“. . . Hebron, historically centered around the Cave of the Patriarchs, is a microcosm of military occupation in the West Bank . . .” (Sarah Stern)

urine-and-diapers
A used diaper and bag or urine thrown from the settlement above hang on a fence in the occupied city of Hebron. (Photo: Sarah Stern)

❶ Hebron area residents face multiple demolitions within a week

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

❷ Lawyers of Israeli soldier Elor Azarya call for acquittal in Hebron shooting trial
❸ Opinion/Analysis: In Hebron, a namesake falls short

  • Background: “Abraham The Settler, Jesus The Refugee: Contemporary Conflict And Christianity On The Road To Bethlehem.” History & Memory

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
HEBRON  AREA  RESIDENTS  FACE  MULTIPLE  DEMOLITIONS  WITHIN  A  WEEK     
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 21, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday delivered 20 demolition notices in the Um al-Kher village in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron district, according to locals.
___Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of a local committee that resists settlement activity, said that Israeli Civil Administration workers escorted by armed Israeli forces delivered the demolition notices to Suleiman al-Hathalin and Shuab al-Hathalin.
___The notices ordered demolitions on both Suleiman and Shuab’s homes, barns, barracks and residential caves.
___Al-Jabour added that Israeli forces “took Suleiman to a depopulated area and assaulted him,” resulting in injuries and bruises all over his body.     More . . .   

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.   Source.  

[. . . .] Recent setter actions in the West Bank city of Hebron . . .  Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron . . .  Defense Minister Amir Peretz from the Labor Party sought to evacuate them, but the World Council tor Saving the People and the Land of Israel, a settler body, warned him not to intervene. . .  In Hebron, the settlers reportedly presented forged documents to prove their ownership of the house and have refused to leave.
[. . . .]  Yet this concession [in the Oslo accords] did not placate the settlers, who viewed the Oslo process as a sin against God that must be stopped. With this goal in mind, Baruch Goldstein, a religious settler and physician, killed twenty-nine Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994. After the massacre, PM Rabin sought to remove settlers from the Tel Rumeida hill in Hebron (their presence there had long promoted strife), but he backed down after settlers said the order negated Jewish law and urged the IDF to reject it. Some settlers called Baruch Goldstein a holy martyr who had rushed to prevent Israel from falling into gentile hands. Nevertheless, the Oslo process continued, and settlers began to debate openly whether Jewish law allowed the killing of Rabin on the grounds that he planned to surrender Jewish land. Rabin was killed on November 4, 1995; his killer, an admirer of Baruch Goldstein, believed that God wanted Rabin killed in order to stop the Oslo process. After the massacre, Palestinians attacked Israelis, and Israel turned to the harsh methods that other colonial rulers used to suppress rebellion.

LAWYERS  OF  ISRAELI  SOLDIER  ELOR  AZARYA  CALL  FOR  ACQUITTAL  IN  HEBRON  SHOOTING  TRIAL     
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 20, 2016
The defense team of Elor Azarya called for the Israeli soldier to be exonerated of all charges for shooting a prone Palestinian in the head in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
___According to the Jerusalem Post, Azarya’s lawyers argued that the trial had confirmed the soldier’s version of events, which stated that Azarya shot Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif at point-blank range after the Palestinian had already been shot and severely wounded after allegedly attempting to stab another Israeli soldier, because Azarya believed al-Sharif could have reached for a knife or had been concealing explosive underneath his jacket.     ___However, Azarya’s version has been thoroughly contradicted during the duration of the trial by his commanders and experts, who stated that al-Sharif did not constitute a threat at the time of his death, and that him wearing a jacket was not suspicious given the weather that day.       More . . .  
The killing  (with video) . . .

