moshe Dayan to Haaretz, 1963

❶ Israel demolishes Palestinian Bedouin village for 114th time

  • “Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel.” Israel Studies.

❷ Israel blocks Bedouin road, prevents 100 kids from school

  • “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in the Negev.” Nomadic Peoples.

❸ The Palestinian Bedouins
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
June 14, 2017      Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 114th time since 2010 on Wednesday morning, and for the sixth time this year, according to Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned WAFA news agency.
___WAFA quoted witnesses as saying that officials from the Israel Land Authority (ILA), accompanied by Israeli police and bulldozers, raided the village and demolished all the tin homes in the area, which were built by the village’s residents following the most recent demolition of raid last month.
[. . . .] Al-Araqib is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli state. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins in the Negev reside in unrecognized villages.  MORE . . .

Frantzman, Seth J., et al. “Contested Indigeneity: The Development of an Indigenous Discourse on the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel.” Israel Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, Spring2012, pp. 78-104.
From “Conclusion”:  The development of an indigenous Bedouin identity has taken place in three key phases. It began with the initial decision by Abu-Saad, apparently influenced by his comparative work on the United States, to describe the Bedouin as an indigenous community with all the political ramification that this word contained in the 1990s. It was developed by Israeli Jewish academics and then elite Israeli Bedouin academics in the context of the international discussion regarding indigenous peoples, land rights, and ethnocracy. The last phase has seen the campaign by NGOs, academics, activists, and the Bedouin community for international recognition.
___As for the Bedouin themselves—in practice—the elite members of the community were an important instrument in re-designing and re-modeling the public debate and, perhaps also, the community’s self-identification.  The shift from being defined as Bedouin or former nomads living in the Negev, to being recognized as an “Indigenous Palestinian Bedouin” group in the “Naqab”, took place very quickly, over a period of only ten years. For the Bedouin the recognition in theory can help put local and even more important international pressure on Israeli authorities, mainly to accept their demands for land rights. . .    SOURCE . . .

Days of Palestine  
Jun 13, 2017       Israeli occupation has installed guardrail on Israeli highway, isolating Palestinian Bedouin community, preventing around 100 children from schools.
___A report issued by the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) said that the Israeli occupation effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Palestinian Bedouin community in Al-Naqab, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.
___The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.
___Recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.   MORE . . .

Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in the Negev.” Nomadic Peoples, vol. 18, no. 2, July 2014, pp. 147-164.
[. . . .]  . . . the community’s continuous presence in the Negev, the changing character of its lifestyle and the sense of attachment to the land seem to be ignored both in the Israeli legal framework and the dominant representations of the Bedouins and the region. Since the establishment of the state, Israel has denied the Arab Bedouins their indigenous land rights, depicted them as rootless nomads and characterised the Negev as historically uncultivated and uninhabited land. Today, there are approximately 200,000 Bedouins in the Negev. While half of them live in seven government-planned towns, and eleven villages recognised by Israel, the other half reside in villages not recognized by the state. This means that the Bedouin villages have the status of illegal settlements and thus are not marked on Israeli maps and are denied basic services, such as electricity, running water, public transportation and basic sanitation. . .  The Israeli authorities’ attitude towards the Bedouins was best reflected in the Prawer-Begin Bill . . .  halted in December 2013 after the successful ‘Stop Prawer Plan’ campaign. The law, if fully implemented, was going to displace up to 70,000 Bedouins and destroy all the ‘illegal’ villages. The resettlement scheme was couched in the colonial language of “. . . grant them, and particularly the younger generation the tools necessary to successfully cope with the challenges of the future and help Bedouin children to ‘exploit their talents and realise their natural right to happiness . . .”  However, the Bedouins were under no illusions. As Nasser, a resident of an unrecognised village of al-Sirra put it:
It may be a new law, but not a new policy, we know very well what the
state plans for us. It’s been now fifty years of efforts to give an end to the
Bedouin identity and lifestyle. We are not just going to obey.  [. . . . ]    SOURCE . . .

