“. . . I have recognized my griefs . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

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Settler (ONLY) road between Jerusalem and Gilo Settlement at Beit Jala. (Photo: H. Knight, Nov. 8, 2015)


A Palestinian was killed and dozens others were injured by Israeli live ammunition during protests at the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip, on Friday.   ___The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that one Palestinian, identified as Karim Muhammad Kallab, 25, was shot and killed by Israeli live bullets in eastern Gaza City.   [. . . .] Israeli forces ired tear-gas bombs and live bullets at protesters.   More . . .
Related . . . Palestinian Ministry of Health: Kallab’s death raises the number of Palestinians  killed  to  184;  some  20,472  injuries  have been recorded since March 30.

Israel approved on Thursday plans to construct 610 illegal settlement units in occupied Jerusalem and Ramallah, Hebrew media sources revealed.    ___According to the sources, Israeli forces started today levelling Palestinian-owned lands located near Beit Ell settlement northeast of Ramallah as a prelude to construct 300 settlement units.   ___Israeli authorities also approved plans for the construction of 310 other settlement units in occupied Jerusalem.   More . . .

The Israeli occupation army’s civil administration on Thursday resumed the construction of a road for Jewish settlers leading to the illegal settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem.   ___According to a local official, a crew from the civil administration escorted by soldiers stormed Khilat al-Nahla area in southern Bethlehem and used bulldozers to build a bypass leading to Efrat settlement.   More . . .


Jonathan Ofir
On Sunday, the Israeli settler Ari Fuld was stabbed by a Palestinian child of 17, Khalil Jabarin. . .   ___This piece could have been about . . .   the six Palestinians who were murdered by Israeli forces a couple of days later . . .    ___Who wants to hear about the deaths of Muhammad Zaghloul al-Khatib al-Rimawi, Muhammad Yousif Alayan, Muhammad Ahmad Abu Naji, Ahmad Muhammad Muhsin Omar, Naji Jamil Abu Assi and Alaa Ziyad Abu Assi? Nah, Ari Fuld, that’s the news.   [. . . .] Israeli hasbarists exploit this one death for more hasbara; when they admonish us for being insensitive. . . they obviously would not even note the deaths of those killed under that self-righteous Zionist zeal – that makes me angry, and I have to push back.   More . . .

Ramzy Baroud
Maintaining one’s dignity while living a dismal existence in a refugee camp is not an easy feat. My parents fought hard to spare us the daily humiliations that come with living in Nuseirat – Gaza’s largest refugee camp. But when I turned six, and joined the UNRWA-run Nuseirat Elementary School for Boys, there was no escape.   ___Not only was I a refugee on official United Nations papers, but in practice as well, just like all my peers.   ___To be a Palestinian refugee means living perpetually in limbo – unable to reclaim what has been lost, the beloved homeland, and unable to fashion an alternative future and a life of freedom, justice and dignity.   More . . .


What  Does  Justice  Look  Like?  Moving  Towards  a  Just  Peace  in  Palestine  and  Israel,
  Dec 14-16, 2018
Join the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Quaker Palestine Israel Network (QPIN), and Pendle Hill for a weekend of exploring what it will take to realize a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.  AFSC and Quakers have been engaging in Palestine for over a century and working for peace with justice since 1948. After decades without change, we want to open up a conversation about what is needed for a just future.

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

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.  

“. . . waiting has become an inevitable part of our lives . . .” (Sani P. Meo)

At the offices of the National Insurance Institute. Apr. 15, 2015 (Photo: Nir Kafri/Haaretz)

❶ When Waiting Becomes an Identity

  • Background:  “Freedom Of Movement V. Restrictions On Movement Under The Two Legal Systems.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
  • Background:  The Chicago Hearing. American Friends Service Committee.

❷ EU guarantees right to boycott Israel
. . . ― (a) Qatar University: Student Council Votes for Boycott of Israel
. . . ― (b) War on Roger Waters due to supporting Palestine
❸ Why Palestinians are unfazed by calls to cut off US aid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
This Week in Palestine  
Sani P. Meo
November 2016
For decades now, I’ve seen the queues of Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem . . . Whether you need to renew your identity card, register your marriage or the birth of your child, or submit an address change, for example, the Ministry of Interior is your Mecca! True, all civilized countries need to keep track of their citizens . . .  but it is no secret that the scene is different in West Jerusalem for Israeli citizens . . .  waiting has become an inevitable part of our lives. Whether it’s at red traffic lights, in checkout lines, or in doctors’ clinics, we all wait; however, I dare say that in Palestine, waiting has a special flare to it that has become an integral part of Palestinian identity.    More . . .  