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A-Sahla St. in Hebron, now another ghost street. Photo by Musa Abu Hashhash, B’Tselem, 3 Jan. 2016

Opinion/Analysis:  IN  HEBRON,  A  NAMESAKE  FALLS  SHORT 
+972 Blog       
By Sarah Stern
Nov. 16, 2016
What it means to be named Sarah in Hebron — where the streets are segregated and occupation manifests itself in the ugliest of ways.
[. . . .]   Hebron, historically centered around the Cave of the Patriarchs, is a microcosm of military occupation in the West Bank. Near the Cave of the Patriarchs, Palestinians are not permitted to even walk on the streets, and must instead walk along rooftops to get from place to place. Only recently, a low cement block wall was removed from the street leading to the tomb. . . .    ___On the day we visited Hebron with Encounter, I saw a “Shoko Besakit”, a chocolate milk bag, dangling from a fence separating a new Jewish settlement complex from shops in the Palestinian old city of Hebron. These chocolate milk bags are a favorite for IDF soldiers as quick calories after military workouts . . .  When I drew closer with my camera, however, I realized I wasn’t looking at my favorite sweet, but at a bag of urine. It was thrown down from the heavens in the settlements above.      More . . .

  • Feldman, Jackie. “Abraham The Settler, Jesus The Refugee: Contemporary Conflict And Christianity On The Road To Bethlehem.” History & Memory 23.1 (2011): 62-95.   Source. 

[. . . .] . . . in Hebron and Jerusalem, the scene is often one of sophisticated, often wily, ideologically committed guides who become “soldiers in the national struggle,” generating and manipulating images for a generally uncommitted, under-informed, malleable and curious tour. One Christian Zionist tour outlines the Bethlehem day of their “Feast of Tabernacles Tour” itinerary as follows:
Day 8 – Hebron – Jerusalem
Today we will head south into Judea. The Kfar Etzion sound and
light show will give you a picture of the price the Jews have paid to
hold on to their land. Driving past Bethelem [sic], down the path
taken by Abraham to the burial place of the patriarchs in Hebron
and the Cave of Machpelah as well as the first capital of King David.
We will meet some residents of the old city of Hebron and walk to
the ancient neighborhoods and museum. Return to Jerusalem for
dinner and the Feast Celebration.
Note that Abraham and David are mentioned here, but not Jesus. The tour bypasses Bethlehem completely, to make its first stop in a sound-and-light show at a Jewish West Bank settlement. This corresponds with the major emphasis in Christian Zionist tours: “it’s not about where Jesus walked, it’s about where he’s going to walk.” The remainder of the program includes encounters with the Jewish settlers in Hebron, while the museum there frames the Muslim hostility toward the settlers . . .  as endemic, drawing parallels with the Holocaust. Clearly, it is only the Jewish “residents of the old city” who are linked with the Patriarchs—the “old city” and “ancient neighborhoods.” This corresponds to the Christian Zionist ideology in which “Eretz Israel [the Land of Israel] is given under the Abrahamic covenant to Jews alone . . .

“. . . But they must understand that they are donkeys . . .” (Rabbi David Bazri)

israeli settles
Armed Israelis Settlers march through Al-Badhan (Photo: Ma’an News)

❶ Israel accuses Ma’an news of incitement, bans TV channel from prisons

Background from Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies

❷ Armed Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  When Israel’s leaders incite, one soldier pays the price
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  ACCUSES  MA’AN  NEWS  OF  INCITEMENT,  BANS  TV  CHANNEL  FROM  PRISONS
Ma’an News Agency
July 29, 2016
The Ma’an TV channel was banned inside Israel’s prisons on Friday, as Israeli Prison Services (IPS) claimed the channel was inciting Palestinian prisoners against Israel, according to the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.
___Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that the news of the ban came from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons who said IPS officials decided to ban the channel after accusing the Palestinian news channel of “inciting and harming the security of Israel.”
___According to Qaraqe, the Palestinian prisoners said they were dependent on the Ma’an TV channel for their main source of news on Palestine and deeply resented the IPS officials’ decision.    MORE . . .

From Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
In a recent survey, only 44 percent said that if Jewish law and democratic values clashed, the latter should always be preferred, while 20 percent said Jewish law should always be preferred and 36 percent said “sometimes one and sometimes the other.”12 In other words, the decline in attachment to democratic values continues, and less than half of Israeli Jews think that, in a clash between Jewish law and democracy, democratic values should always prevail.
[. . . .]
___Many rabbis in Israel involve themselves in politics, often in protests against attempts to give away what they perceive as “holy territories” of Eretz Israel. These rabbis say that they represent their respective communities; in many cases they are public officials who are paid by the government. They abuse the position conferred on them by the State to attack Israel and to undermine its policies. Some of those rabbis do not shy away from preaching hatred and violence against Arabs.
___A recent study of complaints against rabbinic incitement between 2002 and 2011 showed that of 48 complaints, police investigations were opened in only 18 cases (37.5 percent of the total). . . . Only in 5 cases (27.77 percent) were individuals brought to criminal trial. Of these, 4 cases were settled when the rabbis apologized for their rabbinic incitement.
___In one case, two rabbis admitted publicly saying that the Arabs were a “donkey nation,” a menace, a bad Satan, an inferior nation. The two rabbis, Yitzhak and David Bazri, rhetorically asked their audience: why didn’t God created Arabs on four, like donkeys? “Because they need to build and clean. But they must understand that they are donkeys” and inferior. They are wicked and brutal. They have snake filth. They are defiled. The two rabbis received lenient sentences: Yitzhak Bazri’s punishment was 140 hours of community service and his pledge not to incite racism. David Bazri was asked to make the same commitment and to issue a public statement that he objected to racism, that he did not mean to offend anyone . . .

  • Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. “Religious, Hateful, And Racist Speech In Israel.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies 31.2 (2013): 95-117. FULL ARTICLE

❷ ARMED  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  RAID  NABLUS-AREA  VILLAGE
Ma’an News Agency
July 29, 2016
Armed Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, raided the village of al-Badhan in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus Friday morning, locals told Ma’an.
___Witnesses said that more than 15 Israeli settler vehicles raided the village where some 3,000 Palestinians reside as Israeli forces were reportedly deployed on the main road leading to the al-Tawahin area.
___Locals told Ma’an that armed Israeli settlers have raided the area every Friday in order to carry out religious rituals in the area.     MORE . . . 

❸ Opinion/Analysis:  WHEN  ISRAEL’S  LEADERS  INCITE,  ONE  SOLDIER  PAYS  THE  PRICE
+972 Blog
Noam Rotem
July 29, 2016
Sgt. Elor Azaria stood on the witness stand during his trial this past week and described what led him to fire a bullet into Abdel Fatteh al-Sharif’s head on March 24 in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida neighborhood. . .  Azaria fired his weapon directly at al-Sharif’s head as the latter laid sprawled out on the ground.
[. . . .]
___Since September 22, 2015, over 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers or police officers. Many of them allegedly took part in attacks on soldiers, policemen, and civilians. Aside from Azaria, no other soldiers or policemen were ever put on trial.
___There is no arguing over the fact that Azaria was indeed the one who shot and killed al-Sharif.
[. . . .]
But let us not forget the long line of inciting comments by top Israeli leaders that made it possible. Azaria is only the messenger. He is the weapon in the hands of those same ministers and members of Knesset who called on him and others carry out the act. He to blame, of course, for the killing itself. He is the one who pulled the trigger, but each and every one of those “leaders” are equally, if not more, to blame.      MORE . . .

bazri-2901-965x543
Rabbi David Bazri (Photo: Shmuel Bar-Am; The Times of Israel, November 1, 2014) http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-devil-is-in-the-details-on-a-magical-mystery-tour-of-jerusalem/

“. . . Both his knife and the storm Are his destiny . . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

yatta
Israeli forces tighten closure on the town of Yatta. (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, June 15, 2016)

❶ Israeli army commander testifies soldier had no justification for shooting al-Sharif
❷ PCHR Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the oPt (09 – 15 June 2016)
❸ Opinion/Analysis:  IS  TEL  AVIV  ATTACK  REVIVAL  OF  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA?

POETRY by Fouzi El-Asmar
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  ARMY  COMMANDER  TESTIFIES  SOLDIER  HAD  NO  JUSTIFICATION  FOR  SHOOTING  AL-SHARIF
Ma’an News Agency
June 16, 2016
An Israeli army commander [Maj. Tom Neeman] testified in court Thursday that Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who shot dead Abdel Fattah al-Sharif while he was lying wounded on the ground after an alleged attempted stabbing in Hebron, saying there was no “operational justification” for Azaria’s actions, according to Israeli news media [. . . .]  __”I approached him and asked, ‘Why did you do it?’,” Neeman continued, “He answered me, ‘This terrorist was alive, and he needs to die.'” Neeman added: “I was angry at him for doing this. Essentially a shooting had been conducted at the scene that I was in charge of, without my permission.”     MORE . . .  