This Week in Palestine, Issue 112      
Arturo Avendaño
August, 2014        [. . . .]  The Bedouins, with their specific values, codes of behaviour, and livelihood, are a Palestinian community of tribes that have a common history, culture, ancestral bloodline, and lifestyle that link the various tribes together. The tribes, which include the Jahaleen, Ka’abneh, Rashaydeh, Ramadeen, ‘Azazme, Sawarka, Arenat, Ejbarat, Hanajra, and Amareen, share a nomadic past that has been highlighted by Western travellers’ tales of camel breeding and romantic desert images. Bedouins have become famous for their extraordinary survival skills in an extremely hostile environment. . . .       MORE . .    

Behind this dune we have an oasis. Leave me alone.
Leave me to rinse myself off in a bit
of its mirage. I’m tired of running after myself
to catch myself before I die.
Take―old friends and my companions―my body,
the shadow of its body’s shadow,
and hold it for a while,
so I can reach my time in time.
Behind this dune we have an oasis.
Sustain your longing with dates and water,
without despair.
Listen with me to the songs of the girls
beneath the palms, but do not follow
the voice of my silence.
We have, friends, the right to die as we desire.
But there’s still some hope, behind that nearby dune.
And we have the right to make the stranger
a stranger’s friend,
and we have an oasis―
and a bit of rest in the house
of the loved one who left us.
He will come from behind this dune.

  • (Blogger’s personal note: Al-Qasim was not, himself, a Bedouin. I have been unable to find poetry by Bedouins, but this poem seems possibly to treat of the Bedouin experience. If any readers know of Bedouin poetry, I welcome comments identifying it.)

From: Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER THAN WATER. NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.  Available from Amazon.
About Samih Al-Qasim.

bedouin camel
Palestinian Bedouins are protesting against discrimination by the Israeli government [GETTY image, from Al Jazeera, April 7, 2010)

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A general view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

❶ Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

  • Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Online Magazine      
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017         Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever.      __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .]  . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage.    MORE . . .

Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that]  the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . .  our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .]  . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . .  In my view, it should . . .  replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . .  etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo.      SOURCE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 12, 2017         The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities.     MORE . . .

The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.

Ma’an News Agency 
June 13, 2017         Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.        MORE . . . 
Ma’an News Agency  
June 13, 2017          Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh.       MORE . . . 


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.


“. . . and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines . . .” (Yousef El-Qedra)

Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza (Photo: BBC)

❶ Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian in Gaza Strip, injure 8 others
❷ Help ‘We Are Not Numbers’ break the isolation of Gaza
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ICRC: Still no news on Palestinians missing since 2014 Gaza war

  • Background: “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics

❸ Mushtaha: Gaza’s Hospitals Lack 30% of Laboratory Materials
❹ POETRY by Yousef El-Qedra
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 9, 2017      Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian and injured at least six others in the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday after clashes broke out near the border between northern Gaza and Israel, while Israeli forces also injured two more Palestinians with live ammunition during clashes in central Gaza.
___Clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians to the east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, when Israeli forces killed Aed Khamis Jumaa, 35, after shooting him in the head with live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
___Six other Palestinians were also injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli forces and were rushed to Gaza’s Indonesian hospital to receive medical care, the ministry added.    MORE . . .

Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Photo: Haaretz/AP)

Pam Bailey
June 5, 2017    Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements. But in addition to almost no mention of Gaza, there are two basic, alarming truths that are missing: 1) Despite the defiant face they typically show the world, a collective depression is becoming so pervasive in Gaza that the spirit of resistance is struggling to survive, and 2) it’s not war and the threat of it that should bring us out onto the streets but the daily structural violence.            MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 10, 2017    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has not received any answers from Israel regarding Palestinians who have been missing since the Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, a Gaza-based spokeswoman for the group said on Saturday.
___The 51-day offensive in 2014 left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, including at least 1,462 civilians, a third of whom were children, according to the United Nations. Human rights groups reported that numerous Palestinians went missing during the war. Some were later found, either alive or dead, although the fate of 19 others has remained unknown.
___Spokesperson for the ICRC in Gaza Suhair Zakkout said in a statement that the ICRC had made efforts since 2014 to try and find the location of the missing Palestinians; however, the organization has not received any responses from Israel.        MORE . . .  

