“. . . The silence is so loud that our hearts bleed . . .” (Samia Khoury)

solidrity strikers
Palestinian women hold portraits of loved ones in Israeli prison during a protest in support of hunger-striking prisoners in the West Bank city of Nablus on May 4, 2017. (Photo: Ayman Ameen, APA images)

❶ Hunger Strike Continues For The 34th Day

  •  Personal Reflection – Samia Khoury

❷ On 34th day of hunger strike, prisoners transferred to Israeli civilian hospital
❸ Background issues: Treatment of hunger strikers raises concern amongst rights organizations
❹ Starving with their sons
❺ Opinion/Analysis:  Editorial Negotiate With the Palestinian Hunger Strikers
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ HUNGER  STRIKE  CONTINUES  FOR  THE  34TH  DAY 
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
May 20, 2017
Around 1600 Palestinian political prisoners, held by Israel, continue the hunger strike for the 34th consecutive day, determined to achieve their demands, while Israel continues to refuse to hold serious talks, and instead, is trying to divide them, in addition to punishing many by forcing them into solitary confinement, and repeatedly transferring many to different prisons.
___The Media Committee of the Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported that the “Freedom and Dignity” strike is going through one of the most serious and sensitive stages, and that the detainees are determined to continue until achieving their demands.
___It said that the Israeli government has appointed the head of the Shabak, and the Prison Authority, to do whatever is possible to end the hunger strike before U.S. President Donald Trump visits the region, “even if this means adhering to most of the detainees’ demands.”   MORE . . .

PERSONAL  REFLECTION
Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope
SAMIA  KHOURY
May 20, 2017
Dear Friends: How would you feel if your son or daughter went on a hunger strike demanding justice for more than a month, and nobody bothered to call you or check on you and your beloved one? The silence is so loud that our hearts bleed with those mothers who are gathering daily in various areas including the Red Cross offices in the Palestinian Territories. Yet there is no reaction or action from the Israeli authorities or the international community to respond to their demands for basic rights as political prisoners, in accordance to the Geneva Convention. So many of those political prisoners have been under administrative detention without any charge or trial.      MORE . . . .

❷ ON  34TH  DAY  OF  HUNGER  STRIKE,  PRISONERS  TRANSFERRED  TO  ISRAELI  CIVILIAN  HOSPITAL
Ma’an News Agency  
May 20, 2017
As some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners entered the 34th day of a mass hunger strike on Saturday, a group of prisoners were transferred to an Israeli civilian hospital after refusing water and falling into a critical health condition, while Palestinian prisoners have remained united against the strike’s leadership.
___The Israel Prison Service (IPS) transferred a group of Palestinian hunger strikers to Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon city in southern Israel, after the prisoners gradually stopped drinking water and their health conditions reached a critical stage, according to the committee formed to support the hunger strikers.
[. . . .]   According to reports, up until this point, Palestinian hunger strikers have been transferred to prison field hospitals — sites which many fear will be used to force feed the hunger strikers en masse.    MORE . . .
❸ BACKGROUND  ISSUES:   TREATMENT  OF  HUNGER  STRIKERS  RAISES  CONCERN  AMONGST  RIGHTS  ORGANIZATIONS        
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association 

May 8, 2017
On April 17, 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike in protest against their severe conditions of incarceration and other violations of their human rights. Their demands comply with international human rights and humanitarian law . . . . Nevertheless, since the declaration of the strike, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has taken various punitive actions against the hunger-strikers, including placing prisoners in solitary confinement and preventing them from meeting with lawyers. . . . These measures stand in direct contradiction of the 2016 Concluding Observations of the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT), which has called on Israel to “guarantee that persons deprived of liberty who engage in hunger strikes are never subjected to ill-treatment or punished for engaging in a hunger strike” (para. 27).  The hunger strikers’ demands cover a wide range of issues, including . . . . MORE . . .

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Palestinians in London launch a solidarity hunger strike and protest outside House of Parliament in London, UK. (Photo: May 4, 2017, Middle East Monitor)

❹  STARVING WITH  THEIR  SONS     
The Electronic Intifada
Maram Humaid
May 19,2017
Latifa al-Naji Abu Humaid’s family are worried about her health. They are trying to convince the 70-year-old that she should start eating again. But Latifa is determined to continue refusing food in solidarity with her sons who are undertaking a hunger strike behind Israeli bars.
___“I cannot eat while my sons are starving,” said Latifa, who lives in al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, a city in the occupied West Bank. “If they end the hunger strike, I will too.”
___Four of Latifa’s sons have been in prison since 2002. All affiliated to al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of the Fatah organization, they have been convicted of various charges and sentenced to multiple life sentences for their roles in planning and helping carry out suicide bombings and other armed operations.
___The four have joined the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.  MORE . . . 
❺ Opinion/Analysis:  NEGOTIATE  WITH  THE  PALESTINIAN  HUNGER STRIKERS       Is it really in Israel’s interest to descend into a third intifada instead of listening to the prisoners? 
Haaretz Editorial  
May 21, 2017
Despite a lack of interest among Israelis, the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners entered its 35th day on Sunday. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan hasn’t tried to resolve the strike through negotiations with the prisoners over their demands. Instead he has tried to break the strikers and end the action by force.
___Erdan has been threatening to force-feed the strikers. He has stuck by this approach even though the Israel Medical Association has said it will refuse to carry out force-feeding. Erdan is even willing to bring in doctors from abroad for this purpose. . . .
___Such efforts have failed. Now it appears that the nonviolent protests have spread beyond the prison walls to the Palestinian street, but violently. If the government doesn’t quickly come to its senses and find a way to deal with the strike, hundreds of prisoners could die. About 850 prisoners are currently striking and their health continues to decline.
___Force-feeding is an indecent practice that violates medical ethics. Some people view it as torture in every respect.      MORE . . .

“. . . the workman aspiring with great longing for/ His land . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

IMG_2983
Lifta, depopulated Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

Note: the format today is a departure from our norm a number of news items touching on the topic “the Nakba is a continuum of injustice, denial and colonization” from the first item.

