“. . . I’m unfamiliar with settlements. Are some of those people good? . . .” (Marwan Makhoul)

❶ European conference on settlement declares Israel ‘apartheid regime’

  • Background: “Spatial Changes in Palestine: From Colonial Project to an Apartheid System.” African & Asian Studies.

❷ Israel encourages settlers to move to Jordan Valley settlements
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Netanyahu is redefining ethnic cleansing not pursuing genuine peace
❹ POETRY by Marwan Makhoul
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ EUROPEAN  CONFERENCE  ON  SETTLEMENT  DECLARES  ISRAEL  ‘APARTHEID  REGIME’ 
Days of Palestine
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Representatives from 24 European countries, including parliamentarians, legal experts, journalists and activists, met in Brussels, have declared Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” in the West Bank.
___In a press release, the recommendations of the first European conference on Israeli settlement activity were named the Brussels Declaration, and included the following:
1. Israel, the occupying power of the Palestinian territories since 1967 continues its policy of confiscating and judaising Palestinian land and building settlements over it. These settlements have turned, with the passage of time, into an incubator for settler’s “terrorist organisations” such as HiiltopYouth, Paying the Price and Revenge.
2. With this premeditated policy of settlement expansion, it is, therefore, inappropriate to talk about dismantling political or security settlements, but rather, see this movement as a structure colonial policy that was able to colonize a large part of the West Bank not less than 60 percent of its size. This policy has, in fact, established an Apartheid regime, which violates the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 . . .        MORE . . .

Al-Rimmawi, Hussein.
“SPATIAL  CHANGES  IN  PALESTINE:  FROM  COLONIAL  PROJECT  TO  AN  APARTHEID  SYSTEM.”
African & Asian Studies,
vol. 8, no. 4, Nov. 2009, pp. 375-412.
[. . . .] After the 1967 war, Israel began to strip Palestinian land from its Palestinian owners . . . . settlements penetrated deeply inside the occupied land like spears, with the purpose of dividing the Palestinian land in the West Bank into three main Bantustans, north, and central and south.
___At present, Israel continues to construct its Apartheid Wall which would guarantee that the confiscated land be on the Israeli side of the border . . .  The Wall is planned and implemented in a way which results in residential and territorial discrimination. Palestinian workers may be allowed to work in Israel but will not be allowed to reside in the same place . . . .
___Palestinian cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers. The Apartheid Wall is destroying archeological sites, shrines, monuments and historical buildings. The establishment of this wall is represented by ‘spatial and socio-side’. The Wall also has a significant impact on Palestinian wild life and biodiversity. For example, heavy equipment destroys plant coverage and degrades the soil. Flora and fauna are endangered and some species will disappear.
[. . . .] The whole Zionist plan evolved through different phases which reflected itself on the space through the settlements, the creation of the State of Israel, the evolution of Israel to become an occupying power in Arab lands and the present apartheid system. Through the acquisition of territory and the building of the Annexation Wall, Israel aims at eliminating the possibility of Palestine as a viable political entity. Palestinians cannot fully exercise their human rights, including their freedom of expression, travel from one place to another, and different laws are applied to them than those used for Israeli settlers. At present, they are prisoners inside their own cities, villages, and refugee camps. . .  It seems that Israelis are not capable of transferring the soul of settlement movement into a real and consolidated state.   SOURCE . . .

❷ ISRAEL  ENCOURAGES  SETTLERS  TO  MOVE  TO  JORDAN  VALLEY  SETTLEMENTS       
The Palestinian Information Center 
Nov. 11, 2017 ― The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement on Saturday said that the Israeli government is planning to double the number of Jewish settlers in the Jordan Valley area.
___The Office explained in its weekly report that the Israeli government plans to launch a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging settlers to move to the Jordan Valley, adding that it also has vowed to transfer funds to the settlement councils that host the newcomers. Preference will be given to the settlements that set fewer conditions to host settlers.
___Hebrew media sources have unveiled a plan presented by the Israeli Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, to strengthen the Jewish presence in the Jordan Valley, one-quarter of the West Bank.   MORE . . .
❸ OPINION/ANALYSIS:  NETANYAHU  IS REDEFINING  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  NOT  PURSUING  GENUINE  PEACE   
The Palestinian Information Center
Kamel Hawwash    [ Kamel Hawwash is Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at Birmingham University, and Immediate Past President of the European Society for Engineering Education.]  
Nov. 11, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for missing an opportunity to push peace further into the distant future. [. . . .] Netanyahu took to the air to absolve Israel of any fault for the lack of progress towards peace. Israel is in a difficult neighbourhood and therefore its security needs are such that meeting these is almost incompatible with a Palestinian state.
___In an interview . . .  he trotted out the usual talking points. Israel, he said, “stands out as a beacon of democracy, a beacon of self-restraint in a sea of trouble”. As for the Israeli army, “there is no more moral army in the world,” he said. The settlements “are an issue but I don’t think they are the issue”. Instead he believes the issue “is the 100-year-old refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognise a Jewish state in any boundary”.  Netanyahu took issue with Marr regarding the settlements, saying “the idea that Jews cannot live in Judea [the West Bank] is crazy”. When challenged that it is Palestinian territory, which the UN says is a flagrant violation of international law, he said that it is “disputed territory”.  MORE . . .

“IDENTITY,” BY MARWAN MAKHOUL
I’m unfamiliar with refugee camps.
Is that the ultimate in giving up?
Or are they tents I’ve been told are white
with guy ropes at the corners to hold them up
that hold me up?

I’m unfamiliar with tear gas.
Is it a weapon whose used bears the radiance of defeat?
Or is it his disappointment at the pathos of my tears
when I cry

I’m unfamiliar with settlements.
Are some of those people good?
Sure, completely. Like I walk
on my hands,
and the sand sings?