Bouris, Dimitris. “The Vicious Cycle of Building and Destroying: The 2014 War on Gaza.” Mediterranean Politics, vol. 20, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 111-117.
[. . . .] While Palestinians in the West Bank were given some hope that building their institutions would lead to the establishment of a state, the same was not the case with the Palestinians living under Hamas’ rule in Gaza. Since 2008 Gaza has witnessed three wars; Operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009), Operation Pillar of Defence (November 2012) and more recently Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014). The reasons and proclaimed goals of all three wars were the same: on the one hand Israel wanted to ‘teach Hamas a lesson’ and to stop rocket fire into its territory. On the other hand, Hamas was seeking to achieve through violence what it could not obtain through negotiations – namely the lifting of Gaza’s blockade. The mistakes made by the international community were also the same: (a) exclusion of Hamas and local groups from the reconstruction process; (b) money and pledges for the reconstruction were channelled through the PA and an unelected government in the West Bank without any strong control and transparency mechanisms (due to the absence of a functioning PLC); (c) pouring vast amounts of money, hoping that by this they would cover their inability to stop the war before it started; (d) no meaningful pressure on Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza or willingness to hold Israel accountable for its destruction.      SOURCE . . .

The Palestine Chronicle
June 9, 2017      Director of the Department of Laboratories and Blood Banks in the General Administration of Gaza hospitals, Amid Mushtaha, said the Gaza hospitals suffer from a shortage of laboratory testing materials up to 30%, a percentage that is likely to increase.
___Mushtaha explained, “The large hospitals in particular suffer from a lack of sodium blood tests, which are conducted only for urgent cases in the vital sections such as intensive care, burns, surgeries, and nurseries.”
___He added that the crisis affected all laboratories and blood banks in hospitals . . .      MORE . . .

(January 29, 2009**)
Resurrection is crawling . . .
The beginning is all about horses of cloud
circling God’s sky over Gaza City.
These clouds descend on the ancient shores of the people
while a woman of a volcano erupts
in song on the waterline of the lazy blue beach.
Windmills of butterflies are making the whole world
dance to the dream lost behind dieletric walls.
The wind embraces twilight on an igniting sea.
My cytoplasms formed from blood and misbegotten
human beings are arrayed on a rose-colored glass plate.
She alone holds the book of love and combs the trees’ hair.
Anxiety is sailing on the margin of a whirlwind
leading to a window inside the book.
The topic is war . . .

Resurrection is rising to its feet . . .
Horses of fire and steel kneaded the flesh of a youngster
fleeing Gaza.
His terrified brother stole his broken arm and planted it
under a tree,
whose tears bewail the destruction. This tree as the boy understands it
is a dedicated guard, whereas the cemetery is far away
and the hell you trust does not exclude making shrines.

Resurrection is scaling the ladders of dissonance,
enters the room of a young woman to burn an album;
the woman was hiding smiles for her children
who would emerge from hope and a love story
never completed.
For fire broke out inside her lover’s heart.
And he could not defeat two fires, so he surrendered to oblivion.
Except that he told how the fire coming from her window
merged with the fire coming from his balcony
where he was waiting for her.
—Trans. By Yasmin Snounu and Edward Morin
(** The Gaza War, also known as Operation Cast Lead, also known as the Gaza Massacre was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on December 27, 2008 and ended on January 18, 2009.)
About Yousef el-Qedra 
From: BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012.  Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . The lightning which strikes in the road/Provides the passer-by with light . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

IMG_2866 - Copy
Repairs being made to parts of Al Aqsa after Israeli extremists damaged windows and inside walls (Photo: Harold Knight, November 6, 2015)

