“. . . You will be liberated from your own tyranny . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

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“Israel is once again looking to instigate a war on Gaza,” Yousef Munayyer, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter. (Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
|    VIOLENCE  ESCALATES:  6  PALESTINIANS  KILLED,  20  INJURED  IN  ISRAELI   [ GAZA]  AIRSTRIKES 
Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PLO  HOLDS  ISRAEL  FULLY  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  ESCALATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  HAMAS  CONDEMN  ISRAEL  DESTRUCTION  OF  AL  AQSA  TV  STATION  (VIDEO)
. . . . Related  [AL-QASSAM  BRIGADES]:  ISRAEL  RESPONSIBLE  FOR  CONSEQUENCES  OF  ITS  AGGRESSION  AGAINST  GAZA
|    POLITICAL  SOURCE:  ISRAEL  SUSPENDS  GAZA  TRUCE  TALKS
A senior Israeli political source said the government had suspended contacts with Egypt and the United Nations regarding a truce with the Gaza Strip.    ___Israeli media, including Channel 10, quoted a senior political source, who it did not identify, as saying that Tel Aviv “has no contacts with Egypt and the United Nations on the ceasefire in Gaza”.    ___The announcement came at the height of the Israeli cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.    More . . .
|    ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  9  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEST  BANK 
Israeli forces detained at least nine Palestinians across the occupied West Bank during raids, on predawn Tuesday.    ___Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) confirmed that Israeli forces detained two Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Hebron . . .   In the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were detained . . .   In the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, four Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces. . .    More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    HAMAS  DIDN’T  START  THIS  FIGHT,  BUT  IT  WON’T  WIN  IT  EITHER
Israel’s killing of  Hamas  commander  Nour  Baraka  on Sunday and the predictable response from the Islamist movement have sparked fears of renewed hostilities between the two sides. . . .   observers see parallels with Israel’s 2012 assassination of  Ahmad  Al  Jabari  . . .   That incident set off eight days of fighting in which six Israelis and 167 Palestinians were killed.    ___If the deadly exchange six years ago was about avenging a senior Hamas commander, its casualties, even according to the Israeli military’s official figures, were mostly civilian. . . .  though Netanyahu has demonstrated time and again that he will not hesitate to kill innocents, especially in pursuit of domestic political gain, what options does Hamas have?    [. . . . ] Whether they intended it or not, Israel’s military planners know that Baraka’s killing will bait Hamas. Any sustained response by the Palestinian faction would clearly benefit Netanyahu, who has been lambasted by his political opponents for allowing $15 million in Qatari cash to be transferred to the Strip. . .  Netanyahu has a more pressing political problem — mass resistance to Israel’s ongoing siege and the humanitarian disaster it has created.    More . . .
. . . . Related  ISRAELI  INCURSIONS  INTO  GAZA  ARE  THE  RULE,  NOT  THE  EXCEPTION

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“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.

“. . . when we are strong about our suffering, you call it ‘Resilience’ . . .” (Jehan Bseiso)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians gather at the ruins of a building destroyed by an Israeli air attack in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . . 
|   7  AL-QASSAM  FIGHTERS  KILLED,  INCLUDING  SENIOR  MEMBER,  IN  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES     Seven members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, were killed late Sunday evening, including a senior member during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes over Khuzaa town, in the southern besieged Gaza Strip.    ___Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.    ___Hebrew-language news outlets reported that violent armed clashes broke out between the Israeli unit and the al-Qassam fighters, which resulted in killing one Israeli soldier and critically injuring another.    ___Israeli warplanes intervened by launching airstrikes over the area, immediately killing seven Palestinians and variously injuring more than seven others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.    More . . .
. . . . Related  PALESTINIAN  RESISTANCE  UNDERMINES  ‘COMPLICATED’  ISRAELI  MILITARY  OPERATION  IN  GAZA
. . . . Related  GAZA  PROTESTS:  ALL  THE  LATEST  UPDATES    Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 214 Palestinians and wounded more than 18,000.
. . . . Related  IOF  KIDNAPS  PALESTINIANS  FROM  HOMES  IN  W.  BANK
   OFFICIAL:  ISRAEL,  US  BLOCKING  ATTEMPTS  BY  FRANCE,  RUSSIA  TO  MOVE  PROCESS  FORWARD          The United States and Israel are blocking attempts by France and Russia to move forward the Middle East political process, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.    ___Nabil Shaath, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Foreign and International Affairs, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that there are attempts by France and Russia to move the political process forward through a multilateral international framework in accordance with the initiative the President had presented to the United Nations . . .   [. . . .] He said that Israel is seeking to establish a state in Gaza that will be under continuous Israeli siege, threats and extortion, while it plans to keep the West Bank and Jerusalem under its control and prevent any attempt at establishing a Palestinian state.     More . . .
. . . . Related  PRIME  MINISTER’S  VISIT  TO  FRANCE  IMPORTANT,  SAYS  OFFICIAL
|    BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  RECEIVES  PRESTIGIOUS  YASSER  ARAFAT  ACHIEVEMENT  AWARD      Birzeit University has won the prestigious Yasser Arafat Achievement Award for 2018 in a special ceremony commemorating the fourteenth anniversary of the passing of the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.    ___The award honors institutions and personalities who are distinguished by their exceptional work and recognizes real achievements in national, cultural, social, economic, scientific, or academic work.   More . . .

