“. . . a land that can fit, with wilderness to spare, in the Panhandle of Texas . . .” (Lahab Assef Al-Jundi)

❶ Abu Rudeineh responding to US ambassador: Occupation is reason for violence
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Amid rising tensions, US troops in Israel for missile defense drill
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) 44 Settlers, 33 US soldiers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plaza

  • Background: “The Gold Standard: U.S.–Israel Military Relations.” American Foreign Policy Interests.

❷ Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Teen critically injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem
❸ PCHR: IOF continue systematic crimes in the oPT
❹ POETRY by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Responding to statements by the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticizing the Palestinian Authority, presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Wednesday that the Israeli occupation and the settlement policy are the main reason for violence in the region.
___Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israeli settlements and settlers who regularly donates money and support for the illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, which are in violation of international law, lashed out at what he said in a tweet as “Palestinian leader” not speaking out against the killing of  settlers in the West Bank.
___“The statements by the US ambassador lead us to wonder about the ambassador’s relationship with the occupation: Does he represent the US or Israel?” wondered Abu Rudeineh.     MORE . . . 
The Jerusalem Post
Feb. 4, 2018 ― With tensions high on both the northern and southern fronts, US troops are in Israel and have deployed anti-missile defense systems across the country ahead of the biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise.
___The large-scale, five-day drill will simulate a massive missile attack on Israel from both fronts and will be led by the Israel Air Force, the IDF confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❶  ―  (ᴃ)    44  SETTLERS,  33  US  SOLDIERS  STORM  AL-AQSA  MOSQUE  PLAZA
The Palestinian Information Center
Feb. 8, 2018 ―  Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
___Islamic Endowment Department in Jerusalem, said the American soldiers stormed the holy site in civilian uniform with the company of an Israeli officer.  MORE . . .

Holt, Blaine D.
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY INTERESTS, vol. 36, no. 2, Mar/Apr2014, pp. 111-118. ‘‘The Gold Standard’’ may well be one of the most cliche´d and overused phrases used to communicate any field’s leading program or effort. However, in considering the military-to-military relationship between the United States and Israel, this trite descriptor may be more than appropriate. . . .
[. . . .] At present, the bilateral relationship in the military sphere is the envy of strategists and planners around the world. Joint and combined exercises, staff colleges and fellowships, interoperability training, and joint research and development are some of the jewels in the crown that suits both countries well. . . .   Today’s relationship boasts robust intelligence cooperation in addition to all the measures that yield two very capable, ready forces that have confidence in their ability to meet the bilateral challenges posed by leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv. And, while U.S.–Israeli bonds at the political level have ebbed and flowed, military-to-military relations have grown steadily, while remaining pragmatic and professional, over the last 50 years.
[. . . .] Irrespective of the level at which U.S. foreign aid settles as the political leadership in both countries engage in dialogue and debate domestically, the relationship between militaries forged over five decades is valuable. A way to safely shepherd this evolving and dynamic military alliance through any political, economic, or diplomatic climate is to deepen the roots of the existing programs while looking at innovative options to form new initiatives. In other words, rather than looking for ways to sustain the status quo, the timing is optimal to move the relationship to the next level . . . version 2.0.     SOURCE . . .  

Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters.
___Several students were transferred to the Muhammad Ali al-Muhtaseb Hospital for treatment.   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19.
[. . . .] After the alleged attack, Israeli forces raided Zamaareh’s family house and detained his father, Youssif.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Feb. 8, 2018 ― Israeli soldiers Wednesday critically injured a 16-year-old Palestinian in Kafr ‘Aqab, north of Jerusalem, said medical sources.
___The Palestinian Red Crescent told WAFA the teen, who remains unidentified until the moment, was hit in the face, chest, and thigh areas during clashes that erupted with Israeli soldiers.     MORE . . .  
Palestine News Network – PNN
Feb. 7, 2018 ― The Gaza based Palestinian Center for Human Rights in its weekly report during the reporting period of (01 – 07 Feb. 2018) has recorded ongoing systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which include:

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • Two Palestinian civilians were killed in peaceful protests that did not pose any threat to the Israeli soldiers’ life.
  • Israeli forces killed Ahmed Jarar in a crime of extra-judicial execution.
  • [. . . .] Israeli forces conducted 74 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 into Jerusalem.    MORE . . . 

You are fighting over a land that can fit,
with wilderness to spare,
in the Panhandle of Texas.

You are building walls to segregate,
splitting wholes till little is left,
killing and dying for pieces of sky
in the same window.

The olive trees are dying
of embarrassment.
They have enough fruits
and pits for all of you.
All they want is for you to stop
uprooting them.
Sending your children to die
in their names.

Your land is no holier than my backyard.
None of you is any more chosen
than the homeless veteran panhandling
with a God Bless cardboard sign
at the light of Mecca
and San Pedro.
Draw a borderline around the place.
Call it home for all the living,
all the dead
all the tired exiles with its dust
gummed on their tongues.

There are no heroes left.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated 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,

“. . . Have years of suffering . . . led to this? . . .” (Harun Hashim Rashid)

❶ 5 Palestinians shot, injured in the legs during clashes in Ramallah-area village

  • Background: “The Impact of Occupation on Israeli Democracy.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) 2 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces undergo surgery, 1 in critical condition
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Four Children injured After Being Struck By An Israeli Colonist’s Car In Silwan
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) Israel’s culture of impunity in full view of the world
❷ Behind the headlines in Jerusalem: Recent al-Aqsa clashes are a result of Israel’s long-standing plans to expand control over Jerusalem.
❸ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rashid
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency 
Aug. 11, 2017.  Five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes that erupted Thursday evening in the Beit Rima town in northern Ramallah between Palestinian youths and Israeli undercover forces that raided a house in the town, according to official Palestinian sources.
___Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at youths that surrounded the undercover forces as they were raiding a house in the area.
___The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes in Beit Rima, which is located in the central occupied West Bank.      MORE . . .

Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture,
vol. 22, no. 2/3, July 2017, pp. 18-25.
Military control of large numbers of people who are denied basic human rights and the right for national self-determination cannot be aligned with democratic values. International law legitimizes such situations in occupied territories but only for a limited time and under strict regulations that do not allow putting the occupied people’s interests at risk except for security reasons of both the occupiers and the occupied. . . .
___We have identified five main processes of deterioration in Israeli democracy: first, intensive use of propaganda in order to adopt a blind and a narrow definition of national patriotism; second, the loss of consensus concerning the balance between the Jewish and the democratic characteristics of the state; third, a weakening of the authority of law; fourth, the involvement of the military in politics; and fifth, the undermining of the authority of the Supreme Court.
[. . . .] In its struggle for hegemony, the new elite increasingly applied propaganda techniques that played on the deep fears of the public in order to promote an uncritical and narrow definition of Israeli identity.  . . . the one-sided historical “truth” of the neo-Zionist narrative infiltrated into the established Israeli discourse. Statements like those of . . .  former military generals like Uzi Dayan, who repeatedly say that they care about the interests of Israel and not the Palestinians . . .  helped establish a blind uncritical patriotism. Increasingly, the Bible was introduced as the ultimate justification to our attachment to the land and our identity as Jews and heavenly promise became the ultimate justification for our sole ownership of the land with disregard to the rights of Palestinians who have lived on the land for hundreds of years.
[. . . .] The vicious circle of violence between the occupier and the occupied only increases mistrust and dehumanization of the other. In such a milieu children grow up with a mistrust of foreigners, which may lead to hatred and racism. This mindset is amplified by the fortification of space by fences, walls and guards. Under such a regime the discourse of human rights developed in Western culture could not be adopted by Israelis who support the occupation, thus increasing Western countries’ criticism of Israel and the perception among right-wing Israelis of a nation under siege that, as a consequence, is allowed to use any and all means for its survival.   FULL ARTICLE . . .

Ma’an News Agency.
Aug. 10, 2017.   Two injured Palestinian detainees, who were detained on Wednesday after they were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during a raid on the Bethlehem-area al-Duheisha refugee camp, have undergone surgery and are still in the hospital, with one in critical condition.
___Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Karim Ajwa released a statement on Thursday after visiting the two injured Palestinians, Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi, who are being held in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.
[. . . .] Ajwa added that a court session is expected to be held on Thursday to extend the detention of the two, who were detained during a predawn raid on the camp, located in the southern occupied West Bank.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC     
Aug. 11, 2017.   Palestinian medical sources have reported that four children were injured, Thursday, after being rammed by a speeding Israeli colonist’s car, in the al-‘Ein Street, in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The sources said the four children suffered various cuts and bruises, before an Israeli ambulance moved them to Hadassah Medical Center.
___Two of the wounded children have been identified as Hamza Abu Sbeih and his brother Amir.
___Eyewitnesses said the colonist deliberately rammed the children with his car as they were walking along the sidewalk . . .   MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
April 12, 2016.  “Whether he made a mistake or not, is a trivial question,” said an Israeli Jewish man who joined large protests throughout Israel in support of a soldier who calmly, and with precision, killed a wounded Palestinian man in al-Khalil (Hebron). The protesting Jewish man described Palestinians as ‘barbaric,’ ‘bestial,’ who should not be perceived as people.
[. . . .] The vast majority of Israelis, 68 percent, support the killing of Abdel Fatah Yusri al-Sharif, 21, by the solider who had reportedly announced before firing at the wounded Palestinian that the “terrorist had to die.”
[. . . .] The incident, once more, highlights a culture of impunity that exists in the Israeli army, which is not a new phenomenon.   MORE . . .
See post of July 8, 2017 for further discussion of “culture of impunity.”
Al Jazeera English    
By Nur Arafeh
Aug. 11, 2017.   Jerusalem has been in the spotlight again recently as tensions reached the boiling point after the mid-July attack on Israeli forces in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. Despite the apparent resolution of the immediate crisis owing to mass Palestinian civil disobedience, which forced Israel to reverse its attempt to change the status quo that has been in place since 1967 at the historic Noble Sanctuary mosque complex, the underlying issues remain in place.
___Media coverage of Jerusalem has tended to focus on clashes as and when they erupt, and to frame these as the harbingers of an emerging “religious war”. However, this approach fails to address the history of and context in which such clashes unfold, and the explicit aims of the Israeli government.   MORE . . .

(After occupying Gaza in 1967, the Israelis searched houses and forced men and women to stand next to walls with arms raised. Often they shot at them. The poet had this experience.)

――Raise your arms . . .
they aimed their guns at me . . .
――Raise your arms . . .

I stood, my eyes flaming
and scorching with anger
as an insistent film of events
assailed me.
Can defiled cities be
the outcome of our struggle?
Have years of suffering,
long days of vigilance
in trenches, on hills
and in tattered tents
led to this?

The world blackened in my eyes
my hands on the wall
as guns were pointing at me
I wished the wall would fall on my head
My comrades and I waited
for their bullets,
for their bullets

They walked away, and the wall
remained, gazing back at us
waiting for a fiery volcano, for the flames.
―Translated by Sharif Elmusa and Naomi Shihab Nye

About HARUN HASHIM AL RASHID (born in Gaza, 1927)
From ANTHOLOGY  OF  MODERN  PALESTINIAN  LITERATURE.  Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“The Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty, period . . .” (Avi Dichter, Likud member of Israeli Knessett)

❶ Video: Israel attacks Jerusalem worshippers
❷ Netanyahu orders searching all worshipers entering al- Aqsa
❸ In alleged first, Jewish BDS activists prevented from boarding flight to Israel

  • Background: “No Space for Apartheid: Toward an Academic Boycott of Israel among Geographers.” Geographical Review

❹ POETRY by Al-Raheem Mahmoud (1913-1948)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Electronic Intifada
Maureen Clare Murphy
July 26, 2017.   Israeli occupation forces attacked Palestinian worshippers at the Lions Gate entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Tuesday night.
___The Palestinian Quds news outlet reported that Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters, wounding dozens, and prevented ambulances from reaching the area.
___Palestinian worshippers had continued to keep vigil outside the mosque compound on Tuesday. The Waqf religious trust that administers the site had called for continuation of a boycott as it evaluated the situation after Israel removed metal detectors the night before.
[. . . . ]  Meanwhile Avi Dichter, a senior Israeli lawmaker from Netanyahu’s Likud party who formerly headed the country’s secret police, told Israeli television that the government had decided “to turn the Temple Mount into a sterile area – with all that this entails,” employing the term Israel uses for the mosque compound.
___“The Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty, period,” he said.     MORE . . .
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
July 26, 2017.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the police to search worshipers entering the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, a day after the removal of the electronic gates and replace it by smart cameras system, which will be completed within six months.
___According to the Walla website, the decision was taken following a telephone call between Netanyahu and Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, they agreed to search worshipers entering the Aqsa Mosque individually and through hand-held metal checks, because of  the security sensitivity of the location, according to the Israeli appeals.
___According to a poll made by Hebrew channel 2, 77% of the Israelis believes that the removal of the electronic gate is a retreat by the Israeli government, 17% does not think that it is a retreat, while just 6% has no idea.       MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 25, 2017.  The Israeli government and its international supporters continued to crack down on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as five members of an American interfaith delegation to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory were prevented from boarding their flight from Washington D.C. to Tel Aviv on Monday.
___US-based organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) released a report saying five members of the delegation were denied entry to Israel, allegedly due to their activism with the BDS movement, which targets companies that act in compliance with Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
[. . . .] JVP identified the five members that were denied entry on the flight as JVP Deputy Director Rabbi Alissa Wise, Alana Krivo-Kaufman and Noah Habeeb, both members of JVP, Rick Ufford Chase of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and Shakeel Syed, a national board member with American Muslims for Palestine.     MORE . . .

