“. . . towards what remained of the heart . . .” (Majid abu Ghoush)


Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers and olive harvesters in the Burin village, in southern Nablus City of the northern occupied West Bank, on Saturday.   ____Wafa News Agency reported that a group of Israeli settlers threw rocks at Palestinian farmers while they were olive-picking in their lands in an attempt to force them to leave.    [. . . .] During the past week, Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer while harvesting his olive trees in the Deir al-Hattab village in Nablus, and other farmers in Burin; settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees and stole harvest in the Tell village.  ____For hundreds of Palestinian families, olive trees are the main source of income. . .   More . . .
At least 130 Palestinians were injured with live Israeli ammunition, tear-gas suffocation and in airstrikes during protests along the eastern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip under “The Great March of Return,” on Friday.    ____The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 130 Palestinians were injured during protests, including two critical injuries; one of whom is a 70-year-old woman.    ____The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist was among those injured.    ____A Ma’an reporter that Israeli forces heavily and randomly opened fire at protesters as several of them were able to cut through the Israeli security fence at the borders of the northern Gaza Strip.   More . . .
. . . . Related  Palestinians  injured,  arrested  in  Khan  al-Ahmar  protests
. . . . Related  Arrests  reported  as  clashes  erupt  in  West  Bank
. . . . Related  Israeli  navy  kidnaps  two  fishermen  off  Gaza  shore
Leaders of the largest three churches in Jerusalem have accused Israel of reneging on a previous agreement reached between them regarding taxing church property.   ____The French news agency, AFP, said on Friday that leaders of the Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches as well as a senior Latin Church official sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to block a draft legislation a ministerial committee is going to discuss on Sunday that aims at expropriating their property.   More . . .
. . . . Related   Jerusalem:  Christian  cemetery  vandalized,  graves  destroyed


Jeremy Salt
No state established on land seized by force from the people living on that land can claim moral legitimacy and a ‘right’ to exist.    ____A purported ‘right’ to exist is not central to the existence of states anyway, let alone colonial settler states established amidst the wreckage of the genuine rights of another people.   [. . . .] Israel understands this as well as anyone. It makes a lot of noise about its right to exist and its legitimacy but this is bluster. It knows why it exists and why it believes it will continue to exist. It has a strong military. It has nuclear weapons. It can destroy anyone who threatens to destroy it. These are the constituent elements of its existence, not morality and the ‘rights’ of which it endlessly talks.    More  . . .
. . . . Related   The  Apartheid  State  of  Israel  and  the  Palestinian  Resistance
. . . . Related   B’Tselem: World can no longer stand idly by regarding Israeli crimes

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 


the woman was dragging her feet
and what remained of her children
towards what remained of her home
towards what remained
of the sea
towards what remained
of the heart
towards what remained of the heart

she raised her hand softly
wiped a tear which rolled down her cheek
and smiled when the beautiful one
she met on the way asked her:
why are you going back?

to water the jasmine tree
to shade the names of the martyrs

—translated by Magi Gibson

MAJID ABU GHOUSH was born in Amwas. He is a prolific poet, a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and a founding member of Poets Without Borders Palestine.
A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . silence my argument with chains . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

❶ Poland to equip the Palestinian rapid intervention team
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Ireland describes Israeli settlement expansion as provocative

Background: “Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.” Hervormde Teologiese Studies

❷ How Israel engages in ‘water apartheid’
❸ Israeli forces detain 66 Palestinians, majority teenagers, in overnight raids
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) Joint report reveals that 431 Palestinians were arrested in September 2017
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Oct, 23, 2017 ― The Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) signed on Monday a cooperation agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine in which the latter will contribute to equipping PICA’s team for rapid intervention [“first responders”].
___PICA director Imad Zuhairi signed the agreement with the Polish representative to Palestine, Aleksandra Bukowska, who welcomed it and considered it the beginning of growing cooperation between Poland and Palestine that would later include various sectors.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Oct. 23, 2017 ― Ireland condemned last week Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories describing them as provocative.
___“I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” said Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.
___“This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties. The relentless expansion of settlements, especially in such sensitive areas, break up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established.’   MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
Mersiha Gadzo
Oct. 22, 2017 ― World Health Organisation says that an illegal Israeli settler in West Bank consumes three times more water than a legal Palestinian resident.
___Jordan Valley, Occupied West Bank – Water is not scarce in the Jordan Valley, known as the traditional “breadbasket of Palestine” – yet Palestinian farmers struggle to survive, with little water to nourish their crops. They say the amount of water that Israeli authorities allocate to them has been decreasing daily since the Second Intifada.
___Meanwhile, neighbouring settlements consume copious amounts of water. They grow produce, such as bananas, requiring large amounts of water, which is mostly pumped from wells in the occupied West Bank, and they export a rich variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices to Europe and the United States.
___In the village of Ein al-Beida, barbed wire divides a field in two.
___On one side are rows of orange trees covered in lush green leaves, grown by Israeli settlers from a nearby illegal settlement; on the other is barren land allocated for Palestinians, where nothing grows except stiff stalks of yellow grass, long dried out due to  the lack of water.   MORE . . . 

Pillay, Jerry.
“Apartheid in the Holy Land: Theological Reflections on the Israel And/Or Palestine Situation from a South African Perspective.”
Hervormde Teologiese Studies, vol. 72, no. 4, Oct. 2016, pp. 1-9.
[Jerry Pillay, Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.]
The word ‘apartheid’ comes from an Afrikaans word meaning ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’. . .  it is actually an official policy of racial segregation, involving political, legal and economic discrimination against ‘non-white’ people. It is a policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. This policy separated white and non-white people in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. . . During the 19th century. . . [t]his became the paradigm for the foundation of the Israeli state which exists up to this day with great cost to human rights and lives. The Palestinians continue to fight for their independence in the face of Israel’s continuation to take Palestinian land. Hence, the analogy between Israel and apartheid1 entails a comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and South Africa’s treatment of non-white people during its apartheid era. . .
[. . . .] Justice is a very significant theological theme in the context of the Israel-Palestine situation – as much as it was, and still is, in the South African context.
[. . . .] An investigation into the meaning of justice (tsedeq and tsedaqah) in the Old Testament shows that, in the context of creation, it has wider meaning. Justice for Israel, like all its neighbours in the ancient Near East, manifests itself in the right and harmonious order of creation. In order to understand the peculiar nature of ancient Near Eastern conceptions of justice, it is important to realise that creation does not primarily refer to the origin of the world at the beginning but to a process by which cosmos, order, replaces chaos, not only in nature but in society as well. Creation therefore encompasses two realms, which for us are usually quite distinct: the realm of nature and the realm of society.   MORE . . .

Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 23, 2017― Israeli detained at least 66 Palestinians during overnight raids Monday in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.
[. . . .] According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.
[. . . .] Israeli police forces raided the neighborhood of al-Issawiya overnight and detained 51 Palestinians after searching dozens of homes in the area.
[. . . .] Lawyer of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affair Muhammad Mahmoud, who visited detainees at different detention centers, said that he followed up on the cases of 27 of the detainees, who he said were all teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18.   MORE . . .  

Addameer  Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Oct. 8, 2017 ― A joint, monthly report released by Adameer, The Prisoner’s Club, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has revealed that 431 Palestinians were arrested by the occupation forces in the month of September 2017.
___Of these 431, 98 were children, 11 were women, and 3 were journalists.
___133 were arrested from Jerusalem governate, 60 from the Hebron governate, 45 from the Nablus governate, 40 from the Ramallah governate, 38 from Jenin governate, 28 from Bethlehem governate, 15 from Tubas governate, 10 from Salfeet governate, 9 from Tulkaram governate, 7 from Jericho governate, and 6 from Gaza.      MORE . . .

Talk about exile―I defy
silence my argument with chains
and a foolish prison cell
I defy

Turn plague and sadness against me
I remained defying
cut my wrist
with my bloody chest I defy
cut my leg
I mount the wound and walk
and with my violence I defy
with my forehead I defy
and with my teeth
and the teeth of songs―I defy

and kill me―I defy
I kill death
and come to you a defying God

All that I own of my father’s and grandfather’
inheritance is to defy!

All that I understand from the
wind and the secrets of erased villages
and the songs of springs
on dying grass
a concealed sob
the roots of the tree
memorize it for me
a sob: To defy

All the eyes of children living within me
in bloody exile
All that I live of my absent country
in name and deed
a scream bruising me―to defy!

My anger drips oil and honey
my pain bears almonds, flouts and roses
so jail my piece of bread
I defy

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.

“. . . nightmares never leave. Death squads. Detention camps . . .” (Majid Abu Ghoush)

“Jewish terrorism is different from Arab terrorism,” Israeli Supreme Court in case of Muhammad Abu Khdeir—see below. (Photo: IMEMC, July 5, 2017)

❶ Israeli settlers assault Palestinian in Hebron’s Old City as Israeli forces watch
❷ Abu Khdeir family: ‘We never had high hopes for Israel’s legal system’

Background: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

❸ Residency Revocation: Israel’s Forcible Transfer of Palestinians from Jerusalem
❹ Opinion/Analysis: “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.”
❺ POETRY by Majid Abu Ghoush
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency  
July 5, 2017.   A group of Israeli settlers “violently beat” a Palestinian on al-Shuhada Street in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank Tuesday night, according to a local activist.
___Palestinian activist Badi Dweik, a member of Human Rights Defenders, said that a group of Israeli settlers violently attacked and beat 22-year-old Hisham Raghib Abu Isha on al-Shuhada Street, while Israeli forces stood by watching.
___Dweik added that after a while of watching the assault take place, Israeli forces tied Abu Isha up, placed him a military jeep, and transferred him to an unknown location.     [. . . .] Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.  MORE . . .    RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency  
July 5, 2017.   After Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition to demolish the homes of three Israelis convicted of brutally killing 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir in 2014, Abu Khdeir’s family told Palestinian lawyer Muhannad Jibara on Wednesday that they “never had high hopes” that Israel’s legal system would actually order the demolitions.
___The Abu Khdeir family had presented the petition to the Israeli courts demanding that Yosef Haim Ben-David and two minors, who were convicted of kidnapping and burning the Palestinian teenager alive three years ago, have their homes demolished, in line with an official Israeli policy carried out overwhelmingly against Palestinians who have killed Israelis.
___Jibara said that the Abu Khdeir family had submitted the petition in the Israeli courts in order to expose the “racism” of the Israeli government against Palestinians in their policies of punitive home demolitions and to “cause embarrassment” to the Israeli courts.   MORE . . .           BACKGROUND . . .

“ISRAELI  PRACTICES  TOWARDS  THE  PALESTINIAN  PEOPLE  AND  THE  QUESTION  OF  APARTHEID. Palestine and the Israeli Occupation.”  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). By Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley. Global Research, March 19, 2017
(The report has been removed from the UN website. It is available at link below.)       [. . . .] Since 1967, Palestinians as a people have lived in what the report refers to as four “domains”, in which the fragments of the Palestinian population are ostensibly treated differently but share in common the racial oppression that results from the apartheid regime. Those domains are:  Civil law, with special restrictions, governing Palestinians who live as citizens of Israel;   Permanent residency law governing Palestinians living in the city of Jerusalem;     Military law governing Palestinians, including those in refugee camps, living since 1967 under conditions of belligerent occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip;      Policy to preclude the return of Palestinians, whether refugees or exiles, living outside territory under Israel’s control.     [. . . .] This report finds that, taken together, the four domains constitute one comprehensive regime developed for the purpose of ensuring the enduring domination over non-Jews in all land exclusively under Israeli control in whatever category. To some degree, the differences in treatment accorded to Palestinians have been provisionally treated as valid by the United Nations, in the absence of an assessment of whether they constitute a form of apartheid. In the light of this report’s findings, this long-standing fragmented international approach may require review.     [. . . .] The report concludes that the weight of the evidence supports beyond a reasonable doubt the proposition that Israel is guilty of imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people, which amounts to the commission of a crime against humanity, the prohibition of which is considered jus cogens in international customary law. The international community, especially the United Nations and its agencies, and Member States, have a legal obligation to act within the limits of their capabilities to prevent and punish instances of apartheid that are responsibly brought to their attention . . . .    FULL REPORT . . .

Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network 
July 3, 2017.   Under international law, East Jerusalem is considered an occupied territory and the de facto annexation of the city by the Israeli government is considered illegal. Throughout its occupation, Israel has enacted discriminatory laws and policies to diminish the presence of the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem. By granting Palestinians a “permanent” residency status to live in Jerusalem, entry into and residency in Jerusalem becomes a revocable privilege, instead of an inherent right.
___The second infographic focuses on the unlawful Israeli policy of residency revocation targeting Palestinians from Jerusalem.  The revocation of permanent residency status is the most direct tool used to forcibly transfer Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem, so that a Jewish-Israeli majority can be maintained in the city. 1 Since 1967, Israel created and consistently expanded the criteria for revoking the residency status of Palestinians, leading to the revocation of the residency rights of more than 14,500 Palestinians from Jerusalem to date.   MORE . . .

IMG_3215 - Copy
Israeli Occupation Force guard tower in Hebron where 800 illegal settlers hold 30,000 Palestinian citizens at bay. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 10, 2015)

Ben-Dor, Oren.
Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal  (Edinburgh University Press), vol. 12, no. 2, Nov. 2013, pp. 181-205
[. . . .] However, on closer look, apartheid in Israel is as constitutionally inbuilt as it was in South Africa and structurally limits, directly or indirectly, the ambit of possible egalitarian reforms. Central governmental investment turns out to be inherently biased in favour of the country’s Jewish population, and official property law regimes and land policies push towards the ‘Judaisation’ of the land, meaning the transfer to Jewish citizens or institutions of lands expropriated from non-Jewish Arab citizens and/or institutions while discouraging, or even actually forbidding, non-Jewish Arabs from taking up residence in Jewish areas. . . .  ‘Emergency’ Regulations caused many cases of uprootedness and internal displacements. Many housing projects in new development towns are not open to non-Jewish Arabs. Arab municipalities are given far less investment than their Jewish counterparts. Many welfare benefits such as higher education places, preferential loans, have purposely been made conditional upon army service so as to exclude non-Jewish Arabs who are generally barred from serving, and, of course, cannot be expected to have any great wish to serve, in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). ‘Non-Jewish Arab second class ‘citizens’ are not entitled to compete for university scholarships that are given by the Jewish Agency. . .  Tax benefits are open to ‘returning’ Israeli Jews or to Israeli Jewish citizens who have spent a long time abroad thus tempting them to emigrate to Israel, while these are not open to non-Jewish Arabs.   FULL ARTICLE (begin page 4) . . .

Occupied Ramallah 17/11/06

Strange days cast dour shadows
Dusk. The fragrance of death
on a windowsill.
In the lingering heat
an impossible burden weighs
down on eyelids and chest;
the throat aches, the spine throbs.

Rose petals all tarnished with foul dust
from the poisoned world.
Black limousines sail past, flying
the skull and crossbones.
The grave yawns open early,
nightmares never leave.
Death squads. Detention camps.

Somewhere, an oud
pronounces its sad chords.
The invaders smile; tap their feet.
―Translated by John Glenday

Majid Abu Ghoush (b. Amwas) is a prolific poet, a member of the secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and a founding member of Poets Without Borders, Palestine.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).   Available from Barnes and Noble.

“. . . Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

The Damascus Gate (Photo: Harold Knight, November 5, 2015)

❶ Israeli police execute 3 Palestinian teens
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces storm Jenin-area villages, raid Palestinian homes

Background: From Arab Studies Quarterly.    “. . . Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them . . .”

❷ UN last hurdle before Israel can rid itself of the Palestinians
❸ The Inside Story On Our UN Report Calling Israel An Apartheid State
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Days of Palestine   
Jun 17, 2017    Israeli police opened fire on Saturday night at three Palestinian teens at Damascus Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, leaving them dead.
___All of the three Palestinians from the West Bank, aged 17 and 18. Sources said that two of them from Ramallah villages of Deir abu-Mashal and Shuqba in the central occupied West Bank.
___The Palestinian security sources said that the third one was a resident of the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil.     ___Israeli occupation police claimed that the Palestinians, who were killed, opened fire and stabbed Israelis, citing the death of a border policewoman in the incident.
[. . . .] Following the attack, the Israeli occupation authorities revoked more than 250,000 entry permits for Palestinians from West Bank that allow them to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands occupied in 1948 (Israel).        MORE . . .          RELATED . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
June 17, 2017        Israeli forces raided a number of Palestinian villages in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday evening, declaring the areas “closed military zones,” according to locals.
___Local sources told Ma’an that sirens had sounded from Israel’s Salem military base near Jenin, before Israeli forces stormed the villages of Rummana, Zububa, and al-Taybeh in western Jenin and declared the areas “closed military zones.”
___Israeli forces ransacked several Palestinian homes and questioned residents of the village on the streets, according to locals.
[. . . .] It was unclear if the military operations were connected to a deadly attack carried out in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening by three Palestinians from the Hebron area, as Israeli authorities implemented heightened security measures across the occupied West Bank following the incident.     MORE . . .

Abowd, Thomas. “RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
[. . . .] Israel’s Colonial Project in Palestine: Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism have been essentialist assertions of racial and cultural differences between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians. Zionism has generated new meanings about Jews and Arabs and imputed notions of superiority and inferiority onto colonizer and colonized alike. As well, there have been assumptions about where and how Palestinians and Israelis should live in relation to one another—who belongs where and who is “out of place.”  . .  . . Questions of race, racism, and racist violence [have been ignored as a frame of analysis for studying Palestine/Israel].
___It might be said that the Jewish state’s ideological architecture of essential differences between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enables nearly every one of its principle aims. Once racist notions are inculcated into (and imbibed by) a dominant population, an array of distancing policies, technologies of surveillance, methods of exclusion, and “racialised forms of monitoring … ” can be created and sustained more easily.
___Israeli settler-colonialism has relied on sustaining apartness or distance through notions of racial, cultural, and religious difference . . . .     And it is this colonial imperative that has enabled and been enabled by the notion that Palestinians are . . .  “matter out of place”: that is, non-Jewish populations who can be tolerated “over there,” provided they do not pollute the Israeli body politic.
___Crucial to Israeli settler-colonialism has been a set of discursive strategies that have sought to dehumanize Palestinians and other Arabs of the region. Making someone or some group a thing is the first step in destroying them, eliminating them, negating them. The process of reification, therefore, is one not easily ignored in analyzing Palestine/Israel . . .    Reification is that practice in which something that is not a thing is turned into a thing . . .  reification might be understood as the “thingification” of human beings. . . .
___The logic—and practice—of elimination seems untenable without racial notions and efforts at racialization. In their absence, colonialism does not make sense and cannot function. Without the belief that certain bodies are violable, the aims of elimination become more difficult to achieve.     SOURCE . . .