[Note: the two articles quoted today are not specifically about extra-judicial killings by individual IDF soldiers in the moment of a perceived attack by Palestinians. They, however, provide background for the general attitude of the IDF toward the killing of “terrorists.”]  

The IDF suggested . . . that the setting of the conflict between Israel and the different Palestinian organizations be referred to as a “state of armed conflict short of war”—a state that on the one hand is more than a police action that necessitates a law enforcement paradigm, and less than a “total war” that would not have been acceptable on the international community [. . . .]
___Jean-Philippe Kot attests that Palestinian civilians were deliberately put at risk due to a flawed interpretation of civilian immunity. Kot attests that in practice, the Israeli soldiers’ right to life unjustifiably superseded the rights of its enemy population. (Jean-Philippe Kot, “Israeli Civilians versus Palestinian Combatants?” Leiden Journal of International Law.)
___Philosophy professor Asa Kasher, who . . .  specializes in moral doctrines that shape parameters of military actions, says that the principle of distinction is a most important moral principle. Yet . . . a soldier’s life should not be put in unreasonable risk in favor of enemy citizens. The value of an enemy civilian life does not outweigh the value of the soldier’s life. In Kasher’s contentious view, the State’s primary responsibility is to protect the lives of its citizens and its “responsibility for one’s own citizens takes precedence over the other responsibility to the non-dangerous neighbors.”

  • Falk, Ophir. “Permissibility Of Targeted Killing.” Studies In Conflict & Terrorism 37.4 (2014): 295-321.     SOURCE.  
al-sharif
Still from video footage was expected to be shown to the Israeli military court at the trial of Elor Azaria. (Photo from Ma’an News Agency, June 16, 2016)

❷ PCHR  REPORT  ON  ISRAELI  HUMAN  RIGHTS  VIOLATIONS  IN  THE  OPT  (09 – 15  JUNE  2016)
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
June 16, 2016
Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories continued during the reporting period (09 – 15 June 2016).
___Shootings: Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties [. . . .]
___Incursions: During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 89 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 6 ones in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs [. . . .]
___ Collective Punishment Policy:  On Thursday, 09 June 2016, Israeli bulldozers closed the northern main entrance to Yatta, south of Hebron, in addition to the bypass roads leading to the city and its villages. Israeli forces imposed this cordon after declaring the city as a closed military zone [. . . .]      MORE . . .   

. . . this is precisely the argument that the Rapporteur and others make . . .  Article 51(3) of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, [ ] provides that ‘[c]ivilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.’ [Rapporteur] reads this to mean except when actually firing on enemy soldiers, ‘… and as soon as they cease to do so, they regain protection …. They maintain their civilian status …. They cannot be hunted down and summarily executed’.
___Amnesty International similarly holds that “Armed Palestinians who directly participate in hostilities—for example by shooting at Israeli soldiers or civilians—lose their protected status for the duration of the attack …. [But t]hey are civilians …. Because they are not combatants, the fact that they participated in armed attack at an earlier point cannot justify targeting them for death later on.”
[. . . .]  Michael Schmitt offers a more plausible perspective on the same passage:
“. . . assume that the group has committed terrorism against the state and is expected to do so again in the future. In this scenario … the various terrorist acts may be regarded as part of a continuous operation. This characterization is analogous to the battle/war distinction. Once war has commenced, the initiation of each battle is not evaluated separately. . . .”
___On this more plausible reading, terrorists are assumed to be engaged in ongoing struggle and therefore remain legitimate targets.

  • Plaw, Avery. “Terminating Terror The Legality, Ethics And Effectiveness Of Targeting Terrorists.” Theoria: A Journal Of Social & Political Theory 54.114 (2007): 1-27.    SOURCE.