Geographical Review,
vol. 106, no. 2, Apr. 2016, pp. 276-282.
[. . . .]  Against this backdrop of inequality, bloodshed, and institutionalized racism, Palestinian civil society has called upon the international community to engage in boycotts, divestment, and sanctions in order to put political and economic pressure on Israel until Palestinians have their full slate of human rights.
[. . . .] Israeli universities have been deeply embedded in the Israeli state’s efforts to attack, invade, ethnically cleanse, and occupy Palestine And as Lisa Taraki writes, “[g]enerally, there have never been any protests by professional and academic associations of physicists, physicians, geographers, mathematicians, political scientists, architects, and others in Israel regarding the moral and professional implications of collaboration with the [Israeli] army.”
___Palestinian academics and intellectuals have therefore called upon the international community to boycott Israeli academic institutions as a key part of the broader BDS movement.
[. . . .] Collaboration and connections between academic institutions and militaries are not, of course, unique to Israel. Many universities in the United States, for example, receive research funding from the Pentagon . . .   The GI Bill enables former American soldiers to attend college free of charge. The prevalence of ties between universities and the military, in America and elsewhere, has led some opponents of the academic boycott of Israel to reply, “why are you not calling for a boycott of American universities? After all, the United States engages in gross human rights abuses too.” The difference is quite simple: the people oppressed by American policies are not calling for an academic boycott of American universities. But Palestinian civil society is calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. To boycott Israeli academic institutions is thus to respond to a call from Palestinian civil society. It is a principled act of solidarity.      SOURCE . . .

(The poem is a salute to Prince Saud Ibn ‘Abd al’Aziz when he visited the poet’s town, ‘Anabta, on August 14, 1935.)

Honorable Prince! Before you stands a poet
whose heart harbors bitter complaint.
Have you come to visit the Aqsa mosque
or to bid it farewell before its loss?
This land, this holy land, is being sold to all intruders
and stabbed by its own people!
And tomorrow looms over us, nearer and nearer!
Nothing shall remain for us but our streaming tears,
our deep regrets.

Oh, Prince, shout, shout! Your voice
might shake people awake!
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: are they all agreed to struggle
as one body and mind?
Ask the guards of the Aqsa: can a covenant with God
be offered to someone, then lost?
Forgive the complaint, but a grieving heart needs to complain
to the Prince, even if it makes him weep.
(This poem gained great fame later on because of its prophetic words about the imminent loss of Palestine.)

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


“. . . thieves have not broken down the door of my life . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

  • “In terms of what it aimed to achieve, the [Oslo] Agreement is geared at transforming Palestinian factions into amiable partners in negotiations, concerned with the governing and policing of the Palestinian territories  . . .  while posing a minimal military/security threat to the Jewish state” (Somdeep Sen).

❶ Abbas suspends all contacts with Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background: “It’s Nakba, Not a Party”: Re-Stating the (Continued) Legacy of the Oslo Accords.” Arab Studies Quarterly.

❷ 3 Palestinians killed in Al-Aqsa clashes in Jerusalem, West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Scores of Palestinians wounded in Jerusalem in protest against Israeli measures at Al-Aqsa
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Israeli forces violently suppress Al-Aqsa protests in West Bank, Gaza
❸ UN chief deplores Israeli killing of Palestinians in Jerusalem
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Syndicate, ministry protest Israeli treatment of Palestinian journalist in the field
❹ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN 
July 22, 2017.   President Mahmoud Abbas said last night that he has decided to suspend all contacts with Israel until the latter cancels all measures it has implemented against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
___According WAFA official news agency Abbas, who cut short a trip to China and returned home following the deterioration in the situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque, headed an urgent joint meeting for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah Central Committee to discuss strategy in confronting the Israeli measures.
[. . . .] “In the name of the Palestinian leadership, I declare the suspension of all contacts with the occupying country on all levels until Israel revokes all its measures against our Palestinian people and Jerusalem, particularly at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and preserve the historic status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas said at the end of the leadership meeting held in Ramallah.   MORE . . .

Sen, Somdeep.
Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2, Spring2015, pp. 162-176.
[. . . .] . . . the least discussed effect of Oslo is in fact rooted not in what it failed to do but in what it aimed to achieve. . .  the Accords created a realm of “official politics” that incentivizes a certain brand of Palestinian liberation factions (that are unarmed and recognize Israel) . . .  it continually influences and affects the brand of Palestinian political organizations that are able to operate, uninhibited, within the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). On the basis of these legacies, one could then assert that the Oslo Accords features prominently in the Palestinian political  consciousness today not only through its failures but also the continued influence it has on the manner in which Palestinian politics can be conducted.
[. . . .] The most tangible manifestation of this aspect of the Accords is evident in its creation of a realm of official Palestinian politics. At the very outset, entrance into this realm is limited to Palestinian organizations that have publicly renounced an armed struggle and recognized Israel. Subsequently, the faction would be deemed a “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian populace and granted a permanent seat in negotiations with Israel and Western stakeholders. Once a Palestinian faction abides by this pre-condition, it is given the responsibility of governing the Palestinian territories and would subsequently have access to the financial resources earmarked for the PA. As the PA is responsible for key sectors such as education, culture, health, social welfare, direct taxation, and tourism, the resultant expectation would be that the recognized Palestinian faction, through its entrance into official politics, would be socialized into the reasoning of the state and out of the logic of resistance. Finally, in keeping with the “statist logic” of Oslo-mandated official politics . . .  the recognized Palestinian faction would also be responsible for ensuring the primacy of the mandate of the state-like PA (evocative of the logic of “official politics”) through the Palestinian internal security forces.
[. . . .] In terms of what it aimed to achieve, the Interim Agreement is geared at transforming Palestinian factions into amiable partners in negotiations, concerned with the governing and policing of the Palestinian territories (than militarily engaging with Israel), while posing a minimal military/security to the Jewish state. Then, in addition to its failures, the agreement today can be characterized as an institutional embodiment and framework geared at changing the foundational characteristics and subjective identity of Palestinian liberation factions. (Somdeep Sen is a postdoctoral researcher at Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His current research focuses on spatial politics in Palestine.)    SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency  
July 21, 2017.  Three Palestinians were reportedly shot and killed during clashes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Friday, amid large-scale clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory over new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.  The deaths comes amid a large-scale demonstration across East Jerusalem on Friday to denounce new Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a deadly attack last week.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Tensions were running high in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday as thousands of Palestinians were marching towards the Old City to denounce increased Israeli security measures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Israeli authorities decided to maintain early on Friday, despite recommendations from Israel’s own security agencies.
___A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 72 Palestinians had been injured in East Jerusalem, and at least 390 had been injured in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in total.     MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.
___Palestinian demonstrators performed prayers outdoors across the occupied Palestinian territory in solidarity with Al-Aqsa, to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a deadly shooting attack took place there on July 14.     MORE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 22, 2017.   United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “deeply deplores” Israeli police killing of three young Palestinians in clashes that raged in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday calling for these incidents to be fully investigated, according to a statement by Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General.
___“His (Guterres) thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” said the deputy spokesman.    MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 22, 2017.   The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the Ministry of Information denounced in two separate press releases on Saturday treatment by the Israeli security forces of Palestinian journalists doing their work in the field.
___The two organizations accused Israeli security of intentionally targeting Palestinian journalist, some of whom were hit by rubber bullets or tear gas canisters.
___They said WAFA photographers Afif Amira was shot by a rubber bullet in the chest while covering the Jerusalem clashes and Mashhour Wahwah was hit by a concussion bomb in his foot while covering the clashes in Hebron.
___Maan news agency reporter Mirna Atrash was intentionally hit by a stun grenade in the face during her coverage of the clashes at Bethlehem’s northern outskirts.    MORE . . .