❶ Thousands of Palestinians pray at Al-Aqsa on second Friday of Ramadan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in Jerusalem neighborhood
❷ US Congress and Knesset celebrate ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem in joint event
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) In Jerusalem, “Religious War” Is Used to Cloak Colonialism
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) 50 Years of Israel’s Military Occupation of East Jerusalem
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s occupation was a plan fulfilled
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim

  • Select bibliography: journal articles about the Occupation of Jerusalem

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency      
June 9, 2017      Thousands of Palestinians headed to occupied East Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the second Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, in spite of Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement.
___Hundreds of members of Israeli police and military forces have been deployed across the Old City and its vicinity since early Friday morning Palestinian security services also deployed members near Israeli checkpoints leading to Jerusalem City.
___Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permits.      MORE . . .

death to arabs
“Death to Arabs” in Hebrew painted on Palestinian cars in East Jerusalem (Photo: Group 194, June 5, 2017)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
June 9, 2017       Israeli Jewish settlers Friday overnight vandalized a number of Palestinian-owned cars in Beit Safafa neighborhood, south of East Jerusalem.
__WAFA correspondent reported the settlers slashed the tires of several Palestinian-owned cars and spray-painted racist anti-Arab graffiti on walls in the neighborhood.
___Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the East Bank, including East Jerusalem, but is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.   MORE . . .      
Ma’an News Agency
June 8, 2017        In the latest event celebrating the “reunification” of Jerusalem in Israel, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and the US Congress held a joint live broadcast event marking the  occasion on Wednesday, in which leaders from both countries celebrated their shared colonial histories and applauded Israel’s control over occupied East Jerusalem.
[. . . .]  Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements. MORE . . 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Nur Arafeh
February 3, 2015       The escalating clashes between Israeli settlers and Jerusalemite Palestinians are the harbingers of a major eruption with incalculable consequences. Immediately billed as a “religious war” by the media and Israeli right wingers, they are in fact the outcome of longstanding Israeli plans to Judaize the city and empty it of its Palestinian inhabitants. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Nur Arafeh analyzes the major changes that Israel has illegally imposed on Jerusalem and addresses the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)/Palestinian Authority’s (PA) effective abandonment of the population to fend for itself.         MORE . . .
This Week In Palestine 
June, 2017      Israeli settler-colonial policies in occupied East Jerusalem extend from three central strategies: The first creates a Jewish majority in the city through establishing “Jewish only” settlements; the second pursues the same goal by reducing the Palestinian population through policies that either forcefully evict Palestinians from Jerusalem or impede their growth and development as a community; the third isolates East Jerusalem and divides the West Bank into two parts. A policy of spatial colonial segregation reduces the visibility, if not the demographic ratio, of the Palestinian presence in their city.      MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴄ) ISRAEL’S  OCCUPATION  WAS  A  PLAN  FULFILLED     
The Electronic Intifada
Ilan Pappe
June 6, 2017     [. . . .] Just recently, I finished writing a book about this period, The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories.
___Through the work on this book, I realized that the Israeli manipulation of Jewish fear in 1967 was even more cynical than it was in 1948, when the Jewish leadership genuinely could not foresee the results of its decision to ethnically cleanse Palestine.  ___The cabinet meetings reveal a group of politicians and generals, who ever since 1948 looked for a way of rectifying what they deemed was the gravest mistake of the otherwise triumphant “war of independence”: the decision not to occupy the West Bank.   MORE . . .


The reader may or may not recall
What we said in village halls

The reader may or may not recall
But we said it repeatedly
In precise and sound words

The lightning which strikes in the road
Provides the passer-by with light
Despite the burns

The reader may or may not remember
But so that everyone will know
I repeat!

We are in the Fifth
Of the month of June
We’re born anew.

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 Samih Al Qasim     

Selected Bibliography

Abuzayyad, Ziad. “The “Unification” of Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar. 2007, pp. 56-59.  SOURCE . . .