Jonathan Cook
June 16, 2017         Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . .       The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations.
[. . . .] But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.
___That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.       MORE . . .

School boys playing football during a break at the UNRWA Khan Younis Preparatory Boys C School in southern Gaza. (UNRWA Photo 2016 by Tamer Hamam)

The Nation
Richard Falk
March 22, 2017         Six months ago, the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) asked Virginia Tilley and me to write a study examining the applicability of the international criminal law concept of apartheid to Israel’s policies and practices toward the Palestinian people . . .  as a result of an uncontested motion adopted by its 18 Arab member governments.
___Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website. . . .
___What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report (the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict of 2008-9), is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.  MORE . . .

What should I do with the narcissus?
The apricot?
The crowns of rugged trees?
What should I do with the finest
of my wildflowers? What?
What should I do with the strongest, fiercest,
and cruelest wild flowers and thorns?
What should I do with the strongest
of English words?
The fiercest of French traits:
The cruelest of German blows:
The ugliest of Hebrew terms:
The most horrible sound in Arabic:
What should I do with my pain
over my ignorance of Sanskrit
and Esperanza?
My fondness for wildflowers
runs deep.
What should I do
with the fence of fire
and with my being caught―
between the ugliest and the finest?
What should I do?
What should I do?
–From: Al-Qasim, Samih. Sadder than Water: New & Selected Poems. Nazih Kassis, Trans. (Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2006.)
Available from Barnes and Noble
 About Samih Al-Qasim

“. . . When my people’s tragedy Has turned to farce in others’ eyes . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

A general view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on April 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

❶ Netanyahu vows to occupy the West Bank forever

  • Background: “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate?” King’s Law Journal

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Japan deplores advancing plans of settlements construction in West Bank
❷ Israel’s renewal of law restricting family unification condemned as ‘apartheid’
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Rights groups condemn Israel’s lethal use of force against Palestinian protesters
❹ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Online Magazine      
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
June 13, 2017         Benjamin Netanyahu last week promised that Israel will never relinquish security control over the West Bank, even as part of a two-state peace deal, which is to say that the Israeli army will occupy the Palestinian territory forever.      __“[I]n any agreement, and even without an agreement, we will maintain security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River,” the prime minister said.
[. . . .]  . . . the Israeli prime minister, who regularly blames the Palestinians for the lack of progress toward peace, has openly admitted — again — that he is unwilling to end the occupation. Without ending the occupation there can be no Palestinian sovereignty. Without Palestinian sovereignty there can be no Palestinian state, and no national self-determination.
___Without Palestinian national self-determination and statehood, the Palestinian people are left living as subjects under a military regime with no civil rights, no suffrage.    MORE . . .

Wintemute, Robert. “Israel-Palestine through the Lens of Racial Discrimination Law: Is the South African Apartheid Analogy Accurate, and What If the European Convention Applied?” King’s Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Apr. 2017, pp. 89-129.
[. . . .] It is likely that the occupation would have ended long ago (because it would have been much harder to justify a refusal to allow a State of Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem), but for Israel’s illegal and stubbornly pursued policy of settlement-building. . . . This was spelled out in the 1978 ‘Drobles Plan’ [that]  the state-owned lands and.…uncultivated barren lands in Judea and Samaria ought to be seized right away. . .  our intention to hold on to Judea and Samaria forever is by speeding up the settlement momentum in these territories. . . . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference on 11 July 2014: ‘there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.’
[. . . .]  . . . those who reject the South African apartheid analogy should respond to it in a rational way, pointing to the relevant objective facts that make it inaccurate, rather than in an emotional way: dismissing the possibility of apartheid in Israel-Palestine because it is too painful to contemplate. . . and attributing malice to the person making the claim. . .  In my view, it should . . .  replace the current concept of occupation, which is itself an analogy, inviting the public to compare the situation in Israel-Palestine with other occupations. The occupation analogy is misleading, because almost every occupation one can think of is or was of much shorter duration (eg, the USA’s occupation of Japan, 1945–52), or has become a de jure annexation (internationally recognised or not), with citizenship and the right to vote (if it exists) granted to the occupied territory’s residents (eg, China–Tibet, Indonesia–West Papua, India–Kashmir. . .  etc). The reason why a shift from an occupation analogy to an apartheid analogy could make a difference, in generating international pressure on Israel to change, is that occupation is common and does not shock.
___Absence of genuine democracy (because there is one-party rule or the same party always wins) is common and does not shock. But racial discrimination in access to citizenship and the right to vote (apartheid) is rare, does shock and has become taboo.      SOURCE . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
June 12, 2017         The Government of Japan deeply deplored on Tuesday Israel’s approval of plans to construct housing units in settlements in the West Bank, despite repeated calls from the international community including Japan for freezing such activities.     MORE . . .

The West Bank settlement of Efrat is seen on September 1, 2014.

Ma’an News Agency 
June 13, 2017         Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, renewed the controversial “Citizenship and Entry into Israel” law, which sets severe limitations on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory married to Israeli citizens, for the 14th year on Monday, as Palestinian members of parliament denounced the move as “racist” and a show of “apartheid” against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
[. . . .] The law applies to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, and foreign nationals from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — and can apply to other nationalities originating from countries the Israeli government deems a security threat.
___However, the law has primarily affected Palestinian citizens of Israel, making up 20 percent of the Israeli population, who often marry Palestinians from the occupied West Bank.        MORE . . . 
Ma’an News Agency  
June 13, 2017          Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations released statements this week condemning Israeli forces’ excessive use of force against Palestinians, particularly protesters, which in many cases resulted in death.
___Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a statement Monday highlighting the case of Saba Abu Ubeid, a 22-year-old Palestinian from the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit, who was shot dead by Israeli forces last month during a protest in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh.       MORE . . . 


So what,
When in my homeland
The sparrow dies of starvation,
In exile, without a shroud,
While the earthworm is satiated, devouring God’s food!

So what,
When the yellow fields
Yield no more to their tillers
Than memories of weariness,
While their rich harvest pours
Into the granaries of the usurper!

So what,
If the cement has diverted
The ancient springs
Causing them to forget their natural course,
When their owner calls,
They cry in his face: “Who are you?”

