“Prison is a moral position that must be made daily . . . .” Khalida Jarrar

NEWS  OF  THE  DAY

Israeli settlers storm northern Jordan Valley villages

WAFA
Feb 21 2020
Thousands of Israeli settlers today stormed the northern Jordan Valley villages of al-Burj and Umm al-Qaba.
– – – – Aref Daraghmeh, a local activist, confirmed that Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with some 4,000 settlers into the two villages, where they stayed for over four hours. This came after Israel sealed off the main checkpoint of Tayaseer, east of Tubas city, in a prelude to the settlers’ encroachment into the villages.
– – – – The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30% of the West Bank. Since 1967, when the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, Israel has transferred at least 11,000 of its Jewish citizens to the Jordan Valley. Some of the settlements in which they live were built almost entirely on private Palestinian land.    More . . . .

Archbishop Hanna: “We Urge All Churches Globally To Reject Deal Of The Century”

IMEMC News
Feb 20 2020
Archbishop of Sebastia Diocese Of the Greek Orthodox Church in occupied Jerusalem, Attallah Hanna, welcomed a delegation of the World Council of Churches at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the adjacent cathedral, and urged them, along with all churches, to denounce the so-called “Deal of the Century” and the ongoing historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people in their occupied homeland.
– – – – Archbishop Hanna called on the World Council of Churches to take clear Christian standards, based on the holy bible, humanity, morality, and dignity, to stand firm against this so-called deal, and not to surrender to pressure from the Zionist lobby which is acting against basic the principles of justice and freedom.
– – – – “What is the benefit of having a World Council of Churches if it becomes a political organization serving certain interests against the other, and if it continues to be hesitant about taking obvious stances against occupation, oppression, and injustice targeting the Palestinian people,” Archbishop Hanna said.    More . . . .

Bereaved Mother of Palestinian Prisoner Denied Visit to her Other Son in Israeli Prison

The Palestine Chronicle
Feb 20 2020
The mother of a Palestinian prisoner in Israel was denied today the right to visit her son in prison, reported WAFA correspondent.
– – – – Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint northwest of Ramallah stopped Amneh Abu Diak, from Silat al-Daher village, near Jenin, and told her that she could not proceed with the visit.
– – – – Her other son, Sami, DIED FROM CANCER last November in an Israeli jail due to medical negligence. From the prison, his last message was:  “I want to be in my last days and hours beside my mother and my loved ones, and I want to die in her arms.”    More . . . .

BACKGROUND / OPINION

Palestinian Prisoner Khalida Jarrar in her own Words: The Age of Freedom Will Come

The Palestine Chronicle
Feb 19 2020
Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian feminist, a lawyer, educator and an elected parliamentarian. Over the years, she came to symbolize Palestinian popular resistance in the occupied West Bank, enraging the Israeli occupation authorities that arrested her repeatedly. . . .
– – – – After her release from prison in February 2019, she was rearrested in October, and is currently held under a precarious Israeli law known as ‘administrative detention’. This law is inconsistent with international law and the most basic requirements of fair trial in democratic countries, as prisoners are incarcerated for prolonged periods, without charge or due process.
– – – – Between her release and re-arrest, Jarrar contributed a Foreword. . . . Below are excerpts of Jarrar’s Foreword. . . .Prison is not just a place made of high walls, barbed wire and small, suffocating cells with heavy iron doors. . . .  No, prison is more than all of this. It is also stories of real people, daily suffering and struggles against the prison guards and administration. Prison is a moral position that must be made daily, and can never be put behind you.    More . . . .

POEM  OF  THE  DAY

“TAKE  ME  TO  AL-QASTAL,”  BY  SAMI  AL-JUNDI

There, in the cradle of yearning
Where the birds circle in cheerless skies
in the pine forests,
There rest the souls of the ancients
Did you ask the Swallow, my friend,
About Al-Qastal?

From a hill looking over Deir Yassin
Where love was first born
Thousands of years ago
Before the birth of Christ
Before the budding of jasmine
By the cradle of the goldfinch
Be sure to ask about Al-Qastal.