Adas, Jane. “Israel’s ‘Master Plan’ for Judaization of Palestine Continues Apace.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, vol. 35, no. 1, Jan/Feb2016, pp. 30-31.     SOURCE . . .

Alkhalili, Noura, et al. “Shifting Realities: Dislocating Palestinian Jerusalemites from the Capital to the Edge.” International Journal of Housing Policy, vol. 14, no. 3, Sept. 2014, pp. 257-267.  SOURCE . . .

Grassiani, Erella and Lior Volinz. “Intimidation, Reassurance, and Invisibility Israeli Security Agents in the Old City of Jerusalem.” Focaal, vol. 2016, no. 75, Summer2016, pp. 14-30.  SOURCE . . .      

Halper, Jeff. “The Policy of House Demolitions in East Jerusalem: What It Is, How It Is Done and to What End.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 17, no. 1/2, Mar. 2011, pp. 74-82.   SOURCE . . .

Ophir, Adi. “On the Structural Role and Coming End of ‘The Occupation’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 688-693.  SOURCE . . .

Rivera-Pagán, Luis N. “Reading the Hebrew Bible in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.” Ecumenical Review, vol. 68, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 36-61.  SOURCE . . .

Schejtman, Mario. “Meretz Jerusalem Views about the Future of the City.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 4, Mar. 2016, pp. 28-31.   SOURCE . . .

Thawaba, Salem A. “Jerusalem Walls: Transforming and Segregating Urban Fabric.” African & Asian Studies, vol. 10, no. 2/3, May 2011, pp. 121-142.  SOURCE . . .

Yacobi, Haim. “From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid: The Changing Urban Geopolitics of Jerusalem\Al-Quds.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 100-114.  SOURCE . . .

“. . . The metallic eagles swept down . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Israeli forces, June 5, 1967 (Photo: No Right To Leave: The Struggle to Free Soviet Jewry)

❶ Knesset calls for permanent annexation on 50th anniversary of the occupation

  • Background: Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Tracking the trends of the Palestinian cause since 1967: Looking forward
❸ Palestinian presidency: Israel ‘destroying any chance of resuming peace process’
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
June 7, 2017     A number of far-right Israeli parliamentarians called for the permanent annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory during a Knesset plenary session on Tuesday to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Six-Day War.
[. . . .] Since 1967, Israel has stood accused of committing major violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements.
___“Fifty years on, and there are those who say the (1967) victory only complicated things for us; that the ‘occupation’ corrupts our society,” Knesset speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said . . . .   MORE. . .

Klug, Tony. A “NEVER-ENDING  OCCUPATION:  THE  END  OF  HOPE?” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 3, Jan. 2016, pp. 88-95.    [. . . .]  Adding to the despair is the anxiety that, in these times, the likely alternative to an indefinite occupation would appear to be annexation of all or part of the West Bank, an action that would not only be completely illegal under international law but would be politically explosive. It was for these reasons that the Israeli defense minister and war hero, General Moshe Dayan, reportedly retracted a proposal shortly after the 1967 war to extend Israeli law to the Occupied Territories.
[. . . .]  Israel’s immediate challenge on inheriting the West Bank was to quell any insurgency and restore order. Secondly, it had designs on chunks of the territory, including but not limited to East Jerusalem, which it promptly annexed along with an extensive hinterland.
[. . . .]___Many years later, following extensive changes on the ground, the pragmatic view among both Palestinians and Israelis is no longer wedded to two states alongside each other. Ominously, there is a common growing illusion that a deal based on reciprocal recognition is no longer necessary. Indeed, there are indications that both sides are reverting to the ingrained attitudes of an earlier era when each summarily rejected the national imperative of the other.
[. . . .] Sooner or later, Israel will have to face its moment of truth: Is it or is it not an occupation? If it maintains that its rule in the West Bank is not an occupation, Israel denies itself the only solid defense it has against the intensifying charge of apartheid. If it accepts it is an occupation, then it is way beyond time to bring it to an end. Sheltering behind a fictional peace process, after 20 years of hollow talks, is no longer a credible option even for the most resolute devotees of direct negotiations.    MORE . . .   