So what,
When the almond and the olive have turned to timber
Adorning tavern doorways,
And monuments
Whose nude loveliness beautifies halls and bars,
And is carried by tourists
To the farthest corners of the earth,
While nothing remains before my eyes
But dry leaves and tinder!

So what,
When my people’s tragedy
Has turned to farce in others’ eyes,
And my face is a poor bargain
That even the slave-trader gleefully disdains!

So what,
When in barren space the satellites spin,
And in the streets walks a beggar, holding a hat,
And the song of autumn is heard!

Blow, East winds!
Our roots are still alive.

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.


“. . . ‘The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim’. . .” (Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely)

Illegal Israeli settlement Maale Adumim (Photo: Helen Crump, Building Design Magazine May 25, 2007)

❶ Israeli forces demolish residential buildings in occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods

  • Background:  “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law

❷ Israeli forces shut down wedding hall in al-Eizariya (Bethany)
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  Israel increasingly defiant as the world loses interest in Palestine

  • Background: “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 8, 2016
Israeli authorities Tuesday morning demolished two residential buildings in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Wadi al-Jouz and al-Issawiya for building without Israeli-issued licenses.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces escorted two excavators to the Wadi al-Jouz neighborhood at 4 am. Israeli soldiers were also deployed throughout the alleys of the neighborhood, before surrounding a three-story building as Israeli excavators tore it down.
___According to locals, the building consisted of stores on the ground floor, apartments on the second, while the third floor was still under construction.
___Local sources highlighted that the stores on the first floor contained food supplies belonging to Palestinian families, adding that Israeli forces demolished the stores without allowing families to remove their supplies.        More . . .  

  • Halabi, Sam F. “Jerusalem In The Courts And On The Ground.” Florida Journal Of International Law 26.2 (2014): 223-270.  Full article.  

[. . . .] . . .by examining certain “interpretation catalysts”—presidential speeches from Clinton to Obama and the U.S. Government’s pleadings in its lawsuit with the Zivotofskys (and, by extension, Congress), it is possible to see a growing flexibility toward adopting a foreign policy position that accommodates a Palestinian self-determination movement that sounds more like civil rights in Israel rather than sovereignty under international law. [This] Article does not argue that there has been a fundamental abandonment of the two-state solution in U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have explicitly adopted it as their current platform in the predictable second-term push for Arab-Israeli peace. However, given the realities on the ground, firstly and most importantly with respect to Jerusalem, it is possible to see a U.S. acceptance that the time for the two-state solution may have already passed.

Nov. 7, 2016
Israeli forces shut down a wedding hall in the village al-Eizariya in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, claiming that Palestinians  shoot  firearms in the air during wedding celebrations in the hall.
___Israeli security sources said in a statement, received by Ma’an, that Israeli forces closed the al-Awda wedding hall in order to prevent the “very dangerous phenomenon and bad tradition” of shooting in the air during weddings and special occasions.
___The statement added that the closure of the wedding hall came as part of the Israeli fight against unlicensed weapon ownership among Palestinians.      More . . .  

Overhead map of Bethany. Bethany is present-day West Bank city of al-Eizariya (meaning “Place of Lazarus”), site of the reputed Tomb of Lazarus, located about 1.5 miles to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. (From Pinterest, Danette Dailor; source, Jesus-story.net)

+972 Magazine 
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Nov. 2, 2016
Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period . . .  After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework for an eventual peace deal.
___An Israeli prime minister worried about international condemnation of his country’s illegal settlements probably wouldn’t declare that, “[t]here is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government.”
___An Israeli government concerned with the world’s perception of its intransigence wouldn’t send the deputy foreign minister . . . . to demand the annexation of Israel’s third-largest settlement.
___Yet the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be worried at all.     “The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday.      More . . .  

  • Amar-Shiff, Netta. “Planning Apartheid And Human Rights In The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 65-68.   Source.  

For years the Israeli human rights community has been trying to defy Israeli demolitions of Palestinian houses and other structures in the West Bank. Their opposition is based on individual human rights arguments and international humanitarian law, focusing attention on the unlawful policies of the Israeli Civil Administration (1CA) in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included primarily the rights of Palestinians to property and adequate housing and other economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. While legal arguments mentioned the illegality of the settlements, they were cautious not to compare settlers and Palestinians.
[. . . .]   The use of the Apartheid paradigm in the context of the West Bank raises the obvious question of the basis for comparison between the Israelis and Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, especially considering the fact that settlements are illegal under the law of occupation and should not be there in the first place. While Apartheid presumes the equal citizenship status shared by blacks and whites in one state, South Africa, the national conflict in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian state seems to negate the use of the conceptual framework of Apartheid, which seems to unfairly marginalize the existence of the national conflict. But moving beyond the national conflict, the main problem in the comparison to the Apartheid framework is that although it is based on similarly applied practices of racial segregation and discrimination as the International Convention On the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid states, it does not emphasize what seems to be the main motivation behind the legal segregation and discrimination: the Israeli spatial expansionist interests to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.  [. . . .]

“. . . In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state. . .” (Oren Ben-Dor)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .” New York Times, May 21, 1996. (Photo: JP)

❶ PM Hamdallah: Israel is pushing for an apartheid state
. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Czech Republic clarifies position on status of Jerusalem
. . . ❶― (ᴃ) Foreign Ministry seeks UN Security Council action against Israeli settlements

  • Background from: Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press). “. . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel. . .”

❷ Israeli forces kill young Palestinian man, injure another in Shufat refugee camp
. . . ❷― (ᴀ) PPS: “Underage Detainee Assaulted By Soldiers, Strip-Searched”
. . . ❷― (ᴃ) Soldiers Injure Three Palestinians in Nablus

  • Background from Third World Quarterly.  “ . . . ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers’. . .”

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Monday told visiting Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that Israel, by stepping up settlement construction and expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, is pushing toward a one-state solution and an apartheid system.
___The prime minister expressed his government’s commitment towards a two-state solution of Palestine and Israel. . . .
___Hamdallah also expressed appreciation for Australia’s constant support to the Palestinian education and health sectors.  MORE . . .

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday. Photo: GPO / Amos Ben Gershom via Twitter.

