“. . . nations are modern constructs . . . and not the expression of organic entities . . .” (Peige Desjarlais)

Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)
Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel With Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Turning settlers into victims
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Annexing archaeology: Will UNESCO take on Israel?

  • Background: “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal

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❶  KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”
___“They lived there way long before the Zionist movement was created. They are those who later survived the Nakba of 1948, where 85% o f the Palestinians living in what is now Israel were ethnically cleansed only because they were not Jews. Yes, they can tell Mr. Netanyahu about the meaning of ethnic cleansing on this land.”     MORE . . .    

❷ TURNING  SETTLERS  INTO  VICTIMS      
+972 Blog     
Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon
Sept. 12, 2016
Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he cares about the rights and lives of Palestinians in Gaza more than the Palestinian leadership does, he posted a new video message on his Facebook wall, arguing that any future dismantlement of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would amount to “ethnic cleansing.” He went on to intimate that [  ]  the U.S. and other western countries support the uprooting of Israeli settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, they were, in effect, supporting the cleansing of Jews.
___“Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without Blacks,” he rhetorically asked, thus drawing a direct link between the settlers in the colonized Palestinian territories and racially discriminated citizens in the United States.
___Netanyahu’s description of any potential evacuation of the West Bank colonies reflects the ethics of settler colonialism in which any attempt to dislocate the settlers is now equated with injustice. [He is] Unwilling to acknowledge that Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967, and that they continue to live under the constant threat of displacement as a direct result of his own government’s policies.      MORE . . . 
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ANNEXING ARCHAEOLOGY: WILL UNESCO TAKE ON ISRAEL?
Al-Jazeera via Jonathan Cook Blog
19 May 2016
Israel is stepping up its efforts to seize control of Palestinian heritage sites and antiquities in the occupied territories in violation of international law, Palestinian and Israeli archaeologists warned this week.
___The experts echoed criticisms levelled against Israel in a recent resolution passed by the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, that accused Israel of interfering with major holy sites in occupied areas.
[. . . .]    Archaeologists, however, said the UNESCO resolution underestimated the scope of the problem facing Palestinian heritage sites. The Palestinian tourism and antiquities ministry is preparing to announce a list of 14 major sites in the occupied territories that are in urgent need of protection from Israeli activities.     MORE . . .  

  • Desjarlais, Peige. “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal 21.1 (2013): 1-14.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .]    Indeed, the borders of Israel are made most obviously and violently through wars (in 1948 and 1967), conquest, and colonial settlement. However, nationmaking projects also come into being through a variety of social, cultural, and institutional practices, like archaeology, which not only help to maintain the “imagined community” of the nation, but also participate in the production of the national landscape . . .  it is within these practices of Jewish nationmaking that Israeli archaeology should be properly situated [. . . .]   
___Challenging conceptions of the nation as natural or primordial, scholars of nationalism . . . emphasize that nations are modern constructs, historical phenomenon, and not the expression of organic entities. Nations must be produced, brought into being, and then constantly reproduced through symbolic acts of nationhood. . . . [T]he rise of print colonialism made possible . . . a sense of belonging to an “imagined community.” [. . . .] Nations are also made through engagement with ideas, theories and knowledge produced outside the national boundaries. . . .
[. . . .]  
___The roots of modern Israel lie not in the Middle East but in Europe. Zionism, a political movement aimed at the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, was born and developed in Europe in the late 19th century, and was supported by Europe’s leading imperial power at the time: Britain. . . . [which promised] a Jewish state where, at that time, a mostly Muslim and Christian Arab population coexisted with a small Jewish minority.
___As evident in the historical record and numerous UN documents the Israeli national territory was established through military force and settler colonialism . . . [and] through an ongoing process of land expropriation and displacement . . . .  and through the idea and practice of “transfer” of the native population – all common tropes of European colonial discourse and practice.
[. . . .]  
___It is through these early archaeological excavations (and nationalist rituals like climbing the Masada), that material culture was reconfigured into objects of national significance and landscapes emerged as “historical locales” through which particular historical narratives of Palestine as the “land of Israel” were made visible. Thus archaeology was one of the means through which the nation began to emerge in concrete form, saturating the Palestinian landscape with symbols of Jewish-ness. . .  the sites together mapped the Jewish homeland onto the landscape as a whole, creating a “spatial biography” of Jewish past and future presence.

Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)
Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)

“. . . Stop being so deathly afraid of the other . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

key
A Palestinian woman carries a key, a symbol of the Nakba and the right of return, May 15, 2012. Palestinians took keys to their homes in 1948, hoping they would soon return. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.)
  • Background:  “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy.

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel with Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Israeli shooting of Palestinians: The media need to check the facts
❸ Right of return is the heart of Palestine’s struggle
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
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  • Slater, Jerome. “Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Middle East Policy 22.3 (2015): 79-99.    ARTICLE.     

[. . . .] Terrorism, it is often said, is a weapon of the weak: the strong (such as states) have alternatives that the weak (such as non-state groups and movements) lack: diplomatic and political influence, economic incentives and disincentives, and powerful armed forces. For those reasons, state attacks on noncombatants—even assuming a just cause–have an even greater burden of moral proof than non-state attacks.     ___Nonetheless, even terrorism by the weak on behalf of a just cause . . .  could never be regarded as justifiable unless it was clear that all other means had failed. These means must include negotiations for a political settlement and/or nonviolent resistance if political means fail; they may even include armed resistance.
[. . . .]  Since the Palestinians have no chance of defeating the Israeli armed forces, the main alternatives to terrorism for the Palestinians have been negotiated political compromise and nonviolent resistance. . . . . All such negotiations have failed, overwhelmingly because no Israeli government has been prepared to agree to end the occupation, withdraw the settlers, and turn over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza to the Palestinians.
___For that reason, the political path to a settlement is all but dead, leaving the Palestinians only nonviolent resistance as the alternative to resistance by terrorism. In fact, at various periods throughout their history the Palestinians and their political leaders have tried nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience, and political protest.
[. . . .]    Tragically, it must be admitted that all of these methods so far have failed and show little promise of succeeding in the near future . . . .

❶ KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”       MORE . . .

❷ ISRAELI  SHOOTING  OF  PALESTINIANS:  THE  MEDIA  NEED  TO  CHECK  THE  FACTS    
Middle East Eye
Ben White
Sept. 11, 2016
Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s armed forces, the circumstances and aftermath of the killing of Mustafa Nimr by Israeli border police in Shuafat refugee camp last Monday take some beating for their sheer cruelty and gall.   ___At the end of an overnight raid . . .  Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle in what authorities immediately described as a thwarted car-ramming attack. Passenger Mustafa Nimr was killed, while the driver, his cousin Ali, was wounded and detained.
___ The next day, Israeli officials informed the family that Mustafa had been “killed by mistake.”
[. . . .]    The question is this: what will it take for the Western media to stop taking Israeli authorities’ version of events at face value? And why is this even a problem to begin with?     MORE . . .

❸  RIGHT  OF  RETURN  IS  THE  HEART  OF  PALESTINE’S  STRUGGLE  
The Electronic Intifada     
Mohamed Mohamed
Sept. 6, 2016
A friend of mine recently shared an image meant to show solidarity with Palestine . . . . the barrage of Israeli propaganda attempting to bury the history of our existence is not surprising. One can expect no less from a state that was created through the expulsion and subjugation of an existing population.
[. . . .]     Discrimination against Palestinians is not perpetrated solely by the Israeli state; it is endemic to Israeli society itself. A recent Pew survey indicates that almost half of Israeli Jews believe that Palestinian citizens of Israel should be expelled from the country and 79 percent believe that Jews deserve preferential treatment in Israel.
[. . . .]   The right of return, a cornerstone of the Palestinian struggle, is the principle that Palestinian refugees have an inalienable right to return to their homeland. This includes those who fled or were forced to flee in 1948 as well as in 1967, along with their descendants.
___The right of return is also enshrined in international law . . . .    Israel continues to violate its obligations under international law. It has no intention of correcting or addressing the historic injustices that created the Palestinian refugee problem, and the right of return has been one of the main issues preventing a just settlement of the conflict.       MORE . . .

“COLLATERAL  SAVAGE,”  BY  LAHAB  ASSEF  AL-JUNDI

Survivors of The Holocaust please
Talk to me. Help me understand―
Do you sanction what’s being done
In your names?

I thought your spirits
grew more gentle
having lived through the unspeakable.

Bombs are not less lethal or evil―
Stop being so deathly afraid of the other.

A thousand eyes for an eye?
Children of the Holocaust
please do not lash out
as if you lost your sight.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born of Palestinian refugee parents and grew up in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, A Long Way, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many anthologies including Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE  ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes & Noble.