❸ Opinion/Analysis: IS  TEL  AVIV  ATTACK  REVIVAL  OF  THE  JERUSALEM  INTIFADA?
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Adnan Abu Amer
June 15, 2016
The pace of the attacks against Israelis during the Jerusalem intifada, which broke out in October 2015, has been increasing at times and decreasing at others. Up until early March, 620 attacks had been carried out in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, resulting in the death of 33 Israelis and 209 Palestinians.
___The Tel Aviv attack June 8 was the most ruthless Palestinian armed attack against Israelis, targeting a shopping mall in Tel Aviv, a short walk from the headquarters of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Cousins Mohammad and Khaled Mahamra from the town of Yatta in Hebron governorate were able to pass through the security measures and the Israeli military checkpoints, and started shooting at people killing four Israelis and wounding six others.
___On june 9, the Israeli government promptly decided to impose a series of collective punishments on the Palestinian residents of Yatta        MORE . . .  

“FOUR WHISPERS,” BY FOUZI EL-ASMAR

I.
Since our life is barren
like desert sands
As are our minds
We sow our hopes
in plains of deadly gold
and set up our own temptations
to lure us like a mirage
at dawn

II.
When a man is reduced to a butchered lamb
And his will to a helpless, flapping sail
Lost in the ocean
Both his knife and the storm
Are his destiny.

III.
We are consumed in guarding
Against the bit of the adder,
Meanwhile neglecting
The labour of the ant on our land.

IV.
Oh, brothers
The thorn bears no fruit
Its stem throbs with a deadly poison.
It shall be uprooted.

About Fouzi El-Asmar  
From El-Asmar, Fouzi. THE  WIND-DRIVEN  REED  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1979.    Available from Amazon.

“. . . I remained defying. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

1-zoo
TO DEFY: “This garden is a way of expressing OUR OBJECTION. . .” says Saeed al-Haddad as he works on his zoo in Shajaiya, Gaza City, Gaza, April 25, 2016. (photo by Motaz Alaaraj)

❶ Tensions escalate in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes injure 4
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli airstrikes target Rafah area after mortars, shells fired across Gaza border
❷ Why one Gazan turned destroyed home into a zoo
❸ Army Kidnaps A Child In Jerusalem, Injures A Disabled Young Man In Hebron
❹ Israeli Police Prevents [Boy Scout] Islamic Anniversary Parade in Jerusalem
❺ Opinion/Analysis:  ELOR  AZARYA,  KING  OF  ISRAEL
❻ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ TENSIONS  ESCALATE  IN  GAZA  AS  ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES  INJURE  4
Ma’an News Agency
May 5, 2016
Four Palestinians, including three children, were injured when Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes in the besieged Gaza Strip early on Thursday morning, as tensions escalated in the Palestinian enclave in the past several days.
___The Israeli airstrikes on Thursday morning hit a metal workshop in the al-Zaytoun neighborhood southeast of Gaza City, injuring 65-year-old Hassan Hassanien and three children from the family, who were all taken to the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  AIRSTRIKES  TARGET  RAFAH  AREA  AFTER  MORTARS,  SHELLS  FIRED  ACROSS  GAZA  BORDER
Ma’an News Agency
May 4, 2016
Israeli forces launched several airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening, hours after Palestinian and Israeli shelling across the border of the besieged enclave.
___Witnesses told Ma’an that at least five airstrikes targeted an open area near the long-closed Rafah airport, causing material damage. No casualties were initially reported.    MORE . . . 

❷ WHY  ONE  GAZAN  TURNED  DESTROYED  HOME  INTO  A  ZOO
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Asmaa al-Ghoul
May 2, 2016
More than one and a half years have passed since the 51-day war on Gaza, which started on July 8, 2014. Since then, about 18,000 homes were destroyed partially or completely and have yet to be rebuilt because of the suspension of the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip.
___Saeed al-Haddad is one of the people who has yet to receive compensation for his destroyed property. The four-story building is dilapidated, uninhabitable and doomed to collapse. However, Haddad wishes to turn it into a zoo, as he has been fond of raising animals since childhood.      MORE . . .