❶ PLO department shares video depicting ongoing elimination, dispossession of Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) WATCH: Palestinians visit ruins of village destroyed during Nakba
❷ Israel aims new Nakba-style weapon at Arab citizens
. . . . . ❷― (ᴀ) Israel to expand Arial industrial zone at the expense of Salfit lands.
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) Tayseer Khaled: The new settlement plan on Qalandia airport land is being  prepared under the US administration cover
❸ Palestinians face biggest expulsion in years by settlers in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) Palestinian Citizens in Israel: A Fast-Shrinking Civic Space
❹ Israeli settler who killed Palestinian in Nablus not being investigated as criminal suspect
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO: Israeli settler passes out candy to celebrate killing of Palestinian in Nablus
❺ POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PLO  DEPARTMENT  SHARES  VIDEO  DEPICTING  ONGOING  ELIMINATION,  DISPOSSESSION  OF  PALESTINIANS      
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA   
May 19, 2017
Note: The video is not available from WAFA. It is included here for the statement, “. . . it is important to remember that this is not a commemoration of an event in the past; rather, the Nakba is a continuum of injustice, denial and colonization that perpetuates to this day. . .” 
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Department of Culture and Information Thursday shared a video depicting the ongoing elimination and dispossession of the Palestinian people since 1947.
___On behalf of PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, the department shared a video clip, Israel: Crime and Impunity, on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the Nakba “the catastrophe.”  MORE. . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) WATCH:  PALESTINIANS  VISIT  RUINS  OF  VILLAGE  DESTROYED  DURING  NAKBA
+972 Blog   
May 18, 2017
Descendants of Palestinians who were expelled from the village of Ma’alul during the Nakba visit the site of their former home to celebrate Easter in the church there — one of the few buildings left standing after the Israeli army destroyed the locality.  MORE . . . .
❷ ISRAEL  AIMS  NEW  NAKBA-STYLE  WEAPON  AT  ARAB  CITIZENS
+972 Blog
May 15, 2017
. . . .  the Israeli campaign to control land has never stopped. As Israel celebrates the 69th anniversary of its establishment — Palestinians commemorate the Nakba annually on May 15 — it is also brandishing its latest weapon against its remaining Arab citizens, designed to corral them into an ever-shrinking living space.
___According to Israel, the new so-called Kaminitz Law, which was enacted in April 2017, is intended to consolidate and streamline state powers in enforcing planning and building regulations.       MORE . . . .
. . . . ❷― (ᴀ) ISRAEL  TO  EXPAND  ARIAL  INDUSTRIAL  ZONE  AT  THE  EXPENSE  OF  SALFIT  LANDS.  VIOLATION:  EXPANSION  WORKS  ON  AN  INDUSTRIAL  ZONE  
POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories      
May 2, 2017
The Israeli occupation government work day and night to take over more Palestinian lands for the favor of colonial expansionist plans in the West Bank area. According to Land Research Center field follow-up, the ravaging works are focused in the areas known as Khallet Al-Za’faran and Al-Harayeq from Bruqin village. More than 100 dunums were totally swept until the day of preparing this report. The aim behind the ravaging works is to create open a colonial road (1km* 6m) in the periphery of the targeted area, which is being exploited for the favor of expanding Arial Industrial Zone.
___Data of Land Research Center showed that the targeted lands belong to Sabra family from Bruqin town.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷― (ᴃ) TAYSEER  KHALED:  THE  NEW  SETTLEMENT  PLAN  ON  QALANDIA  AIRPORT  LAND  IS  BEING  PREPARED  UNDER  THE  US  ADMINISTRATION  COVER   
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Group 194)
May 2, 2017
Tayseer Khaled, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), blamed the US administration for the consequences of Israeli housing ministry and the Israeli occupation municipality intention in Jerusalem, to implement a large settlement plan aimed at building 15,000 settlement units on the land of Jerusalem Airport and lands of Qalandia that surround the settlement area called “Atarot” which was established by the occupation authorities on the land of the citizens in north-west Jerusalem.   MORE . . . .
❸ PALESTINIANS  FACE  BIGGEST  EXPULSION  IN  YEARS  BY  SETTLERS  IN  JERUSALEM   
The Electronic Intifada
Charlotte Silver
May 17, 2017
A private settler organization is planning “the most extensive expulsion scheme in recent years,” in the Batan al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem is warning.
___The settler group, Ateret Cohanim, claims to own about an acre of land in the densely populated neighborhood near the al-Aqsa mosque.
___The group has filed eviction claims against the 81 Palestinian families who live there.
___B’Tselem says this concentration of evictions represents 45 percent of all Palestinians facing “dispossession on the basis of ethnicity” in East Jerusalem.  MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸― (ᴀ) PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  IN  ISRAEL:  A  FAST-SHRINKING  CIVIC  SPACE   
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Nadim Nashif, Raya Naamneh
January 13, 2016
Israel still portrays itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Yet in practice, as its Palestinian citizens can attest, it functions as a Jewish ethnocracy, leaving small margins of freedom for its Palestinian citizens that have been steadily shrinking in the past few years. Now the Israeli state has come under the complete control of the far right wing, which sees no need even for such limited margins of freedom. This is evident in the wave of discriminatory legislation and the use of the Emergency Regulations against established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and movements such as the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.        MORE . . .   

candy
Israeli settler, who appears to be protected by Israeli army forces, was distributing candy to Israeli settlers in celebration of the killing. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, May 18, 2017)

Note:  Continuing from Headline News of May 18
ISRAELI  SETTLER  WHO  KILLED  PALESTINIAN  IN  NABLUS  NOT  BEING  INVESTIGATED  AS  CRIMINAL  SUSPECT   
Ma’an News Agency 
May 18, 2017
The Israeli settler who shot and killed one Palestinian and injured another on Thursday near the Huwwara village, south of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, is not being investigated by Israeli police as a criminal suspect, according to Israeli news daily Haaretz.        MORE . . .  
. . . . . ❹ ― (ᴀ) VIDEO:  ISRAELI  SETTLER  PASSES  OUT  CANDY  TO  CELEBRATE  KILLING  OF  PALESTINIAN  IN  NABLUS    
Ma’an News Agency  
May 18, 2017
Following a deadly shooting carried out by an Israeli settler near the Huwwara village in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, an Israeli settler distributed candy to passing Israeli vehicles south of Nablus on Thursday in celebration of the settler killing a 23-year-old Palestinian earlier in the day.      MORE . . .

“DREAMS  ON  A  MATTRESS  OF  THORNS,”  BY  FOUZI  EL-ASMAR

Oh my homeland
The whisper of the leaves I the breeze
Robs me of my sleep.
The darkness of the dawn
And the glance of my beautiful sister
Searching for our songs
Robs me of my sleep.

Lovebirds returning to their nest
At sunset
Kissing their nestlings
Rejoicing
Rob me of my sleep.

The silence of the night
Robs me of my sleep
Oh my country.

Sleep does not bless my eyelids
For there are nails in my eyes
Covered with the rust of many days
And the blast of drums in my eyes
Beaten by the arms of hatred.

And I run
I run
I run in order to wrap
The morning around my body.
I run towards my loved ones
I kiss them
I console them for the loss
Of their yesterday.

I tell them:
My loved ones
Forget the yesterday
Let us fold it
And bury it in the ground
The day is ours
The morrow is ours
They carry the sun
Of our destiny.

My loved ones
Do not fear.
Despite the delayed dawn
despite the dagger
Stabbed deep into your hip
We shall arrive.

We shall arrive
On the wind
Among the clouds
Under the zenith
Among the bleating sheep
Among the drops of sweat
Adoring the face of the workman
Aspiring with great long for
His land.

We shall come
On the sun rays we shall come
Have no fear
We shall come.

Fouzi El-Asmar
From:  El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.   Available from Amazon.

“. . . Do not bury him, while his wounds/ Proclaim his testament of love . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

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Mutaz Hussien Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, who was shot and killed by an Israeli settler, May 18, 2017 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Settler shoots and kills Palestinian during West Bank demo
❷ Israeli forces suppress solidarity events in West Bank, East Jerusalem

  • Background article from Boston University International Law Journal,

❸ Reconstruction of Umm al-Hiran killings disproves car-ramming claims
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ SETTLER  SHOOTS  AND  KILLS  PALESTINIAN  DURING  WEST  BANK  DEMO     
+972 Magazine 
Natasha Roth
May 18, 2017
An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian near Huwwara in the West Bank on Thursday, during a demonstration in solidarity with an ongoing mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israel. The dead man was named by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as Mutaz Hussien Hilal Bani Shamsa, 23, according to Ma’an News Agency.
___The settler also shot and moderately wounded Associated Press photographer Majdi Eshtayya.
___An IDF statement said that the protest had drawn around 200 Palestinians, some of whom had been throwing stones at passing Israeli vehicles. Photographs published by Walla show what is purportedly the car belonging to the settler in question, with its windshield heavily damaged. Palestinian media reported the demonstration as a peaceful march.
___The alleged shooter is a resident of Itamar settlement, near Nablus, who was detained for questioning following the incident.       MORE . . .  
❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  SUPPRESS  SOLIDARITY  EVENTS  IN  WEST  BANK,  EAST  JERUSALEM 
Ma’an News Agency
May 18, 2017
Israeli forces suppressed at least two solidarity demonstrations on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in support of the some 1,300 Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli custody, as one Palestinian was injured with a live bullet and tens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.     ___A Palestinian was injured with a live bullet, while tens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation after clashes erupted with Israeli forces near the entrance of Qalandiya refugee camp in Ramallah when Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful march Wednesday night in support of the mass hunger strike among Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.       MORE . . .  
RELATED     GAZA  FISHERMAN  DIES  HOURS  AFTER  BEING  SHOT  BY  ISRAELI  FORCES   
May 15, 2017
RELATED     ISRAELI  FORCES  KILL  23-YEAR-OLD  PALESTINIAN,  INJURE  DOZENS  DURING  CLASHES  IN  WEST  BANK   
May 12, 2017

Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer. “EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLING  WITH  NEAR  IMPUNITY:   EXCESSIVE  FORCE  BY  ISRAELI  LAW  ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PALESTINIANS.” Boston University International Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, Spring2017, pp. 115-156.   COMPLETE ARTICLE
[. . . .]  In sum, Palestinians face regular violence from state actors alongside a lack of protection from violence by non-state actors. The degree of force used against Palestinians oftentimes far exceeds what is necessary to maintain safety and order in the area, as IHL requires; in many cases, this excessive force blatantly violates Israel’s own rules and regulations regarding appropriate law enforcement responses to civilian unrest, violence, and even mortal danger. A closer examination of the open-fire and safety regulations reveals that these are often ambiguously worded, and moreover, contradict the instructions and messages received by police and soldiers during briefings by commanding officers. Thus, the disparate treatment of acts committed by Palestinians versus Jews is consistent with the putative expectations of behavior of law enforcement personnel in Israel. Moreover, with negligible risk of facing punishment for deviating from the regulations, Israeli security personnel operate in a realm of practical impunity when using force against Palestinians.
Note:  A longer quotation from the article is below, after the poetry.
Note: The author holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt), and is an American-Israeli human rights attorney at the Michael Sfard Law Office in Tel Aviv.