Ma’an News Agency
Nadia Hijab, Mouin Rabbani
June 7, 2017 (Part 1, Looking Back, June 5, 2017)    In some respects the situation today has come full circle since 1967. The broadly unified Palestinian national movement that predominated from the 1960s to the 1990s has disintegrated, perhaps terminally so. It is today split between Fatah and Hamas, with the latter, along with Islamic Jihad, as yet excluded from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), while splits within Fatah and the PLO are rife [. . . .]
___As for Israel, 1967 transformed it from a regional state into a regional power. It is eager to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states, using Iran as the bogeyman to nurture that relationship. In turn, it wants to use that alliance to impose a deal on the Palestinians that would effectively perpetuate Israeli domination, achieving a final peace treaty whereby it would keep security control throughout the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), maintain its settlements, and continue to colonize. MORE. . .  

IDF leadership enters Jerusalem, 1967
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin, Gen. Rehavam Zeevi, And Gen. Narkis in the old city of Jerusalem, June 7 1967 (Photo by Ilan Bruner, GPO)

Al Hourriah Magazine (Freedom)
June 8, 2017        Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh accusing the Israeli government on Wednesday of “destroying any chance of resuming the peace process,” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to “protect the settlement enterprise” on Tuesday.
___”No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” Netanyahu reportedly said, reassuring his extremist settler support base that the settlements would continue in “all parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank)” and that Israel had continued to build “both inside and outside the settlements.”
___Netanyahu’s remarks were made in a speech given during a ceremony on Tuesday held to commemorate the 50th year of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory.
___These statements “prove to the international community once again that Israel still lays obstacles and destroys any chance of resuming the peace process,” Abu Rudeineh said, adding that Netanyahu’s remarks directly challenged US President Donald Trump’s efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.        MORE . . .

From here
From this purgatory
Of sorrow
In the Holy Land
The orphaned birds beseech
From here
From Jeneen
From Old Jerusalem

A Gaza tune of yearning
The sad refrain
Kindled tragedy
In refugee tents
In Jerusalem
The little ones chanted
We shall return
We shall return

The birds nest on our roof
The sparrow flies
In the horizon
And in exile
Under the hot sun
In the wind
God of glory
Return us
Our trial
Has gone on too long!

And then it happened
The metallic eagles swept down
They did not bring the sons of Zion
To Zion
Not the remaining crowds
They did not bring
Pious psalms
To the wailing wall
God of Glory!
What did they bring?
Do not ask me
For in my voice a pagan flame
And listen O God of Glory
Listen to the outcry of a dispossessed people
We have been tested long enough
We have carried the weight of centuries
Long enough
―Why aren’t you convinced?
Our days of trial have been too long
Return us―Return us

About Sami Al-Qasim
From 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

“. . . Polished by our children’s blood And by the shame of ruins . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Samia Khoury, at lunch in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2015 (Photo: Harold Knight)

❶ 50 years of occupation will not kill hope for a free Palestine
❷ 50 years of occupation: still refugees. Stand with Palestine refugees
❸ Israeli settlers take over Palestinian lands in Salfit, erect illegal outpost