I’m unfamiliar with my mother too.
Is she the one who suckled me?
Or is she the one bereft, standing in my doorway,
or a window on belonging?

I’m unfamiliar with UNRWA.
Is it a shipment I once chanced upon?
Or did I direct its driver
when he asked the way to Rafah?

I’m unfamiliar with the “cause”.
Is it a fiancée searching in the rubble
for her finger to put the ring on?
Or is half the whole of a fifth?

I’m unfamiliar with the truth.
Am I lacking something?
Or does my blood course within me
but not as my nerves would wish?

Personally, I’m unfamiliar with myself.
Am I the one now in my body?
Or am I that one I wrote about
the day I became my neighbor?
―Translated by Raphael Cohen   

From BANIPAL: MAGAZINE OF MODERN ARAB LITERATURE 45  Winter 2012.
Marwan Makhoul was born to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother in 1979 in the village of Boquai’a in the Upper Galilee region of Palestine. He currently lives in the village of Maalot Tarshiha. Marwan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Al-Mustaqbal College. His first book of poetry was published in 2007 in both Beirut and Baghdad by Al-Jamal Publishers. That same year a second edition of the book was published in Haifa by Maktabat Kul Shai’ Publishers. In 2009 he won the prize of best playwright in The Acre Theatre Festival for his first play. (An interview with Marwan Makhoul )

 

“. . . 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
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ POLAND  TO  EQUIP  THE  PALESTINIAN  RAPID  INTERVENTION  TEAM 
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 . . .
. . . . ❶― (ᴀ)  IRELAND  DESCRIBES  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  EXPANSION  AS  PROVOCATIVE 
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 . . .
❷ HOW  ISRAEL  ENGAGES  IN  ‘WATER  APARTHEID’  
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 . . .

❸ ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  66  PALESTINIANS,  MAJORITY  TEENAGERS,  IN  OVERNIGHT  RAIDS  
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 . . .  
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) JOINT  REPORT  REVEALS  THAT  431  PALESTINIANS  WERE  ARRESTED  IN  SEPTEMBER  2017 

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 . . .

“I  DEFY,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM
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.

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

bypass
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

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY ‘TAKING ADVANTAGE’ OF US ELECTIONS TO EXPAND SETTLEMENTS
❺ POETRY by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ B’TSELEM: ISRAEL DEMOLISHED MORE PALESTINIAN HOMES IN PAST 6 MONTHS THAN IN ALL OF 2015
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.

❷ A NEW ISRAELI BYPASS ROAD CATER TO THE BENEFIT OF EL MATAN OUTPOST
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.
settlement
A section of the Wall is seen close to a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem. (Photo: REUTERS)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY ‘TAKING ADVANTAGE’ OF US ELECTIONS TO EXPAND SETTLEMENT
Mondoweiss
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 . . .

“CHILDREN,” BY MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT
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)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
❹ POETRY by Samah Sabawi
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  FORCES  RAID  YATTA  AFTER  MORE  THAN  40  DAYS  OF  BLOCKADE
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 . . .
. . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  BULLDOZERS,  JEEPS,  DRONES  ENTER  SOUTHERN  GAZA
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 . . .

❷ NETANYAHU  [inspecting  new  wall  in  Hebron]:  BARRIER  IN  SOUTH  HEBRON  HILLS  IMPORTANT  FOR  ISRAEL’S  SECURITY
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 . . .
RELATED . . .   NETANYAHU  VISITS  CONSTRUCTION  SITE  OF  NEW  SEPARATION  BARRIER  IN  HEBRON.  Ma’an News Agency  

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.
netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies plane over West Bank. (Photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: WHAT  REALLY  DELAYED  UNESCO  VOTE  ON  JERUSALEM?
Mondoweiss
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 . . .   

“DEFYING THE UNIVERSE,” BY SAMAH SABAWI

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.

“. . . He moves in an absolute indistinction of fact and law, of life and juridical rule . . .” (Derek Gregory)

1-stone throwers
New [July 2015] Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers. (Photo: Al Jazeera, July 21, 2015)
❶ Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles in northern West Bank
Related: Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail

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

❷ Using stolen water to irrigate stolen land

  • background from Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN IN GAZA
❹ POETRY by Samih al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SETTLERS  THROW  ROCKS  AT  PALESTINIAN  VEHICLES  IN  NORTHERN  WEST  BANK
Ma’an News Agency
July 16, 2016
Israeli settlers Friday evening reportedly threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the Wadi Qana road which runs between the occupied West Bank districts of Qalqilya and Salfit, according to local witnesses.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli settlers threw rocks at a group of Palestinian cars that were returning from a wedding, causing damage to a bus from the Salfit Bus Company and breaking the windshield of a car belonging to Ali Taha from the village of Bidya in Salfit.
___While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
___Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities. . .     MORE . . .
RELATED . . .  PALESTINIAN  STONE  THROWERS  FACE  UP  TO  20  YEARS  IN  JAIL

From Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture
[. . . .] 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 [Israelis] in the West Bank and their devastating humanitarian consequences on the protected civilian Palestinian population. These included . . . the obligation of the occupying power to ensure public order for the occupied population, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
[. . . .]
No frameworks of legal analysis fully explain the dual system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
[. . . .] 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 [emphasis in original] to advance and reinforce the settlement project until the full conversion of the Israelis in the West Bank from settlers to indigenous peoples.

  • 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.
wall water
A segment of the Israeli separation wall near Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, 2012 (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

❷ USING  STOLEN  WATER  TO  IRRIGATE  STOLEN  LAND
+972 Blog
Dror Etkes
July 16, 2016
The recent reports on water crisis in Palestinian areas of the West Bank were accompanied by a story of another water shortage: this time in Israeli settlements. Let’s get one thing straight — there has never been a “water shortage” in the settlements. When settlers open up the tap at home or in their garden, the amount and quality of the water is identical to that which comes out in most homes to the west of the Green Line. Yes, there were several recent instances in which the water supply was cut off temporarily in a number of settlements (generally for a few hours), during which the authorities provided settlers water from water tanks. One can safely say that not a single settler was left thirsty.      MORE . . .

From Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography
Palestinian towns and cities . . . have been smashed by Israeli missiles and bombs, by tanks and armoured bulldozers. . . .  The “main purpose is to deny the Palestinian people their collective, individual and cultural rights to the city-based modernity long enjoyed by Israelis” . . .   Palestinian “facts on the ground” were erased with almost machine-like efficiency: coolly, dispassionately and ruthlessly.
___But since the spring of 2002, the legal fictions that permitted these erasures have increasingly been dispensed with. . . .  the IDF’s spasm of destruction had created a landscape of devastation from Bethlehem to Jenin. “There is no way to assess the full extent of the latest damage to the cities and towns . . .  but it is safe to say that the infrastructure of life itself and of any future Palestinian state – roads, schools, electricity pylons, water pipes, telephone lines – has been devastated.” Taken together, these are collective assaults in city and in countryside . . .  [not only] on the integrity of Palestinian civil society and on the formation of a Palestinian state, but on what he calls “bare life” itself.
___As Mahmoud Darwish (2002) declared, “the occupation does not content itself with depriving us of the primary conditions of freedom, but goes on to deprive us of the bare essentials of a dignified human life, by declaring constant war on our bodies, and our dreams, on the people and the homes and the trees, and by committing crimes of war.”  The hideous objective . . .  is to reduce homo sacer to the abject despair of der Muselman. . .  a figure from the Nazi concentration camps – it means, with deeply depressing significance, “The Muslim” . . . .  der Muselman no longer belongs to the world of men in any way; he does not even belong to the threatened and precarious world of the camp inhabitants… Mute and absolutely alone, he has passed into another world without memory and without grief.

  • Gregory, Derek. “Defiled Cities.” Singapore Journal Of Tropical Geography 24.3 (2003): 307.

❸  Opinion/Analysis:  LIFE  TURNED  UPSIDE  DOWN  IN  GAZA
The Electronic Intifada
Sarah Algherbawi
July 15, 2016
Inas Abu Muhadi cannot understand that she will never see her dad again [. . . .]
___The young girl’s father passed away from natural causes in July 2013.
___“Our life turned upside down after that day,” said her mother, Rajaa Abu Khalil. “Now, I have to be their father and mother at the same time. The burden is too heavy and I am tired.”
___On top of Rajaa’s loss of her husband, the home where the couple lived with their six children in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah was bombed and destroyed during Israel’s 51-day onslaught in the summer of 2014.     MORE . . .

“A  HOMELAND,”  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM

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 noting 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.

 

 

 

“. . . Burdened, Weighed down with death and defeat. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

141001-140605-israel-settlement-hg-1651_723349d17781748cbcd8710c4506b8a9.nbcnews-ux-600-480
A bulldozer is seen next to a new housing construction site in the Israeli settlement of Har Homa in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on March 19, 2014. (Photo: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP )

❶ Egypt condemns Israeli settlement building as ‘killing the hopes of Palestinians’

  • background from Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers

❷ EU : Israel’s decision to build in settlements threatens the viability of the two-state solution
❸ Netanyahu Rejects American And European Condemnations Of New Settlements’ Plan
❹ From European Journal Of International Law: “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
❺ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ EGYPT  CONDEMNS  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENT  BUILDING  AS  ‘KILLING  THE  HOPES  OF  PALESTINIANS’
Ma’an News Agency
July 7, 201
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Thursday the Israeli government’s decision to build hundreds of housing units in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
___The ministry slammed Israel’s continuous building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory — in contravention of international law — and obstruction of the peace process.
___The Egyptian government urged the Israeli government to “cancel the decision and put an end to the policy of escalation, which kills the hopes of Palestinians.”   MORE . . .

From Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers
Whether looking at the ‘security’ or at the ‘socio-cultural’ definitions of gated communities as they appear in the geographic and sociological literature, it is difficult to think of a more explicit example of a community featuring social cohesion based on shared values on the one hand, and self-isolation with the help of fences and a stress on the ‘security of the community’ on the other.
[. . . .] . . . the West Bank is not just an aggregate of 124 ‘legal’ gated communities and a similar number of ‘illegal outposts’, but rather a single, contiguous gated community gating, in turn, Palestinian ‘islands’ within it. This assertion might sound puzzling: the sum total of built-up areas in the settlements amounts to less than 2 per cent of the West Bank’s territory; the settlers’ number (including East Jerusalem) amount to less than 15 per cent of the West Bank’s population; and the total area occupied directly by the settlement complex. . .  amounts to circa 42 per cent of the West Bank’s territory. These figures seem to make it difficult to claim that the settlements constitute a single, contiguous, gated and gating community.
[. . . .]  Establishing a chain of small settlements situated at strategic distances from each other – sufficiently close to enable connection on the one hand, but sufficiently far apart to enable efficient dispersion on the other – is an efficient way of seizing large areas in a short time and with relatively few resources.
[. . . .] . . . settlements had not been built with a premeditated intention of restricting Palestinian movement, but mainly in order to restrict Palestinian construction and to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity . . . .

  • Handel, Ariel. “Gated/Gating Community: The Settlement Complex In The West Bank.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 39.4 (2014): 504-517.  SOURCE.  

❷ EU:  ISRAEL’S  DECISION  TO  BUILD  IN  SETTLEMENTS  THREATENS  THE  VIABILITY  OF  THE  TWO-STATE  SOLUTION
Palestine News Network – PNN
July 6, 2016
In a statement send  by an EU Spokesperson on Israel’s announcement of new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank the  EU said its threatens the viability of the two-state solution.
___He added that :” Israel’s decision on Sunday to advance several hundred new settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank threatens the viability of the two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.       MORE . . .   