❸ RECONSTRUCTION  OF  UMM  AL-HIRAN  KILLINGS  DISPROVES  CAR-RAMMING  CLAIMS  
+972 Blog
By Yael Marom
May 18, 2017
The results of a police investigation into the January 18 events in Umm al-Hiran, during which — prior to a slate of home demolitions — a Bedouin man who was shot by police ran over and killed an Israeli policeman before succumbing to his wounds, have yet to be published. But it’s already clear that every detail the Israel Police tried to pass off to the public and the media was incorrect.
___The reconstruction also proves that Abu al-Qi’an was still alive after his car had stopped, as the autopsy findings showed. He even opened his car door before falling out of the vehicle. An eyewitness testified to investigators that he saw a police officer pointing his gun at Abu al-Qi’an while the latter was still alive, strengthening the claim that the already-injured Abu al-Qi’an was shot again after his car had stopped and he did not pose a threat to anyone.Forensic Architecture, in partnership with Activestills, has now managed to put together a reconstruction of what happened in Umm al-Hiran that day. Their work proves that contrary to police claims, Yaqub Mousa Abu al-Qi’an did not intentionally accelerate his car, but rather it picked up speed and went down the slope only after police had opened fire and hit Abu al-Qi’an’s right leg. As a result, his car struck and killed police officer Erez Levi.      MORE . . .  

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

Let him take leave of his friends,
A bleeding eagle among the rocks.
Lay him in the sun; his face caressed
By the winds, redolent with the fragrance of the land of his youth.

Do not close his eyes; a final
Red glimmer still shines in them.
His call reverberates in the golden valleys:
“You who fear death, I fear it not;
Take me to my home
To rest my cheek upon its threshold,
To kiss the doorknob,
Take me to my vineyard, I would die, with the pangs of my love in my heart,
If my eyes do not feast once more on the sight of its soil.

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.

Huwara-23-of-30
Huwara town just 9km south of Nablus, surrounded by four Israeli settlements. (Photo: Welcome to Palestine)

Omer-Man, Emily Schaeffer. “EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLING  WITH  NEAR  IMPUNITY:   EXCESSIVE  FORCE  BY  ISRAELI  LAW  ENFORCEMENT  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS.” Boston University International Law Journal, vol. 35, no. 1,

Spring2017, pp. 115-156.  COMPLETE ARTICLE
[. . . . ] According to a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute in August 2016, nearly half of the Jewish population in Israel, which comprises around 80% of the Israeli population, and nearly all of the security forces command structure and politicians charged with supervising and directing security forces, support a “shoot-to-kill” policy in handling suspected Palestinian assailants, “even if [they have] been apprehended and clearly [do] not [pose] a threat.” Statements by the most senior Israeli political leaders . . .  reflect similar attitudes either explicitly or impliedly. These attitudes seemingly substitute legal punishment with extrajudicial killing by security personnel, a situation that Jelani Jefferson Exum called “the death penalty on the streets.”
[. . . .]   Since the start of the Second Intifada in late 2000, Israeli security forces have killed more than 2 thousand Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in law enforcement scenarios alone (excluding those deemed by Israel to have been civilians DPHing [civilian directly participating in hostilities} combatants, or collateral damage in military operations). This figure does not include some 3 thousand official complaints of injuries to Palestinians by IDF soldiers alone during the same period.91 According to IDF data, beatings and injury of Palestinians comprised more than half of all investigations into incidents raising suspicion of unlawful conduct by soldiers in 2015 (and roughly two-thirds of investigations over the previous decade). Injuries from shooting and beatings in law enforcement contexts typically are documented during demonstrations and riots, at checkpoints throughout the West Bank and crossings to and from Israel, during arrests and searches of homes and businesses, and, in certain cases, after detention of suspects.
[. . . .]  The level of restraint and protection demonstrated by law enforcement personnel in the West Bank and East Jerusalem toward the more than 585 thousand Israeli civilians living in those territories contrasts starkly with the force exhibited toward Palestinians—including situations when Israeli civilians are the perpetrators of violence against Palestinians. The rules of engagement, both officially and in practice, differ greatly based on ethnicity or “nationality”—i.e., Palestinian or Israeli. For instance, the “Suspect Arrest Procedure,” in which every IDF soldier is trained, requires a soldier to conduct an arrest in stages as necessary, beginning with verbal warnings, followed by warning shots into the air, graduating to shooting the suspect’s legs in order to neutralize and, in the case of imminent mortal danger, permitting the soldier to shoot to kill. The Suspect Arrest Procedure applies whether responding to Jewish civilian suspects or Palestinian suspects. However, with regard to the former, soldiers are trained not to escalate the procedure beyond the firing of a warning shot. Additionally, although official regulations applicable to both police and soldiers authorize the use of certain CCWs against Israelis, the practice when it comes to handling settler unrest in the West Bank and East Jerusalem dictates showing great restraint toward this population.
___Accordingly, the idea that police and soldiers would use live ammunition against the Jewish population in the occupied territory is inconceivable, although regulations provide for its use in situations posing mortal danger. This restrained approach is deeply ingrained in Israeli society, dating back to decades of IDF and Israel Police’s delicate relationship with the settler population, the delicate relationship arising due to numerous factors: political pressures to maintain overall “peace” with the settler population, the desire to preserve order on the ground, and attempting to address mounting local and foreign pressure to curb settler violence against Palestinians.
[. . . . ] In sum, Palestinians face regular violence from state actors alongside a lack of protection from violence by non-state actors. The degree of force used against Palestinians oftentimes far exceeds what is necessary to maintain safety and order in the area, as IHL requires; in many cases, this excessive force blatantly violates Israel’s own rules and regulations regarding appropriate law enforcement responses to civilian unrest, violence, and even mortal danger. A closer examination of the open-fire and safety regulations reveals that these are often ambiguously worded, and moreover, contradict the instructions and messages received by police and soldiers during briefings by commanding officers. Thus, the disparate treatment of acts committed by Palestinians versus Jews is consistent with the putative expectations of behavior of law enforcement personnel in Israel. Moreover, with negligible risk of facing punishment for deviating from the regulations, Israeli security personnel operate in a realm of practical impunity when using force against Palestinians.
[. . . . ]   Palestinians living under occupation have few means of calling for accountability. Unlike their Israeli neighbors, such Palestinians are neither afforded the right to assemble, nor participation in electing the Israeli government officials who dictate the policies to be applied in the West Bank. Their tools for seeking accountability are limited primarily to international media, the few available avenues for external judicial review, and mostly ineffective direct legal channels within Israel that focus on individual investigations and specific aspects of investigation policies but rarely address the overall systemic obstacles to protection from violence. Thus, lack of accountability creates and perpetuates a culture of impunity that emboldens Israeli police and soldiers to use excessive violence against Palestinians, whether they are non-violently protesting or carrying out acts of violence.  [. . . . ] 

“. . . Like twenty impossibilities/ We shall remain. . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

key
A Palestinian woman holds the key to her old family house as Palestinians stage a Nakba Day rally. [Photo: Alaa Badarneh/EPA]
❶ ‘We will support you by every possible means:’ David Friedman arrives in Israel

  • Background: “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.”