  • Sela, Ronit. “Freedom Of Movement V. Restrictions On Movement Under The Two Legal Systems.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 31-38.   Full article.  

The evolvement of two separate legal regimes in the West Bank is one of the most prominent and troublesome characteristics of the Israeli occupation. This separation is premised on an ethno-national basis, reflected in every aspect of life, and severely infringes upon the rights of the Palestinian residents. . . .
[. . . .] Restriction of movement infringes not only upon the right to freedom of movement but rather violates a range of rights. For Palestinians, those restrictions impact where a person can live, whether family members will be able to come and visit, how fast one can reach a hospital, which opportunities for studies and employment are available, and much more.
[. . . .] This occurs in spite of the fact that international humanitarian law . . . places numerous obligations on Israel to protect the Palestinian population over whom it occupies. Moreover, international law clearly and unambiguously forbids the creation of settlements in the heart of the occupied land. . .  As a consequence of the expansion of the settlement blocs, the human rights violations against the Palestinian people have increased and become more entrenched. Three aspects of limitations on the freedom of movement of Palestinians . . .  physical restrictions on movement, limits on choosing one‘s place of residency, and traffic law enforcement that hinders on movement. . . .The Israeli authorities routinely justify this discrimination against Palestinians by stating security considerations, both for national security and tor the sake of providing protection to settlers.
[. . . .] These and other hardships are the result of the systematic separation that exists on the ground and within the legal framework of the dual legal system. The separation essentially exists between Palestinians on the one hand, and all those who are not Palestinian on the other hand, be it settlers, Israeli visitors or international visitors. The basic principles of international humanitarian law, meant to protect residents of the occupied territory, are routinely ignored, leaving Palestinians exposed and highly vulnerable.

  • The Chicago Hearing: Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values? An Initiative of the American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Sunday, April 18, 2010 from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM University of Chicago, Ida Noyes Hall     Website
    General Overview [Map of checkpoints and other information]
    In the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), nearly every facet of life is controlled by Israeli military policies. These policies not only restrict movement, but also isolate and harass the civilian population.
Palestinian women walking among cement blocks towards the main checkpoint to enter Jerusalem city. Qalandia checkpoint, June 24, 2016 (Photo by Mohammad Alhaj/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Days of Palestine
Nov. 15, 2016
In answer to a parliamentary question on whether the EU commission will commit to defending BDS activists’ right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression, [EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica] Mogherini was clear: “The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association, including BDS actions.”
___She also noted that the European Court of Human Rights has affirmed that freedom of expression applies to ideas “that offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population.”    More . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
November 18, 2016
The representative council of Qatar University students voted for the provincial movement and the refusal of normalization with the Israeli occupation, in a new victory of the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) in the Arabian Gulf.
___ . . . the council stressed the importance of the Arab role in countering normalization, boycott and divestment from Israel in order to strengthen the resistance of the Palestinians amid escalating Israeli crimes.     More . . .   
Days of Palestine
Nov 16, 2016
Co-founder, ex-lead singer for rock music giant Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, found himself amidst fierce war after supporting pro-Palestine activists    [. . . .]
___According to Page Six, the credit card giant [AMEX] has baulked on its plans to put up $4m (£3.2m) for his 2017 solo tour in North America following his comments at Oldchella festival – an event the company sponsored – earlier this month.
___“I am going to send out all of my most heartfelt love and support to all those young people on the campuses of the universities of California who are standing up for their brothers and sisters in Palestine and supporting the BDS movement,” he said.    More . . .

❸  WHY  PALESTINIANS  ARE  UNFAZED  BY  CALLS  TO  CUT  OFF  US  AID      Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Daoud Kuttab
Nov. 17, 2016
Mustafa Barghouti, an elected Palestinian legislator, told Al-Monitor that the United States has already reduced aid to the Palestinian government. “In the past two years, we have seen a steady decline in financial support coming from Washington to the Palestinian government. . . ” US funding, which goes straight to the Palestinian government’s creditors, “has dropped from about $100 million in 2014 to roughly $75 million in 2015.”            More . . .

“. . . Gone were the children and the songs . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

PLEASE NOTE: The content of this blog is slightly changed with fewer news items and more background for those items. This will provide deeper understanding of the issues shaping the news. All articles without direct links can be found through an EBSCO search in any library with online databases.