ARMY  KIDNAPS  A  CHILD  IN  JERUSALEM,  INJURES  A  DISABLED  YOUNG  MAN   IN  HEBRON  
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
May 5, 2016
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at night, a Palestinian child from Jerusalem’s Old City. The soldiers also shot and injured a disabled Palestinian man near Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
___Eyewitnesses in occupied Jerusalem said the soldiers kidnapped a child, only 14 years of age, in the Old city, after attacking and beating her.
___They added that the soldiers took the child to an interrogation center in the city, allegedly after “locating a knife in her purse.”      MORE . . .    

ISRAELI  POLICE  PREVENTS  [Boy Scout]  ISLAMIC  ANNIVERSARY  PARADE  IN  JERUSALEM
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
May 5, 2016
Israeli police Thursday prevented a Palestinian scout group from parading to celebrate the Islamic festival of Isra and Miraj in Jerusalem, said WAFA correspondent.
___Police prevented Hilal al-Quds Scout Group from observing the day through a parade to mark the occasion, under the pretext that the festival coincides with the Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah).      MORE . . .

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BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES! Residents of Beit Shemesh attend a March 28, 2016, rally in solidarity with ELOR AZARYA who shot a Palestinian assailant in Hebron the week before. (Yaacov Lederman/Flash90)

Opinion/Analysis:  ELOR  AZARYA,  KING  OF  ISRAEL
Mondoweiss
Dan Cohen
May 4, 2016
The episode since Israeli medic-soldier and French citizen Elor Azarya was filmed summarily executing Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sharif has been a sobering reminder of the Israeli right-wing’s total and long-standing dominance over the Zionist left  [. . . .]
___As the video went viral, the Israeli public rallied around Azarya . . . . a poll revealed that 82% of Israelis support the execution. Across the country, Israelis held public events including town halls and streets demonstrations, culminating with a rally for Azarya in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on April 19 . . . . around 80 Israeli men and boys of army age, some wearing Israeli flags as capes, rose from one knee and jumped while chanting: “Elor, HaMelech Yisrael! Chai chai, vekayam!” (Elor, the King of Israel lives!)      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.

“. . . will find tickets in my pockets: One to peace . . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

palestine-unemployment-rate
Palestine Unemployment: Source: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. (Published: TradingEconomics.com)

❶ Israel’s Rejection of French Initiative Reaffirms Its Decision to Continue Its Crimes, says PLO Erekat
❷ Unemployment Rate in Palestine in 2015 Reached 26%, says Statistics Bureau
❸ A Hard Time for Start-Ups: The Legal and Regulatory Environment for Entrepreneurs in Palestine
❹ Hebron shooter called to ‘kill everyone in Gaza’
❺ Opinion/Analysis: UNDERSTANDING  THE  BIRZEIT  ELECTIONS
❻ POETRY by Samih Al-Qasim
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL’S  REJECTION  OF  FRENCH  INITIATIVE  REAFFIRMS  ITS  DECISION  TO  CONTINUE  ITS  CRIMES,  SAYS  PLO  EREKAT
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 30, 2016
PLO Secretary General, Sa’eb Erekat, maintained that the Israeli rejection of the French Initiative, ‘is a reaffirmation of the Israeli government’s decision to continue its crimes and violations.
___The PLO official noted that the Israeli rejection of the French initiative; to convene an international peace conference intended to revive the moribund Palestinian-Israeli peace process,  came a few hours after Israeli officials informed the Palestinian side that the Israeli government has decided to continue violating its obligations under the signed agreements, including the daily military raids in vast areas of the Occupied State of Palestine.      MORE . . .  

❷ UNEMPLOYMENT  RATE  IN  PALESTINE  IN  2015  REACHED  26%,  SAYS  STATISTICS  BUREAU
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 30, 2016
The unemployment rate among participants in the labour force aged 15 years and above in Palestine was 26% (About 336 thousand persons were unemployed), said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statists (PCBS).
___On the occasion of International Labour Day, which falls annually on the 1st of May, PCBS presented the current status of Palestinian labour force during 2015.      MORE . . .