❷ Israel is still unable to deal with the catastrophe of 1948
❸ Jewish Nation-State Bill: Israel’s Precarious Identity is Palestine’s Nightmare
❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
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❶ ‘WE  WILL  SUPPORT  YOU  BY  EVERY  POSSIBLE  MEANS:’  DAVID  FRIEDMAN  ARRIVES  IN  ISRAEL
Ma’an News Agency
May 16, 2017
US President Donald Trump’s pick for US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman embarked on his first official trip to Israel on Monday, as the ultraright, pro-settler ambassador reportedly told Israeli leaders that he and Trump would support Israel “by every possible means.”
___Friedman’s first stop after landing in Israel was the Western Wall, a holy Jewish site located in occupied East Jerusalem and adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the ambassador “prayed for Donald Trump.”
___On Tuesday, Friedman met with President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and presented his credentials. . .  MORE . . .

Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 12, no. 2, Nov. 2013, pp. 181-205.
[. . . .] Thus, the possibilities for genuine political struggles that contest political, social and economic inequalities are heavily managed so as to protect the apartheid premise for the sake of which the state [Israel] was constituted. The injustices in it are not just a de facto durational injustice which are found and persist for some time in any political community and which may be more or less systematic until the narratives that give rise to them are overcome. . . .  In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness; of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state. Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness . . .  is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa [which] was thus already open to reform . . . a political community that [could] be made responsible for its actions. In short. . .  South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.          ___Moreover and crucially, in Israel it is because of the need to create a state which is based on this apartheid premise that sustains Jewish majority and character that ethnic cleansing took place . . .  such a state should not be recognised and . . .  in the case of Palestine national self-determination must not, under any circumstances, imply a Jewish state.     Full Article.

❷ ISRAEL  IS  STILL  UNABLE  TO  DEAL  WITH  THE  CATASTROPHE  OF  1948
+972 Blog
Oren Barak
May 16, 2017
Why does the State of Israel, which just celebrated 69 years of independence, struggle to deal with the unpleasant events in its distant past, especially not the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe in the 1948 War?
___Professor Avraham Sela and Professor Alon Kadish, two top scholars of the 1948 War from Hebrew University, recently published a book titled The War of 1948: Representations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives. The book looks at a number of realms in which the memory of the war, as well as how it is forgotten, are expressed . . . .
[. . . .] The final chapter, was written by Sela and Professor Neil Kaplan, a Canadian researcher who focuses on the Israeli-Arab conflict, suggests an important insight: memory and historical narratives are the product of a particular political and social reality — not the other way around. The question is, then, what is the political and social reality that influences what is remembered and what is forgotten about the war     MORE . . .

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View of the assembly hall of the Knesset, during the opening of the winter session, October 31, 2016. (Photo: New York Jewish Week)

❸ JEWISH  NATION-STATE  BILL:  ISRAEL’S  PRECARIOUS  IDENTITY  IS  PALESTINE’S  NIGHTMARE
Palestine Chronicle     
Ramzy Baroud
May 17 2017
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has hurriedly passed a new bill that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” Although the association between Jewishness and Israel goes back to the foundation of the state, the new law also carries clear discriminatory elements that target the country’s Arab communities, numbering nearly two million people.
___The ‘Jewish Nation-State Bill’ is the latest concoction of Israel’s rightwing Zionist Jewish parties, which have dominated Israeli politics for years. With the Israeli ‘Left’ rendered irrelevant, or has itself moved to the right, the right wing elements of Israel are now the supreme rulers of that country.
[. . . . ] Israel’s odd definition of democracy and relentless attempts to reconcile between democracy and racial discrimination, however, is rarely challenged among its American and European allies.
___Palestinians, on the other hand, are bearing the brunt of racism more than ever before, for Israel’s Jewish dream has become their never-ending nightmare.  MORE . . .

“WE SHALL REMAIN,” BY TAWFIQ ZAYYAD
It is a thousand times easier
For you
To pass an elephant through the needle’s eye
To catch fried fish in the Milky Way
To plow the sea
To teach an alligator speech,
A thousand times easier
Than smothering with your oppression.
The spark of an idea
Or forcing us to deviate
A single step
From our chosen march.
Like twenty impossibilities
We shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here upon your chests
We shall remain
Like the glass and the cactus
In your throats
A fiery whirlwind in your eyes.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We wash the dishes in the hotels
And serve drinks to the masters.
We mop the floors in the dark kitchens
To extract a piece of bread
From your blue teeth
For the little ones.

Here, we shall remain
A wall on your chests.
We starve,
Go naked,
Sing songs
And fill the streets
With demonstrations
And the jails with pride.
We breed rebellions
One after another.
Like twenty impossibles we remain
In Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.

Here, we shall remain.
You may drink the sea;
We shall guard the shade
Of the olive tree and the fig,
Planting ideas
Like the yeast in the dough.
The coldness of ice is in our nerves
And a burning hell in our hearts.
We squeeze the rock to quench our thirst
And if we starve
We eat the dirt
And never depart
Or grudge our blood.

Here – we have a past
……a present
………..and a future.
Our roots are entrenched
Deep in the earth
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain.
Let the oppressor review his account
Before the turn of the wheel.
For every action there is a reaction:
Read what is written in the Book.
Like twenty impossibles
We shall remain – in Lydda, Ramlah and Galilee.

Tawfiq Zayyad, poet, scholar, politician (1929-1994)
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. 

“. . . Nowhere to live and now/ No quiet place to die . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

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Demonstrators carry Palestinian flag at the rally to mark the 69th anniversary of Nakba Day in Ramallah. (Photo: Alaa Badarneh, european pressphoto agency, May 15, 2017)

❶ Israeli border police ‘volunteer’ sentenced to 7 months for 2013 killing of Palestinian

  • Background article from International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies    

❷ Palestinian fisherman Mohammed Majid Bakr killed and six more fishermen seized by Israeli occupation naval forces
❸ Palestinians injured in Nakba day clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah
❹ POETRY by Jehan Bseiso
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI BORDER POLICE ‘VOLUNTEER’ SENTENCED TO 7 MONTHS FOR 2013 KILLING OF PALESTINIAN      
Ma’an News Agency       
May 15, 2017
An Israeli court in the city of Kfar Saba, south of Haifa in northern Israel, sentenced a “volunteer” of the Israeli border police to seven months in prison for killing a Palestinian worker in 2013.     ___Israeli news website Ynet reported that the “volunteer,” David Arik Bibi Rubi, 43, agreed to a plea bargain with the prosecution, which will also include an additional four months of probation following his release from prison.
___Rubi shot and killed 23-year-old Antar Aqra, from the Nablus-area village of Qabalan, for not having an Israeli-issued work permit during “a joint police operation to identify and arrest illegal Palestinian workers,” according to Ynet.     MORE . . .  

Note: This excerpt is longer than usual, and the article is a somewhat technical discussion. However, the gist of the article should be discernable here.