A deep valley
A mystifying magic and a nectar of secrets
A flock of pigeons and a nightingale
And the remains of a forgotten village and a cross
Ruins of a Babylonian minaret
There, where the moon is near
And our first concern is
Love and Al-Qastal.

Take me to Al-Qastal
Take me to the beautiful grave
Take me to my last home
And load me up with the tragedies of the Arabs
And all the fragrance of the ancestors
My home is the prettiest
My grave is the largest
My path is to Al-Qastal.
—Translated by Amal Eqeiq

About Sami Al-Jundi, author of THE HOUR OF SUNLIGHT: ONE PALESTINIAN’S JOURNEY FROM PRISONER TO PEACEMAKER.
From BEFORE  THERE  IS  NOWHERE  TO  STAND:  PALESTINE ISRAEL  POETS  RESPOND  TO  THE  STRUGGLE.  Ed. Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . I’m neither your collaborator Nor your enemy . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

COMMENTARY . . . .

WHAT  LIES  BENEATH:  THE  US-ISRAELI  PLOT  TO  ‘SAVE’  GAZA
Ramzy Baroud 
Israel wants to change the rules of the game entirely. With unconditional support from the Trump Administration, Tel Aviv sees a golden opportunity to redefine what has, for decades, constituted the legal and political foundation for the so-called “Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”   ___While US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy has, thus far, been erratic and unpredictable, his administration’s “vision” in Israel and Palestine is systematic and unswerving. This consistency seems to be part of a larger vision aimed at liberating the “conflict” from the confines of international law and even the old US-sponsored “peace process.”    ___Indeed, the new strategy has, so far, targeted the status of East Jerusalem as an Occupied Palestinian city, and the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. It aims to create a new reality in which Israel achieves its strategic goals while the rights of Palestinians are limited to mere humanitarian issues.   More . . .
[See end of this post for several background articles.]

IF  THERE  ARE  NO  REFUGEES,  THERE  WILL  BE  NO  ONE  TO  RETURN:  UNDERSTANDING  TRUMP’S  WAR  ON  UNRWA  AND  PALESTINIAN  REFUGEES
Marilyn Garson
[. . . .] Trump and those around him have spent the year trying to obviate – rather than solve – Palestinian claims.  Now they wish to deny the refugee status of 90% of Palestinians. If Trump has his way, only a few elderly refugees will remain.  The Right of Return will be moot. It would not exist now, he says, if UNRWA didn’t keep it alive. He will make the right disappear by de-funding UNRWA and de-registering its five million phantom refugees – or, rather, five million descendants of a number of actual refugees.  After seventy years, it’s time for the descendants to disperse quietly.     ___Once that is done, return can remain the privilege of Jews – or, rather, of the descendants of Jews.  Our claims have somehow not been diluted by our millenia of dispersion.   More . . .

AWAD  ABDELFATTAH:  AFTER  TRUMP’S  DEADLY  BLOW  TO  THE  TWO  STATE  SOLUTION  THE  TIME  IS  RIPE  FOR  ONE  STATE    
François Lazar
As a concept, one democratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea where all who live there are equals under a single government is not particularly new. The idea has had many configurations and prolific supporters, yet it has never mainstreamed beyond activist circles.   ___That’s where Awad Abdelfattah comes in. He is the former secretary-general of the Balad Party, a political faction in Israel representing Palestinian citizens. Over the last few months Abdelfattah has become one of the more visible organizers of the One Democratic State Campaign, a movement of Israelis and Palestinians that offers a alternative to the two-state solution.    More . . .

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . .  

JEWISH  HOME  MK  URGES  PALESTINIAN  LAWMAKERS  TO  LEAVE  ISRAEL        A right-wing Israeli MK taunted a Palestinian Israeli delegation headed for Europe at Ben Gurion airport on Monday, urging them to leave for good.   ___While waiting for a group of new immigrants, MK Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party told the delegation that Israel “is not your country”.   ___The Palestinian Israeli members of parliament were leaving for Europe to meet officials and urge them to oppose the controversial nation-state law passed on 19 July.    More . . .