OB-FL404_settle_G_20100205162715
Illegal settlement with settler-only road and Apartheid Wall, March 20, 2014 (Photo: Thomas Manning)

❸ NETANYAHU  REJECTS  AMERICAN  AND  EUROPEAN  CONDEMNATIONS  OF  NEW  SETTLEMENTS’  PLAN
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
July 7, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected American and European ‘condemnations’ of a new plan to build hundreds of colonialist units, in illegal Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem.
___In a press conference with the Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, on Wednesday, Netanyahu claimed that what is preventing peace in the region “is not the settlements,” but what he called the “ongoing incitement against Israel.”               MORE . . . 

❹ “APARTHEID,  INTERNATIONAL  LAW,  AND  THE  OCCUPIED  PALESTINIAN  TERRITORY.” 
European Journal Of International Law
John Dugard and John Reynolds.

[NOTE: this article is a point by point examination of the situation in the Occupied Territories of Palestine in light of the International Convention on Apartheid.]

[. . . .] Article 2 of the Apartheid Convention provides the most detailed list of practices that are discrete human rights violations in themselves, but that may further amount to acts of apartheid when committed in a systematic fashion for the purpose of maintaining domination by one racial group over another:
(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of person:
(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;
(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;
(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its or their physical destruction in whole or in part;
(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country.
[. . . .]
Article 2(f) of the Apartheid Convention relates to the persecution of organizations and persons who oppose a prevailing system of apartheid. Persecution in this context entails the deprivation of fundamental rights and freedoms. While law condones the deprivation of rights in some cases in defense of state security, regimes of racial domination are typically exemplified by illegitimate acts of repression that go beyond what can be justified by reference to national security. Cases of extra-judicial killings, torture, and mass imprisonment of Palestinians . . . fall into the latter category, as do restrictions of freedom of expression and association within the meaning of Article 2(c). The systematic targeting
of Palestinian political leaders, community activists, and human rights defenders can be understood as persecution . . . .  Dugard, John, and John Reynolds. “Apartheid, International Law, And The Occupied Palestinian Territory.” European Journal Of International Law 24.3 (2013): 867-913.     COMPLETE ARTICLE.

“MY SAD CITY,” BY FADWA TUQAN
(The day of Zionist Occupation, June 27, 1967)

The day we saw death and betrayal,
The tide ebbed.
The windows of the sky closed,
And the city held its breath.
The day the waves were vanquished, the day
The ugliness of the abyss revealed its true face,
Hope turned to ashes,
And gaging on disaster,
My sad city choked.

Gone were the children and the songs,
There was no shadow, no echo.
Sorrow crawled naked in my city,
With bloodied footsteps,
Silence reigned in the city,
Silence like crouching mountains,
Mysterious like the night, tragic silence,
Burdened,
Weighed down with death and defeat.
Alas! My sad and silent city.
Can it be true that in the season of harvest,
Grain and fruit have turned to ashes?
Alas! That this should be the fruit of all the journeying!
―Translated by A.M. Elmesseri 

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND: PALESTINE ISREL POETS RESPOND TO THE STRUGGLE. Ed. By Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler. Sandpoint ID: Lost Horse Press, 2012. Available from B&N.
Obituary for Fadwa Tuqan, 2003.

“. . . raze to the ground every farm and every village . . .” (Fawaz Turki)

1-IMG_3404
Israeli By-Pass Road over Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem as seen from Palestinians-only road (Photo: Harold Knight, November 18, 2015)

❶ Report: Israel plans massive land takeover in Hebron Governorate through bypass road
❷ Israeli civil administration remapped 62,000 West Bank hectares to expand settlements
❸ Palestinians to form ‘protection committees’ against Israeli settler violence
❹ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S  COLONIALISM  IS  FAILING  AND  FALLING
❺ POETRY by Fawaz Turki
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
REPORT:  ISRAEL  PLANS  MASSIVE  LAND  TAKEOVER  IN  HEBRON  GOVERNORATE  THROUGH  BYPASS  ROAD
Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
Since the beginning of April 2016, the Israeli machinery and bulldozers affiliated to the so-called Israeli Civil Administration (ILA) commenced the construction of a new bypass road on lands of Halhul town in the northern Hebron Governorate. The work being implemented on the ground is . . . a new Israeli bypass road that extends all the way from Al Arroub refugee camp north of Hebron to reach Halhul town, through lands of Beit Ummer.       MORE . . .  
First published:
poica.org – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
April 26, 2016

The closure system in the West Bank refers to a series of restrictions placed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to control the movement of more than 2.3 million Palestinians living there . . . .
___The closure system has become steadily more sophisticated and has increasingly channelled Palestinian traffic onto smaller, local roads, leaving main . . . routes reserved exclusively for Israeli settlers to travel to settlements inside the West Bank [. . . .]
___ The construction of the Barrier has meant that Palestinians can no longer travel through Jerusalembut instead have to take a winding road around the city. Once the Barrier is completed this road will pass under the Barrier through specially constructed tunnels thereby preventing Palestinians from using Israeli roads that go to settlements [. . . .]
___ The urban and manufacturing hub of the main towns of Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jericho, that are critical for Palestinian jobs and the economy, are also difficult to access because of tight restrictions. [. . . .]
___As the closure system becomes more institutionalised it has a myriad of other impacts [. . . .]

  • Shearer, David. “Territorial Fragmentation Of The West Bank.” Forced Migration Review 26 (2006): 22-23.    ARTICLE. . .