Cohen, Shuki J. “BREAKABLE  AND  UNBREAKABLE  SILENCES:  IMPLICIT  DEHUMANIZATION  AND  ANTI-ARAB  PREJUDICE  IN  ISRAELI  SOLDIERS’  NARRATIVES  CONCERNING  PALESTINIAN  WOMEN.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, vol. 12, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 245-277.
(Cohen is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.)
[. . . .]
[This study] was done in order to examine the dehumanization of Palestinians by the Israeli military in the (relative) absence of realistic concerns for their safety . . . .  consistent with this study’s contention that dehumanization of Palestinians by Israelis is a borderline level defense-mechanism that is activated independently of the realistic level of threat that they pose can be seen in two common IDF practices in the occupied territories, namely “Confirmation of Killing” (“Vidu Hariga” – whereby soldiers are required to riddle the body of a fallen Palestinian in bullets to ensure that they won’t pose any further threat) . . . .  and the destruction of property, which is often justified on grounds of security even when the potential threat from the property is most likely imaginary . . . . The ambiguous utility of such practices is intimately linked to the borderline-level vagueness in the boundaries between realistic and imaginary (or projected) appraisal of the imminent danger that lifeless bodies, pickle jars and the like might pose. . . . these boundaries in the sense of reality shift in tandem with the anxiety level of the situation, which in turn . . .   is a complex interplay of individual, communal and politically-motivated induced anxieties.
[. . . .]
Examination of the most frequent themes and words that were distinctly. . . suggests that one of the most prominent components of the complex psychodynamic conflict surrounding their dehumanization is the communication barrier between Israelis and Palestinians . . . . Testimony suggests that the ability to communicate with the Palestinian chipped at the dehumanization defense mechanism and led to an emotional flooding that loomed large over the narrator’s conscience for a long time.
[. . . .]
[I]t would also seem a simplistic mistake to view the soldiers’ pervasive dehumanization of the Palestinian civilians as a uniquely individual characteristic . . . . Rather, the role of the Israeli government and army in maintaining a matrix of power in which dehumanization seems to be the . . .  mechanism of defense (against real and/or manufactured threats . . .) should be routinely incorporated into the psychodynamic understanding of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict on its individual, communal and national determinants . . . . ARTICLE SOURCE

PALESTINIAN  FISHERMAN  MOHAMMED  MAJID  BAKR  KILLED  AND  SIX  MORE  FISHERMEN  SEIZED  BY  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  NAVAL  FORCES
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
May 15, 2017
Palestinian fisherman Mohammed Majid Bakr, 28, was killed by Israeli occupation naval forces this morning, Monday, 15 May as he fished in his family boat when it was attacked by naval forces besieging the Gaza Strip. He was shot in the chest and died hours later in the Israeli Barzillai hospital.
___Mohammed Majid Bakr was a Palestinian refugee from the Shati refugee camp from a large fishing family in Gaza.. . . [three others] were seized by occupation naval forces and taken to an unknown location, while their fishing boats were confiscated.
___Israeli gunboats also attacked more fishers in the northern Gaza strip on Monday morning, 15 May, firing on fishing boats and the fishery of Amin Abu Warda, seizing three more Palestinian fishers . . .  within three nautical miles from the Gaza shore.       MORE . . .

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Gaza fisherman, Mohammad Majed Bakr, 25, killed by Israeli fire. (Photo: IMEC News, May 15, 2017)

❸ PALESTINIANS  INJURED  IN  NAKBA  DAY  CLASHES  WITH  ISRAELI  FORCES  NEAR  RAMALLAH   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 15, 2017
Seven Palestinians were injured Monday during clashes with Israeli forces at Beit El military checkpoint, on the northern entrance to Ramallah, according to local sources.
___WAFA correspondent said soldiers attacked a march commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakba.
___The march started from Ramallah following a rally in the city center marking the Nakba.
___When it reached the Beit El checkpoint, soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at them, injuring at least seven people.     MORE . . .

“RE: CEMETERIES  IN  PALESTINIAN  CAMPS  SHORT  ON  SPACE/DAILY STAR/16.05.12,” **  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

And so, the cemeteries are full –
In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Gaza.
We will soon bury Palestinians above ground.
Nowhere to live and now,
No quiet place to die, with dignity.
Raise high the beams – carpenters, death architects.
Soon your wall will reach the sky.

** An actual news headline

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME.  Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso. Edited by Vacy Vlazna.  European Union, Novum Publishing Co. Uk., 2016.  Available from Amazon. 

Born in Los Angeles of a Palestinian mother, Jehan Bseiso grew up in Jordan and has been active in Palestinian rights issues. Since 2008 she has worked for Doctors Without Borders in several countries in the Mideast.

“. . . the story of a humanitarian tragedy: the forced displacement of some 800,000 Palestinians . . .” (Al-Hourriah)

Palestinian_refugees
Palestinian refugees leaving the Galilee in October–November 1948 (Photo: Public Domain)

NEWSPAPERS REVIEW: PRISONERS STRIKE, NAKBA ANNIVERSARY FOCUS OF DAILIES    
❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinians mark 69th ‘Nakba’ anniversary with rallies
❶ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces suppress Nakba day rallies in Bethlehem, Ramallah
❷ 29 Days of Hunger Strike: Commercial strike in the West Bank; Barghouthi, Sa’adat receive legal visits
❸ ― (ᴀ) Athens protests and actions support Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, struggle for freedom
❸ ― (ᴃ) Irish Republican prisoners’ statement of solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners
HISTORICAL NOTE  
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
NEWSPAPERS REVIEW: PRISONERS STRIKE, NAKBA ANNIVERSARY FOCUS OF DAILIES       
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA

May 15, 2017
Twenty eight days of hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the 69th Nakba anniversary were the focus of the three Arabic dailies on Monday.
[. . . .]___ The papers also said the strike coincides with the anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe), which marks 69 years since the dispersal of the Palestinian people and uprooting from their homes and land in historic Palestine in 1948.      MORE . . .  

❶ ― (ᴀ) PALESTINIANS MARK 69TH ‘NAKBA’ ANNIVERSARY WITH RALLIES:  Protests and vigils in occupied West Bank, Gaza and Israel as Palestinians mark forced displacement from lands in 1948.
Al Jazeera English
May 15, 2017
Palestinians are commemorating the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba”, the “day of catastrophe” in which Israel was officially declared a state following the forced removal of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and the destruction of over 500 villages and towns.
___People across historic Palestine – including Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip – are holding rallies, marches and candlelight vigils on Monday, as well as sounding sirens.
___Israel has made publicly commemorating the Nakba increasingly difficult for Palestinians, with a “Nakba Law” that authorises Israel’s finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish state” or mark the country’s “Independence Day” as a day of mourning.     MORE . . .
❶ ― (ᴃ)  ISRAELI FORCES SUPPRESS NAKBA DAY RALLIES IN BETHLEHEM, RAMALLAH  
Ma’an News Agency  
May 15, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinians commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” on Monday, with several Palestinians sustaining gunshot injuries and suffering from severe tear gas inhalation during marches in Bethlehem and Ramallah.
___At least three people were hospitalized after Israeli forces violently suppressed a Nakba march in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem around midday Monday, with one march participant describing the use of force as one of “the worst (tear) gas experiences” they had witnessed in the city in five years.
___Witnesses told Ma’an the Israeli forces were deliberately launching tear gas canisters directly at demonstrators on the main street in northern Bethlehem where the march culminated, and continued to shoot tear gas at those attempting the escape, causing numerous people to suffer from tear gas suffocation.    MORE . . .

❷ 29 DAYS OF HUNGER STRIKE: COMMERCIAL STRIKE IN THE WEST BANK; BARGHOUTHI, SA’ADAT RECEIVE LEGAL VISITS 

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network 
May 15, 2017
As Palestinians and their supporters around the world mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophe of the occupation of Palestine and the forced displacement of over 750,000 Palestinian refugees from their homes, lands and villages by Zionist forces, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails enter their 29th day of hunger strike on 15 May 2017.       ___Palestinian prisoners have a long history of hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, stretching back to 1968. This strike, the Strike of Freedom and Dignity, was launched on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, by approximately 1,500 out of the total 6,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. They are demanding basic human rights, including an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to pursue distance higher education and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.    MORE . . .

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Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a Nakba protest in Ramallah (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, May 15, 2017)

❸ ― (ᴀ) ATHENS PROTESTS AND ACTIONS SUPPORT PALESTINIAN PRISONERS’ HUNGER STRIKE, STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM 
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
May 15, 2017
Organizers in Athens, Greece have organized a series of actions in support of Palestinian political prisoners. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Athens has participated in protests, marches and contingents to express solidarity from Greece to all Palestinian prisoners, and to the 1500 prisoners who launched the Strike for Freedom and Dignity on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.    MORE . . .     
❸ ― (ᴃ) IRISH REPUBLICAN PRISONERS’ STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS     
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network  
May 15, 2017
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is honored to republish the following statement from Irish republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail. Throughout the history of the Irish and Palestinian struggles, these movements have extended their support and solidarity to one another. Nowhere has this solidarity been more poignant than inside Israeli and British colonial jails, as Palestinian and Irish hunger strikers and political prisoners expressed their joint commitment to liberation struggle. The 1981 message from Palestinian prisoners in Nafha to the H-Block strikers continues to powerfully resonate today.  MORE . . . .             RELATED . . . .         RELATED . . . .  