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Sep. 5, 2016
The foreign ministry of the Czech Republic Monday clarified its position on the status of Jerusalem.
___It said in a statement delivered to its Palestinian counterpart that “[w]ith reference to some media reports on the status of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs about the following:
___“The State of Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital. The status of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel is not internationally recognized. Based on the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions, the Czech Republic, together with other EU Member States, considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine. Tel Aviv is currently the seat of most foreign missions, including the Embassy of the Czech Republic.”      MORE . . .
Sep. 5, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Sunday upon the United Nations Security Council to take immediate steps towards forcing Israel, the occupying power, to stop its settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
___The ministry called upon the UNSC to send a delegation to get information about what it described as “Israel’s theft and Judaization of Palestinian land”, including continuing settlement activities.     MORE . . .

  • From Ben-Dor, Oren. “The One-State as a Demand of International Law: Jus Cogens, Challenging Apartheid and the Legal Validity of Israel.” Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal (Edinburgh University Press) 12.2 (2013): 181-205.    SOURCE.

Why would one want to call Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, an apartheid state? Israel has no laws that explicitly limit the education and possibilities of its non-Jewish Arab citizens nor does it list certain professions they are forbidden to take up as was the case in South Africa.
___Looking at Israel you will see democratic elections and representation, occasional positive attempts at egalitarian investment in the country’s non-Jewish Arab sector, and some joint Jewish/non-Jewish-Arab ventures; and you will find a Supreme Court that prides itself on consistently upholding a Basic Law of Human (as opposed to Jewish) dignity and freedom.
___However, on closer look, apartheid in Israel is as constitutionally inbuilt as it was in South Africa and structurally limits, directly or indirectly, the ambit of possible egalitarian reforms. Central governmental investment turns out to be inherently biased in favour of the country’s Jewish population, and official property law regimes and land policies push towards the ‘Judaisation’ of the land, meaning the transfer to Jewish citizens or institutions of lands expropriated from non-Jewish Arab citizens and/or institutions while discouraging, or even actually forbidding, non-Jewish Arabs from taking up residence in Jewish areas.
[. . . .]
In Israel, apartheid (separateness) is rather inbuilt into the very constitutional life of the state, a sense of ‘separateness’ of Jews that has to be constantly rejuvenated and reinvented and reinforced by the state.
Because the Zionist ideological doctrine of ‘separateness’ led to the raison d’etre of the state, this separateness embodies a pathological denial that surrounds Israel’s apartheid, separateness which is disguised as ‘democratic’ practices. As such this denial is more entrenched in collective unconscious memory and thus more morally repugnant than the explicit apartheid of South Africa . . . . responding to different existential stakes, South Africa could reform and stay South Africa. Israel cannot reform and stay Israel.

Ma’an News Agency
Sept. 5, 2016
Israeli forces shot and killed a young Palestinian man in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning following a raid in the camp, according to locals and Israeli police
___Local sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces “showered” a Palestinian car with gunfire, killing Mustafa Nimir and injuring another young man whose identity and health condition remained unknown to witnesses.
___Israeli authorities claimed the driver — who they did not identify as either Nimir or the other person who was injured — attempted to run over Israeli police and border guard officers before they fired at the car.    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 5, 2016
The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, Monday, that a detained Palestinian teen has been subjected to repeated assaults during his abduction, and interrogation, including being strip-searched after the soldiers kidnapped him.
___The teen, Mazen Monther Ramadan, 17 years of age, was kidnapped from his home, in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, on August 22, 2016.
___A PPS lawyer managed to visit the teen in the al-Maskobiyya interrogation center. . . .    MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
September 5, 2016
Palestinian medical sources have reported that Israeli soldiers shot and injured, on Monday at dawn, three Palestinians in the Balata refugee camp, and Sebastia town, in the northern West Bank district of Nablus.
___The sources said one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Riyadh Saheli, was shot with a live round, and suffered a moderate injury, in Balata refugee camp, in Nablus.
___Several army vehicles invaded the camp, and opened fire on Palestinian youths, who hurled stones and empty bottles on the advancing military vehicles.   MORE . . .

  • Peteet, Julie. “Words As Interventions: Naming In The Palestine – Israel Conflict.” Third World Quarterly 26.1 (2005): 153-172.   SOURCE.

The notion of ‘epistemic violence’ refers to the process by which colonial thought shaped colonial subjects as inherently different. Over the course of much of the previous century rhetoric and words were selectively deployed, repeated, insisted upon and entered mainstream language to construct Palestinians discursively as beyond the pale of humanity. The moral lexicon deployed by Israelis and the Western media has cast them as irrational, terrorist demons unsuited for membership in the human community . . . .
___From the first decades of the century, when Zionists first encountered Palestinians . . . words used to describe the Palestinians have displayed both consistency and change. This discursive construction of the violent and primitive Palestinian underpins and legitimises his/her continued displacement, political exclusion and occupation. In a broader context, representations of the colonised often fall into a binary opposition between ‘inherently violent or innately peaceful’. The paradox between an imputed lack of attachment to place and yet the apparent willingness to fight for it was resolved by classifying Palestinian violence as irrational, without just cause. . . . ‘a gang of robbers, murderers, and bandits’, thus obstructing an understanding of manifestations of Palestinian nationalism and their discontent with colonisation.
___Coupled with a violent nature, Palestinians have been classified zoomorphically. Avraham Stern, founder of the Stern Gang or Lehi, precursor to the Likud Party, said: ‘The Arabs are not a nation but a mole that grew in the wilderness of the eternal desert. They are nothing but murderers.’ . . . More recently, Labor Party leader Ehud Barak told a New York Times correspondent, ‘You know, we are still living in a jungle’, which he characterises as ‘the dark and backward old Middle East’. He explained  the difference between the two major political parties in Israel, the Labor and the Likud: “We’re both trying to kill the mosquito. . .But at the same time we’re trying to drain the swamp, while Likud is saying the swamp is ours and we’ll never give it up. . . .”

“. . . Whenever a child goes silent . . .” (Maya Abu Al-Hayyat)

Bypass road in the greater Bethlehem area; a clear physical manifestation of a spatial segregative system existing within the West Bank. (Photo: probablenotes, April 22, 2012)

❶ B’Tselem: Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015

  • Background from Postcolonial Studies

❷ A new Israeli bypass road cater to the benefit of El Matan outpost

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

❺ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 27, 2016
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.
___The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.
___B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families.       MORE . . .