❸ A  HARD  TIME  FOR  START-UPS:  THE  LEGAL  AND  REGULATORY  ENVIRONMENT  FOR  ENTREPRENEURS  IN  PALESTINE
This Week in Palestine
May, 2016
Tareq Touqan
According to the 2016 World Bank’s Doing Business report, the Palestinian economy is currently ranked 170th out of 189 world economies in terms of ease of starting a business. This represents a drop of 11 places from the 2015 ranking, which only serves to verify that starting a business in Palestine is certainly not getting any easier. In spite of this, it is difficult to ignore the growing start-up community in Palestine.      MORE . . .

azaria
Sgt. Elor Azaria carried on the shoulders of his supporters (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

HEBRON  SHOOTER  CALLED  TO  ‘KILL  EVERYONE  IN  GAZA’
+972 Blog
April 29, 2016
John Brown*
On the Facebook page belonging to the IDF soldier who shot and killed the wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron, one can find calls to massacre everyone living in Gaza, and support for Jewish terrorist Meir Kahane. His father also expressed support for Kahane and for the call to “kill everyone.” His mother suggested killing women and children, first among them, Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi.    MORE . . . 

*John Brown is the pseudonym of an Israeli academic and a blogger. A version of this article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call, where he is a blogger. Read it here

Opinion/Analysis:  UNDERSTANDING  THE  BIRZEIT  ELECTIONS
Palestine Chronicle
Abdul Sattar Qassem
April 29, 2016
The elections held at the Palestinian universities, Birzeit and Al-Najah, are considered a good indicator of the popularity of Palestinian factions. The media outlets usually refer to the student union to sense the popular Palestinian feelings towards the Palestinian factions and organisations.
___In recent years, the media outlets focused on Birzeit University because its administration believes in democracy and insists on holding elections [. . . .]
___The Birzeit University student union elections were held on 27 April 2016 and Hamas won 25 out of 51 seats.      MORE . . .

TWO  SHORT  POEMS  BY  SAMIH  AL-QASIM 

“TICKETS”

The day I’m killed
my killer will find
tickets in my pockets:
One to peace,
and one to fields and the rain,
and one
to humanity’s conscience.

I beg you―please don’t waste them.
I beg you, you who kill me: Go.

“STORY OF A CITY”

There was a blue city
that dreamt of foreigners wandering
around and spending their money
day after day.

But it became a black city
despising strangers
with their rifles’ muzzles
making the rounds of its cafés . . . .

From Al-Qasim, Samih. SADDER  THAN  WATER.  NEW  AND  SELECTED  POEMS.  Trans. Nazih Kasis and Adina Hoffman. Jerusalem: Ibis Editions, 2008.    Available from Amazon
Samih Al-Qasim. Obituary, August 20, 2014

“. . . But I do not die . . .” (Taha Muhammad ‘Ali)

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-DEMONSTRATION
Banner calling for the erasure of the Palestinian people at massive rally for Elor Azraya in central Tel Aviv, April 19, 2016. (Photo: Agence France‑Presse)

❶ If the Palestinians are guilty of incitement, then what does Israel’s 24/7 occupation amount to?
❷ Israeli forces injure 5 Palestinians in weekly Gaza protests
❸ Israel to Seize Hundreds of Dunums of Land for Benefit of Illegal Israeli Settlements
❹ Jerusalem at the center of Palestine-Israel naming dispute
❺ Opinion/Analysis: RELEASE  OF  A  COLD-BLOODED  KILLER  ILLUSTRATES  THE  RACISM  OF  ISRAELI  SOCIETY
❻ POETRY by Taha Muhammad ‘Ali
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ IF  THE  PALESTINIANS  ARE  GUILTY  OF  INCITEMENT,  THEN  WHAT  DOES  ISRAEL’S  24/7  OCCUPATION  AMOUNT  TO?
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Kamel Hawwash
April 22, 2016
Hardly a day goes by without Israel accusing Palestinian leaders of incitement against the state and its citizens.
___Incitement as far as Israel is concerned covers a wide spectrum, from calling those killed by Israel “martyrs” to objecting to repeated incursions by Jewish settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque, and including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign . . . .
___ Israel has worked tirelessly to convince the so called “international community” to accept its definition of “terrorism”. . . .
___If the Palestinians are guilty of incitement, then what does Israel’s 24/7 occupation amount to? . . . . Israel’s deliberate daily provocation and humiliation of subjugated people in the hope of a reaction . . .  is the most significant incitement of young Palestinians.      MORE . . . 