❷ ISRAELI  CIVIL  ADMINISTRATION  REMAPPED  62,000  WEST  BANK  HECTARES  TO  EXPAND  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News Network
May 31, 2016
The Israeli civil administration in 2015 has re-mapped an area of 62 thousand hectares in the West Bank in order to expand illegal Israeli settlements. The old maps are being digitally scanned to enhance their accuracy.
___The report, composed by Dror Etkes, founder of Kerem Navot, an NGO that monitors the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, is based over the map digitizing at COGAT.
___“It’s important to understand that the mapping efforts are directed almost exclusively at the depth of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and to settlements which are well outside the ‘settlement clusters,’ as well as, most emphatically, to areas declared by Israel to be ‘fire zones’ despite the fact that in reality they are part of the lands reserve which Israel gradually assigns to settlement,” Etkes told Ha’aretz.       MORE . . . 

Recognizing now that the Palestinian narrative gets erased and misappropriated through a biblical theology of dispossession, what does this mean, in practical terms, for the conflict? How does it function on a daily basis? If a people have no history, then their ability to interrogate the past and engage with it for the present will constantly encounter insurmountable limits. In this regard, the first act of true liberation and freedom is to be located in the mind, with the reclamation of the history and memory of the Palestinians and Palestine.
___We must also note that to interrogate the above ques­ tions would be a normal academic exercise if it had to do with any other region in the world, but when it comes to Palestine and its people, the starting point for many tends to be the rendition of the familiar biblical narrative, ending with the creation of modern Israel by Zionism. Indeed, the success of modern Zionism in Palestine complicates our attempts to locate and treat the history of the indig­ enous Palestinians, since the colonial project undertook the normative strategy of negating or problematizing the relationship of the people to their ancestral lands.

  • BAZIAN, HATEM. “The Indigenous Palestinians.” Harvard International Review 35.3 (2014): 40-43.   ARTICLE . . .
Israel-Settlements
Israeli West Bank Settlement (Photo: Flikr, posted in The Oxford University Politics Blog, March 1, 2013)

❸ PALESTINIANS  TO  FORM  ‘PROTECTION  COMMITTEES’  AGAINST  ISRAELI  SETTLER  VIOLENCE
Middle East Eye
May 30, 2016
Nearly 200 members of the most isolated and under threat Palestinian communities living in the occupied West Bank came together on Monday for the launch of a new project aimed at establishing “protection committees” to document Israeli human rights violations.
___Community leaders and families from villages across the governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem met at a school in the tiny poverty stricken village of Imnezel, which is surrounded by Israeli settlements filled with new and luxurious homes deemed illegal under international law.
___Sheltered from the hot sun by a beige tarpaulin in a makeshift marquee, Palestinians welcomed the launch of a new three-year project by international aid agency ActionAid, which will see the formation of local community protection committees that will document human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.    MORE . . .

[. . . . ]
As we have seen, the ambiguity surrounding the formal status of the Israeli state in the OTP creates a governmental void. This void is filled, inter alia, by greater freedom of action of the settlers, who, in effect, act as informal agents of the state, behaving as vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands. The settlers’ violence . . . brings Israeli dominance to areas with a scarce presence of military forces, generating ad hoc ‘effective control’ over Palestinian territory and population even in the absence of state officials. . .  based on permanent-temporariness and political ambivalence. Such actions contribute to the ambivalence surrounding the identity of ‘the sovereign’ and form localized, temporary ‘sovereign’ domains [. . . .]
___The elusive political and legal structural frameworks of the Israeli occupation are important factors of this phenomenon, generating the necessary ‘degrees of freedom’, so to speak, that allow, and even support, a proliferation of settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians. In other words, the Israeli state itself, assisted by its agents, works in collusion with the settlers, and maintains the structural preconditions for this provisional political activity, even if it challenges its exclusive jurisdiction.

  • Gazit Nir. (Ruppin Academic Center, Israel). “State-sponsored Vigilantism: Jewish Settlers’ Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”  Sociology 49.3 (2015): 438–454.

❹ Opinion/Analysis: ISRAEL’S  COLONIALISM  IS  FAILING  AND  FALLING 
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet
May 30, 2016
It is often easy to be absorbed by plebeian geopolitics, the sectarian divides plaguing Syria or the outward lack of unity amongst various resistance movements within the Middle East and North Africa. On the face of it, the situation is particularly bleak . . . .
___ . . . . However, the world has unmasked the [Israeli] state as one which cannot function within the fabric of normal society. It has become harder to protect and defend the outlandish action of Israel, be it the continued illegal blockade of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and slow strangulation by the Apartheid Wall of those in the West Bank; the occupation in contravention of international law; or the continued development of colonial-settlements on stolen Palestinian land. . . .       MORE . . .   

“THE  SEED  KEEPERS,”  BY  FAWAZ  TURKI 
(A Recital)

Burn our land
burn our dream
pour acid onto our songs
cover with sawdust
the blood of our massacred people
muffle with your technology
the screams of our imprisoned patriots,
destroy,
destroy
our grass and soil
raze to the ground
every farm and every village
our ancestors had built,
destroy every city and every town
every tree and every home
every book and every law,
flatten with your bombs
every valley,
erase with your edicts
our past
our literature
our metaphor,
denude the forests
and the earth
till no insect
no word
can find a place to hide.
Do that and more,
I do not fear your tyranny.
I guard one seed
of a tree
my forefathers have saved
that I shall plant again
in my homeland.

About Fawaz Turki (b. 1940)
From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press

“. . . Can defiled cities be the outcome . . .” (Harun Hashim Rasheed)

PLEASE NOTE: The content of this blog is changed: it presents fewer news items and gives more background for those items in hope of providing deeper understanding of the issues shaping the news. All articles without direct links can be found through a search in any library with EBSCO online databases. See FINDING  SCHOLARLY  ARTICLES  above.