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
|    ISRAELI  TARGETED  KILLINGS  IN  GAZA  AND  BEYOND:  A  TIMELINE    The latest Israeli killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of Hamas commanders and affiliates.    ___Israeli forces killed at least seven Palestinians, including a high-ranking Hamas official, in the besieged Gaza Strip late on Sunday in a ground operation that is expected to significantly boost tensions.  [. . . .]  An Israeli soldier was killed when an exchange of fire erupted during the operation, the Israeli army said.    [. . . .] The latest killing fits a pattern of targeted assassinations of individual Hamas commanders and members of affiliated groups. . . .  Here is a timeline of key assassinations targeting Palestinian military commanders and individuals with ties to Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip.    More . . .

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . .

“HASHTAG  GAZA,”  BY  JEHAN  BSEISO

To the children who lost their lives, and the parents who had to bury them**

Bring your camera.
Bring your candles and spotlights to highlight.
Bring your focus to hashtag anniversary.

Everyday Gaza.

Bring your reporters, your journalists, your moving infographics.

Write:

“Abu Muhammad sits on the balcony, cradling the head of Muhammad.”
Sorry.
“The photo of the head of head of Muhammad.”

Talk about bomb shelters and war sirens in Siderot and Tel Aviv.
Call it, “Neutrality.”

Talk about your 5 dead and your iron dome.
Call it “Objective Reality.”

Bring your billion dollar pledges and your aid caravans
Your exel sheets, monitoring reports and donor requirements.
Call it “Accountability.”

Write:

“Abu Muhmmad sits on the balcony hopelessly, smokes a hope-
less cigarette talks about lack of hope.”

This one is a human interest story.

And when we invite you into our rubble homes for tea and bread
you call it “Generosity.”

And when we are strong about our suffering, you call it “Resilience.”

Write:

51 days.
2,000 dead.
10,000 wounded.

Abu Muhammad says:

My boys took a ball to the beach.
Came back bodies.

How can we remember what we can’t forget?

**Four Gazan cousins were killed on the beach by Israeli rocket fire, July 16, 2014. The poem imagines the father of one of the boys, Ismail Mohammed Bakr, age 9.
From: I  REMEMBER  MY  NAME:  POETRY  BY  SAMAH  SABAWI,  RAMZY  BAROUD,  JEHAN  BSEISO.  Vacy Vlazna, editor. London: Novum Publishing, 2016. Available from publisher.

“. . . the [Israeli Police Investigations Division] continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel . . .” (Adalah)

15_38_19_29_12_20174
Palestinians carrying a wounded person during the Friday clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Gaza borders. One person died . . . (WAFA Images, Dec. 30, 2017) NOTE THE LARGE NUMBER OF DEADLY WEAPONS IN PALESTINIAN HANDS.

❶ Probe into killing of math teacher closed, no officer was found responsible
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during clashes at Gaza border
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Red Crescent: 200 Palestinian wounded [Friday] by IOF in West Bank and Gaza
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴄ)  QB puts up huge placard of Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron in Gaza

  • Background: “The ‘Never Again’ State of Israel: The Emergence of the Holocaust as a Core Feature of Israeli Identity and Its Four Incongruent Voices.” Journal of Social Issues.  

❷ Israel withdraws from UNESCO
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) On Independence Day, UNESCO okays resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem (May 2, 2017)
❸ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PROBE  INTO  KILLING  OF  MATH  TEACHER  CLOSED,  NO  OFFICER  WAS  FOUND  RESPONSIBLE  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA       
Dec. 30, 2017 ― The Israeli Police Investigations Division (PID) decided to close its probe into the January police killing of Ya’akub Abu-Al-Qi’an and to not hold any officers responsible for his death, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said on Thursday.
___Abu Al-Qi’an, a 50-year-old math teacher from Atir-Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab, Israel’s southern desert region, was killed on 18 January after Israeli police opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving through the Bedouin village during state preparations for a large-scale home demolition.
___That same day, Adalah filed a request demanding the PID open an investigation into the killing.
___“The closure of this investigation means the PID continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel,” said Adalah in a statement responding to the PID’s decision to close the investigation without bringing any officers to justice.    MORE . . .
SEE ALSO : Israeli Knesset to vote on ‘death penalty’ for Palestinians (Dec. 27, 2017) 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  PALESTINIAN  DIES  OF  WOUNDS  SUSTAINED  DURING  CLASHES  AT  GAZA  BORDER  
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 30, 2017 ― A Palestinian identified as Jamal Mohammed Musleh, 21, from Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, died early Saturday of wounds sustained during clashes with Israeli soldiers the day before at the Gaza border with Israel, according to the Ministry of Health.
___It said Musleh was shot in the stomach by a live bullet and was reported in critical condition since his arrival at hospital in Deir al-Balah until he was pronounced dead hours later.
___The ministry said at least 45 people were shot by live bullets during the Friday confrontations at the Gaza borders, including four who remain in critical condition.    MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴃ)  RED  CRESCENT:  200  PALESTINIAN  WOUNDED  [FRIDAY]  BY  IOF  IN  WEST  BANK  AND  GAZA
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 30, 2017 ― More than 200 Palestinians were injured today Friday in clashes with Israeli occupation army  in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after marching for the fourth consecutive week, denouncing US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognition  Jerusalem as Israel capital .
___According Palestinian Red Crescent more that 130 palestinian were injured in clashes with IOF in the west bank, four of them with live bullets, 45 wounded metal bullets, and 77 inhalation of tear gas.     MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴄ)    QB  PUTS  UP  HUGE  PLACARD  OF  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  SHAUL  AARON  IN  GAZA
The Palestinian Information Center 
Dec. 30, 2017 ― Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has erected a huge poster of Israeli captive soldier Shaul Aaron at al-Saraya junction in Gaza.
___Aaron appears in the poster wearing a brown prison uniform, with remarks in Arabic and Hebrew saying, “As long as our heroes do not see freedom and daylight, this prisoner will never see freedom.”   MORE . . .        CONTEXT . . .  