Historical Note

THE PALESTINIAN NAKBA: FROM NAPOLEON TO BEN-GURION
Al-Hourriah       
May 15, 2017
The term “Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic) conjures up memories of two pivotal events in Palestinian history: the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.
___The word has not only come to symbolize the tragedy that befell Palestinians in 1948, but also of the trials and tribulations the people of Palestine continue to endure under Israel’s decades-long occupation.
___The Nakba is the story of a humanitarian tragedy: the forced displacement of some 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of most of Palestine’s political, economic and cultural heritage to make way for the self-proclaimed Jewish state.    MORE . . .

“. . . O Reader, don’t expect whispers from me . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Jailed by Israel for his cartoons, Mohammad Saba’aneh speaks out. Using the power of pen as a resistance tool.

❶ Civil society groups join forces to protect freedom of speech
❷ Occupation forces arrest Prominent Palestinian writer and political scientist Ahmad Qatamish
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • “Freedom of Expression and Social Media in Palestine.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
  • Mohammad Sabaaneh’s dangerous cartoons
  • Hamas cracks down on Gaza journalists

❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ CIVIL  SOCIETY  GROUPS  JOIN  FORCES  TO  PROTECT  FREEDOM  OF  SPEECH
+972 Magazine  
Haggai Matar
May 13, 2017
Representatives from over 30 civil society organizations gathered on Friday in Nazareth for the founding conference of the “Council for the Protection of Freedoms.” The council was established to fight back against the feeling among various organizations that their activities and freedom of expression are at risk. The goal will be to protect these freedoms from both the government as well as various tendencies among both Jewish and Arab society.
___ The conference organizers pointed to various examples in which these freedoms are being limited, including the nation-state bill, the cancellation of three events organized by left-wing NGO, Zochrot, the government’s new initiative to prevent left-wing NGOs from filing petitions to the High Court, the attacks on B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, etc. On Saturday, following pressure from a right-wing student group, Hebrew University cancelled an academic conference focusing on academic research on Palestinian prisoners.
___The initiative is being organized by I’lam Media Center, which works to protect and promote the rights of Arab journalists and media institutions, and the Van Leer Institute.   MORE. . . .   
❷ OCCUPATION  FORCES  ARREST  PROMINENT  PALESTINIAN  WRITER  AND  POLITICAL  SCIENTIST  AHMAD  QATAMISH   
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association      
May 14, 2017
Prominent Palestinian writer and political scientist [Professor at Al Quds University] Ahmad Qatamish was arrested in a pre-dawn raid by Israeli occupation forces today, 14 May 2017. Mr. Qatamish was arrested from his home in Ramallah and has been taken to an unidentified place. Addameer strongly condemns Qatamish’s continuing detention, as it suggests that he is still being targeted for his writings and activism.      . . . . [1992] he was arrested once more . . .  and was subjected to torture and ill-treatment during 100 days of interrogation, an experience which he vividly exposed in his prison notes entitled I Shall not Wear Your Tarboush (fez)       MORE . . .     RELATED . . .

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Mohammed Sabaaneh cartoon on Israel’s wall compartmentalizing Palestinian life. (The Electronic Intifada, May 4, 2017)

❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES   

  • AbuZayyad, Ziad Khalil. “FREEDOM  OF  EXPRESSION  AND  SOCIAL  MEDIA  IN  PALESTINE.”  Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 40-42.
    [. . . .] According to Saed Karzoun, a well-known Palestinian activist and digital media expert, 67.5% of Palestinians use computers, while about 24.3% of them use the Internet on a daily basis. There are more than 1,039,700 Facebook users in Palestine. About 49% of youth in Palestine do not read any newspapers or magazines, while 87% watch television daily, and about 27% of Palestinians listen to radio shows daily. . . . Palestinians have witnessed great success on several occasions when social media was used to organize political or social events. . . .         ___The greatest challenge that Palestinians face while trying to use social media as a tool for freedom of expression is the change in Israeli policy toward those who dare to express themselves on Facebook or Twitter. Recently Facebook posts have been used as grounds for possible imprisonment when used to express political opinions. Israel has sent dozens of Palestinians to jail for several months, asserting that they expressed extreme points of view on Facebook . . . .  many countries, including Israel, justify their control of the flow of Internet content by stating that this is done for national security and high-priority national interests.     MORE . . .
  • MOHAMMAD  SABAANEH’S  DANGEROUS  CARTOONS
    The Electronic Intifada
    Marguerite Dabaie
    May 4, 2017
    Palestinian culture is in itself a dangerous act, a reason to be caged.
    ___So suggests a cartoon in a new anthology of work by Mohammad Sabaaneh. The panel shows a group of men and women in traditional dress dancing the folkloric dabke while shackled together. A checkpoint cuts through the line dance, and Israel’s wall stops them short.
    ___Here, the message seems to be, even celebrations are fraught with obstacles brought on by the Israeli occupation.     White and Black: Political Cartoons from Palestine,  published by Just World Books, offers a rare opportunity for English-language readers to become familiar with Sabaaneh’s stark black and white images, printed in newspapers across the Arab world.
    ___These political cartoons are foremost a form of solidarity with ordinary Palestinians in their daily struggle for survival and ongoing battle for justice.  MORE . . .   RELATED . . .    
  • HAMAS  CRACKS  DOWN  ON  GAZA  JOURNALISTS 
    Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)    
    Ahmad Abu Amer  May 12, 2017
    Gaza City — On April 26, the Ministry of Interior in Gaza launched a crackdown against what it described as “propagandists.” During this unprecedented move, 17 Palestinian journalists and activists were arrested for several hours before being released after pledging not to publish news about internal Palestinian affairs before verifying it with official sources.      MORE . . .

“TO  THE  READER,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Black tulips in my heart,
flames on my lips:
from which forest did you come to me,
all you crosses of anger?
I have recognized my griefs
and embraced wandering and hunger.
Anger lives in my hands,
anger lives in my mouth
and in the blood of my arteries swims anger.

O reader,
don’t expect whispers from me,
or words of ecstasy;
this is my suffering!
A foolish blow in the sand
and another in the clouds.
Anger is all I am –
anger, the tinder
of fire.
– – –  From WHEN  THE  WORDS  BURN:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  ARABIC  POETRY:  1945-1987.  Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988.  Available from Amazon.

 

 

“. . . I am an Arab/You have stolen the orchards/of my ancestors . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Shopping in the Arab Quarter, Jerusalem. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Knesset’s new bill ‘portrays racism as entirely normal’
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) The destructive potential of Israel’s nation-state bill
❷ Israel debating bill banning rights groups from defending Palestinians
❸ Background Articles

  • Israel’s Second-Class Citizens
  • Why the ‘hijacking’ of Israeli democracy is a myth