Protest against the wall, Bilin, West Bank, 28,2,2014
A Palestinian youth places a flag on the Israeli wall during a protest marking nine years of struggle against the wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in, February 28, 2014. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

❶ Israeli forces avoid crowd dispersal weapons in Bilin protest for first time in 11 years
❷ Israel Delivers Demolition Notices for Palestinian Houses in Jerusalem Town
❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  PALESTINIANS  IMPRISONED  BY  ISRAEL  FOR  THEIR  FACEBOOK  POSTS
❹ POETRY by Harun Hashim Rasheed
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
ISRAELI  FORCES  AVOID  CROWD  DISPERSAL  WEAPONS  IN  BILIN  PROTEST  FOR  FIRST  TIME  IN  11  YEARS
Ma’an News Agency
May 27, 2016
For the first time in the 11-year history of weekly popular resistance demonstrations in the central occupied West Bank village of Bilin, Israeli forces did not use tear gas and other crowd control weapons to disperse protesters [. . . .]
___Protesters raised Palestinian flags and marched in the streets chanting songs of unity and resistance [. . . .]
___Bilin has long been one of the most active villages in organized opposition against Israeli policies, this year marking the eleventh consecutive year of weekly marches against expanding nearby settlements and the separation wall which separates residents from their private land.      MORE . . .

Snaking its way through the West Bank, weaving an intricate path that encircles, isolates and sometimes divides Palestinian cities and villages, the Israeli ‘separation’ wall stands as a stark symbol of both the occupation and overall Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The ‘wall’ is in fact a hybrid system of control, made up of a complex mix of electronic fences, dirt paths, barbed wire, radar, cameras, trenches, checkpoints and 8-metre tall concrete blocks, with almost 70 per cent of its path completed since construction began  in 2002. As one of the most prominent and contested instances of such a structure built in the last decade, the Israeli wall is particularly unique in a global scene increasingly captivated by the fortification of borders and the building of barriers, in the sense that the line it traces is disputed and not internationally recognized [. . . .]
___Perhaps the most apparent among these factors is that the wall by no means represents a simple division of territory: it does not run along the 1967 borders (the 1949 Armistice line) that are internationally agreed upon as the basis for future peace settlement, and in fact . . . only 15 per cent of the wall sits on the 1967 borders, with the remaining 85 per cent cutting at times 18 kilometres deep into the West Bank . . . .  Not only are some 80 Israeli settlements located behind it (with an overall population of approximately 75,000), but the wall also separates Palestinian from Palestinian – cutting off neighbouring villages from each other and sometimes dividing them in two. This is most evident in Jerusalem.

  • Busbridge, Rachel. “Performing Colonial Sovereignty and the Israeli ‘Separation’ Wall.” SOCIAL  IDENTITIES  19.5 (2013): 653-669.   SOURCE.

❷ ISRAEL  DELIVERS  DEMOLITION  NOTICES  FOR  PALESTINIAN  HOUSES  IN  JERUSALEM  TOWN
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 28, 2016
Israeli police Saturday delivered demolition notices for at least two Palestinian houses in Silwan town, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, said WAFA correspondent.
___Israeli police along with staff from the so-called Jerusalem Municipality raided the Silwan neighborhood of Ein al-Louza, where they handed notices to demolish the houses . . . .
___Israel has systematically targeted Palestinian residential structures in Silwan with demolition orders.      MORE . . .

Israel ‘s policy―one may even say obsession―of systematically demolishing Palestinian homes, urban neighborhoods and entire towns and villages goes back to 1948 and continues with a vengeance up to this moment, both within Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The motivation is obvious: it is merely one expression of the twin processes of ethnic cleansing and Judaization, both of those, in tum, being consequences of defining Israel as a “Jewish state” and taking the steps necessary to make it so. The house demolition policy represents the essence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: denying the Palestinian people the right to remain in the Land of Israel, either as a national collective or as individuals, and their displacement by Jews. [. . . .]
___The “neighborhoods” built in East Jerusalem serve to isolate Palestinian populations in small and disconnected enclaves, and to prevent the development and expansion of the Palestinian side of the city. Together with a new system of Israeli “ring roads” and the creation of a “Greater Jerusalem” enveloped by a wall, Jerusalem is being transformed from a city into a region dominating the entire central portion of the West Bank.

  • Halper, Jeff. “The Policy Of House Demolitions In East Jerusalem: What It Is, How It Is Done And To What End.” PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE 17.1/2 (2011): 74-82.  SOURCE. 
search
Israeli soldiers stop and search a young Palestinian man walking near the Damascus gate. They forced him to “raise your arms” to pat him down. A member of a Sabeel Witness delegation crossed the street to investigate and was blocked. (Photo: Harold Knight, November 13, 2015)

❸ Opinion/Analysis: THE  PALESTINIANS  IMPRISONED  BY  ISRAEL  FOR  THEIR  FACEBOOK  POSTS
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Asa Winstanley
May 28, 2016
The propaganda goes that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East”. But for anyone familiar with the realities that Israel imposes on the Palestinians and on its neighbours, this has always been a cruel joke.
___The West Bank, occupied in violation of international law by Israel since 1967, is for Palestinians a military dictatorship imposed by Israel. The 600,000 or so (estimates vary) violent Israeli colonists that live in the West Bank settlements are the direct beneficiaries of this dictatorship.      MORE . . .

There is a natural inclination among political scientists and politicians involved in peacemaking to look at the past and memory as obstacles to progress. They recommend liberating oneself from the past as a prerequisite for peace. This view is entrenched in a wider context of reconciliation and mediation policies that emerged in the United States after the Second World War. This school of thought was based on a businesslike approach that treats the past as an irrelevant feature in the making of peace.
___[. . . .] Noam Chomsky, noting such a tendency in the Middle East peace process, concludes that the result was a never-ending “peace process” which was not meant to bring peace, but rather provides jobs and preoccupations for a large group of people belonging to the peace industry.
___This philosophy has informed the peace process in Palestine ever since 1948 and in particular after 1967. It has destroyed the chances of peace in Israel and Palestine; only the re-introduction of the historical dimension can save the peace effort. The starting point that has been totally neglected . . . is the year 1948.