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

About Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Barnes and Noble.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions


“. . . My roots have gripped this soil since time began . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

  • Umm_al-Fahm_2014
    Umm al-Fahm (Photo: Wikipedia, 2014)

    Umm al-Fahm is located 20 kilometres (12 miles) northwest of Jenin in the Haifa District of Israel. In 2015 its population was 52,500, nearly all of whom are Arab citizens of Israel. “The people of Um Al-Fahm are proud of their long history of resistance and rejection of colonialism and occupation, during which the city continued to breed revolutionaries in defense of Palestine” (Palestinian Information Center). Umm al-Fahm was the home of the three Palestinians killed in the attack on/by Israeli police in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017.

❶ Thousands of Palestinians march towards Al-Aqsa to denounce Israeli measures

  • Background: “Resisting ‘Israelization’: The Islamic Movement in Israel and the Realization of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization.” Journal of Islamic Studies

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces violently suppress Al-Aqsa protests in West Bank, Gaza
❷ President asks US to intervene over Al-Aqsa Mosque tensions
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces detain 10 Palestinians, including Fatah officials from Jerusalem
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Um Al-Fahm: Always in defense of Al-Aqsa, Palestine
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.  Tensions were running high in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday as thousands of Palestinians were marching towards the Old City to denounce increased Israeli security measures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Israeli authorities decided to maintain early on Friday, despite recommendations from Israel’s own security agencies.
___The Waqf, the Islamic endowment administering Al-Aqsa, called earlier this week on all mosques in Jerusalem to be closed on Friday and for all Muslim worshipers in the city to head towards Al-Aqsa to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a shooting attack on July 14 left the assailants, three Palestinian citizens of Israel, and two Israeli border police officers killed.   MORE . . .

JOURNAL OF ISLAMIC STUDIES, vol. 23, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 325-358.
Since the 1970s the Islamic Movement in Israel has sought to (re)create and promote an Arab Palestinian Muslim identity among its constituency of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Through educational and religious institutions the Movement aims to teach Palestinians in Israel about Islam and ancient and modern Palestinian history, as well as their current predicament as indigenous non-Jewish citizens of the Jewish state; and to improve their level of Arabic. These aims are vocalized in many of the religious and political speeches by the Movement’s leaders; reiterated in the content of the material distributed by the pupil and student organizations; and demonstrably present in the Movement’s social and political activities around the country.
___Established by shaykhs educated in religious institutions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Islamic Movement in Israel grew from a movement of grass-roots activism into a player on the local political field during the mid-1980s
. . .  [the movement bases] their activism on the inter-related agendas of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization, which are formed and disseminated via the Movement’s state-wide network of mosques, educational and social institutions and organizations.
[. . . .] In order to educate new local religious leaders the Movement now runs an Islamic College in Umm al-Fahm and it also sends students abroad, mainly to Jordan.
[. . . .] According to Dumper and Larkin, it is widely believed among the Muslim Palestinian community in Israel that al-Aqsa is under threat from settler groups, right-wing Israeli politicians, and aggressive military forces. The settler groups are understood to be the main propagators behind the controversial archaeological excavations near and/or under the site. This fear is the motivational force behind the organization of an annual event called ‘al-Aqsa is in danger’ hosted by the Northern branch in Umm al-Fahm. The festival attracts tens of thousands of Muslims from all over the country. At this festival the leaders of the Movement give emotional speeches about liberating al-Aqsa, which are loaded with religious content and strong statements. For example, Khatib has stated at the festival that, ‘ . . . the sweep of the sword will start a fire that will burn the enemies of al-Aqsa.’    SOURCE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.
[. . . .] The witness said that some 300 demonstrators had gathered in front of an Israeli military base set behind Israel’s illegal separation wall in northern Bethlehem to pray, with a dozen of protesters chanting slogans.
___As the majority of demonstrators began walking away from the separation wall, Israeli forces began spraying skunk water — a strong, foul smelling liquid — towards the crowd, and shot tear gas.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 21, 2017.  President Mahmoud Abbas Friday asked the US administration to intervene to compel Israel to back down from its measures in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Abbas discussed the spiraling tensions in East Jerusalem in a phone call with US President Donald Trump’s top advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
___He asked the US administration to immediately intervene in order to compel Israel to back down from its recent measures in East Jerusalem and the mosque compound.  MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
July 21, 2017.   Israeli forces Friday detained at least 10 Palestinians, including Fatah officials and activists, during multiple raids across East Jerusalem.
___Israeli police detained former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and member of Fatah Revolutionary Council after storming his home in the city.
___Police also detained Fatah movement’s Jerusalem Secretary-General Adnan Ghaith and his brother, Hani, after storming their homes in Silwan.   MORE . . .
RELATED: Father Musleh [Spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem]: “What is happening at Aqsa premeditated plan.”
The Palestinian Information Center   
July 18, 2017.   At the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, three Palestinians from Um Al-Fahm city carried out a shooting attack on Friday morning, July 14, killing two Israeli occupation officers, before they were killed at the hands of Israeli policemen. This shooting was only the latest manifestation of a revolutionary spirit of an Arab-Muslim thought in the hearts of the people of this [Um Al-Fahm], located in the heart of the northern 1948 occupied Palestine, which for nine decades had shown outstanding courage in defense of Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] [At the time of the Nakba] Um Al-Fahm was the largest city in Palestine, with an area of 150,000 dunums, of which only 22,000 dunums remain today. An estimated number of 52,000 Palestinians live there today. The city has the second largest Palestinian population in the 1948 Occupied Territories after Nazareth.
[. . . .] Following its occupation by Israel, the city remained a hotbed of constant tension that disturbed the occupation and its security apparatuses, because of the strong national spirit and its people’s refusal of subjugation to the occupiers. [. . . .]   MORE . . .