ISRAEL  EVACUATES  3  FAMILIES,  CONFISCATES  CARAVAN  IN  JORDAN  VALLEY
The Israeli authorities delivered evacuation notices to three Palestinian families from the al-Burj area in the northern Jordan Valley of the West Bank, on Tuesday.   ___Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian official in charge of Jordan Valley’s Israeli settlements file at the Palestinian Authority (PA), said that the Israeli authorities delivered the evacuation orders to the families, ordering them to evacuate their homes starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday until Wednesday morning.   ___He added that the delivered eviction notices were under the pretext to allegedly conduct military operations in the area.    More . . .

FAMILY  OF  9  HOMELESS  AS  ISRAEL  DEMOLISHES  HEBRON  HOME  AT  BEHEST  OF  SETTLERS 
At approximately 4am yesterday, Israeli forces entered the Palestinian village of Khirbet Qawasis and demolished the home of Yousef Abu ‘Aram following protests by settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yaier.    ___The soldiers then stormed the village of Zuwaidin and destroyed several community bathrooms legally built on the side of a main road to the village. Soldiers prevented local activists from leaving their vehicles to film the demolition.     More . . .

NOTICES  FROM  ORGANIZATIONS. . . .

ONE  DEMOCRATIC  STATE:  WHAT’S  HAPPENING?     One Democratic State (ODS) has the wind at its back. The last two years have seen a flurry of organizing for ODS, increasingly since December 2017 when the US/Israel axis rejected the central Palestinian demand for its capital, Jerusalem, thereby rendering the Palestinian ‘state’ of the two-state solution once and for all unacceptable.    ___The sites 1not2 and One Democracy, based in England, and ONE  DEMOCRATIC  STATE, based in Texas, carried the torch internationally for some time. The latter group is led by Samir Abed Rabbo, author of the MUNICH  DECLARATION  OF  2012 which unites three further groups formed in 2013: in May the Popular Movement for One Democratic State on the Land of Historic Palestine, also in May the Jaffa ODS group, and in July in England the group ODS in Palestine Ltd. The straightforward, one-page Munich Declaration builds upon and is consistent with several ODS declarations that went before, written by people named above.   More . . .

“THE  LIBERATION  ANTHEM”  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI
(June 27, 2011)

To the people of Israel who fear our freedom:  Don’t be afraid,
we will liberate you too.
This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
That day you and I will stand side by side
Shoulder to shoulder
Watching a new dawn wipe away decades of hate and savagery
The day I rise from the ashes of your oppression
I promise you I will not rise alone
You too will rise with me
You will be liberated from your own tyranny
And my freedom will bring your salvation

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I’ll craft new words of expression
Outside of this suffocating language that has occupied me
Your words are like your walls
They encroach on my humanity
I am more than demography
I’m neither your collaborator
Nor your enemy
I am not your moderate
Not your terrorist
Not your Islamist
Funammentalist
Extremist
Militant
Radical
I am more than adjectives letters and syllables
I will construct my own language
And replace your words of power
With the power of my words

This is my rendition of an anthem to be sung
I don’t want to obliterate nor humiliate you
I refuse to hate you
Don’t care to demonize or proselytize or theorize your intentions
Every breath you draw reminds me you are human
The sound of your beating heart is a rhythm familiar to my ears
You and I are no different
We are made of blood and tears

This is my rendition of an anthem to be be sung
I will resist and soar above your matrix of control
With the power of my will your wall will fall
And the concrete that once segregated us will be used to rebuild homes
Your bulldozers and your tanks will dissolve into the earth
The sap will return to the olive trees
The gates will open wide for the refugees
We will be free
I will be your equal
And only then you will be mine
My other self
My fellow human being

From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

Background . . . Erekat:  Seizing  Palestinian  money  is  tantamount  to  destruction  of  state
Background . . . Palestinian  Leaders  to  Seek  UN  Sanctions  After  Israel  Passes  Nation-state  Law
Background . . . Anti-Semitism  vs.  anti-colonialism
Background . . . Jewish  Nation  State  Law  Sets  Legal  Parameters  for  Complete  Takeover  of  Historic  Palestine