“. . . He renovates a memory demolished like a wall . . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

❶ Israel to Displace Entire Palestinian Communities near Occupied Jerusalem

  • Background: “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples

. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Settlements watchdog warns of accelerated Israeli land seizures
❷ Israel orders Muslim worshipers to pay $37,000 after destroying mosque
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Israel-Funded App Destroys Al-Aqsa Mosque, Builds Temple in Its Place
❸ Israeli soldiers invade many villages near Jenin, abduct one Palestinian
❹ POETRY by Ibrahim Nasrallah
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International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Nov. 17, 2017 ― Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to displace and remove dozens of Palestinian Bedouin families living in their communities around occupied East Jerusalem, after deeming their dwellings as “illegal,” to replace them with colonists.     ___His decision was made after meeting with representatives of the so-called “Jerusalem Belt Forum,” which is actively involved in displacing the Palestinians and replacing them with Israeli colonist settlers, in direct violation of International Law.     MORE . . .

  • Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.” Nomadic Peoples 18.2 (2014): 147-164.   Source.
    (Note: This article presents the history of the Bedouin presence in Israel. A longer than usual excerpt is printed at the bottom of this posting.)

The Middle East Monitor – MEMO  
Nov. 17, 2017 ― Peace Now has slammed a recently issued legal opinion by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit permitting the confiscation of private Palestinian land for the benefit of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), warning it could accelerate land seizures.
___Mandelblit’s legal opinion was published in the context of Haresha, a settlement outpost near Ramallah, whose residents and supporters are seeking the retroactive legalisation of an access road.
___All Israeli settlements, whether state-sanctioned or unauthorised outposts, are illegal under international law, and are considered to form part of an inherently discriminatory regime.
___According to a statement by the settlements watchdog, “confiscating the land would constitute a severe violation of international humanitarian law and of the Palestinians’ right to own property”.  MORE . . .
Days of Palestine
Nov. 16, 2017 ― Israeli occupation authorities ordered Muslim worshipers to pay NIS130,000 ($37,000) seven years after destroying their mosque in Rahat, south of Israel.
___Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court ruled that the founders and operators of the mosque would pay the fine as a compensation for the state of Israel.
___The lawsuit was filed by the Southern District Public Prosecutor’s Office against eight residents of Rahat, who were members of the mosque committee, and demanded compensation of NIS459,500 ($130,000).   MORE . . .
Palestine Chronicle  
Nov. 16, 2017 ―  An Israeli tourist exhibit has launched an app which allows visitors to Jerusalem to virtually destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple, furthering the government’s stated commitment to dismantle the Muslim holy site.
___The smartphone app is part of a government funded exhibition entitled “The Western Wall Experience”. When the app is pointed towards the mosque compound, it makes the Dome of the Rock disappear and replaces it with  a Jewish temple.   MORE . . .
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC 
Nov. 17, 2017 ―   Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, earlier Friday, several Palestinian communities in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin, installed roadblocks and searched cars, and abducted a young man.     ___Media sources said the soldiers abducted Jihad Faisal Bazzour, 28, from Burqa town, west of Jenin, after stopping him at Barta’a military roadblock, while heading for work.   MORE . . .

He renovates a tin window
to open it for the morning birds.
And renovates some stars that have burned out
in the streets, and a woman massacred in the neighborhood.
He renovates a memory demolished like a wall,
a bird’s scattered ashes,
light reflected off a blade in the dark,
a woman lost in a spacious bed
and a bellow.
He renovates a friend’s face as the sea breaks over it
and the singer who no longer resembles his songs,
the wind when it sleeps forgetting the immensity of an orbit,
the taste of words in conversation,
the taste of air and fruit
and two legs that have never carried a planet
while destruction prevails.
He renovates a womb, subdues horses
and poems that beg for livelihood in the shade
before slipping into a chicken coop or blowing by
like a steaming train.
He renovates pillars, neighs,
guns covered with moss from waiting.
He renovates a promise, roots, clouds,
and in the end he is slain alone like a lighthouse.

From Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN  INSIDE:  SELECTED  POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. Available from Amazon.
About Ibrahim Nasrallah

  • From: Hall, Bogumila. “Bedouins’ Politics of Place and Memory: A Case of Unrecognised Villages in The Negev.”
    [. . . .] during the latter stages of British rule, there were between 60,000 and 90,000 Bedouins in the Negev region, occupying 98 per cent of the Negev lands, only 11,000 remained after the creation of Israel. Some of the Bedouins fled . . . while others were expelled to Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai during and after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This was followed by the policy of further displacements of the Bedouin community . . .  Using martial law, Israel relocated the Bedouin to a restricted area, in the north-eastern part of Negev, called ‘Siyag’ (whose literal translation refers to fence) . . . which they were not allowed to leave without official permission. The policy did not aim to settle the Bedouins, as they had already been sedentarised, but rather to remove them from their lands and concentrate the maximum number of people on the smallest possible space. This led to the situation in which the Bedouins were concentrated on ten per cent of the land they used to occupy, and kept under control and military rule until 1966.  [. . . .] In the mid-1960s, by the end of the military rule, the policy of land expropriation was followed by a new strategy. In 1965 the ‘Planning and Building Law’ . . .  denied the existence of Bedouin villages and defined them as agricultural territories, which meant that the villages were to be omitted from all master plans and no building permits could be granted. As a result, any construction on Bedouin land was by definition illegal . . .  The same law also provided for the demolition of unlicensed buildings and deemed necessary the confiscation of land if it was needed for public purposes. The consequences of the ‘Planning and Building Law’ were therefore twofold: firstly, by not recognising the Bedouin villages it condemned their inhabitants to marginalisation; secondly it transformed the dwellers of these grey zones into ‘lawbreakers’, ‘trespassers’ and ‘squatters on the state lands’. . .  the only way for Bedouins to escape this ‘illegality’ was to leave their ancestors’ land. In 1969, Israel enacted the Land Rights Settlement Ordinance, which declared that ‘lands, which at the time of the enactment of this law were classified as mawat, will be registered in the name of the State’. . .      ___Rendering historical Bedouin villages illegal and turning their land into state property was accompanied by a policy of transferring the rural community to government townships, where ‘they would modernise, develop new habits, and become accustomed to life in permanent houses’.  [. . . .] Since Bedouin localities do not exist, according to official records, the Bedouins are denied building permits and all basic services, such as electricity, running water, public transportation and sewage systems. According to Nūra, one of the female activists from al-Sirra, this systematic exclusion can be compared to a ‘slow execution of the villages and their residents.’ Yet, the Bedouins refuse to leave these spaces of denial and instead, relying on their own efforts and creativity, domesticate the landscape of unrecognised villages and transform them into self-governed entities with their own institutions and rules. [. . . .]


“. . . And the green olive tree rose high Embracing the house . . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

Alexandra Handal. From  “Bed & Breakfast Notebooks, 2007-2008,” Video (Still from Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009 Catalogue)

❶ Israeli security cabinet freezes plan for Palestinian housing in Qalqiliya
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes in Jabal al-Mukabbir, Silwan

  • Background: “Be/Come Closer to Home.” Third Text

❷ Israel will not slow settlement on Palestinian land, Says Netanyahu
❸ Population, housing and institutions general census 2017 kicks off
❹ POETRY by Fadwa Tuqan
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Ma’an News Agency
July 13, 2017.   The Israeli security cabinet voted on Wednesday to postpone discussions regarding plans to expand the Palestinian city of Qalqiliya in the northern occupied West Bank, weeks after Israeli officials condemned the planned construction.
___According to Israeli news outlet Ynet, the security cabinet ruled for no further steps to be taken with regards to the plan, which would see some 5,000 housing units built in Qalqiliya, until it convenes to discuss the matter on July 23.
___The security cabinet also called on Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to issue a ruling on how control of Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control, should be divided between the Israeli army and government, and how this would affect the plan.     MORE . . .
Ma’an News Agency
July 12, 2017.   Israeli forces targeted Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied East Jerusalem with demolitions for the second day in a row, under the pretext that the structures lacked the nearly impossible to obtain construction permits from Israeli authorities.
___Locals told Ma’an that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality enforced the demolition of three buildings, which included two homes, in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabal al-Mukabbir and Silwan. Amid the tense atmosphere in Silwan, Israeli forces reportedly assaulted a local youth during the demolition.
___In Jabal al-Mukabbir, Musa Obidat told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers raided the neighborhood around dawn time and razed his house to the ground for being built without a permit.
___Obidat noted that he was away from his home when the demolition was carried out, and was informed by his neighbors of the raid. When he attempted to return to the house, Israeli forces prevented him from accessing the area and imposed a complete siege around the premises.   MORE . . .

