“. . . All that I love of my absent country. . .” (Samih Al-Qasim)

Selected News of the Day

Israeli military uproot trees, raze wells in northeastern West Bank

WAFA
September 12, 2019
Israeli military today uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed water wells in Um Kbeish area near Tammun town, south of Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, said human rights activist.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Aref Daraghmeh confirmed that Israeli military arrived to Um Kbeish, where they uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed four water wells used for irrigation by local Palestinian farmers. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ . . . . under the pretext that the land constituted “State land.” The family filed a complaint and had a court hearing set for June 24. Ignoring this, Israel’s demolition took place on June 11. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.  More . . . .

Netanyahu tells voters: If you don’t vote Likud, Arabs will ‘annihilate us all’

Mondoweiss
Yumna Patel
September 11, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire again for anti-Arab comments made by his campaign, this time for a message on his official Facebook page telling voters “Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men.”
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Israeli media reported that upon accessing Netanyahu’s official page, viewers are greeted with an automated popup message in Hebrew with a message to voters, imploring them to “make sure” their friends and family vote Likud.   More . . . . 

Abbas: If Israel takes Palestinian land, all deals off

Al-Hourriah
September 11, 2019
If Israel annexes parts of the occupied West Bank, all agreements signed with Israel will end, warned the Palestinian president on Tuesday, reports the Agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ “All agreements and their resulting obligations would end if the Israeli side annexes the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and any part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Abbas’ remarks came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he would annex the Jordan Valley and a number of settlements if he wins next week’s election.   More . . . .

Israeli Army Launches Renewed Aerial Attack On Gaza

Days of Palestine
September 12, 2019
An Israeli warplane last night bombed a resistance site belonging to the Palestinian resistance in the north of the Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that a warplane fired at least three missiles at a resistance post in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, with no reported casualties.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ A spokesman for the Israeli occupation army claimed the air raid was in response to the launch of projectiles towards Israeli communities around the border with Gaza.   More . . . .

Poem of the Day

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 remain 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’s
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 love 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 Goodreads

“. . . concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history . . .” (Thomas Abowd)

They relate noble narratives about Israeli nationalist victory, valor, and self-defense. They ground such moments of supposed “liberation” in a grand teleology in which the end is the redemption of the Jewish people in their land . . .  Jewish settlers today carve violent inroads . . .  in their quest to resurrect the City of King David. (Thomas Abowd)

IMG_3198
Gush Etzion settlement towering over the Palestinian Nassar Family Farm near Bethlehem. The Nassars have owned the farm for 100 years. It is an educational center, the Tent of Nations (Photo: Harold Knight, Nov. 9, 2015)

❶ Israel: State of denial

Background: Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ Wasfi Kabaha’s Arrest Silencing ‘voice of resistance’ in the West Bank
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO coalition slams Israel over Judaization of Jerusalem curricula
❸ Lieberman: Our government is the best for settlement enterprise
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) West Bank witnesses unprecedented expansion in settlement building
❹ Whose “Ethnic Cleansing?” Israel’s Appropriation of the Palestinian Narrative
❺ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL:  STATE  OF  DENIAL
+972 Blog
June 10, 2017          Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the grotesque nature of this denial palace is that each of its floors is located in a different imaginary time zone.   MORE . . .

  • The following is from the same article as yesterday’s post. This passage presents Abowd’s second major argument.

Abowd, Thomas.”RESPONSE  TO  ELIA  ZUREIK’S  ‘ISRAEL’S  COLONIAL  PROJECT  IN  PALESTINE’.” Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Fall2016, pp. 694-699.
THE  WEAPONIZATION  OF  MYTH:  Efforts to appropriate Palestinian land and resources for exclusive Jewish use continue. But consistent with other colonial states, these practices have interacted dialectically with concurrent attempts to appropriate, regulate, and silence history. A range of mythical assertions, often deploying essentialist notions of peoples and places, have been projected to justify acts of dispossession. In the case of Israel, the Bible and the supposed celestial designs for lands and peoples it supposedly prescribes have been integral to Israeli conquest. These ideological ploys resemble what I refer to as the “weaponization of myth” and, as Barthes (1957) writes, it is myth that “evaporates history”. For Israel, the task of evaporating Palestinian pasts in Palestine has been a hefty one but a necessary one.   SOURCE . . .   