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  INJURE  5  PALESTINIANS  IN  WEEKLY  GAZA  PROTESTS
Ma’an News Agency
April 23, 2016
Five Palestinians were injured when clashes broke out across the Gaza Strip on Friday night after Israeli forces attempted to suppress weekly protests, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said.      MORE . . .  
RELATED . . .  ISRAELI  FORCES  OPEN  FIRE  ON  PALESTINIAN  FARMERS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA    

❸ ISRAEL  TO  SEIZE  HUNDREDS  OF  DUNUMS  OF  LAND  FOR  BENEFIT  OF  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLEMENTS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 23, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities Saturday notified the takeover of hundreds of dunums of land in the village of Jalood to the south of Nablus, as well as in the towns of Turmosayya and al-Mghayar to the north of Ramallah, to pave a new road that would serve illegal Israeli outposts and settlements, according to a local official. . . .
___The notice also included a plan to open a road, designated for the sole use of Israelis, that would connect the illegal Israeli settlement of ‘Shiloh’ with other settlement outposts to the east.      MORE . . .

❹ JERUSALEM  AT  THE  CENTER  OF  PALESTINE-ISRAEL  NAMING  DISPUTE
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Ahmad Abu Amer
April 20, 2016
Shortly after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it faced a problem in how to refer to Jerusalem in Arabic. Not wanting to use the Arabic name al-Quds, the Israelis came up with a compromise by inserting the biblical Jewish name Urashalim. . . . Combining the Jewish and the Arabic term reflected what then was the prevalent Israeli attitude of treating the holy city as a crucible of religions. . . .
___But over the years, Israelis lessened their pluralistic effort as they embarked on a strategic policy to make the city more Jewish. Arabic names were slowly changed to Hebrew ones.      MORE . . .

palestinian-girl-female-stone-throwing
Young Palestinians take matters into their own hands. (Photo: MEMO, April 22, 2016)

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  RELEASE  OF  A  COLD-BLOODED  KILLER  ILLUSTRATES  THE  RACISM  OF  ISRAELI  SOCIETY
International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team
April 23, 2016
Yesterday, Elor Azraya, a soldier in the Israeli army, infamous for the extrajudicial execution of Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), has been released to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Pessach with his family [. . . . ]
___The approval and support Elor Azraya has been receiving both from his comrades (that can be seen in the video with them not even flinching when he executes Abed al-Fattah) and settlers, mirrors the great support he enjoys from the majority of the Israeli population. Upon arriving home, Elor Azraya was received as a hero with a big celebration. MORE . . .  

(The “child” is a metaphor for Palestine. This poem is chosen to reflect the news of the day that Israel has once again confiscated Palestinian land, but Palestine does not die.)

“THROMBOSIS,”  BY  TAHA  MUHAMMAD  ‘ALI

A child I was
when I fell into the abyss
But I did not die
I was very young
when I drowned in the pond
But I did not die
Nowadays one of my habits―God preserve us―
is to knock against scores of land mines
on the frontiers
and for my songs to be dispersed
as the days of my youth are:
here a flower, there a scream
But I do not die.

They slew me upon the threshold
Like the lamb of the feast
―petroleum coagulated in my veins
―In God’s name―
Thousands of times they slit my throat
from ear to ear
yet each time my blood would swing
like the feet of a hanged man
and settle like a rose mallow
large and crimson, a mark
to warn ships
and point out the sites of palaces and embassies.

And tomorrow!
―God preserve us!―
A telephone will not ring
in palaces or in brothels or in one of the Gulf Emirates
except to offer a new prescription
for my extermination
But . . . .
Just as the rose mallow tells
and as the frontiers expect
I shall not die!
Shall not die!
I shall remain a splinter of shrapnel
the size of a penknife
lodged in their necks
I shall remain
a blood stain
the size of a cloud
on this world’s tunic!
―Translated by Lena Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs

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