❹ ARIJ Daily Report
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ KNESSET’S  NEW  BILL  ‘PORTRAYS  RACISM  AS  ENTIRELY  NORMAL’   
Al Jazeera
Jonathan Cook
May 11, 2017
New legislation to cement the definition of Israel as a state belonging exclusively to Jews around the world is a “declaration of war” on Palestinian citizens of Israel, the minority’s leaders warned this week.
___The bill, which defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”, passed its first vote in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, after it received unanimous backing from a government committee on Sunday.
___Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to get the measure on to the statute books within 60 days.       MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ)  THE  DESTRUCTIVE  POTENTIAL  OF  ISRAEL’S  NATION-STATE  BILL  
+972 Magazine  
By Marzuq Al-Halabi
May 9, 2017       The “nation-state bill,” which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, is no different from the day-to-day political discourse taking place in Israel these over the last years. By revoking Arabic as an official language of the state, and maintaining that “the right to realize self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” the bill enshrines the ideas, desires, ideology, and actions of Israel’s political leaders since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.       ___The proposed bill, in the “refined” version put forth by the prime minister, is in the spirit of the most extreme right-wing bills that have been proposed before the committee or in the hallways of the Knesset.         MORE. . . .
❷ ISRAEL  DEBATING  BILL BANNING  RIGHTS  GROUPS  FROM  DEFENDING  PALESTINIANS  
Middle East Monitor – MEMO       
May 13, 2017
The Israeli government is to discuss a draft law banning Israeli rights groups from defending Palestinians by petitioning the High Court, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed yesterday.
___The bill would prevent Israeli human rights groups from “petitioning the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians.”
___According to Haaretz, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation is set to discuss this bill during the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Sunday.
___Haaretz also added: “The bill is aimed primarily at [Israeli] left-wing organisations such as Yesh Din, Peace Now and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which routinely petition the court on behalf of Palestinians.”
___In addition, it said: “The bill would bar Knesset members from petitioning the court to challenge cabinet decisions and laws passed by the Knesset.”      MORE . . .
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Ghanem, As’ad. “ISRAEL’S  SECOND-CLASS  CITIZENS.”
    Foreign Affairs, vol. 95, no. 4, Jul/Aug2016, pp. 37-42.
    [. . . .] But in many ways, the future of the Arabs in Israel hinges on developments over which they have little control. The first is how the Netanyahu government and its successors manage Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: whereas open violence between Israel and the Palestinians tends to exacerbate anti-Arab sentiment among Israel’s Jewish majority, a solution to the conflict could set the stage for reconciliation among Arabs and Jews in Israel. The second, of course, is how the Israeli government treats its own Arab citizens. Regardless of the state’s choices, however, Arabs in Israel can still shape their own fate—but that will require settling on a unified political program.    MORE . . .
  • WHY  THE  ‘HIJACKING’  OF  ISRAELI  DEMOCRACY  IS  A  MYTH  
    +972 Magazine      
    Edo Konrad
    November 8, 2015
    Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations.
    ___Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity” of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies do not represent the views of all Israelis. “We have to explain this complexity [to Americans], and I believe it will be an ideological weapon for Israel’s defenders here,” Shaffir posited.               MORE . . .
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Arab shops near Herod’s Gate, Jerusalem, with IDF soldiers. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 5, 2015)

❹ ARIJ  DAILY  REPORT     
12 May 2017
Throughout the years of occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate violations    MORE . . .

“IDENTITY  CARD,”  MAHMOUD  DARWISH – 1964
Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
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?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have 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
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!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
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 without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
The color of hair―is black
The color of eyes―is brown
And my distinctive features:
The head-dress is hatta wi’gal
And the hand is solid like a rock
My favorite meal
Is olive oil and zatar
And my address:
A village―isolated and deserted
Where the streets have no names
And the men―work in the fields an quarries
They like socialism
Will you be angry?

Write down!
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 nothing for us
Except for these rocks―
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down 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!

Mahmoud Darwish
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.

“. . . We stand in Manger Square and mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek . . .” (Samih Mohsen)

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Bethlehem Wall. (Photo by Harold Knight. Nov. 6, 2015)

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❶ Banksy hotel opens in Bethlehem, eliciting heated reactions by Palestinians
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Lonely Planet [TOURIST GUIDEBOOK] erases Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan Heights
❷ The ‘Beautiful Resistance’ of Aida Camp – “People cannot tolerate injustice for eternity”
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • “Impossible Intimacies: Towards a Visual Politics of “Touch” at the Israeli-Palestinian Border.” Journal for Cultural Research.
  • “Banksy and the Walled Off Hotel: a personal view.” International Solidarity Movement

❹ POETRY by Samih Mohsen

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Banksy’s art.

❶ BANKSY  HOTEL  OPENS  IN  BETHLEHEM,  ELICITING  HEATED  REACTIONS  BY  PALESTINIANS   
Ma’an News Agency
By Jaclynn Ashly and Reem Alqam
March 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s infamous separation wall in the occupied West Bank, while cutting off Palestinians from their lands and religious sites, isolating communities, and eroding the livelihood of scores of Palestinians along its route, has become an unlikely breeding ground for tourism.
___Adjacent to the graffiti-stained separation wall in the city of Bethlehem, which is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, and next door to the Aida refugee camp, elusive UK artist Banksy now welcomes guests to his latest project: the Walled Off Hotel.     _____In a message written in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, a plaque posted at the entrance to the hotel-cum-art museum tells its guests not to “choose sides” in the conflict. In describing the separation barrier, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, the statement says: “The wall is a lie. It sells the idea that there is a simple divide between the people here, but there isn’t.”       MORE . . . 

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Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015.)

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) LONELY  PLANET  [TOURIST  GUIDEBOOK]  ERASES  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  OF  SYRIAN  GOLAN HEIGHTS
The Electronic Intifada
The Lonely Planet website highlights sites in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights as “Top experiences in Israel.”      April 26, 2017         Why has Lonely Planet – publisher of the popular travel guidebooks – erased Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights?
___Following the 1967 War, 66 percent of the Syrian Golan – a land mass slightly smaller than Greater London – has been militarily occupied by Israel.
___Its mountainous terrain, forests and rivers means that it is an area of stunning natural beauty, home to a variety of wildlife, including a species of wolf found only in the region. As such, it is no surprise that the Golan has attracted vast numbers of Israeli tourists since its occupation.       MORE. . . .

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Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❷ THE  ‘BEAUTIFUL  RESISTANCE’  OF  AIDA  CAMP –  “PEOPLE  CANNOT  TOLERATE  INJUSTICE  FOR  ETERNITY”
International Solidarity Movement
April 19, 2017
Tucked within the antiquated corridors of the municipality of Bethlehem, there lies Aida Camp, established 1950.  The densely populated cement structures, thinly outlined by narrow passageways, are a living summation of the occupation of Palestine itself.   ___Scraping elbows with the massive checkpoint pathway between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, hedged by the West Bank apartheid separation wall and situated nearby two large illegal Israeli settlement blocs, Aida camp sits on the front lines of the Palestinian struggle to exist in the grim face of an ethnic cleansing.       MORE . . .

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Bethlehem Wall Museum.(Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Ball, Anna. “IMPOSSIBLE  INTIMACIES:  TOWARDS  A  VISUAL  POLITICS  OF  “TOUCH”  AT  THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN  BORDER.”
    Journal For Cultural Research, vol. 16, no. 2/3, Apr-Jul2012, pp. 175-195.
    For the British media in particular, Banksy’s image appeared to represent a daring transgression of authoritarian boundaries, his physical and artistic touch upon the Wall serving as a form of transnational and experiential empathy. Indeed, there is much that is “touching” about Banksy’s image, which juxtaposes the cold, stark materiality of the Wall with a whimsical portrait of childhood innocence in a way that is both poignant and provocative. And yet, during his trip to what Banksy described as “the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers”, one encounter shattered this illusion of intimacy. Banksy records how a Palestinian man approached him in order to comment that his work made the Wall look beautiful. “Thank you”, Banksy replied. “We don’t want this wall to be beautiful, we hate it. Go home”, was the man’s curt response. Despite Banksy’s proximity to the Wall, it would seem that something eluded his grasp; not the ability to touch, but the ability to be touched by the border in a way that might engender an empathetic visual intimacy with its spatial experience for the Palestinian subject.    MORE . . . 
  • BANKSY  AND  THE  WALLED  OFF  HOTEL:  A  PERSONAL  VIEW
    International Solidarity Movement
    By al-Khalil team
    March 14, 2017
    Over the last weeks there has been a lot of noise about Banksy (a street artist from the UK, now darling of the art world) and his new hotel in Bethlehem. Initially the vast majority of news articles seemed to glow with praise for this new project.  However I quickly found myself uncomfortable with the language that the project uses in its narrative. And other commentators have also expressed discomfort.  A number of articles have now come out that are somewhat more critical of the enterprise. I decided that to further my own understanding I would talk to some Palestinian activists and then write something myself – so here it is to be shared.
    [. . . .] Banksy’s stated aim is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in his hotel, but with a few dorm rooms at $30 a night and the next cheapest rooms at $215 up to $965, the only people that the hotel will bring together are the international bourgeoisie, people who are the least affected by the occupation, who maintain their riches in the face of occupation, or even increase them. The global elite do not effect any real change in this world, but rather maintain injustice for their own profit and comfort. So what does he hope to achieve?     MORE . . .