 ❷ WASFI  KABAHA’S  ARREST  SILENCING  ‘VOICE OF RESISTANCE’  IN  THE  WEST  BANK 
The Palestinian Information Center    
June 14, 2017   Wasfi Kabaha was talking to his friends and followers on social media when the Israeli occupation forces knocked at his house by the dawn of Monday, 12 June 2017 to inform him of his arrest, while his followers on Facebook were still busy discussing the issues raised by him. After a while, some commented that Kabaha was arrested a while ago, as part of an ongoing Israeli attempt to silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) NGO  COALITION  SLAMS  ISRAEL  OVER  JUDAIZATION  OF  JERUSALEM  CURRICULA
The Palestinian Information Center 
May 31, 2017   The Jerusalemite Non-Governmental Coalition condemned Israel’s approval of a five-year plan to Judaize academic curricula at Palestinian schools across Occupied Jerusalem.
___Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin submitted a plan to force schools in Occupied Jerusalem to teach an Israeli curriculum as opposed to the Palestinian school curriculum.
___The aim is to improve the quality of life and the environment for Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and to strengthen the integration of east Jerusalem residents into Israeli society and economy, thus boosting the economic and social resilience of the city, claimed Bennett.   MORE . . .
❸ LIEBERMAN:  OUR  GOVERNMENT  IS  THE  BEST  FOR  SETTLEMENT  ENTERPRISE
Palestine News Network – PNN   
June 11, 2017   The right wing Israeli Minister of Army, Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday announced that 3,651 settlement units in the West Bank were approved last week, adding that the number of units slated for construction is at its highest since 1992.     ___Lieberman added  says number of settler homes approved for construction within the the first half 2017 are at their highest since 1992.     [. . . .] “There isn’t and there hasn’t been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it,” he said.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❸ ― (ᴀ) WEST  BANK  WITNESSES  UNPRECEDENTED  EXPANSION  IN  SETTLEMENT  BUILDING    
Palestine Information Center      
June 17, 2017   The National Office for Defending Land and Resisting Settlement said on Saturday that the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has witnessed since the beginning of 2017 an unprecedented settlement building . . .
___The Office explained in its weekly report that Lieberman stated that the number of permits issued for the settlement construction in the West Bank during the first half of 2017 is the highest since 1992.   MORE . . .
❹ WHOSE  “ETHNIC CLEANSING?”  ISRAEL’S  APPROPRIATION  OF  THE  PALESTINIAN  NARRATIVE 
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Dina Matar
March 26, 2017   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently claimed in a video posted on his Facebook page that the Palestinian demand to dismantle illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) constitutes an act of “ethnic cleansing” against Israeli Jewish settlers. The term . . .  has also been used by many scholars as well as in public discourse to refer to Zionist practices against the Palestinian population in the lead-up to and during the Nakba of 1948. These practices include the destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of approximately 730,000 Palestinians from their homes.   MORE . . .

‘IDENTITY   CARD,”   BY   MAHMOUD  DARWISH
Record!
I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Record!
I am an Arab
without a name – without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots –
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father –
descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather –
was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
And my house –
is like a watchman’s hut
made of branches and cane
This is my status
Does it satisfy you?
I have a name but no title!

Record!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards
of my ancestors
And the land
which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left us with those rocks
So will the State take them
as it has been said?

Therefore!
Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware –
Beware –
Of my hunger
And my anger
–– Trans. Naseer Aururi
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 Kurt Gippert Bookseller.
About Mahmoud Darwish
RELATED . . .

“. . . It’s fine to have a clean death, with no holes in our shirts . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

beit-hanina
Israel demolished two apartments of the el-Salaima family, Beit Hanina (Photo: +972 Magazine, May 21 2013)

❶ Palestinian families forced to raze their homes amid spike in Israeli-enforced demolitions

  • Background from Geopolitics

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) Israeli Army Displaces Bedouin Families To Conduct Military Training
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) Israelis raze Palestinian olive orchards to expand illegal settlement
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF opens fire towards farmers east of Deir al-Balah
❷ PPS: “Israeli Soldiers Kidnap 13 Palestinians In The West Bank”
❸ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
PALESTINIAN  FAMILIES  FORCED  TO  RAZE  THEIR  HOMES  AMID  SPIKE  IN  ISRAELI-ENFORCED  DEMOLITIONS
Ma’an News Agency
Sep. 28, 2016
Two Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina were forced to demolish their own homes for being built without licenses on Wednesday, in order to avoid the expensive demolition fines imposed by the Jerusalem municipality when its employees carry out the demolition themselves.
___Between the two families, 15 Palestinians were displaced as a result of the demolitions.
___Owner of one of the homes Imad Jaber told Ma’an he was forced to rent a bulldozer to demolish his house, after receiving an order from the municipality.     MORE . . .  

  • Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)Mobilities: ID Cards In Palestine/Israel.” Geopolitics 17.1 (2012): 153-176     SOURCE    

Upon the insistence of its first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s Declaration of Independence did not define the state’s borders so as to keep the option for future expansion possible. Already by the time statehood was declared in May 1948, Israel had expanded beyond the boundaries of the Jewish state delineated in the 1947 UN partition plan; it expanded even more in the months leading up to the Armistice Agreements in 1949; and has been expanding ever since (with the one occasion of ‘shrinking’ when it returned the Sinai to Egypt between 1973 and 1982 which it had held since the 1967 war).
[. . . .]
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and ‘inside’ Israel, claim that the state of Israel through various methods simultaneously attempts to thwart, isolate, fragment, transfer and erase them away: slowly kill them all; send them off to neighbouring Arab countries; strangle them geographically, politically, economically, and militarily until they accept their subordination. This is not a chimerical claim of ethnic cleansing, but a reality that can be analysed as a ‘problem’ of the geo-political conditions of Palestinians’ status. Moreover, it is no secret that “the mere existence of the Palestinian people is a major strategic impediment to the realization of classical Zionist ambitions”; and thus, exclusion, throughout Palestine/Israel, “forms the logical background of a segregational policy that erects defensive walls of legal, institutional, and physical kinds to prevent Palestinians access to land, institutions, or other rights that could threaten Jewish hegemony.”57 These realities seem to form a cognitive dissonance: on the one hand the Israeli state is accused of trying to eradicate Palestinians, on the other hand the state institutes an impressive infrastructure of control and containment based on Palestinians’ continued presence in Palestine/Israel.  [. . . .]
(Note 57: Nils Butenschon, Uri Davis, and Manuel Hassassian (eds.), Citizenship and the State in the Middle East: Approaches and Applications [Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2000] pp. 20–21.)

. . . ❶― (ᴀ) ISRAELI  ARMY  DISPLACES  BEDOUIN  FAMILIES  TO  CONDUCT  MILITARY  TRAINING
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded, Thursday, the Hamsa al-Fouqa area, near Tubas in central West Bank, and removed 19 Bedouin families from their dwelling, so that the army can conduct life fire training in their community.
___The soldiers surrounded Abu Hamsa al-Fouqa area before invading it, and handed the military orders for the families before removing them.        MORE . . .  
. . . ❶ ― (ᴃ) ISRAELIS  RAZE  PALESTINIAN  OLIVE  ORCHARDS  TO  EXPAND  ILLEGAL  SETTLEMENT
Al-Hourriah
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli settler gangs residing in the illegal Leshem settlement, in western Salfit, uprooted Palestinian olive trees, paving the way for settlement expansion.
___Palestinian farmers said Israeli bulldozers leveled their olive orchards in eastern Deir Balout town, to the west of Salfit, in an attempt to expand illegal settlement at the expense of their own lands.    MORE . . .     
. . . ❶ ― (ᴄ) IOF  OPENS  FIRE  TOWARDS  FARMERS  EAST  OF  DEIR AL-BALAH
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Sep. 29, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened fire on Thursday morning towards farmers’ land east of Deir al-Balah in the central of the Gaza Strip.
___Israeli occupation troops positioned in military towers in vicinity of “Kissufim” site penetrated towards the border southeast of the city and opened fire with machine guns towards farmers’ lands in the region.      MORE . . .      

salfit
Israeli settlers uprooted 450 olive trees in Deir Istiya, northern Salfit (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Apr. 21, 2015)

PPS:  “ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  KIDNAP  13  PALESTINIANS  IN  THE  WEST  BANK”
International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC
Sep. 29, 2016
The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers have kidnapped overnight and on Thursday morning, thirteen Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
___The Hebron office of the PPS, in the southern part of the West Bank, said the soldiers invaded various communities in the district, searched many homes and kidnapped four Palestinians, two of them identified as Mohammad Qassem Shallash and Abdul-Nasser Abu Mariyya.      MORE . . .    

“IT’S ALSO FINE,” BY MOURID BARGHOUTI

It’s also fine to die in our beds
on a clean pillow
and among our friends.

It’s fine to die, once,
our hands crossed on our chests,
empty and pale,
with no scratches, no chains, no banners,
and no petitions.

It’s fine to have a clean death,
with no holes in our shirts,
and no evidence in our ribs.