  • Pappe, Ilan. “Historiophobia or the Enslavement of History: The Role of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing in the Contemporary Peace Process.” ARAB  STUDIES  QUARTERLY 38.1 (2016): 402-417.  SOURCE.

(Note: The poetic image below is of the speaker being forced against a wall, either for search by soldiers or for execution. It is, however, an uncanny [prophetic?] description of the “separation” wall, construction of which did not begin until exactly ten years after this poem was published.)

“RAISE  YOUR  ARMS,”  BY  HARUN  HASHIM  RASHEED

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

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

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

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

Harun Hashim Rasheed (b. 1927)
Born in Gaza, poet Harun Hashim Rasheed witnessed, as a child, British soldiers demolishing his and his neighbors’ home in reprisal against Palestinian rebels, an incident which left a deep mark on him as a poet. After obtaining a Higher Teacher Training Diploma from Gaza College, he worked as a teacher until 1954. He then became director of the Sawt Al-Arab broadcasting station in Gaza. After the fall of Gaza to the Israelis in 1967, he was harassed by the Israeli occupation forces and was eventually compelled to leave. He has had a long and illustrious career as a Palestinian poet and literary figure in exile.

From: ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

“. . . who risks everything to capture the earth? . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

highway
The settler-only road over the Apartheid Wall at the Cremisan Valley, where the wall is being doubled to enclose the city of Beit Jala. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015.)

❶ Resource: Displaced in their own city
❷ Japan ‘deeply deplores’ East Jerusalem settlement plans
❸ Israeli forces close roads in southern West Bank
❹ Hamas to ‘distribute land’ among Gaza’s unpaid civil servants
❺ Opinion/Analysis: BANGING  YOUR  HEART  AGAINST  SOME  MAD  BUGGER’S  WALL
❻ Poetry by Zuhair Abu Shaib
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 MAGAZINE
RESOURCE:  DISPLACED  IN  THEIR  OWN  CITY
A new report by Ir Amim reviews of various aspects of Israeli policy, from 1967 to the present day, that have created the current reality in which tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents have been sundered from the city since the establishment of the Separation Barrier and are virtually ignored by both the local and central governments.
___The findings of the report present a stark warning. The reality it describes constitutes a disaster for the Palestinians and will cause grave damage to the stability of life in Jerusalem, the foundations of Israeli society and to any future political resolution.
More . . .
Related . . . FACTS  ON  THE  GROUND:  THE ILLEGAL  EXPLOITATION  OF  NATURAL  RESOURCES  IN  PALESTINE
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
JAPAN  ‘DEEPLY  DEPLORES’  EAST  JERUSALEM  SETTLEMENT  PLANS
Nov. 21, 2015
BETHLEHEM ― The Japanese government on Friday condemned a recent decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to approve 454 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
___Japan’s foreign press secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said in a statement that Japan “deeply deplores that, according to information, Israel has approved the construction of settlement for 454 units in East Jerusalem.”
___The statement noted that Japan had previously called on Israel to abandon the plans in 2013, along with other members of the international community, who said that they violated international law.
More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  CLOSE  ROADS  IN  SOUTHERN  WEST  BANK
Nov. 21, 2015
HEBRON ― Israeli forces on Saturday closed a number of roads near the southern West Bank village of Beit Ummar, a day after Israeli officials agreed upon strict security measures in the nearby Gush Etzion settlement bloc.
___Muhammad Awad, a spokesperson for Beit Ummar’s popular committee, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers had sealed a number of roads leading from the village to Route 60, which is the West Bank’s central road.
___Awad said the closures would delay the movement of residents entering and leaving the village. It was not clear how long the roads would remain sealed.
More . . . 

raod
IDF closes road. (Ma’an News Agency photo.)

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
HAMAS  TO  ‘DISTRIBUTE  LAND’  AMONG  GAZA’S  UNPAID  CIVIL  SERVANTS
Nov. 21, 2015
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s de facto leaders Hamas on Saturday announced plans to distribute land among civil servants hired after 2007 whose salaries the Palestinian Authority has refused to pay.
___Hamas’ finance minister Ziad al-Thatha made the announcement during a symposium in Gaza City, where he also said the employees would be exempted from unpaid electricity and municipal bills.
___He said that memorandums and protocols had already been signed between his ministry, municipal councils, and Gaza’s land authority, electricity company, and banks.
More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
BANGING  YOUR  HEART  AGAINST  SOME  MAD  BUGGER’S  WALL
Vacy Vlazna
Nov. 17, 2015
Mohammed, now 6, and Jihad, now 4, have missed their mother, Shireen’s happiness that has been shrouded by grief over the past year, missed their beloved father’s voice, laugh, smile, presence, his good night kiss on their cheeks, his arms that held them close and safe. Also missing is justice for the heinous lynching of their father, Yousef al-Rammouni, 32.
The killers . . . lurk behind the Zionist Wall of Impunity guarded by western governments. . . .
___The Impunity Wall is gargantuan, spanning from 1948 to this very minute, every added brick a mixture of each killer’s psychopathy and devoided humanity cemented with official delusions of the divine right to plunder and kill.
___Plunder and killing is a profitable Zionist industry.
More . . .
Related . . . LEADING  ANTHROPOLOGISTS  GROUP  OVERWHELMINGLY  PASSES  BDS  RESOLUTION  AT  DENVER  CONFERENCE

“NAME  OF  THE  SOIL,”  BY  ZUHAIR  ABU  SHAIB
what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank. and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Barnes & Noble. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-bird-is-not-a-stone-sarah-irving/1120667363?ean=9781908754561
More . . . 

wall
The Apartheid Wall at Cremisan. (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 8, 2015.)

 

“. . . for I had no address. I am a man in transit. . .” (Rashid Hussein)

(Please read “Purpose”above. Thank you.)