From Postcolonial Studies
With the wall, this policy [Apartheid] became obvious and clear. Before there were laws, how they dealt with you differently, even in your daily life. But when they started building the wall and these checkpoints, the analogy became more obvious. . .  [the Wall] is here. You can see it on a map, you see it on the ground, and you see the checkpoints. So now, talking about apartheid became much more open, especially to the international community after 2002. It has become totally accepted to the world . . . . everybody is talking about apartheid because this is something that is so clear. What they are doing here and inside Israel, destroying Palestinian homes through thousands of house demolitions, more than 76,000 people have had their homes threatened in Jerusalem—all of this fits into this analogy [of Apartheid].

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.  SOURCE.

POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
July 28, 2016
Since 1967, the successive Israeli Governments have actively supported Israeli settlers to build settlements and outposts in the occupied Palestinian territory . . .  it has been a form of expanding Israel’s control of land and natural resources with the purpose of creating irreversible facts on the ground that will become hard to change in the future.
___El Matan, a tiny but strategic Israeli outpost in the heart of Wadi Qana area, in Salfit Governorate. It is one example of the Israeli encroachment on Palestinian land. In June 2002, a group of religious Israeli settlers from the nearby settlements of the so-called Shomron local council occupied a hilltop south of Ma’ale Shomron . . .
___Recently, Israeli Authorities commenced the construction of a new bypass road that connects the outpost (El Matan) with the nearby Ma’ale Shomron settlement. Extensive construction is underway in the outpost and is being implemented based on a previously approved master plan (TPS) No. 116/5.  MORE . . .    

From Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture
Behind the policy of denying the Palestinians permits to build or to expand their homes is an even greater motivation; to protect the interests and stability of the Jewish state.’ ___While this approach has existed since the establishment of the state of Israel, a policy decision related to Jerusalem was officially made in 1973 by a ministerial committee known as the Gafni Commission. At the core of the policy was the concern that the Jewish character of Jerusalem would be jeopardized if the Palestinian population kept increasing at its current rate. In 1977, the Planning Policy Division prepared a paper stating: “One of the cornerstones of Jerusalem’s planning process is […] the preservation of the demographic balance between the ethnic groups [in accordance with] the resolution of the Government of Israel.” Therefore, as a result of this growing “threat,” Israel has used a number of methods to keep the demographic balance between the Jewish and the Palestinian populations at a fixed ratio of 70% Jews to 30% Palestinians.'”

  • Dimova, Nicoletta. “When Ideology Leads to Destruction: Home Demolitions in East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture Sept. 2008: 92+.  SOURCE.
A section of the Wall is seen close to a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem. (Photo: REUTERS)

Annie Robbins
July 27, 2016
Never let a serious crisis go to waste. This is the first thought that crossed my mind when I read Israel National News headline: ‘We’re taking advantage of the US elections to build’ . . . .
___Israel will use every opportunity to expand the breadth of their illegal colonies on Palestinian land, and the US election season is no exception. Jerusalem Online picked up the story too reporting “Jerusalem construction accelerated due to US elections“. The articles claim officials from the Jerusalem Municipality told Channel 2 News that plans to build 57 new housing units over the green line in the occupied East Jerusalem colony of Ramot had been fast-tracked because of U.S. election season and “the accelerated process is not a coincidence.”     MORE . . .

Whenever I see an image of a child’s hands
sticking out of the rubble of a collapsed building
I check the hands of my three children
I count the fingers of their hands, the toes on their feet,
I check the numbers of teeth in their mouths, every
last hair in each finely-marked wee eyebrow.

Whenever a child goes silent in Al Yarmouk Camp
I turn up the volume on the TV, the songs on the radio,
I pinch my three children
to make them cry and squirm with life.

Whenever my sore heart gets hungry at Qalandia checkpoint
I comfort-eat, I
emotionally over-eat, craving excessive salt
as if I could then somehow say: enough, block out
the salt spark of the tears everyone around me is crying.
―Translated by Liz Lochhead

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prize-winning author of novels, poetry, and short stories. Born in Lebanon, she has a degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Najah University in Nablus, the largest Palestinian university, and lives in Ramallah.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat reading one of her poems
About Qalandia checkpoint


“. . . their dignity sets them free . . .” (Samah Sabawi)

Israeli street blockade, Hebron, November 17, 2012. (Photo: marthiemombergblog)

❶ Israeli forces raid Yatta [Hebron] after more than 40 days of blockade
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli army bulldozers, jeeps, drones enter southern Gaza
❷ Netanyahu [inspecting new wall in Hebron]: Barrier in South Hebron Hills important for Israel’s security

  • background From Postcolonial Studies

❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Israeli forces raided several homes in the southern occupied West Bank town of Yatta early Thursday, as the army maintained its weeks-long blockade of municipalities in the Hebron district.
___A coordinator of a popular committee in the southern West Bank, Rateb al-Jbour, said that Israeli forces raided central Yatta and searched the houses of two Palestinian security officer, identified as Majdi Moussa al-Shreiqi and Ahmad Moussa al-Shreiqi, the latter reportedly a former prisoner detained by Israel.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 21, 2016
Several Israeli army bulldozers entered the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, locals said.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers coming from the al-Matbaq Gate entered 50 meters into eastern Rafah City, escorted by four military jeeps as drones flew overhead [. . . .]
___Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” which lies on both land and sea sides of Gaza, have long been a near-daily occurrence. MORE . . .

The Jerusalem Post
Herb Keinon
July 20, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected the construction work being done on a new security barrier in the South Hebron Hills area on Wednesday, saying completing it was important for the country’s security.
___“We said that we will close the breaches,” he said. “We will prevent illegal residents and attackers from reaching Israel’s cities.”     MORE . . .

From Postcolonial Studies
The security barrier was a unilateral Israeli decision. The policy decision to build the barrier nonetheless entailed considerable internal negotiations involving competing political parties and leaders. The resulting compromise gained broad popular and institutional support. Palestinian and international opposition to the barrier has been firm, based in large part on Israel’s placement of sections of the barrier within the Green Line so as to protect Jewish Israel has stated repeatedly that the barrier does not represent a final political border, but it does suggest an initial bid. This was one reason that the Israeli government responded negatively to American president Barack Obama’s declaration of pre-1967 borders as an initial point of negotiation.
___While the international legitimacy of the barrier has not been recognized, its effectiveness has. Thus, it is unlikely that Israel will dismantle the barrier or place it wholly on its side of the Green Line. Legal challenges within Israel have led to a process of internal negotiation among the civil society, the judiciary, and the executive on the exact placement of the barrier — but not on its continued existence. It is unlikely that final status negotiations will include complete Israeli withdrawal from all the West Bank territory won in the 1967 War. The clause of Resolution 242 emphasizing Israel’s right to ‘‘live in peace within secure and recognized borders’’ strongly suggests that Israel will seek to incorporate the security barrier formula into any final status agreements.