It’s fine to die
with a white pillow, not the pavement, under our cheek,
with our hands resting in those of our loved ones,
surrounded by desperate doctors and nurses,
with nothing left but a graceful farewell,
paying no attention to history,
leaving this world as it is,
hoping that, someday, someone else
will change it.

Mourid Barghouti.
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT AND OTHER POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008. Available from Amazon

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

khuzaa
Palestinian women walk past a mosque and water tower damaged by Israeli air strikes and shelling in KHUZAA near ABU RIDA GATE in the southern Gaza Strip. Aug. 3, 2014. (Photo: The Irish Times)

❶ Israel surveys vast tract of land southeast of J’lem to declare it state land

  • Background: “Settlements and Ethnic Cleansing In the Jordan Valley.”

❷ Israeli forces level lands in southern Gaza Strip

  • Background: “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.”

❸ Palestinian human rights groups ‘gravely concerned’ over ongoing death threats to staff
❹ POETRY by Rashid Hussein
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAEL  SURVEYS  VAST  TRACT  OF  LAND  SOUTHEAST  OF  J’LEM  TO  DECLARE  IT  STATE  LAND
The Palestinian Information Center
Aug. 15, 2016
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has embarked recently on conducting a land survey between the settlement of Efrat (southeast Jerusalem) and the area to its east with the intention of annexing it and declaring it state land, according to a report published by Haaretz newspaper on Sunday.
___Efrat is in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the southern West Bank, and the area to its east is called Givat Eitam.    MORE . . .  

  • Tofakji, Khalil. “Settlements And Ethnic Cleansing In The Jordan Valley.” Palestine-Israel Journal Of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 81-87.

[. . . .] The Israeli government utilized two main methods in order to construct and expand its settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).The first method involved setting legal and bureaucratic procedures enabling the government to confiscate lands. By using the following justifications: seizure for military purposes, declaration of state lands, seizure of absentee property, confiscation for public needs, and initial registration, Israel has managed to take over about 50% of the lands in the West Bank, barring the local Palestinian public from using them. The second method is by evicting Palestinians from these lands, with the declared objective of controlling maximum land with a minimum number of Palestinian Arabs. The Israeli daily Haaretz on 21 May 2014 revealed in a report the methods the IDF uses to remove the Palestinians from Area C, and quoted Israeli army officer col. Einav Shalev as saying the Israeli army practices daily confinement, harassment and attacks on Palestinians through the sabotage of their crops and lands, as well as preventing them from obtaining building licenses, water and electricity. These “tools” are used to place pressure on and eventually force the Palestinian inhabitants of these areas to leave their houses and lands. Shalev added that the army also increased its military training in the Jordan Valley in an attempt to force the Palestinians to leave the land.
___These methods are viewed by Palestinians as systematic ethnic cleansing policy and have also been also implemented in the Jordan Valley.
[. . . .] With security considerations no longer being the primary motivation, the continued expansion into and occupation of the West Bank is a strategic move for Israel serving its economic interests. Through the restrictions on movement of people and goods, Israel is able to control the Palestinian economy and constrain growth to limited designated areas, or via immigration into neighboring countries. These methods, combined with the Bahrain Canal Project linking the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, which would primarily benefit the Israelis, the continued demolition of Palestinian homes, and the eviction of Bedouins, aim at attaining the undeclared goal of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the OPT.    SOURCE.

efrat
Illustrative photo of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, December 17, 2014 (Photo: Times of Israel/Miriam Alster/Flash90)

❷ ISRAELI  FORCES  LEVEL  LANDS  IN  SOUTHERN  GAZA  STRIP
Ma’an News Agency
Aug. 15, 2016
Israeli military vehicles staged a limited incursion across the borderline of the besieged Gaza Strip to level land on Monday morning, locals said.
___Locals told Ma’an that six Israeli military vehicles crossed the Abu Rida gate at the border east of the town of Khuzaa in the southern Gaza Strip and leveled Palestinian land in the area.
___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 . . .  

  • Miller, Zinaida. “Perils of Parity: Palestine’s Permanent Transition.” Cornell International Law Journal 47.2 (2014): 331-415.