Klar, Yechiel, et al.
“THE  ‘NEVER  AGAIN’  STATE  OF  ISRAEL:  THE  EMERGENCE  OF  THE  HOLOCAUST  AS  A  CORE  FEATURE  OF  ISRAELI  IDENTITY  AND  ITS  FOUR  INCONGRUENT  VOICES.”
JOURNAL  OF  SOCIAL  ISSUES, vol. 69, no. 1, Mar. 2013, pp. 125-143.
[. . . .] . . . despite this common background and misfortune, there was an unbridgeable divide between the veteran Israelis and the survivors. The Holocaust clearly “belonged” to the survivors and was alien to those who lived in Israel when it transpired. The survivors were . . .  were expected to go on with life, rehabilitate themselves, adopt the Israeli identity and become new Israelis. The Holocaust in those days was perceived as something that had happened to the passive and cowardly Jews of the Diaspora who had gone “like sheep to the slaughter.” It was seen as antithetical to the identity of the “new Israeli,” who was active, free, and daring.
[. . . .] Political scientists Liebman and Don-Yihya were among the first to observe the centrality of the Holocaust as the primary political myth of Israeli society, the symbol of Israel’s present condition and the one which provides Israel with legitimacy and the right to its land. Its memory is omnipresent, cutting across differences in age, education and even country of origin. This observation appears even more compelling today. The Holocaust is a predominant issue in all areas of Israeli social and cultural life . . .
[. . . .] How was Holocaust transformed from a Diaspora reality into an Israeli event? And how was it transformed from an event that was irrelevant and even contradictory to the new Israeli identity to one of the major components of the Israel heritage and identity? In the following we first discuss the internalization of the Holocaust, starting with the Eichmann trial, and continue with the impact of the survivors and their offspring on Israeli society.
[. . . .] Israelis (those who did not experience the Holocaust personally) very slowly and reluctantly acknowledged the Holocaust as . . .  the ultimate realization of the tragic Jewish destiny in the Diaspora, the destiny they had sought to break away from. The social and historical processes by which the Holocaust was gradually turned into a core feature in the Israeli identity are complex and multilayered . . .   Time was involved in several processes, such as the growing impact of the survivors on Holocaust awareness, and the role of second and third generations who were born in Israel yet unashamed in their Holocaust heritage. Israel’s difficult geopolitical situation and the recurring wars also had enormous effects on the continued impact of the Holocaust on Israeli collective identity. One dominant voice of the Holocaust is to “Never be a victim again,” which many Israelis learned to identify as a source of resilience and inventiveness. And there are also the other Holocaust voices urging group members to become better human beings and, even more difficult, to refrain from victimizing other groups. These different voices are often incongruent and disharmonic.     SOURCE . . .   ..

❷ ISRAEL  WITHDRAWS  FROM  UNESCO      
Al Jazeera English 
Dec. 30, 2018 ― Israel has filed notice to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) alongside the United States
___Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organisation’s criticism of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011.
___UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said on Friday that she deeply regretted Israel’s decision to withdraw.
___”A member of UNESCO since 1949, Israel has a rightful place inside the United Nations agency that is dedicated to education, culture and science,” Azoulay said.    MORE . . .
.  .  .  .  .  ―  (ᴀ)  ON  INDEPENDENCE  DAY,  UNESCO  OKAYS  RESOLUTION  DENYING  ISRAELI  CLAIMS  TO  JERUSALEM  (MAY  2,  2017)    
The Times of Israel 
May 2, 2017 ― The United Nation’s cultural body on Tuesday passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move both forcefully condemned by Israel and touted as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it.     MORE . . .  

“THE  MAN  WHO  VISITED  DEATH,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
Leave the martyr shrouded in his garments,
Lay him at the foot of the mountain: for it knows his sorrow.
Do not bury him, while his wounds
Proclaim his testament of love and suffering.
Do you hear?

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

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

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