Palestinian women during the funeral of Riham Dawabsha, on Sept. 7, 2015, at a cemetery in the West Bank village of Duma. AFP Thomas Coex
Palestinian women during the funeral of Riham Dawabsha, on Sept. 7, 2015, at a cemetery in the West Bank village of Duma. AFP Thomas Coex

❶ Israeli soldiers ordered to “map entire Palestinian civilian population”
❷ Israel’s MoD knows who is behind deadly West Bank arson attack
❸ Israeli settlers set fire to olive trees after West Bank shooting
❹ (Opinion/Analysis) Palestine: The End or a New Beginning?
❺ (Opinion/Analysis) The idiot’s guide to whitewashing the occupation
❻ Poem by Rashid Hussein

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  ORDERED  TO  “MAP  ENTIRE  PALESTINIAN  CIVILIAN  POPULATION”
Maureen Clare Murphy
Sept. 10, 2015
Israel’s “mapping procedure” reveals the profound control that it exerts on Palestinians living under its military rule.
____The mapping procedure unfolds much like Israel’s routine nighttime arrest raids in the occupied West Bank.
____Armed soldiers surround a Palestinian family’s home in the dead of the night. A squad bangs on the front door, waking everyone up. Once inside, the soldiers gather the residents into a single room.
____The family’s ID cards are inspected and recorded, as is how everyone is related, and their phone numbers.
____One of the family members may be taken by the soldiers as they go from room to room, and ordered to open closet doors, or lift up mattresses.
____But unlike during an arrest raid, once the soldiers have gone through the home, they leave and move on to the next one, telling the family that they can go back to sleep.
More. . .
Related. . .

Israeli soldiers search through Palestinian computer files during a home invasion in Hebron, West Bank. Credit: Creative Commons/joshhough.
Israeli soldiers search through Palestinian computer files during a home invasion in Hebron, West Bank. Credit: Creative Commons/joshhough.

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL’S  MoD  KNOWS  WHO  IS  BEHIND  DEADLY  WEST  BANK  ARSON  ATTACK
Sept. 10, 2015
BETHLEHEM, (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities know who is responsible for the arson attack in the northern West Bank village of Duma, which resulted in the death of three out of four family members caught in the blaze, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Thursday.
____Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told a closed meeting of 20 Likud activists on Wednesday that Israel’s defense establishment has chosen to “prevent legal recourse in order to protect the identity of their sources,” Haaretz reported. [. . . .]
____According to UN figures, Israeli settlers have carried out at least 142 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of this year.
More. . .

MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI SETTLERS SET FIRE TO OLIVE TREES AFTER WEST BANK SHOOTING
Sept. 9, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Wednesday set fire to olive trees in the village of Burin south of Nablus, after an Israeli settler was lightly injured in a shooting earlier Wednesday morning, Palestinian sources told Ma’an.
____Sources said that Israelis from the illegal settlement of Yizhar had set dozens of olive trees west of Burin on fire, in full sight of Israeli soldiers who reportedly did nothing to stop them.
____A large number of olive trees were burnt before the Palestinian Civil Defense was able to reach the scene and put out the fire.
____Earlier Wednesday, a female Israeli settler was lightly injured when she was shot at while driving near Yizhar settlement.
More. . .

❹ Opinion/Analysis
THE PALESTINE CHRONICLE
PALESTINE:  THE  END  OR  A  NEW  BEGINNING?
Alan Hart
Sept. 7 2015
There is a strong case for saying that Palestine is a lost cause. And it, the case, can be summarised as follows.
____The nuclear-armed Zionist (not Jewish) state of Israel is the regional superpower and not remotely interested in peace on terms the Palestinians could accept. The vast majority of its Jews have been brainwashed by Zionist propaganda. . . .
[There follow three more arguments]
____The idea for this article was triggered by an analysis written for Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network, by Palestinian professor Tariq Dana. The title of his policy briefing paper was Corruption in Palestine: A Self-Enforcing System. Dana is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Hebron University.
More. . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis
+972 MAGAZINE
THE  IDIOT’S  GUIDE  TO  WHITEWASHING  THE  OCCUPATION
Natasha Roth
Sept. 9, 2015
“Occupation, shmoccupation!” declares a new booklet published by the Yesha Council, the lobbying and political arm of West Bank settlements.
____Titled “Kibush kishkush” (which translates more literally as “occupation nonsense”), the pamphlet states its professed aim of addressing “misconceptions about settlements and the settler public in Judea and Samaria.”
____The book is intended to tackle the “stigmas left-wing organizations are trying to disseminate,” Yesha Council spokesperson Yigal Dakmoni told Ynet.
More. . .

“AN  ADDRESS,”  BY  RASHID  HUSSEIN
―1―
Hairs as short as my life is
And a mouth as sensuous as my dreams
And fire is her voice
And so is the music
Yet she wants me to rest
On an easy chair
And keep my thoughts clean.

Oh my dear hunter!
What you ask is much more
Than all that I can give. . .
For the angels are dead
And I am not one of them.
―2―
A wine was her perfume
Generous was her bed
But her hopes were stronger,
And the strongest of all:
She wanted my address.
She asked: “Where lives the ‘Prince’?”
Then, I stood silenced
For I had no address.
I am a man in transit,
Twenty years in transit
A man who was even deprived
The right of having an address.

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.
Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet and orator. He was the first celebrity poet to appear on the Arab-Israeli stage; other poets called him “the star“. He showed them it was possible to write about “human things“ – bread, hunger, anger.
More. . . 

“Wouldn’t you prefer if they called you ‘mityashvim’?’ (A less pejorative word for settlers.) “I would prefer if they didn’t label us at all.” Idiot's Guide.
“Wouldn’t you prefer if they called you ‘mityashvim’?’ (A less pejorative word for settlers.)
“I would prefer if they didn’t label us at all.”
Idiot’s Guide.