  • BACKGROUND from Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Samia Khoury
June 5, 2017
On its 40th day, the mass hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners was suspended after an agreement was reached to allow two visits per month.
___The strike was hailed as a small victory and highlights the dire conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The demands throughout the strike have been within the minimum rights of political prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
[. . . .] I am just wondering what was it that moved Israel to respond to their demands, especially that the international community did not take any action.
[. . . .] In the meantime the Palestinians are commemorating fifty years of a brutal military occupation. With the Oslo agreement in 1993 we were all made to believe that the occupation will soon be over and that peace was around the corner. But after more than twenty years of futile negotiations we realised that this is not a normal occupation that was going to end by a UN resolution. It is in reality a settler colonial regime with an ongoing process of dispossession.
[. . . .] After 50 years, it is not easy to maintain hope and not to despair especially when we watch new realities on the ground . . .   But when I visit Rawdat El-Zuhur, the school which I served for many years and look at the bright shining eyes of the children, or when I hear my young grandson practicing his trumpet in the late afternoon I am determined that we cannot lose hope for the sake of those children.   MORE . . .
Received as email on June 5, 2017
This week marks a devastating anniversary for Palestinians: 50 years of the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
___In 1967, UNRWA had already been providing services to Palestine refugees displaced by the Nakba for 17 years. The Naksa — the new wave of displacement caused by the June 1967 war and subsequent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza — warranted the establishment of 10 new refugee camps, and UNRWA expanding its services to newly displaced Palestinians in need. Refugees still live in these camps today.
___Thank you for being one of the tens of thousands of concerned and compassionate supporters in the United States who stand with Palestine refugees. Please support our mission through your generous giving.       RESPOND . . .

Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from performing Friday prayers on May 5, 2017, in Deir Istiya near an agricultural road that was closed by Israeli forces last year, preventing Palestinians from accessing their lands (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

Ma’an News Agency      
June 7, 2017
A group of settlers from Israel’s illegal Nufim settlement erected an outpost on Tuesday on Palestinian lands in the Khirbet Shihada area in the eastern outskirts of the village of Deir Istiya in the occupied West Bank district of Salfit.
___Local activist Nathmi Salman told Ma’an that the settlers erected 13 tents and a number of wooden caravans on Palestinian land owned by residents of Deir Istiya.
___Salman added that a road equipped with electricity and lights was previously built to connect Nufim to the Palestinian lands where the outpost was then constructed.
___Palestinian farmers in Deir Istiya said that they were also threatened from going near the area by an armed Israeli settler.    MORE . . .  

Handel, Ariel. “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex in the West Bank.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 39, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 504-517.
The claim that the settlements in the West Bank are gated communities might seem trivial. . .  From 1996 onward, Palestinians have been prohibited from entering settlement premises for any purpose other than work, and workers have been subjected to tight surveillance. Since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, security procedures have been further tightened and the fences significantly reinforced.
[. . . .] the settlement layout in the West Bank is not just an aggregate of 124 ‘legal’ gated communities and a similar number of ‘illegal outposts’, but rather a single, contiguous gated community gating, in turn, Palestinian ‘islands’ within it.
[. . . .] In this way, gated communities completely alter the physical space. They split the city into two layers, one connected and the other fragmented; one in movement and the other frozen. The highways that traverse the city to connect the gated communities to each other are extremely hazardous and exact a heavy toll of victims. Thus, even though an official prohibition against crossing them does not necessarily exist, these roads have created highly efficient demarcation lines.
[. . . .]  The settlements have been dispersed over the area by calculated design. . .   based on the settlers’ plans and backed by the state’s apparatuses and its military power . . . .
[. . . .]  The complex of gated communities, based as it is on the network of roads that connect small settlements, has the effect of blocking Palestinian movement and creating a ‘gating from within’ in which the minority gates the majority by help of state regulations and power . . . .  in a situation of perceived danger, movement itself becomes a problem, [and the politics] of mobility turns into a zero-sum game. Thus . . . under a real or perceived threat of crime, terror or other elements of ‘social danger’, [have enhanced] the connectivity of the people of means, while at the same time bolstering their corridors’ exclusionarity . . .  thereby reducing the rest of the population’s public space and freedom of movement.

On the fifth,
Of June last
We returned to death its diplomatic bags
On the fifth
Of June last
We stripped the western winds
Of its ornamentation
Polished by our children’s blood
And by the shame of ruins
On the fifth
Of June last
The dead ascended to the United Nations
To partake in the emergency meeting
On the fifth
Of June last
We viewed the whole face of the globe
On the fifth
Of June last
The Arab oil wells continued flowing
In the midst of Arab lands
Towards the soil of western winds
On the fifth
Of June last

I do not weep!
I do not smile!

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 Samih Al Qasim