[Note: Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in 1964 when he was 22 years old. He was imprisoned for it―his first imprisonment. The poem became rallying words for the Palestinians. Note, it was written before the 1967 War and before the First and Second Intifadas and remains germane in today’s Palestine.]

Write down:
I am an Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your
door nor humble myself
on your threshold
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
a name with no friendly diminutive.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourished.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks―
Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down:
The colour of my hair, jet black―
eyes, brown―
trademarks, a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as a rock.
My address is a weaponless village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
―Does that anger you?

Write down:
You have stolen my ancestors’ vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children
leaving my grandchildren nothing but rocks.
Will your government take those too,
as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

About Mahmoud Darwish
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.

“. . . She must have earned a bad name by now, For the number of swords unsheathed . . .” (Aftab Yusuf Shaikh)

Dkaika Village, South Hebron Hills (Photo: Hebron International Rehabilitation Network. Dec. 24, 2014)

❶ Al-Aqsa officials reject new Israeli security measures as compound reopens

  • Background: . “From ‘Ethnocracity’ to Urban Apartheid: The Changing Urban Geopolitics of Jerusalem\Al-Quds.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) PCHR Strongly Condemns Israeli Authorities’ Measures against Al-Aqsa Mosque in Unprecedented Step
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Knesset bill bans dividing occupied Jerusalem
❷ Israel is expelling 300 Palestinians, to a village it plans to demolish
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) My village is under threat. I’m not giving up hope
❸ POETRY by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency       
July 16, 2017.  As Israeli officials moved to “gradually reopen” the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday after three days of closure, officials from the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) that runs the holy site expressed their rejection to the new metal detectors installed at compound’s entrances . . .
___The attempt to reopen the compound came upon an order from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after it had been closed following a deadly shooting attack inside the compound that left two Israeli border policemen killed and three Palestinian assailants shot dead on Friday.
___After discussions with “top security leadership,” Netanyahu announced additional security measures at the holy site Saturday evening, including the installation of the metal detectors as well as security cameras outside the compound.
___Meanwhile, Al-Aqsa and the entirety of the Old City has remained shuttered to Palestinians who don’t reside there since Friday, while Israelis and tourists have been allowed to enter the Old City.  MORE . . .

Yacobi, Haim. “FROM  ‘ETHNOCRACITY’  TO  URBAN  APARTHEID:  THE  CHANGING  URBAN  GEOPOLITICS  OF  JERUSALEM\AL-QUDS.” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 8, no. 3, July 2016, pp. 100-114.
(Haim Yacobi is Professor of Development Planning, University College, London)
[. . . .] ‘Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, a city reunified so as never again to be divided… Our people’s unparalleled affinity to Jerusalem has spanned thousands of years, and is the basis of our national renaissance. It has united our people, secular and religious alike’. The statement above, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expresses the mainstream Israeli understanding of the city as ‘unified Jerusalem,’ a fixed urban space, a given subject of Israeli sovereignty and ethno-national aspirations. But in fact, the city of Jerusalem is manufactured continuously by geopolitical practices, which include not merely military occupation but also colonial planning and demographic engineering.
___As widely documented and analyzed, a turning point in Israel’s geopolitical situation occurred in June 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and other territories. Following this occupation, and despite international objections, the Israeli government issued the Municipalities Ordinance (Amendment No. 6) Law, 5727–1967, applying Israeli law to East Jerusalem. As a result, Israel annexed Palestinian land and declared the city of Jerusalem to be its united capital. This stage in the colonization of East Jerusalem was heavily based on legal measures in the form of expropriation of Palestinian land into (Israeli) state hands.
___The next stage in the process was the rhetorical device of incessantly declaring that Jerusalem is a unified city. In this regard, planning policies have clearly reflected the paradigm of an ethnocracity; both state and city governments have pursued the same general policy, which persistently promoted the Judaization of Jerusalem – i.e. the expansion of Jewish political, territorial, demographic and economic control. More specifically, over the past five decades, Israel has used its military might and economic power to redraw borders and recreate boundaries, to grant or deny rights and resources, and to move populations around for the purpose of ensuring Jewish control. These all served a common goal, which was to construct a new cognitive map for the city and thus normalize its occupation.     FULL ARTICLE . . .

Palestine News Network – PNN     
July 16, 2017.   The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the measures taken by the Israeli Government against al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
___These measures included closing the Mosque; banning prayers; and arresting and investigating with dozens of Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) Department’s officers, Mosque’s guards and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
___PCHR emphasizes that these measures are part of Israeli policies applied to create a Jewish majority in the City and part of the Israeli collective punishment policy in the Palestinian territory . . .
___PCHR calls upon the international community, particularly the Permanent Member States of the UN Security Council and High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention . . .  to take all deterrent measures against the Israeli government’s serious violations in the oPt.        MORE . . .
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
July 16, 2017.   Israeli ministerial committee for legislation approved Sunday Unified Jerusalem Bill that bans dividing occupied Jerusalem in any future settlement.
___A bill spearheaded by . . .  Education Minister Naftali Bennett designed to make dividing Jerusalem virtually impossible was vetoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon after the former made clear his intentions to put the so-called ‘Unified Jerusalem Bill’ to the vote without proper prior coalition consultations.
___According to the proposed legislation, any decision taken on Jerusalem’s fate would require the consent of eighty MKs in the Knesset.   MORE . . .
+972 Blog
By Eli Bitan
July 13, 2017.   Dkaika, a tiny Bedouin-Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hills, is under threat of demolition. The state hopes to expel its residents to a nearby village — which is also under threat of destruction.
Israel’s High Court of Justice is set to decide the future of a small Palestinian village in the West Bank next week. Dkaika, located on the edge of the South Hebron Hills in Area C, is living under the shadow of demolition . . .  The village’s 300 residents are to be expelled to the nearby village Hamida — which is also under threat of demolition.
___The High Court is set to hear the case on July 17.
___Out of Dkaika’s 140 structures, 114 are slated for demolition. In order to prevent the expulsion, the village submitted a detailed plan, put together by Professor Rasem Khamaisi, to the state. . . .
___Should the petition be rejected, or should the High Court refuse to intervene and defend the residents from expulsion, the state may completely or partially demolish the village.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ)   MY  VILLAGE  IS  UNDER  THREAT.  I’M  NOT  GIVING  UP  HOPE    
+972 Magazine 
By Awdah al-Hathalean
July 16, 2017.  My name is Awdah Mohammed al-Hathalean. I’m 23 years old and I live in Umm al-Khair, a village in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank. My story is bittersweet.
___When I was seven months old, I fell into a fire in my home, and my father was not able to move fast enough to rescue me because of his disability.
[. . . .] I have now finished my studies at university, and have returned to live in my village . . .    sometimes I feel that I have overcome many obstacles in my life.
___I believe, like my father did, that we have the right to live without the constant threat of demolition, to have enough clean water, to have good houses that we can live in during all seasons, to have a community center for our children, and for all of us to continue learning and growing, to live without fear, and to do what we want as autonomous humans.   MORE . . . 