Photiou, Maria. “BE/COME CLOSER TO HOME.” Third Text, vol. 29, no. 4/5, Jul-Sep2015, pp. 340-355. (Article about the Palestinian artist, Alexandra Handal)
[. . . .]   Handal’s ongoing process of this web documentary exposes the reality of the absurd post-1948 political situation in West Jerusalem where expropriated Palestinian houses are being sold on Israeli real-estate agents’ websites. The realisation of this absurd political reality was the persuasive point for Handal’s engagement in this issue:
“The idea for the work grew from an encounter I made in the early 1990s. During a trip to NYC, I met a Palestinian refugee and he showed me a real estate advertisement that featured upscale residential properties in West Jerusalem. At first glance, there was nothing particularly special about this ad, but the absurd political reality around it became evident after he explained to me that this was in fact his family’s expropriated home that was now on sale for an Israeli international clientele. I was a teenager at the time and the story had an enduring impact on me – beneath the glossy surface of the ad was a cruel reality” [From Karmah Elmusa, ‘Alexandra Handal Combines Palestinian History and Art in Web Documentary,
found at
. . .].
[. . . .]  The concept of homeland and the limitations of the Green Line are obvious in Alexandra Handal’s practice. Born in 1975 into a Palestinian family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Handal is influenced by the 1948 Palestinian depopulation from West Jerusalem and the ongoing Palestinian occupation by Israel.
[. . . .] The desire to document the socio-political events of her homeland is obvious in Handal’s work. In the artist’s statement for No Parking without Permission, Jerusalem, Handal describes her longing to explore the occupied areas:
“I wanted to go see first-hand what had become of those neighbourhoods whose stories had shaped my image of the city. So I decided to undertake a number of walks there. Although walking through a city would almost anywhere in the world be seen as a mundane activity, for a Palestinian drifting in Jerusalem is politicised and loaded with emotional ramifications. Through numerous walks, I explored these areas by looking through all sorts of barriers, fences, gates and bushes in an attempt to remove the distance and be/come closer to the spaces that Palestinians were torn apart from in 1948. These drifts culminated into a series of photos, each image – a visual testimony of my yearning” [Author’s Communication with Alexandra Handal, 2015].       SOURCE . . .

The Palestinian Information Center  
July 12, 2107.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied media reports claiming that Tel Aviv had agreed to slow the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to kick-start the peace process.
___The Prime Minister’s Office denied reports by Hebrew-speaking and Arab news outlets that the White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt and senior Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders had secured backing for new final status agreement talks, including assurances from Israel that construction in the occupied West Bank would be slowed during negotiations with the PA.   MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
July 13, 2017.   Ola Awad, president of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Thursday announced the start of field operations for the population, housing and institutions 2017 general census.
___Awad said in a press release, “This is the third general census, fully conducted by Palestinians. Modern technology will be used to collect information, such as tablets and geographic information systems.”
___The general census is considered the biggest on the national level and is conducted every 10 years and will officially start on Saturday July 15. It was conducted in 2007 and 1997.   MORE . . 

Will you not open this door for me?
My hand is exhausted from knocking at Your door.
I have come to Your vastness to beg
Some tranquility and peace of mind
But Your door is closed in my face,
Drowned in silence.
Lord of the house,
The door was open here,
A refuge for all burdened with grief.
The door was open here,
And the green olive tree rose high
Embracing the house.
The oil lamb kindling without fire,
Guiding steps of one walking at night,
Relieving those crushed by the burden of Earth,
Flooding them with satisfaction and ease.
Do you hear me, O Lord of the house,
After my loss in the deserts;
Away from You I have returned to You
But Your door is closed
In my face, drowned in silence.
Your house is shrouded
With the dust of death.
You are here. Open, then, the door.
Do not veil your face.
See my orphanhood, my loss,
Amid the ruins of a collapsing world,
The grief of the world on my shoulders
And terrors of a tyrant destiny
To be undone.