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    Bethlehem Wall Museum. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“LAMENTATION,” BY SAMIH MOHSEN

At Manger Square, at midday,
The chairs outside the cafes
Are taken by Western tourists, in September
They sip at their longing for God
The streets teem with passers-by
And foreign languages
We tread on the shadow
Of an old man stretched out on the pavement
With his arm and a tattered shoe for a pillow
His mattress was a story. . .
We pass by his wounds without seeing
Beer tickles our bellies to laughter
And telling inane anecdotes
We try to release the child within us
We stand in Manger Square
And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek
We step
We laugh
We step into the ring of lamentation.
–translated by Henry King

Samih Mohsen was born in the village of Naqour in Nablus, Palestine (Occupid Territories) in 1953, and has published two collections of poetry, Exiting the Narrow Rooms and Kingdoms & Peril.       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 Amazon.com.

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Bethlehem Wall. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 6, 2015)

“. . . I shall carve my sighs . . . on the tombs of my dead . . .” (Tawfiq Zayyad)

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The condition of Hind Shahin, a breast cancer patient, has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment (Photo: Feb. 5, 2017, Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera)

❶ NGO mourns 2 Palestinians after Israel denied them exit from Gaza for treatment
❷ Executing Palestinians is Israeli policy
❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • “Lack of Security for Palestinians.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture.  
  • “Calls for Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinian Suspects Proliferate.” Human Rights Watch.   
  • “From Colonization to Separation: Exploring the Structure of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly.

❹ POETRY by Tawfiq Zayyad
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ NGO MOURNS 2 PALESTINIANS AFTER ISRAEL DENIED THEM EXIT FROM GAZA FOR TREATMENT  
Ma’an News Agency 
May 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Health non-profit Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) mourned on Wednesday the recent deaths of two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including a five-year-old girl, after Israeli authorities denied them permission to leave the besieged territory for treatment. . . .    [The NGO] reported in April the death of five-year-old Aya Khalil Abu Mitalq, who passed away waiting for Israeli authorities to grant her a travel permit to a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem to treat a metabolic disorder. . . .
___Earlier this month, [the NGO] also reported the death of 59-year-old Walid Muhammad Muhammad Qaaoud . . .  on May 2 after cancer metastasized all over his body, following more than a year of Israeli authorities rejecting his requests for a travel permit to receive life-saving treatment in a hospital in East Jerusalem.
[. . . .] ___MAP quoted the World Health Organization . . .  that Israeli authorities had denied or delayed 40 percent of requests to leave Gaza for medical reasons in February, in a stark increase from 2012, when the rejection rate was 8 percent.      MORE . . .   
❷ EXECUTING PALESTINIANS IS ISRAELI POLICY  
The Electronic Intifada      
Maureen Clare Murphy
May 10, 2017
By now, no one can deny that extrajudicially executing Palestinians who pose no immediate lethal threat is Israeli policy.
___Not the 100 US Senators who signed a shameful letter decrying efforts to hold Israel accountable for its rights abuses at the United Nations, parroting Israeli talking points claiming that the state is being unfairly singled out. . . .
___Nor Israel lobby groups in the US, which are fretting that the latest Israeli move to codify state discrimination against indigenous Palestinian citizens will make it harder to sell Israel as a liberal democracy. . . .
___There is no denying this policy of execution – long obvious to Palestinians and human rights observers, and admitted to by a settler security chief in an Israeli court – after police were shown on video demonstrating how to confirm a kill to a crowd of fifth-graders in the city of Ramat HaSharon . . .       MORE . . . .  

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Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Qusay al-Umour out of the Beit Jala hospital on Jan. 17, 2017. (MaanImages/Yumna Patel)

❸ BACKGROUND ARTICLES

  • Amira Abd Elrahim. “LACK  OF  SECURITY  FOR  PALESTINIANS.”
    Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 28-35.
    Palestinians who were accused of attacking Israelis were shot directly, either by Israeli military forces or by settlers who may have just felt insecure or threatened with or without reason. Most of the martyrs would not be liable for a death sentence in a state of law. The homes of these Palestinian martyrs are being demolished in violation of international law, and their families are threatened with loss of residency. While raids on Palestinian homes and schools continue, the theft of Palestinian land and spree of barbaric extrajudicial killings are all being buoyed by the cheers of the masses, media incitement and the encouragement of the Israeli government and the Zionist far-right extremists.
    ____Israelis have a government and weapons. They are protected by an army that stands behind them. Recently the Israeli government set up metal detectors at the entrances of the Old City of Jerusalem so that Palestinians aren’t allowed to go through with any metal objects, while Israeli settlers pass through with their guns!! The Israelis are asked to keep their weapons with them at all times!!! Could you think for yourself what do Palestinians have, who is there to protect them or care about their lost livelihoods. They are paralyzed and fed up with injustice, racism, the denial of rights practiced by the Israeli government and the ignorance of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians are the only people on this earth who are asked to guarantee the security of their occupier, while Israel is the only country that calls for defense from its victims. Are you still wondering why this is happening? Palestinians chose to resist and express their anger in their own way.      MORE . . .
  • “ISRAEL/PALESTINE:  SOME  OFFICIALS  BACKING  ‘SHOOT-TO-KILL.’  CALLS  FOR EXTRAJUDICIAL  KILLINGS  OF  PALESTINIAN  SUSPECTS PROLIFERATE.”  Human Rights Watch
    January 2, 2017
    Some senior Israeli officials have been encouraging Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat, Human Rights Watch said today in an analysis of those statements. Other Israeli officials have failed to repudiate the calls for excessive use of force.    ___Human Rights Watch has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.
    ___“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill,” said Sari Bashi, Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.    MORE . . .
  • Neve Gordon. “FROM  COLONIZATION  TO  SEPARATION:  EXPLORING  THE STRUCTURE  OF  ISRAEL’S OCCUPATION.”
    Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2008, pp 25 – 44.
    In the second intifada, the suspension of the law became the norm. One example of this suspension is Israel’s pervasive employment of extrajudicial executions. The fact that not one Israeli soldier has been tried for these killings and that they are part of an overt policy suggests that some of the occupied inhabitants have been reduced to what the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben has called homo sacer, people who can be killed without it being considered a crime.
    ___Another example of how the law has been suspended involves the massive destruction of Palestinian homes. . . .     MORE . . . 

“ON  THE  TRUNK  OF  AN  OLIVE  TREE,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD
Because I do not weave wool,
And daily am in danger of detention,
And my house is the object of police visits
To search and “to cleanse,”
Because I cannot buy paper,
I shall carve the record of my sufferings,
And all my secrets
On an olive tree
In the courtyard
Of my house.

I shall carve my story and the chapters of my tragedy,
I shall carve my sighs
On my grove and on the tombs of my dead;
I shall carve
All the bitterness I have tasted,
To be blotted out by some of the happiness to come.

I shall carve the number of each deed
Of our usurped land
The location of my village and its boundaries.
The demolished houses of its peoples,
My uprooted trees,
And each crushed wild blossom.
And the names of those master torturers
Who rattled my nerves and caused my misery.
The names of all the prisons,
And every type of handcuff
That closed around my wrists,
The files of my jailers,
Every curse
Poured upon my head.
I shall carve:
Kafr Qasim, I shall not forget!
And I shall carve:
Deir Yassin, it’s rooted in my memory.
I shall carve:
We have reached the peak of our tragedy.
It has absorbed us and we have absorbed it,
But we have finally reached it.

I shall carve all that the sun tells me,
And what the moon whispers,
And what the skylark relates,
Near the well
Forsaken by lovers.

And to remember it all,
I shall continue to carve
All the chapters of my tragedy,
And all the stages of the disaster,
From beginning
To end,
On the olive tree
In the courtyard
Of the house.

From  THE   PALESTINIAN   WEDDING:   A   BILINGUAL   ANTHOLOGY   OF   CONTEMPORARY   PALESTINIAN   RESISTANCE   POETRY.   Ed. and Trans. A. M. Elmessiri. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2011. Reprint from Three Continents Press, Inc., 1982. Available from Palestine Online Store.
About Tawfiq Zayyad.