If this city were a woman,
She must have earned a bad name by now,
For the number of swords unsheathed,
For the cauldrons of blood shed,
For the haunting silence that rings in wombs,
For the innocent childhoods weeded,

But, No!
This is a city, and a holy one!
Holy for whom? The ones who heap
unholiness on it.

O children of Abraham!
You are not pagans or witches,
You must remember very sharply,
That the shedding of blood cleanses nothing,
And nothing cleanses the shedding of blood,

Man remembers the Promises of God,
But very casually forgets
The Promise God took from him.

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

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

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

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

  • Select bibliography: journal articles about the Occupation of Jerusalem

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

From: Aruri, Naseer and Edmund Ghareeb, eds. ENEMY OF THE SUN: POETRY OF THE PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE. Washington, DC: Drum and Spear Press, 1970.  Available from Amazon   About Samih Al Qasim     

Selected Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“. . . “States must each protect minorities, their national or ethnic identity and their linguistic, cultural and religious identity. . . .” (UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights)

#Photo of The #SuperMoon from the capital of #Palestine, #Jerusalem (Widely posted on Facebook, Nov. 13, 2016)

❶ US slams Israeli plan to ‘legalise’ settlement outposts

  • Background: “The Palestinians In Israel: The Challenge Of The Indigenous Group Politics In The ‘Jewish State’.” Journal Of Muslim Minority Affairs

❷ Israel moves forward with bill to ban Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers
❸ PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (03 – 09 November 2016)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Al Jazeera English   
Nov. 15, 2016
The US has described as “troubling” an Israeli bill supported by a ministerial committee allowing settlers in the occupied West Bank to remain in homes built on private Palestinian land, additing it hoped the law does not pass.
___”We are deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalisation of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told a briefing on Monday.
___While most of Israel’s settlements in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank – all of which are illegal under international law – are constructed under the auspices of the Israeli government, outposts are built without authorisation and technically illegal under Israeli law.      More . . .       Background . . .  Israel to legalise Jewish outposts in occupied territories

A file photograph of Adei Ad, the illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank (Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias, Jan. 2, 2015)

Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 15, 2016
Israeli authorities demolished three agricultural structures in the Jerusalem district neighborhoods of Silwan and Jabal al-Mukabbir on Tuesday morning, according to witnesses.
___Alaa Shweiki, a resident of the al-Thuri area in Silwan, told Ma’an Israeli police and Jerusalem municipality inspectors stormed the area around his home and escorted bulldozers onto his property.
___The bulldozers then demolished one structure roofed with steel tubes and tin sheets that he uses as horse stable, as well as a shack he uses to store agricultural equipment.     More . . .     Related . . . Israeli forces demolish residential structures south of Hebron

  • Ghanem, As’ad, and Mohanad Mustafa. “The Palestinians In Israel: The Challenge Of The Indigenous Group Politics In The ‘Jewish State’.” Journal Of Muslim Minority Affairs 31.2 (2011): 177-196.    Source.  

The Palestinians . . .  live in a state that was forced on them and does not represent them. A striking example of the attitude of the ruling majority towards the Palestinian minority in Israel is in the statements . . .  that as part of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Palestinian side should accept Israel as a “Jewish state.”
[. . . .]  According to the definition of . . .  the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities a “minority” is a governed group, with citizenship from the state in which it lives. Its unique ethnic, religious and linguistic attributes separate it from the rest of the people in the nation in which it lives. The term “Indigenous Minority” . . .  refers to the remaining minority of a group that resides in its own homeland, despite other immigrant groups occupying it or founding a new state on its lands. . .  The Palestinian minority in Israel meets most of the criteria to be considered indigenous. These criteria were enumerated by the United Nations . . .  early presence, voluntary conservation of cultural uniqueness, self-definition as an indigenous people, refusal to be subjugated, trivialized, marginalized, expelled or discriminated against by the hegemonic society. . . the presence of a group of people as a society, and their attachment to a specific area.
[. . . .]   The first section of the declaration on persons belonging to national or ethnic minorities, or those belonging to religious and linguistic minorities reads: “States must each protect minorities, their national or ethnic identity and their linguistic, cultural and religious identity. States must also lay the groundwork to facilitate the cultivation of the various identities”.
[. . . .]  The foundation of the Judaization idea is far from being an integral part of the democratic system. Oren Yiftachel calls these practices “ethnocracy”, therefore, the ethnocratic regime is founded on a national project that imposes ethnic national hegemony on the domain through the processes of expansion and settlement. In the case of Zionism, the Judaization of the domain and the land produces an ethnocratic regime. Spatial control is one of the important pillars of the ethnocratic regime. Its goal is the “creation of a new ethno-political geography”. The process of “ethnicizing” a disputed region evolves in the following stages: separation of settlements is used to propagate the control of the majority over the land. In this process the minority is labeled a threat to the ethnic control of land. Subsequently, land planning—which enables the ethnic control of the land. Finally, structural discrimination against the minority, denying it access to development projects and access to the distribution of resources. [. . . .]

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 14, 2016
The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday draft legislation which could ban the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer in Israel.     ___The bill, which calls for barring the use of loudspeakers for any religious or “inciting” messages as part of the call to prayer, would need to go through several readings in the Knesset — Israel’s parliament — before making it into law, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday.
___The call to prayer — also known as the adhan — is broadcast five times a day from mosques or Islamic centers.     More . . . 

Call to prayer from area of Masjid al-Aqsa; the first Qiblah of the believers.
May Allah bring liberation to the people of Palestine. Aameen

International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Nov. 14, 2016
During the week of 03 – 09 November 2016, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian at the entrance to the “Ofra” settlement, northeast of Ramallah and al-Bireh. Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a photojournalist, were wounded in the occupied West Bank.
___Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt), during the reporting period, were as follows:   More . .