Homes demolished in Nablus, Feb. 7, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)

❶ Israel to Demolish Palestinian Houses, Sheds, Electricity Line in Nablus Village
❷ Israel extends detention of 12-year-old Palestinian for 1 year
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 26, 2016
Israeli forces Thursday delivered demolition notices for a number of Palestinian houses, sheds and an electricity grid in Duma village, south of Nablus, said a local activist.
___Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors Israeli settlement construction in northern West Bank, said that Israeli forces delivered demolition notices for three houses and two sheds in the Duma locality of Abu Safi.      MORE . . . 

“. . . the qualification of the occupation as “illegal” [by the International Court of Criminal Justice] while it does not affect the continued application of both humanitarian and human rights law . . . does affect the legality of the security measures taken in its defense―as distinct from measures undertaken to protect Israel itself―as such measures are thereby illegal themselves. This consequence is relevant . . . to the legal assessment of various security measures undertaken by Israel, including but not limited to the Wall . . . . Indeed, the perception of the Israeli occupation as illegal and illegitimate might well have been the main factor which informed the ICJ’s perception of the Wall . . .  While refraining from commenting on the occupation regime itself, the Court was well aware of the “greater whole” of which the Wall is but one aspect.”

  • Ben-Naftali, Orna, Aeyal M. Gross, and Keren Michaeli. “Illegal Occupation: Framing the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Berkeley Journal of International Law 23.3 (2005): 551-614

“As happened in South Africa, what begins as segregation is liable to evolve into an institutionalized system of racial domination. Such separateness cannot be sustained without spawning suffering and cycles of violence. . . . With the dual system of law that currently prevails in the occupied Palestinian territory . . . logic dictates that Israel will inevitably reach the tipping point at which it is forced to confront its own racial realities vis-à-vis the Palestinians. While the shape that such a transformation ultimately takes will depend primarily on social attitudes and political craft, international law may retain a role through the light that it shines on the normative issues to be resolved in this context.”   MORE . . .

  • Dugard, John, and John Reynolds. “Apartheid, International Law, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” European Journal of International Law 24.3 (2013): 913.

Ma’an News Agency
May 25, 2016
The Israeli magistrate court extended the detention of 12-year-old Muhammad Ismail Hushiyeh for a year on Wednesday, according to the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners.
___Amjad Abu Asab told Ma’an that Hushiyeh would be detained in a juvenile facility in the town of Ablin in northern Israel.
___Hushiyeh is the youngest Palestinian prisoner from Jerusalem held by Israeli authorities.       MORE . . .

“The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) held a June 2 [2015] congressional briefing at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC to reveal widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention. Speakers urged the 100 attendees, including staff members from 30 different congressional offices, to bring international juvenile justice reform to children in Israeli military detention by signing on to Rep. Betty McCollum (DMN)’s letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. . . .  Israel is the only nation in the world that systematically and automatically prosecutes children in military courts.”   MORE . . .

  • Quinn, Erin, and Delinda C. Hanley. “Israeli Detention Of Children: “It’s Time To Break The Cycle.” Washington Report On Middle East Affairs 34.5 (2015): 46-47.

The Israeli Army has maintained an unwelcome military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for over 40 years. During this time, an increasing carceralization of society has occurred, most evident in three architectural forms: prisons, checkpoints, and walls. These three forms and their accompanying practices of social control, which have been refined and developed, are purportedly intended to prevent Palestinian violence against Israelis. But carceralization has had more insidious outcomes: dividing Palestinians, confiscating their land, destroying their livelihoods, and, thus, giving rise to some submission (collaboration with occupiers or emigration) but mostly to resistance (ranging from non-cooperation to militancy).   MORE (via EBSCO) . . . 

  • Bornstein, Avram. “Military Occupation as Carceral Society Prisons, Checkpoints, and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle.” Social Analysis 52.2 (2008): 106-130.
hebron child detention
Seven-year-old Oday Rajabi detained by Israeli border police, September 9, 2014 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Hussein Laqra’a
May 26, 2016
A number of recent reports have been talking about Arab countries, which describe themselves as “moderate” countries, making amendments to the Arab Peace Initiative approved during the Beirut summit in 2002. These countries presented the Israelis, through an international mediator, with new proposals regarding the occupied Golan Heights and the right of Palestinians to return to their land, and are now waiting for the Israelis to respond. This is in an effort to revive the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to reach a comprehensive peace agreement, based on the initiative.
___Experience has taught us that the Arabs make one concession after the other, and when the Israelis reject them, they present more.      MORE . . . 

(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gagging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri

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 B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.