[. . . . ]  Rather than understanding the situation in terms of occupation—a framework that seeks to protect a vulnerable people from a militarily strong sovereign—the Oslo regime suggests two warring parties. In the process, Israeli, international, and even Palestinian discourse has gradually reduced or eliminated the use of the term ‘occupation’ while focusing on the achievement of ‘peace.’
___The Oslo regime has also affected Palestinian resistance. While the PLO in the past sought to end the occupation, current iterations have focused on the achievement of statehood. In the process, the goal of equality . . .  may at times be undermined by a process predicated on parity . . . . Relations of parity resulted in part from the Palestinian belief that mutual recognition or formal status would alter the terms of the conflict; in the end, however, the conception— and perception—of equivalence largely overtook the reality of asymmetry, making it harder rather than easier to address the structural inequality between the players. The focus of the international community (and the PLO) on establishing a state has oriented the Palestinian national movement away from earlier approaches rooted in rhetoric of emancipation and liberation.   [. . . . ]    No longer simply occupier and occupied, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been transformed into putative equals engaged in perpetual negotiation [. . . .]
___These changes came about in no small part because of the unexpectedly enduring presence of international actors. The Accords reassigned responsibility for the Palestinian population to the newly created Palestinian Authority while leaving control over territory largely in the hands of the Israeli government. With the nascent Authority severely lacking capacity, the arrangement was tenable only because of international support in the form of money and expertise [. . . . ]
___Over the course of the following two decades, international actors and organizations provided aid . . .  facilitated peacebuilding, development, and post-conflict reconstruction, and supported negotiations between the parties. International actors, however, brought more than money or institutional blueprints: their ideas about how to make peace and reconstruct territories after conflict reshaped the form and conceptualization of governance and peace in the Occupied Territories.  FULL ARTICLE.

❸ PALESTINIAN  HUMAN  RIGHTS  GROUPS  ‘GRAVELY  CONCERNED’  OVER  ONGOING  DEATH  THREATS  TO  STAFF
Al-Hourriah
Aug. 15, 2016
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) said in a press release on Sunday that they were “gravely concerned” over an ongoing smear campaign and mounting threats by Israeli authorities and associated groups directed at employees of PHROC member organizations. ___The statement came after reports emerged that human rights lawyer Nada Kiswanson, who represents Palestinian NGO Al-Haq before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, had been receiving death threats since February, Dutch newspaper NRC reported on Wednesday. ___The report revealed the threats referred specifically to Kiswanson’s work with the ICC, rousing suspicions that Israeli security services may have been involved in the attack, according to the newspaper.    MORE . . .          RELATED . . .

“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 with 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.

Rashid Hussein  
See also  
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.

 

“. . . occupation to the occupied resembled daily suffocation. . . .” (Samuel Hazo)

Mideast Gaza Rush to Normalcy
In this Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 photo, a Palestinian family shelters amid the rubble of their destroyed house in the town of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

❶ Israeli siege on Gaza illegal, UN says
❷ Israel to destroy West Bank village’s only water source
❸ Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water
❹ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli calls for ethnic cleansing grow louder
❺ POETRY by Samuel Hazo
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ ISRAELI  SIEGE  ON  GAZA  ILLEGAL,  UN  SAYS
Days of Palestine
Jun 18, 2016
A new UN report has reiterated that the Israeli, internationally backed siege on Gaza is illegal and violates humanitarian law.
___The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed the severe deterioration in various aspects of life in Gaza as a result of the continued Israeli siege imposed on the Strip over the last 10 year.
___In the report, the UNRWA listed the negative impact of the siege on the health and education sectors, as well as the freedom of movement and travel, and the living conditions of Gazans.      MORE . . .     

According to former Attorney General of Israel, Michael Ben Yair:
___“The intifada is the Palestinian people’s war of national liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live under another’s domination and that a suppressed people’s war of national liberation will inevitably succeed. We understand this point but choose to ignore it. We are prepared to engage in confrontation to prevent an historical process, although we are well aware that this process is anchored in the moral justification behind every people’s war of national liberation and behind its right to self-determination” (“The War’s Seventh Day,’’ Ha’aretz 3 March 2002).
___The continued violence is the product of a systematic denial of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the consequent violation of their human rights. . .  it is arguably one of the major political mistakes of the twentieth century, for the decision to create a Jewish state in the Near East, against the will of the vast majority of people who live in that region, has not only fueled a six-decade long conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs but has contributed to tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds that continue to threaten global stability [. . . .]
___Israel is currently not a legitimate state. The reason is not because its establishment violated the principle of self determination, nor because Israel is an ethnocracy. Instead, its current illegitimacy is based on its continued refusal to allow exercise of the right of self-determination by the legitimate residents of the territory it governs. To deny this conclusion is to deny either that the principle of self-determination places a constraint on state legitimacy or that Palestinians are legitimate residents of region under dispute.