“. . . I understand . . . you covet the dowry, but not the bride . . .” (Levi Eshkol)

Bedouin women from al-Turi family sit next to their destroyed homes in Al-Araqib village, located between Beersheba and Rahat in the Israeli Negev desert (AFP Photo)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Bedouin village of al-Araqib for 105th time
. . . ❶― (a) Israeli authorities demolish graves in East Jerusalem cemetery
. . . ❶― (b) Israeli authorities demolish home in Jerusalem-area village of Beit Hanina

  • Background:   “From Colonization To Separation: Exploring The Structure Of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly.

❷ Fear involves Jerusalem village as Israel issues demolishing orders
❸ Netanyahu’s Logic Prevails: Western Leaders Grow Deaf to Israeli Abuses
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 2, 2016
Israeli bulldozers raided and demolished the unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 105th time on Wednesday morning.
___Officers from Israeli police’s Yoav unit, the section created to implement demolitions of Bedouin homes in the Negev, were heavily deployed in the area.
___Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Ma’an that police forces were deployed in the area to carry out demolitions on a “number of buildings” in accordance with a court order.        More . . .

Sep. 2, 2015. The Islamic-Christian Commission in support of Jerusalem and Holy Sites warned against seizure of a portion of Bab Al-Rahma cemetery by members of the so-called Israeli Nature Authority. (Photo: International Islamic News Agency)

Ma’an News Agency  
Nov. 1, 2016
Israeli Nature and Parks Authority forces demolished several graves inside a Palestinian cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, according to local sources.     ___Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, told Ma’an that forces from the Nature and Parks Authority raided the Bab al-Rahma cemetery — which runs along the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City — and demolished six Palestinian graves and crumbling tombstones.     More . . .  
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 2, 2016
Israeli bulldozers demolished a residence in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Wednesday morning, despite the owners saying that the demolition order had been postponed.
___Thalji Suleiman, the owner of the building said that an Israeli court had postponed the demolition order by two months on Tuesday, and that his family was attempting to obtain building licences from the Israeli municipality but were taken by surprise by the demolition.
___He added that his family tried to show the municipality crew the postponing order to get them to call off the demolition, to no avail.       More . . .   

  • Gordon, Neve. “From Colonization To Separation: Exploring The Structure Of Israel’s Occupation.” Third World Quarterly 29.1 (2008): 25-44.   Full article.   

[. . . .] By the colonisation principle I mean a form of government whereby the coloniser attempts to manage the lives of the colonised inhabitants while exploiting the captured territory’s resources. Colonial powers do not conquer for the sake of imposing administrative rule on the indigenous population, but they end up managing the conquered inhabitants in order to facilitate the extraction of resources. After the 1967 war Israel assumed responsibility for the occupied residents, undertaking the administration of the major civil institutions through which modern societies are managed: education, health-care, welfare and the financial and legal systems. Simultaneously it began expropriating Palestinian land and water, the most important natural resources in the region. Two weeks after the war East Jerusalem, alongside 28 villages was annexed, and about three months later, in September 1967, the first Jewish settlement was built in the West Bank. . . .
___The colonisation principle thus incorporates some type of separation principle, which one might call the first separation principle. Levi Eshkol, Israel’s prime minister in 1967, clearly articulated this separation principle during a Labor Party meeting that took place three months after the war and in which he discussed the consequences of Israel’s military victory. He turned to Golda Meir, who was then the party’s general secretary, and said: ‘I understand . . . you covet the dowry, but not the bride’. The dowry was the land that Israel occupied in June 1967, and the bride was the Palestinian population.  Despite Israel’s aversion towards the bride, it considered the Palestinian body to be an extremely important object of management and control, and during the first two decades of occupation it attempted to rule the population in primarily non-violent ways.
[. . . .]
At a certain point during the first Intifada, Israel realised that the colonisation principle could no longer be used as the basic logic informing its control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and began looking for a new principle that would allow it to uphold the occupation. The desire to normalise the occupation and successfully annihilate the Palestinian national subject through a series of disciplinary technologies that were supported when need be by the sword proved to be unrealistic. It took a few years before a clear policy was shaped, but eventually the second separation principle was adopted. As opposed to the colonisation principle, which was rarely discussed, the separation principle has been talked about incessantly. The paradigmatic sentence describing this principle is ‘We are here, they are there’. The ‘we’ refers to Israelis, and the ‘they’ to Palestinians.
___If the first principle reflects the logic of the occupation, the second one ostensibly offers a solution to the occupation. The key word here is ostensibly. If truth be told, the second principle does not aim to solve the occupation, but rather to alter its logic. In other words, ‘We are here, they are there’ does not signify a withdrawal of Israeli power from the Occupied Territories (even though that is how it is understood among the Israeli public), but is used to blur the fact that Israel has been reorganising its power in the territories in order to continue its control over their resources. Thus the Oslo Accords, which were the direct result of the first intifada as well as of the changing political and economic circumstances in the international realm, signified the reorganization of power rather than its withdrawal, and should be understood as the continuation of the occupation by other means. As one commentator observed early on, Oslo was a form of ‘occupation by remote control’. [. . . .]

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Nov. 2, 2016
A state of fear involved the occupied Jerusalem village of Wallaga after the Israeli occupation authorities issued destruction notice against 20 Palestinian houses in the village.
___The concerns of Palestinians over the Israeli demolishing process in the village raised as the Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem reviewed the petitions against the orders of demolishing seven Palestinian houses in the village.
___The court stated that it could not prevent the demolishing process because these houses are built without licenses. About 80 people live in these houses.      More . . .

Palestine Chronicle  
Jonathan Cook
Nov. 2 2016
[. . . .]   Israel’s treatment of this supremely important Islamic holy site [Al-Aqsa Mosque] symbolizes for Palestinians their powerlessness, oppression and routine humiliation. Conversely, a sense of impunity has left Israel greedy for even more control over Palestinians . . .  European governments – fearful of upsetting Israel’s patron in Washington – have been trying to hold in check popular anger at a belligerent and unrepentant Israel.
___Illustrating that caution, UNESCO was forced last week to vote a second time on its resolution, this time removing the word “occupation” and, against normal practice, giving equal status to the occupier’s names for the sites under threat from its occupation.
[. . . .] Israel and its enablers have successfully engineered a hollowing out of official discourse about Israel to blunt even the mildest criticism.
___Gradually, as the UNESCO vote . . .  highlight[s], western powers are accepting Netanyahu’s doubly illogical premises: that criticizing the occupation is anti-Israel, and criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic.
___Incrementally, Western leaders are conceding that any criticism of Netanyahu’s policies – even as he tries to ensure the occupation becomes permanent – is off-limits.     More . . .   