From: A  Lover  From  Palestine  and  Other  Poems:  An  Anthology  of  Palestinian  Poetry.  Ed. Abdul Wahab Al-Messiri. Washington, DC: Free Palestine Press, 1970. Available from Amazon.
Fadwa Tuqan obituary.

“. . . this community interpreted the [1967] war and its results as a heavenly call from above to do whatever possible to keep all the occupied territories under Israel’s sovereignty. . . .” (Eliezer Don-Yehiya)

❶ . Israeli military order to transfer Amona settlement to Palestinian lands
❷ . Israel pledges to vote on bill banning Athan next week

  • Background:     “Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation Of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies

❸ . Motion for withdrawing confidence from Israeli government
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Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Dec. 1, 2016
Chief of General staff of Israeli occupation army Roni Nomah signed Wednesday at night a military order to transfer settlers of Amona settlement to another location in the West Bank.
___The Israeli High Court of Justice ordered to evacuate the settlement by December 25 since it was built on Palestinian private lands.
___The Israeli occupation Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit proposed on Monday an apparent compromise to end the problem of demolishing an illegal West Bank settlement.
___According to Mandelblit’s suggestion, the evacuees of Amona, would be housed temporarily on three plots of land administered by Israel’s Custodian for Absentees’ Property.    
___Settlers in Amona refused this solution saying that they are not tools to be transferred on another place.     More . . .   
Days of Palestine   
Dec. 1, 2016
Israeli Knesset postponed on Wednesday voting on bill banning Muslim call to prayer using loudspeakers in Palestinian territories.
___The vote on the bill, which aroused global criticism of Israeli restrictions on religious freedoms, was set on next Wednesday.
___Meanwhile, another bill legalising Jewish settler outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in the occupied Palestinian territories, was also postponed.   More . . .

  • Don-Yehiya, Eliezer. “Messianism And Politics: The Ideological Transformation Of Religious Zionism.” Israel Studies 19.2 (2014): 239-263. (Professor, Department of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel)   SOURCE.  

The Israeli religious Zionist community has undergone profound changes in various areas, and particularly in the sphere of political ideology. The religious Zionist parties were known for their political moderation. However, in recent decades they have become identified with radical or Right-wing positions on foreign and political affairs, especially those that are related to the Arab–Israeli conflict. Religious Zionists are among the firmest supporters of the idea of the “Greater Land of Israel”
[. . . .]  . . . the change in the political line of religious Zionism was the result of Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War.
___ [. . .  the liberation of territories that were part of the historic Land of Israel and included the most holy places of Jewish religion stirred messianic enthusiasm within the religious Zionist community in Israel. Many, if not most, of the members of this community interpreted the war and its results as a heavenly call from above to do whatever possible to keep all the occupied territories under Israel’s sovereignty.
[. . . .] The messianic idea is a central foundation of traditional Judaism. And yet, for a lengthy period of time it was linked with a passive waiting for Heavenly redemption. Even today this is the interpretation it receives in Haredi circles.
[. . . .]   While even the most radical of the participants in the struggle against the disengagement [from Gaza] recoiled from the use of loaded firearms, many of those who took part in the struggle were dissatisfied with the way that it was conducted. . . . The lesson that these people drew from the event was that further attempts to evacuate Jews from their homes should be confronted by a much more militant and resolute resistance. This lesson was in fact implemented in the Amona affair, which occurred about half a year after the disengagement from Gaza.
[. . . .]   They appealed to the Israel High Court of Justice, which instructed the government to order the evacuation and destruction of the houses. The settlers and their supporters from all over the country sharply denounced the decision of the court and declared their intention to do whatever possible to thwart its implementation. . . . In the fierce confrontation that erupted, both parties resorted to violent . . .

Dec. 1, 2016
The United Arab list in the Israeli Knesset submitted a motion for withdrawing confidence from the Israeli government due to its decision of expanding the project of settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories.
___The United Arab list said in a press release that the motion will be discussed and voted on later in the next week.
___The United Arab list added that Israel’s Extreme Right-Wing Government continues to expand settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories and tries to legislate a law of legitimizing settlements that violates international law and human rights.   More . . .