  • Lee, Christopher J. “Beyond Analogy: Bare Life In The West Bank.” Postcolonial Studies 16.4 (2013): 374-387.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Daoud Kuttab
July 20, 2016
Despite the Israelis’ initial claims that their efforts have partially succeeded in shelving a pro-Palestinian vote at UNESCO, the story that is emerging now is quite different. Palestinian and Arab officials say the delay in the vote that had been planned for July 20 in Istanbul was postponed due to the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
___Omar Awadallah, the director of UN activities at the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Al-Monitor that UNESCO had postponed voting on all resolutions, not just the one on extending the declaration that Jerusalem’s Old City meets UNESCO’s criteria for being endangered. “Due to the security uncertainty connected to the failed coup in Turkey, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decided to postpone all decisions until it meets again in Paris in October,” said Awadallah.      MORE . . .   


Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call, do they always say
“we are fine, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you that they are whole
While you… are broken|
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they always pity you
For not breathing the air
Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you…or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

About Samah Sabawi  
From: Valentine, Douglas. “Poetry, Palestine and the Language of Resistance.” Counterpunch. September 20, 2013.

“. . . my liberty I shall carve its name while I resist . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Samah Dweik
Palestinian Journalist Samah Dweik Sentenced to 6 Months Imprisonment for ‘Incitement.’ (Photo: Days of Palestine, April 16, 2016)

❶ Palestinian Journalist Sentenced to 6 Months Imprisonment for ‘Incitement’

  • background from European Journal Of International Law

❷ Israel passes law slammed by critics as a move to silence Palestinian lawmakers
❸ Israeli soldiers kill 12-year-old Palestinian during clashes in central West Bank
❺ POETRY: “My Liberty,” by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 19, 2016
An Israeli court, on Monday, reportedly sentenced a young Palestinian journalist to six months in prison over charges of “incitement,” according to Ma’an.
___The family of Samah Dweik, a 25-year-old journalist working for Shabakat al-Quds (The Jerusalem Network), said that she was detained in April, in her occupied East Jerusalem home, in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, over alleged “incitement” on Facebook.     MORE . . .  

From European Journal Of International Law
. . . the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa [in] 2008 convened a team of international lawyers from Palestine, Israel, South Africa, and Europe to examine these questions of whether the international legal prohibitions of colonialism and apartheid had been breached by Israel in the Palestinian territories. . . The findings . . . [include]:
___Palestinians’ right to education . . . is severely impeded by military rule. Israeli military actions have included extensive school closures, direct attacks on schools, severe restrictions on movement, and arrests and detention of teachers and students. . . . Discrimination in relation to education is striking in East Jerusalem, and is further indicated by a parallel Jewish Israeli school system in illegal settlements throughout the West Bank, supported by the Israeli government.
___Palestinians are denied the right to freedom of opinion and expression through censorship laws enforced by the military authorities and endorsed by the Supreme Court. Palestinian newspapers must have a military permit and publications must be pre-approved by the military censor. . . . Journalists are regularly restricted from entering the Gaza Strip and Palestinian journalists suffer from patterns of harassment, detention, confiscation of materials, and even killing.
___Palestinians’  right  to  freedom  of  peaceful  assembly  and  association  is  impeded through military orders that ban public gatherings of  ten or more persons without a permit from the Israeli military commander. . .  Most Palestinian political parties have been declared illegal and institutions associated with those parties . . .  are regularly subjected to closure and attack [. . . .]

  • Dugard, John, and John Reynolds. “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” European Journal Of International Law 24.3 (2013): 867-913.

Ma’an News Agency
July 20, 2016
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed into law late Tuesday night a bill that would allow Knesset members to vote to oust their colleagues from office, legislation that has been slammed by critics as targeting Palestinian MKs and harmful to “the very building blocks of democracy.”
___The so-called “suspension bill,” which ultimately passed with 62 votes in favor and 45 against, stipulates grounds for dismissal as “incitement to violence or racism, support for armed conflict against Israel, or rejecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”    MORE . . .

joint list members
Joint (Arab) List members Jamal Zahalka (left), Basel Ghattas (center) and Hanin Zoabi (right) meeting at the Knesset, on February 8, 2016. On January 2, the trio met with the families of Palestinian terrorists, prompting a political outcry. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ma’an News Agency
July 19, 2016
A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the town of al-Ram north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank after he was hit in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to medical sources.
___The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.     MORE . . .    

Hatim Kanaaneh
July 19, 2016
With all the recent events in Europe and the Middle East, you would think Israeli officials would be very busy keeping tabs on events in the neighborhood. But no, they are keeping faithful to their non-interference policies.
[. . . .]
On July 7, 2016 [Haaretz] featured the following investigative report as its lead front page article: “Arab teacher trainees to get half of Jewish peers’ budget.” You turn the page and here is what you find:
“Meanwhile, from elementary school up, Jewish students receive more state funding than their Arab peers. In high school, per-student funding in 2013-14 was 35 percent to 68 percent higher for Jews than for Arabs at the same socioeconomic level. That statistic comes from the Education Ministry itself.”     MORE . . .

My liberty―my liberty―my liberty,
a sound I repeat
with angry lips
under the exchange of fire
and flames
I run after it
despite my chains
and follow its tracks
despite the night
and struggle ardently
for my liberty
My liberty
My liberty

And the Holy River
and Bridge repeat:
my liberty
and the two banks reiterate:
my liberty
and the raging wind and thunder,
tornadoes and rain
echo the sound:
my liberty

I shall carve its name
while I resist
on the land
by the walls
and the doors
in the Temple of the Virgin
in the altar
and the fields,
on every hill
and every valley
and every curve
and road
in prison
in the torture rooms
and on the gallows
Despite the chains
and the house demolition.
I shall carve its name
until I see it again
extending to my Homeland
and flourish
and flourish
until every inch of the land is covered
until every door is opened
by red liberty.
And the night vanishes
and the day breaks
My liberty―my liberty―my liberty

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 Abe Books.
Fadwa Tuqan