  • Kapitan, Tomis. “Violence And Self-Determination In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Peace & Change 36.4 (2011): 494-526.     SOURCE.  

❷ ISRAEL  TO  DESTROY  WEST  BANK  VILLAGE’S  ONLY  WATER  SOURCE
The New Arab
June 19, 2016
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village’s only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.
___According to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories’ coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds’ water tank was built illegally.
___The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long.
___By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.      MORE . . .   

The issue of Israel and the occupied territories is not religion. . .  The issue is colonialism; it is the Zionist agenda of ‘maximum geography with minimum demography’. It is ownership and control of land and water. The issue is humanitarian laws, Geneva Conventions, the International Rights of the Child, and International Court of Justice rulings. . . .
___The [Separation, or ‘Apartheid’] wall is not for security; it is for oppression. It is separating Palestinians from Palestinians. [The Wall] in 2004 was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice and [is] expanding to this day, sealing off villagers from their farmlands and water sources. Villagers protest non-violently and are always met with extreme violence: tear gas, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets, water cannons and something vile that the Israelis call skunk water.
__[In] Ma’ale Adumim, one of many settlements in the occupied West Bank. Settlements are for Jews only. They receive subsidised housing, water, electricity, rubbish collection, and security. Settlements are illegal under international law. Under the fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power cannot transfer its population into occupied territory.
___ . . . Settlers are allowed plentiful amounts of water, which comes from mountain aquifers. By international law, mountain aquifer water should be a Palestinian resource, but Israel controls all water resources. Palestinians are forced to try to survive with less than minimum WHO requirements. Someone has coined the phrase hydro- logical apartheid.

  • Griffiths, Lois, and Martin Griffiths. “The Palestine Story: To Exist Is To Resist.” New Zealand International Review 37.5 (2012): 4-9.      SOURCE.

❸ PALESTINIANS  DECRY  RABBI  CALL  TO  POISON  WEST  BANK  WATER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has denounced a Jewish rabbi’s permission for settlers to poison water sources in Palestinian areas in the occupied West Bank as “an order to kill”.
___Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, has issued an advisory opinion in which he allowed Jewish settlers to poison water in Palestinian villages and cities in the West Bank.
___According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence”, the call for poisoning Palestinian water aim to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.         MORE . . .     

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  ISRAELI  CALLS  FOR  ETHNIC  CLEANSING  GROW  LOUDER
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
June 19, 2016
Israel is a state that owes its very existence to ethnic cleansing, massacres and seemingly perpetual wars.
___The events of 1947-48 when the state was founded are known as the Catastrophe (Nakba) by Arabs [. . . .]
___Palestine was literally wiped off the map, and the refugees were sent into exile in the surrounding countries. They and their decedents have still not been allowed to return until this day.
___ . . . extreme voices in Israel are growing louder all the time, declaring that a slow process is not good enough. They call for swift expulsion. These voices, once on the extreme fringes of Zionism, are now centre stage – even in government . . .     MORE . . .

INTIFADA,” BY SAMUEL HAZO

Singly at first, then doubly
then slowly by the tens or twenties,
then steadily on . . .

Interviewed
about the deathcount in Ramallah,
one sergeant said, “We’ll kill
them all, but we’ll never
forgive them for making us do it.”

Later he aimed his Uzi at a boy
armed with a stone and a slingshot,
One general claimed his soldiers
fired only rubber-coated bullets.
When asked about the difference
to the dead, he frowned and shouted,
“Their leaders and parents use
these children as human shields.”
Despite the contradicting photographs
pundits and lobbyists concurred.
After all, who could deny
that boys with all their lives
ahead of them would happily
seek execution, that mothers loved
to see their sons in open
coffins, that choosing a brave
death instead of a lifelong one
was an option for fools?

No one
would claim that occupation
to the occupied resembled daily
suffocation.
No one would add
that suffocation or the fear of it
begot a courage born
of desperation.
No one compared it
to the fate of being locked
in darkness in a stalled elevator
underground.
Like someone buried
upright and alive, anyone
trapped there would stop at nothing.

from We  Begin  Here:  Poems  for  Palestine  and  Lebanon . Ed. Kamal Boullata. Northampton, MA: Interlink Pub Group Inc (March 30, 2007).
Samuel Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, July 19, 1928. The son of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants, Hazo tackles themes of faith, family, and war in his poems, which are often elegiac in tone. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye noted Hazo’s poems of “immense intelligence, lyricism, and humanity” on awarding his book Just Once: New and Previous Poems (2002) the Maurice English Award for Poetry.