“. . . The raging conflict rests in my heart . . .” (Kamal Nasser)

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem. (Photo: Pietro Pecco, Jun. 20, 2013)

❶ Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed Monday morning al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Background from Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ Israel imposes ‘general closure’ on Palestinian territory for Jewish holiday
. . . ❷― (a) Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians in Jerusalem ahead of Jewish holiday
❸ 13 Palestinians killed, 170 others wounded last month
❹ POETRY by Kamal Nasser
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 3, 2016
Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed Monday morning al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli forces in coincidence with the Jewish new year. According to Quds Press, Israeli forces were deployed in large numbers in the holy Islamic compound in order to pave the way for the settlers’ break-in via al-Magharibeh gate.        More . . .  

  • “Religion And The Conflict.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 20/21.4/1 (2015): 129-144.  Source.  

On July 29, 2015, the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) convened a roundtable discussion at the PIJ offices in Jerusalem on the topic of “Religion and the Conflict.”  [Note that the panel did not include a Christian.]
Hillel Schenker [Co-editor of Palestine-Israel Journal]: Look at the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the two national movements: On the Palestinian side, the PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] advocated a democratic secular state — there was no religion in the formulation; on the Israeli side, the 1948 Declaration of Independence did not mention God or Jerusalem, and the founders were all essentially secular. Yet now we seem to be at a very different point in both societies and in the region. So, to begin, how do you look at the history, versus where we are today?
Hillel Cohen [Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem]: The Jewish people is defined by its religion. There is no other definition that I know, and there was no other when the Zionist movement was established. You can invent or change the definition, but this was the original definition. People were not invited to be a part of the Jewish national movement. People were Jews by religion. The Palestinian national movement was different because Palestinian Arab national movements were secular in the sense of what we used to say, al-din li-llah wal-watan lil-jami, meaning there should be a separation between religion and nationalism — also because it was a national movement of Muslims, Christians and Jews. But the developments in Muslim societies also caused the Palestinian national movement to become more and more religious. If we take the Mandate period, it’s not a coincidence that the leader of the Palestinian national movement was Haj Amin al-Husseni, the head of the Supreme Muslim Council. The most serious and bloody events of 1929 were a religious intifada; the Al-Aqsa intifada of 2000 was a religious intifada again. So any attempt to separate religion and nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian case misses an important component in both societies.
Azzam Abu Saud [novelist, playwright and columnist and former head of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce in East Jerusalem]: I don’t agree that Haj al-Husseni was a religious leader; he was a nationalist. If you look at his history, he was a schoolteacher in Jerusalem. He was not a sheikh, nor a religious figure. He unexpectedly was chosen as mufti while his elder brother was the mufti. I want to emphasize that al-Husseni came from a nationalist movement, not from a religious movement. True, the Arab national movements were started by three sheikhs, by three religious people, who began the movement known as the Arab National Movement. At first, the Arab national movement was directed against the Turks. This movement arose nearly at the same time as Zionism, and we know it was not religious in the beginning. I don’t agree that the Arab national movement has any relationship with religion.

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 2, 2016
Israeli authorities announced Saturday evening that a general closure would be imposed on all passage between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel, as well as between the occupied West Bank and Israel, over the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.        ___According to a statement from Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri, the closures began one minute after midnight on Sunday Oct. 2, and are to last until one minute before midnight on Tuesday Oct. 4.        More . . .   
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 2, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City before dawn on Sunday, detaining at least 15 Palestinians for several hours before releasing them and banning most of them from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
___Nasir al-Qaws, the director of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) in Jerusalem said Israeli forces detained Zahra Qaws, and 14 other Palestinian youths who were later released. Of the 15 who were detained, 12 were banned from Al-Aqsa for 15 days. More . .

Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem (Photo: Harold Knight, Aug. 2008)

The Palestinian Information Center
Oct. 2, 2016
13 Palestinians, including three children, were killed and 170 others were wounded by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during last September. 10 of those victims were killed in cold blood at Israeli checkpoints, according to a recent report released by Abdullah Hurani Center for Studies and Documentation. The IOF also arrested and detained about 380 citizens, many of them children, during the same month.    More . . .

“O  GOD,  NOW  I  KNOW,”  BY  KAMAL  NASSER  (1924 – 1973)

O God, why have you inspired me? To rejoice and to suffer?.
Why have you baptized me with vision? To laugh and to cry?
Why have you imbued me with ambition?
To elevate me and to humiliate me

I wish I were heartless, soulless, aimlessly living life, observing it from a far. Approaching eternity with a new heart, a new soul which affirms my wandering, subdues my passions and crucifies me in the void.

O God, why have you tempted me, awakened me, inflamed my passions and with sublimity infused me?

Why have you cleansed me, aroused me?
Why have you crowned me with hope, plunged me in greed and recklessness. Why?

How I long for silence, for stillness
I am lost, questioning
Who am I?
Numb my heart is, lifeless, my visions blind
I drift in the darkness of futility and despair.

O God why have you nourished me, starved me and appeased my hunger
Why have you deprived me, defiling and cleansing me?
Why have you defeated my purpose?
Enlightening me, then leading me astray

I am both free and a slave amongst men
I am a grave and cradle in the hands of fate
Miserable in what I need
Born of reality
Born of chains
Led by wounds, by the years
Who am I?
And life cries out at God
Embarrassing Him in His heaven
Lips screaming:
You, have given me life – created me.
And I ask the void
Why O God have you created me?

Storms of life roar within me
Paths are flooded with blood
Our days shake with pain and helplessness and beauty wanders away from my paradise.
Crucifying my homeland in the wilderness

Wounded are hope and dignity
In my waking hours, deprivation rose, shaking me, pulling me from the depths of darkness.
Guiding me to goodness, devotion, self-sacrifice and giving.
My eyes are opened – I find the way
The raging conflict rests in my heart
The wounds are cleansed with my tears
And in my eyes, You rise, O God
For I know why You have created me!
― Prose translation by Tania Tamari Nasir

Tania Tamari Nasir is Kamal Nasser’s cousin. Unpublished translation.
About Kamal Nasser, was a much-admired Christian Palestinian poet, who due to his renowned integrity was known as “The Conscience.” He was a member of Jordan’s parliament in 1956. He was murdered in 1973 by an Israeli death squad whose most notorious member was future Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
A family memory of Nasser written by another of his cousins, is at page 35 in her memoir:
Khoury, Samia Nasir. REFLECTIONS FROM PALESTINE: A JOURNEY OF HOPE – A MEMOIR. Limassol, Cyprus: Rimal Publications, 2014.